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Hiker Reviews for the Three Falls Hike - 1 to 42 of 42   
Review the Three Falls hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Keith Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 01, 2017
Falls Galore for sure. Alter the route by parking at Fisher Gap and head down to Rose river falls, up Dark hollow to Big meadow for lunch at the restaurant. down to Lewis falls and up to AT back to Fisher Gap. UP and DOWN for this hike is a great work out. Alter route to avoid walking down with crowd at Dark Hollow.

By: Ed Matthews Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 24, 2016
We decided to alter the route a bit. We parked out on Skyline Drive at the Lewis Falls trailhead (4 parking spaces at the trailhead, more across the road at the head of the fire road), walked down to Lewis Falls, back around to the AT and Fisher's Gap, down to Rose River, across to Dark Hollow, back up to Skyline Drive and across to where we left the car. We decided to leave the car at the Lewis Falls trailhead because before we started on the hike proper and before the sun got too terribly hot, we wanted to walk across and through the meadow. We added another mile or so to our hike by walking the meadow.

Walking the meadow was worth it for me: lots of wildflowers and we even scared up a hen turkey out of the grass. Of the three falls, we liked Lewis the best. Rose River had the best swimming holes (and the least scenic falls). Dark Hollow was jammed with people. Though it looks fairly tame on the map, there is some really good and constant elevation gain. You'll feel it by the end of the day.

We came upon a bear just off the Rose River trail. We must have scared it a bit for it jumped up on a log 10 yards from us, puffed up, and gave us a really good growl. But then it shuffled off turning over rocks and logs and feasting away nonchalantly. Lots of deer everywhere, does bedded down in the leaves, a curious fawn which came right up to us, many more that I am sure were within feet of us that we did not see.

With the exception of the section of AT that we hiked, these trails were very highly trafficked. You're not going to get any solitude here. That said, the wildflower viewing is the best I've seen this time of year just about anywhere.

By: Patricia Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 24, 2016
This hike was mostly downhill and very rocky. The views were better on the hike than at the falls. Barely anything to look at at Rose River Falls and the swimming hole was shallow and small. Dark Hollow Falls was prettier but still not much to look at and nowhere to swim. We did not make it to the third fall because we got too bored and decided to turn around. Would not recommend.

By: John Thomas Fisher Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
It'd be a nice hike in the summertime, but I'd go ahead and take this one later if you want to hike in the winter/springtime. It was sheet of ice after sheet of ice, and a couple of us slipped and slid down way to close to the edge for anyone's comfort. One buddy had to grab me as I went going down. Beautiful at any rate, but too treacherous for the cold parts of the year.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, December 31, 2015
Great hike! Beautiful overlook and falls!  The only thing I would change is I would take the hike counter clockwise instead of counter clockwise, starting with Rose River Falls and ending at Lewis Spring Falls.  Since for Dark Hallow Falls you're walking along the river for a good part of the total loop, this would have you viewing all of the smaller falls as you're walking rather than turning around every few minutes.

The only negative was it was a bit hard finding where one trail would stop sometimes and the next would begin.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 31, 2015
My husband and I are very experienced hikers but were looking for a simple hike to do with my parents. The quick trip to Dark Hollow Falls was a perfect hike for us, despite the steep uphill on the return trip. The hike was flowing fully from rainfall and the trail was packed with hikers. Most of the leaves had fallen and the trees were bare so I plan to return to the hike in the spring to photograph the waterfall surround by lush greenery. My Dad is months away from a likely knee replacement, but he was able to handle the steep grade down by taking breaks and using his walking stick. Great hike for all levels!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 29, 2015
Boy am I tired. I'm a big guy and I took my girl and her 5 yr old on this hike. To my surprise the 5 yr old made it through 90% of the hike but do not be fooled this hike is not for beginners. It took us roughly 7 hours for the hike but we took a lot of time at the falls and for lunch. The views were beautiful however the falls were kind of dry. This is only my second hike, previously did he river trail at great falls. The climb up from the second two falls was just killer and I didn't think I was gonna make it lol. We saw a bear but it was on the drive home (it walked right across the road)

Overall we followed these directions to a tee and they 110% work. Thank you for showing us a great day and good luck to all who chose to hike it.

