Awesome loop, very highly recommend. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. Sort by. Third day we decided to take a different route up dark hollow falls due to a group members injury but it was a really nice hike up the falls nonetheless, heavily trafficked. ( Log Out /  With the exception of strenuous climbs at Hawksbill and Spitler Hill, most of the loop is relatively easy. Trail Map of Hawksbill – Fishers Gap Loop, including Skyland-Big Meadows Trail, Shenandoah National Park; adapted from http://www.mytopo.com/maps/. Down below is Timber Hollow, feeding into the patchwork of farms and forests of the Shenandoah Valley. Rose river was peaceful and has some nice camping spots. A variation of the Big Meadows & Rose River trip listed above, this is a fantastic two-night trip in the backcountry. Cross the road to return to the start. Lodging accommodations range from main lodge rooms to detached small cabins, preferred and traditional rooms, suites, and pet friendly rooms - all located within walking distance of the main lodge building. Start and end at Hawksbill Gap, located along Skyline Drive roughly 14 miles south of the Thornton Gap Entrance Station in Shenandoah’s Central District. We made our way down to the big meadows horse trail. Continue straight on the AT. A lot water on trail but I suggest take filter. Click for a park map of the Big Meadows area. save hide report. Hawksbill is a great hike with an awesome view. [Hikers: Simon, Danielle, Meredith, Emily, Erika, Shoshana] youtu.be/aG5-9X... 1 comment. Length 9.0 mi Elevation gain 1,893 ft Route type Loop. On the trail it felt like FOREVER but once we hit the top of Rose River falls theres a trail that lead up to a nice clearing with plenty of flat ground to pitch your tents and plenty of water to stock up on. Note there is a 6-7 mile stretch between Big Meadows and Rose River that doesn’t have water and has a huge ascent, so plan ahead there. In about 0.6 miles from the last junction turn right onto blue-blazed Rose River Loop Trail. The route weaves gently north before crossing Rose River and a nearby tributary. Night 2 has a few options to camp, from Rose River Falls to next stream crossing. From here it is approximately 1.6 mile in a gradual climb back to the Big Meadows Complex. The Rose River Loop trail is near the top of the map. Cross the drive and shortly there after turn left onto yellow-blazed Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail. Not easy to find place where you can spend night . Second day we made our way through the salamander trail caught a glimpse of two turkeys and made our way up Hawksbill, we got there around 9:30a and was already filling up, great view. Rose River Loop Hike Details. Camped just before Rose River Falls at about mile 14. Summer days are likely to see a lot of commotion from hikers and picnickers near the first trail junction, just a stone’s throw from the summit. Here you’ll also find views of River Falls. Day 2 was especially awesome, despite heavy rains & day hiker crowds It had nonstop rushing waters & so many falls, hard to pick a favorite spot. Easy 7 mile hike to Rock Spring hut, with a spring, a day use cabin, shelter and good tent sites. 100% Upvoted. While the Salamander Trail and the Upper Hawksbill Parking Spur Trail might see a lot of foot travel during prime hiking season the 3 miles of the Skyland/Big Meadows Horse Trail will provide you with some degree of solitude. Enjoy free cancellation on most hotels. best. Fishers Gap to Hawksbill Mountain Summit via Appalachian Trail. Rose River runs along the trail, upstream from the falls Skyland-Big Meadows Trail intersects with Rose River Fire Road near the end of the hike Dark Hollow Falls & Rose River Loop Trails. I did this trail in 2 days and 1 night. Great loop for all types of fitness levels and every age but definitely not for the couch potato. In the middle of the meadow is the source of the Rose River and Dark Hollow Falls, a popular hike. After a series of switchbacks begin following the river to a 25 foot waterfall. Nearly immediately, a rock outcrop offers additional views to the west. It combines the highest peak in Shenandoah with the coolest campground in the park and the 9-mile Rose River. The Big Meadows/Hawksbill/Rose River trio is a beautiful 3 day, 2 night trip. The Salamander Trail lives up to its name, sliding gingerly down the hillside in a series of S-curves before meeting the Appalachian Trail (AT) after about 0.7 miles. Show more Show less. Never been to Shen before - Park is beautiful, will definitely be back to explore more. Trip Report. It’s a short, albeit steep, climb to the top, making Hawksbill a popular day hike destination; more ambitious hikers, however, can head farther south to complete a nearly 9-mile loop that captures additional overlooks and lush meadows. Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park Picture: View from Hawksbill, 4 miles and 1 hour hike from the Lodge - Check out Tripadvisor members' 4,518 candid photos and videos of Big Meadows Lodge I was in awe seeing the outline of the cloud shadows below and watching the hawks floating in front of me. The venue also features a carpark and a restaurant. Here the Rose River Fire Road descends gently into a wooded hollow; roughly 30 yards down the gravel track, bear left onto the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail, your guide for the remaining five miles back to Hawksbill Gap. The summit offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as mighty Massanutten Mountain to the west. Visitor Center to Dark Hollow Falls. But beyond the first junction—which leads down to Rose River Falls—it is likely to be devoid of crowds. Difficulty: Strenuous Beginner . Before you know it, the AT spits out onto the Red Gate Road at Fishers Gap, your cue to turn left (leaving the AT) and cross Skyline Drive to the east side of the ridge. Bear left on the AT, following the route through a sea of ferns to the next trail junction—a short spur trail to the Rock Spring Cabin. My Black Lab had a good time as well, dog friendly trail. The Three Falls hike is a circuit that passes Rose River Falls, Dark Hollow Falls, and Lewis Spring Falls. Lots of places to get water in mid June. Hey everyone! Surprisingly not many bugs & temps were comfortably high 60s-low 70s daytime & quite cool overnight. Thorofare Mountain, Robertson Mountain, and Old Rag from Hawksbill summit, Shenandoah National Park. This trail was fantastic. Other than those two camp spots I didn’t see too many. This loop is best completed in a clockwise direction. The Big Meadows/Hawksbill Mountain/Rose River trail is actually a combination of short trails to create a nice 20-21 mile loop for those who are looking for a longer hike or a … Shenandoah National Park charges a fee to enter. Not the most view filled trail in Shenandoah but still a beautiful 2 days in the woods. The incline increases significantly after about two miles on the Skyland-Big Meadows track, ascending … Also, depending on when you go, look into bringing a bug net. It had a little bit of everything: 1 peak, 2 waterfalls, plenty of water access, and wildlife. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. share. There is also an option of shortening the distance, and vertical gain, by opting out of the Lewis Spring Falls section for a total of 6.1 mls and 1530ft gain. Big Meadows, Hawksbill, and Rose River. +1 on previous review. Very good trip as get more experience on the trail, everything was well marked. The trip took 3 days and 2 nights. Big Meadows/Hawksbill/Rose River + Campground and Backcountry. Timber Hollow and the Shenandoah Valley from Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Each one of these trails offers something a little different and they all work really well together. ( Log Out /  (Circuit) Nights: 2. Bear right and continue for roughly 1/10 mile to a second junction; turn right again, embarking on the winding Salamander Trail. Overall, a highly recommended hike. Appalachian Trail, Hawksbill, Horseshoe Trail, and Rose River Loop is a 20.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Elkton, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Especially when the temps drop a little lower than expected. Distance: 21 mi. We did it in reverse and tried to avoid staying at the Big Meadows campground, though there weren’t a ton of options otherwise for that night. These are three of the most beautiful falls in the SNP. youtu.be/aG5-9X... Trip Report. Seems like upper starts at mile post 46 and lower begins elsewhere? If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. Meadow near the end of the hike, along the Skyland-Big Meadows Trail. Looking north, the highest peak in view (besides Hawksbill, of course) is Stony Man Mountain (4,011’), fronted by Pollock Knob (3,580’) and Bettys Rock (3,680’). Shenandoah National Park (VA): Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River 3-day Backpacking Loop. Hawksbill Gap serves as the trailhead for a number of popular hikes (including the fantastic Whiteoak Canyon-Cedar Run loop), so arrive early to get a parking spot. Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park Picture: View from Hawksbill, 4 miles and 1 hour hike from the Lodge - Check out Tripadvisor members' 4,518 candid photos and videos. If you wanted to do this in 3 days two nights you could camp the first night at Rock Spring Hut. This is the group's first official hike! We were visited by a VERY friendly 4pt Buck and a young bear in the morning. The hike down to the Rose River Falls is … The AT section that follows is very interesting, especially as the gradient off to right steepens to near vertical and lichen-covered rock faces dot the upward slope on the left. Nonetheless, it’s best to allot most of a day to complete the 8.8-mile circuit. This loop is made by connecting the AT, Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail, Rose River Loop Trail, Dark Hollow Falls Trail, and finally returns to Big Meadows by the Story of the Forest Trail. I have seen bears right across from the parking lot. I give it a 5 star review because I couldn’t stomach giving it 4 stars. Park at the overlook or in the smaller lot just north of the overlook parking area. It makes for a great day hike. Short Hike: Using the Fishers Gap Parking Area, Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail, and Rose River Loop Trail, the shortest, out-and-back option is 2.6 miles with around 720' of elevation. On this trip we spent 3 days backpacking in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. Horseshoe trail was the most isolated of the bunch. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Rooms at the property are equipped with a dining area and a kitchen area. We were visited by another family of deer. Jones Mountain Trail to Cat Knob and Bear Church Rock, Dark Hollow via Appalachian Trail and Story of the Forest Trail, Laurel Prong, Rapidan Camp, Jones Mountain Trail via Appalachian Trail, Rose River Trail to Lewis Falls Trail and Appalachian Trail, Rose River Trail to Story of the Forest Trail Loop, Big Meadows to Lewis Mountain Cabins via Appalachian Trail, Cat Knob, Bear Church Rocks, Staunton River Trail, Fork Mountain, Jones Mountain and Fork Mountain Horse Trail, Appalachian Trail, Hawksbill, Horseshoe Trail, and Rose River Loop. Hiked this loop a few years ago and can’t wait to get back. There was one set of boot prints for the first mile or so on Big Meadow, I broke trail to the junction with Rose River, and there were two sets of boot prints on the AT. 8. save. The trail skirts around Spitler Knoll then gradually descends to the Franklin Cliffs area, where a half dozen rock crags offer excellent views of the Shenandoah Valley and Kite Hollow. Mile 51.2 Skyline Drive, Luray, VA, 22835, United States of America, 800-246-8357 Night two could be spent at a big clearing up the hill just before getting to Rose river Falls. Appalachian Trail near Rock Spring Cabin, Shenandoah National Park. You can get off the AT at Big Meadows Campground or follow the AT a little further and get off at the Big Meadows Amphitheater. Lacking sweeping views, the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail is admittedly less interesting than Hawksbill and the AT. Good Trail for two nights but be careful second day . What is there to do near Big Meadows Lodge? Bear right and emerge from the woods at the sight of the Byrds Nest Shelter #2 (day use only), situated in a small clearing a short walk from the precipice of a rock outcrop offering fine views to the north and west. ⛰ The hike will be a 14 mile loop starting at Milam Gap, stopping by Lewis Spring Falls, circling Big Meadows, meandering along Rose River where we will camp overnight, venturing around Stony Mountain, and finally ending back at Milam Gap. View of Stony Man Mountain and Blue Ridge from Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park. The trail will now parallel another stream to your left, named Hogcamp Branch, which drains Big Meadows Swamp, and flows through Dark Hollow, and then becomes the principal tributary of Rose River. Some of the nicest views I’ve seen from this area:). The Big Meadows Horse Trail was long and honestly rather boring. Be sure to follow rules for back country camping and bring enough water. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Don't miss out on great hotels and other accommodations near Dark Hollow Falls, Rose River Falls, and Luray Caverns. Across the valley is Massanutten Mountain, a behemoth extending dozens of miles to the north and south. The route weaves gently north before crossing Rose River and a nearby tributary. Great views and wildlife and challenge. To the east, look for iconic Old Rag Mountain (3,268’), as well as Robertson Mountain (3,296’). All said, we loved the trail and would definitely recommend! Does Big Meadows Lodge offer free cancellation for a full refund? This is the shortest loop from the Rose River Trailhead and is mostly fire road (although the lower Rose River Fire Road is pretty rocky), making it ideal for the novice trail