Explore ~2 hour drive - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

~2 hour drive Map
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Nice trail. Lots of stairs in the beginning but after the stairs it’s not too bad. We’re not in the best shape but we’re able to handle it just fine but it was tough. Saw a variety of people (kids, elders, runners) so it’s really not that hard of a trail.

Views at the top were very nice as were views of the falls on the way up. We went on a day it was a little rainy and it was a little slippery (wet rocks and wet leaves) but very doable even if the weather isn’t ideal.

It’s an out and back and my Fitbit clocked in just over 4 miles for the whole thing so I don’t think the distance is accurate on here.

Bring $3 for parking and ladies bring toilet paper if you plan on using the restrooms at the parking lot.

Great hike - beautiful views! Does take some effort to get to the top but the views are a worthy reward! BE AWARE - we just hiked this 11/11 and the upper third of the trail is covered in ice and is veryyy slippery and quite dangerous!

Great early November hike. We missed the fall colors. Was pretty icy on some spots. I was surprised to see the number of small children and infants on this hike. Would not recommend small children on this hike. Also, their is some climbing, wear the appropriate shoes and not tennis shoes.

Was only about 40 degrees today but felt lots colder at the top in the wind. Beautiful day, great hike!

There had been lots of rain and the falls were fantastic. Glad we had our hiking poles for stability on the wet rocks and leaves.

hiking
8 days ago

It’s tough but the view is worth it!

Great, quick hike!!

Hiked this trail this past July. It was a well maintained trail and a good workout! It gets you sweating and feeling good. It is steep but nothing crazy. Pack snacks and bring plenty of water to enjoy the view at the top!

Indeed the best Waterfalls along Skyline Drive. Super crowded with hundreds of people on the trail during weekends. You will have better luck with parking if you go to the Big Meadows lot instead of the Falls lot along Skyline Drive. That way, you could hike the Story of the Forest too. This hike is a mile down to the 71 foot high Falls but it all up hill on the way back. You gotta climb 574 feet back up and the trail runs along a stream. There was many sections that were muddy so I do recommend hiking poles. There are sections with logs steps that create terraces to level things out but the trail is very steep and a long haul back up.

Sweet little hike. Great waterfalls. Although, being a non-frequent hiker, the climb was a bit tiresome(thanks for 600ft of elevation change).

10 days ago

The downsides are that some sections of the trail are basically a fire road. The top is so amazing though; it’s really worth the so-so scenery beforehand. Camping at the top just before the rock is great fun too. The you can get a view of the sunset when the crowds have died down.

This is a great “developed hike”. The trail is maintained , with wooden lookouts over the falls to keep visitors safe. Great trail for kids if they will listen and stay where instructed. The lower portion is accessible and when it isn’t too wet wheelchairs can even get access. Hmm. Go during an off season and avoid the crowds. We’ve done it while it was snowing lightly and were nearly alone.

walking
11 days ago

Great hike with an amazing view!! Tough start, but totally worth it. So much fun climbing the rock to get to the end!

hiking
13 days ago

Does anyone know if the Fish Hatchery Route is open or if you can hike up the private road?

Fun and great view, fast incline

Fun hike, view of the falls is ok

hiking
15 days ago

Very nice hike. The falls are beautiful. I love how the trail brings you back to the falls at several different levels.

Wow, what a great hike. Definitely steep...but worth it in the end.

Easy up and back.

nature trips
19 days ago

Trail is well marked and easy to follow. As others have said, the hardest part is the way back up. Lots of steps and incline most of the way up. Plenty of places to stop off and rest on the way back up. Many different views of the falls all the way down to the bottom. Plenty of cut ins to walk down to and take pictures of or feel the water throughout the different portions of the trail. A few small spots where it was muddy/slippery. Be mindful of this if it has rained recently. Plenty of older folks enjoying the trail as well if you are deterred by some of the reviews. Falls were flowing well with yellow trees above as a backdrop for picture takers

hiking
20 days ago

Good workout! Pretty steep uphill at parts. Our dog was worn out. Great views of the waterfall, and an amazing view of the mountains at the top made it worth it!

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful falls and creek! The trail can be a little slippery with the wrong footwear depending on how wet it is so be careful. It was a pretty easy hike, but very crowded when we went.

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike! My girlfriend and I did the Rip Rap/Wildcat loop as a two day backcountry camping trip and had an excellent time. The NPS Guide recommends camping somewhere just after you turn onto the Wildcat Ridge trail off of the Rip Rap trail but we opted to get in another mile and half or so to shorten our hike the next morning. We hiked about 6 miles the first day and the remaining 3.5 the following morning. We managed to find a nice little spot to set up camp after about 6 miles, and realized hiking out the next day that we found one of the only decent spots to camp in that mileage range. You'd either need to hike almost clear to end of the loop or camp back at the trail merge otherwise. The first six miles had a few great views from the ridge line and then some cool stream crossings, small waterfalls, and a deep swimming hole as you hiked through the valley before heading back uphill again. I highly recommend bringing a change of socks as some of the stream crossings can be sketchy and there's a chance you're going to put a foot in the water... All in all, great hike, great way to see the leaves change.

Awe inspiring...a sleeping beauty!

I am fairly out of shape, but I was determined to make it to the top. There are spots to stop and rest along the way, and all the hikers we ran into were friendly and encouraging. The hike up was gorgeous, as we were surrounded by trees, and the view at the top was worth the effort!

hike is short but steep! gets tough when you get to the rocky section near the top if the rocks are wet, very slick, especially coming back down, if its super wet i would recommend going down and doing the loop back to the parking lot its longer but way easier. views at the top are always worth the hike up i do this one fairly often, if you still feel like hiking afterwards the albright trail is in the same parking lot and it is a nice trail to add on some extra miles plus it is much less busy and has a nice overlook too.

hiking
1 month ago

Only managed to do part of the trail due to time restrictions, but decent hike. We went counter clockwise so had a decent amount of elevation change. Hope to return to finish the rest of the trail.

Excellent and higher end of moderate for those hiking with kids.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Unfortunately very foggy yesterday at the top but still an excellent trail. Well maintained and not too difficult. Dog loved it, he’s still asleep. Went up the right side and down the other. Based on my experience, it would be a slightly easier hike going up the left side. Definitely going to do this one again.

hiking
1 month ago

This is the second time we have done this hike and it is amazing. A year and a half ago there was still much burn evidence. Today it was much recovered. We hike it clockwise and find that to be best and the easiest part is at the end. The woods are just beautiful, having a mystical quality. The summit is about midway through the hike. Last time we were rewarded with the most stunning views we have seen on a hike. Today, the summit was in a cloud and we could see no views. Even so, it was a perfect day for a hike and all the rain this year added waterfalls and rushing water to the creek toward the end. Last time we took our dog and that was great, too.

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