By: Upward and Onward Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 05, 2015
My wife and I started this hike at about noon. The directions were very detailed and thorough, I thought. We clocked the entire hike at 8.75 miles though...not a big deal. Very few people out doing the hike we were doing. 90% of the people smelled of freshly cleaned laundry and cologne. Large congregations of people at each of the falls, not many people on the trail. Saw a small bear while making our final descent to Lewis Falls. Had a great conversation with a couple at Lewis Falls that were in their 80's. Meeting people like this is one of the reasons we love hiking. I hope to be doing this same thing well into my 80's.

Finished the hike in exactly three hours, then stopped and ate at the Skyland restaurant. Great food!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 01, 2015
I really liked the hike - good length with some notable inclines. However, as reviewer Amy noted, during the summer months, the level of solitude is a near zero. Far, far too many people to enjoy. Additionally, if you just want to see waterfalls, go to white oak canyon. Way better in terms of size and overall awesomeness.

By: Amy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 18, 2015
This is probably very nice in the early spring - *way* too busy on a July weekend. We couldn't even enjoy (or really see) the bigger falls because of the crowds. We're talking Old Rag level of crowds of people, including small children and teenagers traveling in packs. Solitude should be a 0.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 10, 2015
I set out to hike the 9.3 mile three falls loop hitting Rose River, Dark Hollow, and Lewis Falls starting at the amphitheater in Big Meadow. I got so caught up in the overlooks along the AT (Franklin Cliffs) that I ended up hiking 2 miles past the turn on the Red Gate Fire Road (added 4 miles to my day but worth it). There was a lot of wildlife present during this hike starting with multiple deer in and around Big Meadows. I saw a large black bear just past Rose River Falls (headed toward Dark Hollow). From Dark Hollow back to Skyline Drive a group of people in front of me encountered a mother bear and two cubs. I also waited patiently for a rattle snake to cross the trail. Ultimately because of my detour I did not have the time or energy to complete the loop to Lewis Falls opting to take the nature trail back to the amphitheater parking. Pros: This hike packs a lot of bang for the buck. From the amphitheater to the Franklin Cliffs area there are multiple overlooks (west) into the Shenandoah Valley. Both waterfalls were enjoyable although Dark Hollow was the most impressive. The trail is well maintained and marked. Cons: This is not the trail to take if you want solitude. This also has a fair amount of elevation (especially if you do all three falls), so be prepared for a long hard day. https://youtu.be/I-MMKE1jEMo

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 20, 2015
we headed out to three falls early in the morning. we got to the trail head around 9:30 and was surprised to see we were the only car in the parking lot. the first set of falls was incredible. it was hard not to keep stopping to take photos every few feet. lots of amazing swimming holes too. we stopped for a quick lunch about in the middle of the water about halfway up the first hill. we were happy that we fueled up before continuing the climb to the second falls. dark hollow was pretty but way too crowded for my taste. lots of families and children and very little opportunity to enjoy a quiet moment. once we got back to big meadows, we made the decision to continue on and do the entire circuit. i had high expectations for lewis falls and was very disappointed when we made it to the overlook. there was very little to see...this could be mostly due to heavy tree cover. i was cursing the decision to do this loop the remaining 1.5 mile uphill trek back to the car!

stop by the restaurant after your hike. the blackberry sundae is the perfect way to replenish all of those lost calories!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 30, 2015
Took a one night camping trip at Big Meadows and planned to do this hike. Ended up cutting the loop short and turned back up to Big Meadows at the Dark Hollow parking area. This hike certainly lives up to the low solitude rating, but that's really the only negative.

The Rose River Falls and Dark Hollow Falls are both very pleasant. There is a very inviting swimming hole at Rose River Falls that I would get in if I went back. Dark Hollow Falls was full of day visitors. Lots of individuals not paying attention to the signs warning to stay off the rocks of the falls, which bothers me.

I'd recommend bug spray but they were not too bad. I would also recommend that you be aware of snakes in the area. While standing on the trail and checking the map, I didn't notice the timber rattlesnake that was roughly 3-4 in. from my foot. Needless to say he/she wasn't very happy and the delayed rattling certainly let me know. Ran into another pair of hikers farther down the trail that warned of another rattlesnake but didn't come across this one.

I'll definitely be heading out to do the full loop of this trail again in the future. Would be lovely in the fall or winter!

