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Dark Hollow Falls Trail is a 1.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

Length 1.4 mi Elevation gain 564 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Rocky

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (4)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Dark Hollow Falls is one of the closest scenic falls to the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. This is a fairly easy walk down, but the trek back up on the way out may be slightly challenging. A very popular hike at mile 50.7. There are some sitting rocks along the trail if you need to rest especially on your way back up. In the spring the blossoms of Mountain Laurel adorn the path with bright pink blossoms. The trail follows the Hogcamp Branch stream as it leaves the Big Meadows spring and eventually drops over the falls. The trail is cool and shaded by a canopy of trees that offers welcome relief in the summer. As you are hiking down listen to the sounds of the water and also to the sounds of nature. One of the birds that may serenade your hike is the Blue Headed Vireo. This neotropical migrant that breeds at high elevations in the park has a very sweet melodious voice that seems to say "Look-Up, In-the-Trees". If you happen to see a dragonfly it may be one of the uncommon species that requires pristine, shaded mountain streams. When you spot one of these you know you are in a special place. Near the bottom of the trail you will come to a viewing platform where you can see the top of the falls. If you continue another tenth of a mile down the trail you will reach the base of the falls for a much more impressive view. Legend says that Thomas Jefferson was quite fond of these falls and spent time quietly contemplating the wonders of nature at the foot of Dark Hollow falls. Learn about black bears, wildflowers, and enjoy the falls as President Thomas Jefferson did back in the day.

This can be challenging for some, so come prepared. Wear sturdy shoes, carry plenty of water and perhaps a snack, and dress for the weather. Summertime storms can cause dramatic temperature changes.

Skyline Drive travels the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. Mile markers are placed along the right-hand side of the road heading south. They are numbered from north to south beginning at the northern terminus in Front Royal, Virginia. Facilities, trails and park features use the mile markers as points of reference. Park at Dark Hollows Falls parking area at mile 50.7. Trailhead is located in the north end of the lot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1116)
Photos (791)
Recordings (723)
Completed (2516)
mercedez maddalena
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020

Beautiful hike but slow going. It was extremely crowded this weekend so go early but it is very slick with all the rain. Take your time if you do go but I'd hold off for a dryer day this week. It is steep coming back up but I found up to be easier going than down due to the slick rocks.

Alexander Linkem
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Crowded, wear a masks

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Jeff Manaois
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingMuddy
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Ted & Erin Starck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Lots and lots of people.

View Ted & Erin's Recording
Keri H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

Too crowded. Went on an early Tuesday morning. Wear a mask please. Not for dogs or strollers. Hardly any room to view the falls or enjoy them with people taking selfies unfortunately. Would recommend many other parts of the park before this one- especially during a pandemic. Tons of people out of state here without masks. Those that did wear one- solidarity and thanks!

Just Lao
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

The trail is heading down. So the first haft of hike is pretty easy. Is a very popular hike. I see kids playing with the falls it can be slippery so please bring the right footwear!

Evangelina Pena
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Fun and steep trail with lots of fun waterfalls and some small watering holes.

View Evangelina's Recording
Bryce Chapman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2020
HikingRocky

Lots of people even on a Tuesday morning. Go early. Passed even more people headed down when we were on our way up. 5 and 9 year old loved playing in the pool at the bottom.

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Leyna Tobey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
HikingBugs

This waterfall is definitely worth the hike—it’s one of the most beautiful waterfalls we’ve ever seen! Hiking to the falls is almost entirely downhill, making the hike back challenging at times but doable with a few breaks. The area around the falls is crowded and many groups were not wearing masks!

Tabitha Carol
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 27, 2020

beautiful water fall. I did this with my 3 kids all under the age of 9. it was easier getting down there, but coming back was a bit challenging for sure. some areas are more steep than others. definitely worth the small hike.

Gina Sperry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail. We backpacked with our 2 year old. Things to know: if you go all the way down to the man-made bridge, it’s a little over two miles there and back. It’s super crowded (my reasoning for the 4-stars). It’s definitely a steep return for the casual walker or hiker. The view is well-worth the crowds though.

Renee Howe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingGreat!Muddy
Ashley Nicole
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

Easy on the way down (steep) and more rigorous trekking back up but worth it for the waterfall views.

View Ashley's Recording
Jody Removchik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail. A little more challenging on the way back. Very nice waterfalls. Lots of kids playing in them. Very well marked. Saw a deer.

Edwin Figueroa Torres
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingRocky
View Edwin's Recording
Amy Stubbs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
FloodedMuddy

Very pretty falls, but this was the most crowded trail I've ever seen, and likely ever will see. Granted it was a summer Saturday, but it was a straight up cattle situation. Was thankful we got to see it, but the amount of people....never again.

Nik Gherardini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful falls! Nice short hike. Was pretty crowded around midday on a weekday.

Hannah Mackey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingRocky

The way back up on a hot day was tough, but the falls were beautiful and perfect to stop and relax in. Was busy on a weekday during early/mid afternoon, given that it’s summer, but people were mostly spaced out and there were sections to maneuver around other groups.

Riley Huff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2020
Hiking

Even though I went on a Saturday, it wasn't too busy! We did get there around 9 AM and the parking lot hadn't filled up yet, but when we finished it was packed. It has some pretty steep sections so just be aware of that. The falls were beautiful and very cold! Overall an awesome hike.

Kevin B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2020
Hiking

The descent down is easy and peaceful. The trek back up is a decent workout. However, it should be manageable for almost anyone, despite how many times you might need to rest. The falls at the bottom are absolutely beautiful. Bring your water shoes and a towel on a hot summer day. There are a few different levels of falls, and you’re able to get off the path and do some scrambling and off-roading. It’s a short enough hike that we were able to do two other great hikes this afternoon: Bearfence (beautiful and fun short scramble with awesome view) and Hawksbill (tallest peak in the park).

Maya C. Evans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
Hiking

Good hike, not complicated, clear path. Beautiful waterfall at the end and running water throughout. A lot of people on this trail.

Amy Dakes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

Great trail with a beautiful payoff. Very shaded. Lots of spots to stop and hang out by the water, but the trail isn’t very wide. Lots of people means lots of maneuvering around and waiting off to the side for a group to pass. Pretty easy descent down, but lots of stairs and rocks. Climbing back up is more of a challenge/kind of steep, but it’s very well maintained and you can stop and sit or lean on rocks if you need a break.

Shannon Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

I went on July 3rd (a Friday morning) and arrived around 9 am. I was still able to find parking in the designated parking lot. Despite this, the lot filled up quickly and the trail itself became flooded with people. If you're looking for a quiet trail with plenty of social distancing right now, this trail is not the one! At one point the trail became so crowded that people had formed a single file line to descend and view the falls. I would say that approximately 50% of the people were wearing masks. Despite this, the views were beautiful and the trail conditions were good. Easy hike down, but moderate hike up.

M Gill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
RunningBugsMuddyOff trailRocky

Great trail! Going to do it again! Loved it! Awesome views!

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Sarthak Sahu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020

short chill evening hike, very nice waterfall at the end. not very steep climb up

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