Surprisingly not many bugs & temps were comfortably high 60s-low 70s daytime & quite cool overnight. Length 20.8 miElevation gain 4507 ftRoute type Loop. Great loop with some varying scenery. To the east, look for iconic Old Rag Mountain (3,268’), as well as Robertson Mountain (3,296’). This is the group's first official hike! 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. 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 best. Trip Report. Huge thank you to previous reviewers for tips and details on this trail. But if you want a slower easier pace (7ish miles a day) break it up into a 3 day two night. The trail is primarily used for hiking. We opted for the tents as they had a nice view of the small town lights. Big Meadows is known for its mountain views, forests, and waterfalls. It is really special. 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.. Click for a park map of the Big Meadows area. Horseshoe trail was the most isolated of the bunch. 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. Does Big Meadows Lodge offer free cancellation for a full refund? Fishers Gap to Hawksbill Mountain Summit via Appalachian Trail. We made our way down to the big meadows horse trail. Good Trail for two nights but be careful second day . Or continue north about a tenth of a mile past the Rock Spring hut Trail is a nice grassy clearing off to the right. Access: MP 53. ( Log Out / 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. Not easy to find place where you can spend night . Visitor Center to Dark Hollow Falls. 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’). Down below is Timber Hollow, feeding into the patchwork of farms and forests of the Shenandoah Valley. Great views and wildlife and challenge. 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. A variation of the Big Meadows & Rose River trip listed above, this is a fantastic two-night trip in the backcountry. Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park, August 2015. Length 9.0 mi Elevation gain 1,893 ft Route type Loop. Be sure to follow rules for back country camping and bring enough water. 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 … 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. Book your hotel in Big Meadows and pay later with Expedia. (This is NOT an online event, we just can't change it in the settings.) save. Can you explain the difference between “upper hawksbill trail” and “lower hawksbill trail”? Great 2-nighter with fantastic waterfalls and a ton of variation. You can take a 4 mile hike-in to Big Meadows Campground from Milepost 53 at Milam Gap. Change ). With the exception of strenuous climbs at Hawksbill and Spitler Hill, most of the loop is relatively easy. The route weaves gently north before crossing Rose River and a nearby tributary. 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. In the middle of the meadow is the source of the Rose River and Dark Hollow Falls, a popular hike. There are two parking areas with ample space. Don't miss out on great hotels and other accommodations near Dark Hollow Falls, Rose River Falls, and Luray Caverns. 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. 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. Nonetheless, it’s best to allot most of a day to complete the 8.8-mile circuit. Crossing Rose River on the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail. 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. Each one of these trails offers something a little different and they all work really well together. Great loop for all types of fitness levels and every age but definitely not for the couch potato. Thorofare Mountain, Robertson Mountain, and Old Rag from Hawksbill summit, Shenandoah National Park. The difficulty levels for finding campsites and hiking can vary from the given levels with adverse weather conditions and other environmental factors. Return to Fishers Gap along Rose River Trail. Distance: 21 mi. We learned that fire and beer can REALLY change the morale of cold weather camping. Rose River Loop Hike Details. Close. 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. Here you’ll also find views of River Falls. 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 (?). 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. We were visited by another family of deer. 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. Sort by. 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Find a good spot for a lunch or snack break, then retrace your steps back into the forest to the Hawksbill trail junction. Never been to Shen before - Park is beautiful, will definitely be back to explore more. Depending on where in the campground you start and intercept the AT, the mileage will vary a bit. Not the most view filled trail in Shenandoah but still a beautiful 2 days in the woods. Hiked this loop a few years ago and can’t wait to get back. 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. 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. +1 on previous review. It had a little bit of everything: 1 peak, 2 waterfalls, plenty of water access, and wildlife. Appalachian Trail near Rock Spring Cabin, Shenandoah National Park. 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. share. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. We stayed at the Rock Springs Shelter 1st night, as described on Park website. 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. Rose River – Big Meadows – Rapidan Fire Road – Dark Hollow. Rounding out the view is tree-covered Nakedtop (~3,750’) in the foreground. Nearly immediately, a rock outcrop offers additional views to the west. The trip took 3 days and 2 nights. Top Hotels in Big Meadows Vacation Rentals in Big Meadows 1 comment. Kite Hollow and the Shenandoah Valley from the Franklin Cliffs. The Three Falls hike is a circuit that passes Rose River Falls, Dark Hollow Falls, and Lewis Spring Falls. Night 2 has a few options to camp, from Rose River Falls to next stream crossing. 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. My Black Lab had a good time as well, dog friendly trail. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. 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. Lacking sweeping views, the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail is admittedly less interesting than Hawksbill and the AT. Show more Show less. Across the valley is Massanutten Mountain, a behemoth extending dozens of miles to the north and south. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. Guests can enjoy a meal in Big Meadows Lodge Dining, which are located about 5 minutes’ walk from Big Meadows Lodge Shenandoah National Park. Mile 51.2 Skyline Drive, Luray, VA, 22835, United States of America, 800-246-8357 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Shenandoah National Park charges a fee to enter. It makes for a great day hike. I did this trail in 2 days and 1 night. Hawksbill Creek goes off the west side, Little Hawksbill goes off the north side of the mountain, and the source of the Rapidan River … Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Also, depending on when you go, look into bringing a bug net. This is the fire road directly across from Rose River Fire Road in the gap. I went after about a week of rain so had many opportunities to filter water. Topographic Map. 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. I have seen bears right across from the parking lot. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Overall, a highly recommended hike. If you are looking for an awesome multi-day hike in Shenandoah National Park, then this one is worth a look! The trail begins across from Fishers Gap Overlook, just north of mile 50 on Skyline Drive. Included is a visit to Hawksbill Summit, the highest peak in … 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. The incline increases significantly after about two miles on the Skyland-Big Meadows track, ascending … 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. 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. Easy 7 mile hike to Rock Spring hut, with a spring, a day use cabin, shelter and good tent sites. At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill Mountain is the highest peak in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Recommend filling up on water at the Hut. ( Log Out / First day we made our way to Rock Spring hut, beautiful wildflowers, fungi and insects a macro-photographer's heaven. 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. Bear right again and follow the path for 50 yards to Hawksbill’s true summit; the neatly-maintained overlook offers 270-degree vistas. This trail was fantastic. It combines the highest peak in Shenandoah with the coolest campground in the park and the 9-mile Rose River. There is place near waterfall . 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. Very good trip as get more experience on the trail, everything was well marked. The Big Meadows Horse Trail was long and honestly rather boring. The woods along Big Meadow are pretty and the beginning stretch on the AT, with the views, cliffs, and mountain laurel, is beautiful. View of Stony Man Mountain and Blue Ridge from Hawksbill, Shenandoah National Park. Difficulty: Strenuous Beginner . I saw a mother bear, two cubs, and no humans for the better part of 2-3 hours. Rooms at the property are equipped with a dining area and a kitchen area. If you wanted to do this in 3 days two nights you could camp the first night at Rock Spring Hut. ⛰ 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. 100% Upvoted. The Big Meadows/Hawksbill/Rose River trio is a beautiful 3 day, 2 night trip. 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. 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. But beyond the first junction—which leads down to Rose River Falls—it is likely to be devoid of crowds. youtu.be/aG5-9X... 1 comment. 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. Especially when the temps drop a little lower than expected. 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. Trail Map of Hawksbill – Fishers Gap Loop, including Skyland-Big Meadows Trail, Shenandoah National Park; adapted from http://www.mytopo.com/maps/. Save big on a wide range of Big Meadows hotels! 8. I saw 2 people on the Big Meadows Horse Trail and 3 people on the Rose River Loop Trail. Cross the road to return to the start. Continue straight on the AT. Bear right and continue for roughly 1/10 mile to a second junction; turn right again, embarking on the winding Salamander Trail. Dates: September 29, 2018 Type: Loop Total Distance: 5.1 miles (8.2 km) round trip Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Shenandoah National Park (VA): Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River 3-day Backpacking Loop. 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. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. 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. Awesome loop, very highly recommend. 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. 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. 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. share. From here it is approximately 1.6 mile in a gradual climb back to the Big Meadows Complex. Other than those two camp spots I didn’t see too many. Discover the metropolitan area of Big Meadows—skyscrapers, natural beauty, and sights from Harry F. Byrd Sr. But it wasn’t difficult to get to Rose River in 1 day. Lacking sweeping views, the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail is admittedly less interesting than Hawksbill and the AT. Enjoy free cancellation on most hotels. Big Meadows/Hawksbill/Rose River + Campground and Backcountry. ( Log Out / 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 venue also features a carpark and a restaurant. Night two could be spent at a big clearing up the hill just before getting to Rose river Falls. Shenandoah National Park (VA): Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River 3-day Backpacking Loop. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The Rose River Loop trail is near the top of the map. I started at the Upper Hawksbill parking area. 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. 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. save hide report. Some of the nicest views I’ve seen from this area:). (Circuit) Nights: 2. This loop is best completed in a clockwise direction. All said, we loved the trail and would definitely recommend! 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" Posted by 2 hours ago. Abt 7 miles per day, strenuous at times but not overly difficult for me, 12 yr old daughter & the dog. 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. Rose river was peaceful and has some nice camping spots. Shenandoah National Park - Video Trip Report - Big Meadows, Hawksbill & Rose River Loop. 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