By: Paul Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 10, 2015
This was a tough but worthwhile experience...Rose River Falls is rather ordinary but the hike up Hogcamp Branch was sublime...like Jeremy's Run in the North District, you are never without the sight and sound of the running stream...and it reaches its climax at Dark Hollow Falls...What a place!

Have to give this hike a "0" for Solitude but around noon on Mothers Day? What would you expect?

The hike back up to Big Meadows is a tough steady climb and then its on to Lewis Falls... When you get on the unmarked Yellow Blazed Trail, make a right at the first intersection...I read the directions as 'continue on the trail' but this takes you to Skyline Drive and a BBQ area... Quickly retreated back and took the correct Yellow Blazed Trail down to the Lewis Spring Trail and onto the falls...a little tricky getting out to the overlook...so be careful...lots of ankle busting rocks to deal with...

The last uphill was a struggle but only a mile or so to the parking...and the nice views to the Shenandoah Valley kept me going...especially when I received a phone call from out-of-town Mom with such a short window of cellular service!

Winded I made it back to the picnic area which was extremely crowded by the time I reached the car... again...Mothers Day with such beautiful weather?

Feeling completely exhilarated and tired, I had a wonderful drive back down to Swift Run Gap and the nice ride up 340 back home...altogether a wonderful day!

If you give Old Rag, Hawksbill, and Stickler Knob a "6" for Views, you have to give this one a "6" for Streams!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 11, 2015
Beautiful day for a hike today, and with all the recent rain. the waterfalls were in fine form. That last mile up Lewis Falls trail back to the start was a real grind though. Maybe I should have taken the shortcut on my first hike of the season! I made it though - took me right at 5 hours to complete the circuit. There were a lot of muddy spots on the trail after all the rain, but it's rocky enough that I could also stay above the mud.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, January 19, 2015
Took advantage of the Free National Park Entrance day.  We had a group of 12 and started at Bryd Visitor Center (bathroom was open), then hiked to Lewis Falls, Rose River Falls and saved the best for last - Dark Hollows Falls.    Some icy spots on the trail up to Dark Hollows Falls but nothing experienced winter hikers could not get around.  I brought microspikes but they stayed in the pack.  Hiking time was about 4 1/2 hours including stops for lunch and pictures along the trails.

By: Ken D Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, January 02, 2015

We hiked this as described except that we cut to the AT instead of going down to Lewis Falls. The trails were in great shape with a few icy spots that are easy enough to navigate around. The falls were flowing well and while they weren't frozen over, there were plenty of ice formations from the mist on logs and the surrounding rocks that made for some excellent scenery. We've done this hike a couple of times, but this was the first winter hike and we were rewarded with an almost unobstructed view from the bottom of Dark Hollow Falls to the top, which gave us a much better appreciation for how nice these falls actually are. There were nuisance bear warnings posted on the Rose River and Dark Hollow trailheads, but we didn't see any sign of bear. We did see a total of 12 deer throughout the hike. Overall a great hike that I think I actually like more in the winter.


By: Nikita Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 27, 2014
This is a very scenic hike, with streams and falls at several points. The final section with yellow blaze is a bit tricky to find, but actually HU mentioned it very clearly in the description, it's only 75 yards from the road entrance and if you look carefully on your left side, you will see a small opening to the woods and the first yellow marking is at one of the tree inside that opening. But remember, there is no sign on the street itself so you need to look for it. I finished the whole loop in 4 hours and 45 minutes with additional lunch time at Lewis Falls. I enjoyed this hike, saw two deer at the parking lot nearby the camping ground, looked like they were looking for food. It's still quiet when I arrived at 9:00am so they were strolling by in a very relaxed manner. At the Dark Hollow parking, I saw a (big) black bear cub crossing the skyline drive. That was pretty awesome.

By: Mike Gergely Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 10, 2014
A nice alternative to the ever popular White Oak Canyon/Cedar Run, although the section around Dark Hollow Falls is nearly as crowded during the summer. Lots of delicious wineberries in later summer around Lewis Falls, along with numerous species of wildflowers along the trails. The hike also passes by the Byrd Wayside if you want to stop in for a cool soda or ice cream.

Note - the short section of trail between the Visitor Center and the Lewis Trailhead was a bit confusing to navigate, as it uses a lot of driveways and horse trails as cross connections which are easy to get mixed up in.

