This is the final post of a travel series to Shenandoah National Park. If you'd like to start at the beginning, go HERE. Day Two is HERE, and Day Three is HERE, and Day Four, Part One is HERE.
Our very last hike in Shenandoah National Park was our hardest hikes, but it was one of the most beautiful hikes of them all. The weather was absolute perfection: a sunny, 70 degree day. We were on the quest to see two more waterfalls: Doyle River Falls and Jones Run Falls, but we had no idea the entire trail would be filled with lots of waterfalls!
The Doyles River Trailhead is a beautiful trek through the wilderness that takes you along cool, clear mountain streams to two unique waterfalls. There is one stream crossing where you have to walk on rocks to cross.
If you only go to the Doyles River Falls (we went farther to see Jones Run Falls) the trail is a 3.3 mile round trip hike. It is rated as Moderate, although I would probably rate it as Difficult because on the return trip, you are hiking straight uphill all the way. However, we did just hike a long hike in the morning too, so our energy could have been depleted from that. It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to hike and has an elevation gain of 1,189 feet.
There are so many smaller waterfalls along the trail where one could stop and take a dip and get refreshed!
This is Upper Doyles Falls. It has two levels or drops, and of course my crazy adventurous son had to climb on top of it.
This waterfall is only 28 feet tall (it looks so much taller than that, doesn't it?), but it so beautiful!
I always enjoy waterfalls where you can get to the base and look up rather than from an observation deck above.
We saw lots of wildflowers on this trail, like this perennial geranium.
This was one of my most favorite photos my husband took of our vacation. I just love how it captures the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance with the water in the foreground.
There were so many great rock formations on this trail!
This is the Lower Doyles River Falls. This one is taller, at 63 feet.
The lower falls may be taller, but I was far more impressed with the beauty of the upper falls.
Well at this point, you could turn around and go back the way you came, but my hubby and son really wanted to see Jones Run Falls. I wasn't sure that was a great idea, as we were pretty spent by now, but this was our last day in the park and we wanted to make the most of it, so we pushed on.
I couldn't believe all the beautiful, moss covered rocks on this trail.
The Jones Run Trail coming from the Doyles River Fall Trail was BEAUTIFUL. It was very rugged however, and muddy, and there were a couple of treacherous areas to get through. As always, I was grateful to have my poles for stability.
I always feel when I'm hiking these type of trails that I'm in a magical fairyland. Oh, this trail was stunning! Water flowing, moss covered rocks everywhere...it was breath taking! And did I mention how peaceful it was? We hardly ran into anyone on the trail and felt we had the whole forest to ourselves!
Although we were so tired, the extra miles were worth it because Jones Run Falls is beautiful. It is only 42 feet tall, but it is like a wide semi circle and the water flows gracefully over black rock.
We were so proud we made it!
If you only wanted to hike the Jones Run Falls Trailhead, it is a 3.2 mile round trip hike, rated as Moderate, with an elevation gain of 1,045 feet. It takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
There is also a loop called the "Browns Gap Hike" where you can see both the Doyle River and Jones Run falls. That hike is a 6.5 mile circuit hike, rated as Moderately Strenuous, and takes 7 hours of hiking time with an elevation gain of 1,400 feet. We didn't have seven hours, so we just hiked to the waterfalls and back. I think we added about two miles to our trip, making the total 5.3 miles or more.
We couldn't believe all the other stunning waterfalls that were on this trail. I swear, the whole trail is nothing but waterfalls, and only two had names. My son asked "I wonder why they name some falls and not others?"
If you love water, waterfalls, and magical forests, this is the hike for you! I think it's also a great hike to get away from the crowds, as not a lot of people were on this trail.
And finally, here is a video of Jones Run Falls so you can get a little glimpse of the moving water that photos just can't capture.
Well, that concludes my Shenandoah National Park travel series. I regret to inform you that I don't know when or if I'll be taking another vacation. We usually take a fall vacation but this year with the uncertainty of the times and the rising gas prices, we are hesitant to plan another road trip. It makes me sad. I long for the $2.00 a gallon gas and world peace we had before the current administration took over. We do hope that we will at least be able to drive to Indiana in late summer and early fall to spend some time with the grandkids, but with the downward spiral our country is taking, who knows if that will be possible. I pray that at least that little bit of joy will not be taken from me too.
Hoping for Better Times Ahead! Have A Great Day! Amy
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