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Jones Run/Doyles River - SNP, Virginia


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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
6.6 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
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4.3 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,455 ft
Shenandoah National Park
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Park at the Browns Gap parking area. 38.24058, -78.71086

This is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in the southern section of the Shenandoah National Park. There are several falls along Jones Run, plus two large falls on Doyles River. Each has several swimming holes as well. But if you plan to swim, remember that's cold mountain water, even in late summer!

From the Browns Gap parking area cross Skyline Drive and follow the white blazed Appalachian Trail (AT) south along the ridge for 1.4 miles to the intersection of the blue blazed Jones Run Trail, and Jones Run Trail parking area.

Turn left downhill on the blue blazed Jones Run trail as it makes a switchback, then crossing the top of Jones Run before reaching the top of the first set of falls in 1.6 miles. Continue on the trail for another 0.1 miles where the trail makes another steep switchback and arrives at the base of the main falls. Continue following the trail downstream for 0.5 miles crossing Jones Run, then continuing on the left side of the run for 0.1 miles to the post marking the Doyles River Trail.

Turn left uphill on the blue blazed Doyles River Trail passing several small pools and falls before crossing a footbridge over a feeder stream. Shortly after crossing the footbridge reach the lower, and largest set of falls, then in another 0.2 miles the upper set of falls. From here the trail becomes less steep before arriving at the intersection of the Browns Gap Fire Road.

Turn left crossing Doyles River on the yellow blazed fire road for the remaining 1.7 miles back to Browns Gap.

Note: Instead of turning left on the fire road off the Doyles River Trail, you can continue on the Doyles River Trail another 0.9 miles to the AT, then turn left/south on the AT for 1.5 miles to return to Brown's Gap making it a 8.5 mile circuit. This is a good option in the summer months when the ticks can be bad in the fire roads long grasses.

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Hiker Reviews For The Jones Run/Doyles River Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: Bret Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, August 21, 2017
I started at the Doyles River parking area and hiked the loop clockwise. The hike along Doyles River and Jones Run was one of the better trails. Despite the late summer low water flow the falls were still enjoyable, and I am planning a return hike in the spring. I only encountered 2 other hikers and 1 bear that was more interested in the stream than me. The solitude of the south district was a welcome change.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Outstanding hike. . .falls were all going quite well, and it seemed like there was always one more up the trail. A moderate number of other hikers, although a group had set up at the second-to-last falls with a portable speaker, so we skipped that one. Nothing too steep, and what look like some old (original?) growth trees in spots. Did as marked (up the fire road, which was mostly clear).

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Loved this hike! The rains from last weekend/early this week really had the falls running. We didn't regret bringing Tevas to use in crossing the creek in one place. (Nimble folks had no problems rock hopping.). Lots of small wildflowers around as well.

We took the longer route, and it was fine, but the AT marker post said it was 2.2 miles back to Brown's run, not the 1.5 in the write up, and it felt like that.

If you use trekking poles, this is one to remember them.


By: SteveE Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 10, 2016
This trail has become my new favorite trail in the SNP or BRP. Without the obstruction of leaves, we had tremendous views of the multiple waterfalls. While it was super cold at the parking lot, once we got out of the wind on the trail, it was quite tolerable - we dressed well though even shedding a layer. The slight rock scrambles were a lot of fun and the climb out of the bottom was not bad at all - especially compared to most waterfall hikes around.

By: Mike H Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 19, 2016
This was a very pleasant hike the waterfalls pale in comparison to those along the White Oak Canyon / Cedar Run circuit and aren't as grand as the Overall Run / Beecher Ridge waterfall, but they are still quite beautiful. And unlike those other hikes, the waterfalls along the Jones Run / Doyles River circuit are very accessible. You can get right up next to the base of the falls, and in some locations, climb up alongside them (with caution, of course). I'm not sure that the pools qualify as swimming holes, even if I had done the hike in the heat of summer. The hike itself was not difficult, and I only passed two groups of hikers along the way (I followed the path outlined by HikingUpward, but the other groups were moving in the other direction).

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