By: J&J Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 04, 2014
We hiked this circuit on 4th of July.  We started with Lewis falls first.  Headed south bound on SL drive, just past the Wayside gas station there is a small parking lot on the right though on the map it looks like the lot is on the left.  When we got to the Lewis falls (all downhill walk), we were a bit underwhelmed.  We were standing on top of the fall, so there wasn't a view of the fall.  I don't know if we missed a turn to a viewing area?  Based on pictures found on the internet, there can be a view but we didn't see it.  We then headed out towards Big Meadows and it was a steep uphill for a mile.  While on this uphill trek, we looked back few times to see if we could see the fall.  We didn't encounter anyone until we were walking around the campground.  Rose river falls and Dark Hollow falls were gorgeous.  Falls were full and we had perfect weather.  The hike from Rose river falls and Dark Hollow was pretty steep and all uphill.  We took few breaks and hung out near the water.  The trail got pretty crowded in this section also.  We were near 3-4 groups the whole time.  When we reached Dark Hollow, there was a crowd and more people were coming down the path from Dark Hollow parking area.  We made it to the visitor center, and couldn't really follow the map.  We walked across the parking lot and thru the gas station and used the SL drive to get back to our car.  In total, it took us 4 hours and 45 min including lunch, breaks and picture stops.  The falls were definitely worth it to do this hike. 

By: Mitch Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 04, 2014
I always plan a hike when coming to the area to pickup my daughter from a local college. I started the hike at 2pm after a 6 hour drive from NY and completed in about 4.5 hours. I wish I started hiking to Lewis started Falls first, the last 1.2 miles up hill at end of day was tiring. I passed about 10 groups of hikers during the first 2/3 of hike. After the hike and I stayed at the Big Meadow camp ground at a tent site and it was very quiet.

By: P Floyd Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 05, 2014
My brother-in-law and I did this in early April and it was about 50 degrees. It was a great hike up until Dark Hollow Falls where we ran into a No Pets sign (i had my dog with me) and a ton of people. Be aware that this hike is No Pets that last section. The Falls and streams are refreshing.

By: Herb Wilburn Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 22, 2014
Finally knocked out all three in one day. The trick, for me, was to park in the Dark Hollow parking area and go from there to Lewis Falls. I find that if I save Lewis for last, by the time I get out of Dark Hollow I always hear the siren call of my reclining seats in the Prius. This hike was after the big snowstorm, so I had to break trail on most of the AT portion. It added to the work, but made it really beautiful in the woods. The falls are all full, Lewis looked the best I've ever seen it. Here's hoping the water holds out until we get some green around the falls for photos.

By: Ken Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 02, 2013
Hiked the circuit as described and it was tremendous. I was concerned about bad weather rolling in so I was on the trail by 8AM. Walkng past the Big Meadows campground on the AT at the very beginning was annoying...barking dogs were the worst part. Once past that the trail was quiet past the Rose River falls up to the base of Dark Hollow Falls where I ran into lots of folks on the down and back from Skyline Drive. The trail to Lewis Falls had very few people on it on the way down, but more on the way back since it was closer to the campground. Despite the crowds I give this a 5 because there were deer on the trail or just off the trail throughout the hike, very few people except around Big Meadows, all three falls were spectacular (probably because of all the rain we've had). And because there was a mama bear and her cub just across the Hogcamp Branch on the Dark Hollow Falls trail above the falls. I'm pretty new to hikes above 6 miles so I found this hike challenging, especially hiking out of Dark Hollow and Lewis Falls, but definitely worth the effort.

By: Michelle R. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 23, 2013
We parked near the amphitheater in Big Meadows and got on the trail there. Hiked the circuit clockwise, heading towards Rose Creek falls first. I think next time we will reverse it and go the opposite direction so that the nice cool swimming pools at Rose Creek falls are near the end of the hike. Got a bit crowded around Dark Hollow, but a great hike overall. Two pretty tough climbs up from Dark Hollow and Lewis Falls.

By: Bryan Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 15, 2013
If you park at the Wayside, walk up toward the visitor center and look for the Nature Trail to catch the beginning of this loop. The staff doesn't know where anything is here and neither do any of the through hikers apparently.

Otherwise, walk past the gas station to Skyline Drive and turn right (South). There's a gravel road across from the big meadow (just past the trailhead for the horse trail). Take the gravel road to the end and that will put you on the path to Lewis Falls.