runner. The trail begins across from Fishers Gap Overlook, just north of mile 50 on Skyline Drive. Big Meadows is known for its mountain views, forests, and waterfalls. We chose one of the loops outlined by the National Park Service that took us by Lewis Falls, Big Meadows Campground, Hawksbill Mountain, Rose River Falls and Dark Hollow Falls among other sights. The woods along Big Meadow are pretty and the beginning stretch on the AT, with the views, cliffs, and mountain laurel, is beautiful. An incomplete guide to hiking Utah, Colorado, Virginia, and beyond, Potomac Heritage Trail – Fort Marcy to Turkey Run Park (George Washington Memorial Parkway, VA), Hawksbill – Fishers Gap Loop, including Skyland-Big Meadows Trail (Shenandoah National Park, VA), Tuscarora Trail to Eagle Rock (George Washington National Forest, VA/WV) | Live and Let Hike, Marys Rock via Panorama (Shenandoah National Park, VA) | Live and Let Hike, Millers Head Trail (Shenandoah National Park, VA) | Live and Let Hike, White Rock Canyon - Arizona Hot Spring Canyon Trail Loop (Lake Mead National Recreation Area, AZ), Chalone Peak Trail (Pinnacles National Park, CA), Top 10 Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park's "Frontcountry", Steep Ravine - Matt Davis Trail Loop (Mount Tamalpais State Park, CA), Falls Trail Loop (Mount Diablo State Park, CA), Follow Live and Let Hike on WordPress.com, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Dinosaur Hill Trail (McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, CO), Otto’s Trail (Colorado National Monument, CO), Browns Creek Falls (San Isabel National Forest, CO). Pingback: Tuscarora Trail to Eagle Rock (George Washington National Forest, VA/WV) | Live and Let Hike, Pingback: Marys Rock via Panorama (Shenandoah National Park, VA) | Live and Let Hike, Pingback: Millers Head Trail (Shenandoah National Park, VA) | Live and Let Hike. Dates: September 29, 2018 Type: Loop Total Distance: 5.1 miles (8.2 km) round trip This is the fire road directly across from Rose River Fire Road in the gap. The difficulty levels for finding campsites and hiking can vary from the given levels with adverse weather conditions and other environmental factors. Hawksbill – Fishers Gap Loop, including Skyland-Big Meadows Trail (Shenandoah National Park, VA) Posted on August 22, 2015 by Andrew Wojtanik At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill Mountain is the highest peak in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Length 20.8 miElevation gain 4507 ftRoute type Loop. There is place near waterfall . ( Log Out /  Did the loop backwards but was still a blast! (bear box & pole, privy, 4-5 tent sites, spring 100 yds away) Hawksbill only 1 mile away to start Day 2 so possible to get there before crowds. Close. Guests can enjoy a meal in Big Meadows Lodge Dining, which are located about 5 minutes’ walk from Big Meadows Lodge Shenandoah National Park. ... Spottswood Dining Room offers American cuisine. You can take a 4 mile hike-in to Big Meadows Campground from Milepost 53 at Milam Gap. Huge thank you to previous reviewers for tips and details on this trail. Included is a visit to Hawksbill Summit, the highest peak in … Discover the metropolitan area of Big Meadows—skyscrapers, natural beauty, and sights from Harry F. Byrd Sr. We opted for the tents as they had a nice view of the small town lights. Book your hotel in Big Meadows and pay later with Expedia. Abt 7 miles per day, strenuous at times but not overly difficult for me, 12 yr old daughter & the dog. However, the best parts of the hike are on the latter half, which begin by crossing Skyline Dr and turning right after the parking area onto the Appalachian Trail (AT) heading Northbound. I made this loop into a 3 day 2 night because my group was inexperienced, and the drive in was exhausting.Only two spots to camp and limited water sources bring a filter. It is really special. The 1.4-mile stretch that follows is easy and straightforward; paralleling Skyline Drive (from a distance), the trail cuts through two minor meadows before returning to the trailhead. 1 comment. But it wasn’t difficult to get to Rose River in 1 day. Mar 7, 2017 - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA May 8-10, 2016 Highlights: Big Meadows, Hawksbill, and Rose River Loops Trip Length: 3 days, 21 miles round trip Level: Strenuous "Beginner" Return to Fishers Gap along Rose River Trail. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. The first leg—the 0.8-mile Lower Hawksbill Trail—heads west from the parking area and immediately begins to ascend a rocky slope. The incline increases significantly after about two miles on the Skyland-Big Meadows track, ascending through woodlands partly decimated by some sort of fungus or beetle (?). I started at the Upper Hawksbill parking area. Rounding out the view is tree-covered Nakedtop (~3,750’) in the foreground. Kite Hollow and the Shenandoah Valley from the Franklin Cliffs. Posted by 2 hours ago. Access: MP 53. Or continue north about a tenth of a mile past the Rock Spring hut Trail is a nice grassy clearing off to the right. share. The trail climbs more than 600 feet to the rounded top of Spitler Hill (3,720’)—alas, there are no views—where pine trees line the trail. With Skyline Drive within earshot, bear right at a trail junction. (This is NOT an online event, we just can't change it in the settings.) Change ). Shenandoah National Park (VA): Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River 3-day Backpacking Loop. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Sunday September, 2007. But if you want a slower easier pace (7ish miles a day) break it up into a 3 day two night. Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park, August 2015. Great 2-nighter with fantastic waterfalls and a ton of variation. There wasn't much to see; the trail descended the side of Spitler Hill into the upper Rose River watershed, then, followed the side of the mountain for two miles or so until reaching two stream crossings of the upper reaches of the Rose River. We learned that fire and beer can REALLY change the morale of cold weather camping. At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill Mountain is the highest peak in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. ( Log Out /  I went after about a week of rain so had many opportunities to filter water. Find a good spot for a lunch or snack break, then retrace your steps back into the forest to the Hawksbill trail junction. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. The gnats were brutal in early June and were the only downside of the whole experience. We stayed at the Rock Springs Shelter 1st night, as described on Park website. The Hawksbill Summit was very busy but there were other more private vistas on Salamander Trail and the AT, definitely should plan your lunch for one of those. Appalachian Trail, Hawksbill, Horseshoe Trail, and Rose River Loop is a 33.5 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Elkton, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The route is relatively wide and partly graveled but climbs at a persistent clip, gaining nearly 700 feet in elevation in less than a mile. Shenandoah National Park - Video Trip Report - Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River Loop. Top Hotels in Big Meadows Vacation Rentals in Big Meadows Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Hawksbill Mountain, Franklin Cliffs, Big Meadows Horse Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Syria, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Recommend filling up on water at the Hut. Nearby restaurants include Hawksbill Diner (8.6 mi), Pollock Dining Room (9.1 mi) and Ciro's Pizza (9.2 mi). But beyond the first junction—which leads down to Rose River Falls—it is likely to be devoid of crowds. Topographic Map. Leisure. Depending on where in the campground you start and intercept the AT, the mileage will vary a bit. I saw 2 people on the Big Meadows Horse Trail and 3 people on the Rose River Loop Trail. Bear right again and follow the path for 50 yards to Hawksbill’s true summit; the neatly-maintained overlook offers 270-degree vistas. First day we made our way to Rock Spring hut, beautiful wildflowers, fungi and insects a macro-photographer's heaven. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. Eat & Drink. Hawksbill Creek goes off the west side, Little Hawksbill goes off the north side of the mountain, and the source of the Rapidan River … There are two parking areas with ample space. Save big on a wide range of Big Meadows hotels! I saw a mother bear, two cubs, and no humans for the better part of 2-3 hours. I used the Shenandoah trip planner on the website and it offered a great written itinerary for the hike that was helpful without taking away the experience of discovery by being overly descriptive. Can you explain the difference between “upper hawksbill trail” and “lower hawksbill trail”? Big Meadows Lodge is located one mile from the large, grassy meadow at mile 51 on Skyline Drive - a meadow which is ideal for gorgeous night skies viewing.. If you are looking for an awesome multi-day hike in Shenandoah National Park, then this one is worth a look! Lacking sweeping views, the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail is admittedly less interesting than Hawksbill and the AT. 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