The 3 Easiest Waterfall Hikes in Shenandoah National Park

There is nothing that I like more than to see the awe-inspiring beauty of a flowing cascade. What can some times make that desire difficult to achieve is the time and effort it can take to get there. Since there are no waterfalls that are visible from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, to see one you must be prepared to take a hike. Cody and I were looking to maximize our time, and at the same time minimize exhaustion, so we set our sights on some of the shorter and less difficult treks. Of the nine waterfalls in SNP, though none are easy, there are a few you might find more manageable, but every bit as beautiful.


Dark Hollow Falls

This particular waterfall appeals to a wide audience because it is easier to get to, which means that it can be pretty popular. Even so, we thought the 1.4 mile round trip would be a great excursion to start off with. The trail hugs Hog Camp Branch as you make your way down the tree-lined path, which can become steep at times.

Log Steps

Once you reach the bottom a series of rushing cascades create an impressive 70 foot display (as you see above). I was lucky to have located a spot to shoot early on beacause it wasn't very long before a rather large group joined us down below, and by join us, I mean, blocked my view! :D

Crowd @ the Falls

The clouds were being even less cooperative, so somewhat frustrated, we made our way back across the river to begin our ascent. I remember taking a break or two on our way back up, but all in all, it wasn't so bad.


Lewis Falls

After a short nap at the campsite we awakened with vigor and were ready to tackle another trail. This one was really close to the Big Meadows campground, our homebase. Another bonus was that this was a short stroll at 2 miles. The footpath to Lewis Falls was strewn with rocks and can be tricky, so sure footing was a must! Once the sound of rushing water becomes louder a panoramic view of Pine Grove Hollow opens up before you. The end brings you to a rock-walled observation area where you can view the 81 foot falls from afar. I felt a little jipped because that wasn't what I expected, but it was still lovely. Other than having to navigate the rocky terrain, the return hike was fairly mild. We did, however, almost cross paths with a skunk, but thankfully he was in his own little world!


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  1. Is there a #3?

    Lovin' the falls pics. :)

  2. Or.. wait... #3 is Wednesday?

    Go to sleep, prin.

  3. Hey jess, I wanted to go to shenandoah badly. And obviously I had to go with my 2 yo with me. I am sure during that perios this info will be very useful!

  4. We like the falls you have to hike aways but not too far to get to, preferably not along a well worn path so we don't have to contend with crowds sharing the view.

  5. I've been to the Dark Hollow Falls. Never made it to the Lewis Falls. Really beautiful, thanks for sharing.


  6. what a marvel ~was it cool? I can hear the falls and for sharing these I say thanks!

  7. absolute perfection ... thank you for doing the hiking so I can sit in my chair and enjoy this ;-)

  8. I just found your blog from a link on Twitter. Nice work. Are you on Twitter and I don't know it? If so, please @reply me at JasonsTravels so I can follow you there too, as here. Thanks!

  9. I love the shots and your commentary. Anxious now for Wednesday.

  10. Mmmmmm...a number of my early backpacking trips were in Shenandoah, going up and down along these cascades...