If you end up at a family cemetery, you've taken the wrong gravel road. It's easy to do because like the directions at the beginning say, there's a gravel road with a yellow blazed trail on the left immediately past the gate near that leads to this cemetery. Take the AT next to the cemetery back to another gravel road and turn left. This will put you on the path toward Lewis Falls.

By: Kelsey Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Did Rose River Loop. Rose River and Dark Hollow Falls were awesome. Not an extremely painful hike either. Temps in lower 30's to upper 20's. Probably the reason we saw maybe 8 other hikers there.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 16, 2011
I hiked this yesterday with 10 members of the Central Virginia Trailblazers group.  We started from the Visitors' Center and walked on Skyline Drive toward Tanners Ridge Overlook.  From there we took the fire road toward Lewis Falls and hiked on from there.  Lewis Falls was pretty, but everyone really liked Rose River and Dark Hollow Falls.  Save energy for the last couple of miles - it's all uphill.  After the hike, we found a shady spot and hung out at the blackberry festival at Big Meadows.  It was a perfect day!

By: TAOW Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 17, 2011
Nice hike overall..did the Lewis Falls circuit...challenging in some places but not a very strenuous hike..solitude definitely a zero on this hike.  The falls were beautiful after the rain but I have no plans to return.  If you decide to hike the circuit, stop by the visitors center on the way to amphitheater, the ranger was a great resource for navigating the mid section of the hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 17, 2011
The hike was ok. The hike start was difficult to locate and we ended up getting turned around for a couple of miles. Once we were back on track the path was descent (not very challenging), and the views of the river/streams and waterfalls were amazing. We lucked out this weekend because of the recent heavy rains raising the water levels significantly. Great for some scenic pictures. I've been on a lot of hikes from Hikingupward, but this was by far the most popular in terms of people. I have gone an entire day without seeing anyone, but on this hike we saw well over a 100 people, so the solitude is definitely a ZERO!!! Overall, the scenes were amazing, but the rest of the hike was quite average with tons and tons of people which was a turn off.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 30, 2011
We had planned on doing this hike and although had anticipated Skyline Drive being shut down, had not anticipated 1' snow in some parts. We used the Tanner Ridge fire road to access the park, ran into a park official who asked us if we had "cramp-ons"(?), where we were heading, etc. When we replied we didn't have cramp-ons and that we were doing the Three Mile hike, she just smiled. Looking back on it...we now know why. It was very nice of her not to laugh her head off. When we started on the Lewis Falls portion, someone had been there before with snow shoes, which was great. After that portion heading toward Big Meadows, we were the first on the trail after the snowfall...it got a lot more brutal, especially given our lack of planning.

What we saw/experienced despite failing miserably to do the entire hike was tremendous, lots paw-print tracks, large-ish (50-60lbs) animals - definitely not deer - running in the distance at Big Meadows...very rewarding hike - can't wait until the snow melts to complete the circuit.

By: Woodland Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 11, 2010
Although we were not too impressed by the trails (they're quite wide in most parts, but nothing too special), we absolutely loved the Falls. This is a hike that is definitely worth taking in SNP, for its nice waterfalls. We are already planning to go back with more friends.

By: Scott Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 31, 2010
I went on this hike on Memorial Day with my wife and two small children (ages 1.5 and 2.5).  We cut out the last three miles, and were glad we did, because we were getting pretty tired.  We spotted a mother bear and her two cubs along the route.  We had to wait for 15 minutes or so while the bears crossed our path and went into the woods.  Overall, a great hike.

By: Molly Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 16, 2010

I wish I had read the write-up on this hike a little more thoroughly before heading out.  I'm not sure i would have chosen it if I knew I'd be walking across the Big Meadows Visitor Center parking lot.  But that was just a short section of the hike.  I think the hike could be re-routed around the visitor center without adding too much mileage.  It would be worth it.

Other than that it was a lovely hike.  There was a great combination of lovely Shenandoah vistas and fabulous waterfalls.  The highlight of the day was when I had the privelidge of spotting a bear and her cub on the Rose River section of the hike.

By: Patrick Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 31, 2009

We did this hike and it was a good hike for me.  There were definitely lots of people on the trail, but not until you got to the second set of falls (where people park in parking lot and make the 1-mile or so trek down and then go back to the cars).  But if you do the entire hike- once you reach the bottom- the hike to the top is a long climb.  I've hiked a lot, so I was just a little winded, but the others in the party that don't really hike were red in the face and out of breath- so be ready for that.  I can't say much about the last fall because the group decided not to do it from being too tired- and I can't blame them. 

