Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shenandoah National Park, VA - Rose River

Shenandoah National Park - National Park Service
Skyline Drive - National Park Service
This hike passes by Cave Cemetery.  This interview with a family member gives some history about the cemetery.

GPS Coordinates 38.534181, -78.422430

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There is hiker parking (on the right) just to the north of the Fishers Gap Overlook (on the left).


Big Meadows Trail Map - National Park Service
Shenandoah National Park Map 228 - National Geographic
Shenandoah National Park, VA - Rose River at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  4.2 miles

The state park was in a cloud early in the morning.
There was enough of a break in the clouds overhead for a nice view of the moon.
The sun rising behind Shenandoah National Park.
From Skyline Drive, the clouds that are covering everything down below.
Skyline Drive residents enjoying breakfast.

Follow the Rose River Loop sign from the parking area crossing over Skyline Drive.
Just the other side of Skyline Drive beyond the barrier the Rose River Fire Road continues straight.  To the left is the Rose River Loop Trail.  Every writeup I have seen of the hike has it starting by turning left on the Rose River Loop Trail and returning on the fire road.  I did this in reverse starting on the gradual descent of the fire road and ending with the steeper climb up the Rose River Loop Trail.  I liked this way better since the fire road would have been along, boring uphill at the end of the hike.
There were tons of birds along the fire road.
Descending on the Rose River Fire Road.
A side trail on the right leads to Cave Cemetery.
So many children buried here.
There are many newer headstones and even one new grave that did not yet have a headstone, just a temporary marker.
The descent on the fire road was very pleasant and pretty.
We were being watched.
At the bottom, the Dark Hollow Falls Trail leave to the right.  It would be worth going to the falls since it does not appear to be very far but we weren't able to as it is one of the few trails in Shenandoah National Park where dogs are not allowed.
Some falls coming out of Dark Hollow at the bridge crossing on the fire road.
After crossing the bridge over Hogcamp Branch the fire road continues but turn left on the Rose River Loop Trail.
This very scenic trail follows along Hogcamp Branch.
Many cascades along the way.
After crossing this bridge over Hogcamp Branch,
the trail follows along Rose River to
Rose River Falls (67')
Rose River Falls from the top.
The Rose River Loop Trail ascends through the woods back to the intersection with the fire road from the beginning of the hike.
After crossing Skyline Drive, a quick walk over to the views at Fishers Gap Overlook.

Lunch time on Skyline Drive.
Old Rag

[  0.00]   Cross Skyline Drive at the crosswalk and continue straight beyond gate on the Rose River Fire Road (left is the return route)
[  0.50]  Cave cemetery on the right; retrace
[  0.65]  Right on Rose River Fire Road exiting cemetery
[  1.20]  Dark Hollow Falls trail goes right (can add as an out-and-back but dogs are not allowed), continue across bridge then turn left on Rose River Loop Trail
[  2.10]  Cross bridge
[  2.70]  Rose River Falls
[  3.05]  Turn left at concrete post
[  3.50]  Continue straight on Rose River Loop Trail when Skyland Big Meadows horse trail goes right
[  4.00]  Turn right on Rose River Fire Road, cross Skyline Drive, veer left to Fishers Gap Overlook
[  4.10]  Fishers Gap Overlook; retrace to Skyline Drive, turn left then left again to parking
[  4.20]  Back at parking


  1. Looks like a nice vacation. My brother has hiked Old Rag. I've never been hiking in that area.

    1. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it. There are just a few trails in Shenandoah National Park where dogs are not allowed and Old Rag is one of them.


  2. My daughter and I just did the hike last week. Unfortunately, we did not go to the Cave Cemetery as I did not know what it was. We turned left at the beginning of the trail and came back via the fire road. For us, it was a good choice as we were tired and it was an easy, short hike (1 mile) back up to the car. I did walk the extra 0.2 mile up to Dark Hollow Falls and it was definitely worth it. I loved being able to stand directly beneath the falls.

    1. How long did this hike take you?