There is an old copper mine on the trail, but it wasn't anything that I considered too spectacular... but then again it makes sense because they wouldn't just leave a mine open to let you walk in and die in. 

Overall- it was a good hike.  There are better ones, but if you want to have some nice waterfalls and flowing water- this is one you don't want to miss!


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 01, 2009
Actually hiked August 31- wont let me change the date. Hike was nice.  Lots of nice views of falls, particularly Rose River and Dark Hallow.  Lewis seem relatively slim after the other wider and more fluid.  You dont really feel that remote on this hike though, lots of road crossings, parking lots and tourists.  One note, after turning right down the Authorized Vehicle Road, then left on the unmarked yellow blaze trail/horse path, you seemingly take a right at a concrete marker, with no marks, then take this to the blue blazed fire road and take a right.

By: John Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 27, 2009
Lots of bears out today. Wind and rainstorm last night may have shaken lots of acorns down. Saw FOUR bears and numerous deer, all with muzzles to the ground, scarfing up acorns. First 3 bears were a sow and 2 cubs on Skyline Drive, near MP 38. Then on Rose River section of the trail, saw one very large boar about 30-40 feet off the trail. Two other hikers saw a bear on the fire road up near Dark Hollow Falls.

Trail wet and slippery but beautiful nonetheless. Park is getting crowded, as it always does in the fall. Excellent hike, although I only did part of it. 

By: Willow Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
My boyfriend and I did just the Rose River Loop circuit of the hike this afternoon.  The hike was BEAUTIFUL!  Until we got to Dark Hollow Falls at the fire road we only saw two other people.  I'd like to come back later in the fall when the leaves have a little more color, but it was still a very beautiful hike.  We actually saw a mother bear and her cub about 20 ft off the trail.  I got really freaked out and kind of panicked the rest of the hike, but I still managed to enjoy the scenery!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, April 09, 2009

The fog was thick, thick, thick on Skyline which made for a different kind of hike.  We started @ the Visitor's Center which I would recommend that since they've got restrooms.  Had a great hike meeting very few people even near Dark Hollow Falls because of the weather.  Rocks were indeed slippery which added a nice challenge to the day. 

Hint:  DO NOT take 340 & think you will get into Skyline even though Google shows it possible. 


By: Doug Leins Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 04, 2009
Hiked this loop on a Saturday. The weather was clear, around 50 degrees and very windy in exposed areas. Was worried from some of the other reviews that we might find the trail crowded, but the only place that there were many people at all was the section between Skyline drive and Dark Hollow Falls. Otherwise we saw only a handful the entire hike, despite the good weather. Due to recent rain all the streams were running high making the waterfalls even better. This hike is about 95 percent either ascending or descending, so be prepared. Saw very little wildlife except the deer around the visitor center. Although this trail is listed as 9.3 miles long in the description, my GPS recorded 8.5 miles at the end of the day, including a couple of short side trips.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 07, 2008
Couldn't have asked for a better day to go hiking. I did this trail in reverse of how it is laid out in the description. I started off at Lewis Falls and ended with the 1000 ft elevation gain that passed Dark Hollow falls. It was extremely tough on the last leg as it was all uphill. The only time I encountered scores of other hikers was near Dark Hollow falls since it is advertised from Skyline, and for the typical passerby easy enough to get out of your car and walk down to see the falls. For most of the time you are secluded in the woods with a few glimpses of neighboring mountains and views below. All three falls were not roaring but beautiful none the less. Happened to run into a black bear cub walking on the trail near lewis falls but never saw its mother. Was very close as I came up on it around a corner (about 20 yds). Soon as I saw it, stopped, slowly walked backwards, once it was out of sight, made a lot of noise and continued on about 20 minues later while making my cell phone ring over and over again until I felt safe. Great trail all round, and highly recommed it.

By: Jon Nicholson Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 12, 2008

Overall, a decent hike.  The falls are spectacular and the terrain is as expected for the SNP, but the combined circuit is overly populated.  We hiked on an abnormally wet and cold May and afternoon and still encountered hordes of hikers.  The Lewis Falls portion of the hike was by far the less travelled and it provided the grandest vista, however the overall hike had way too many people for my taste. 


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