Falls of Dry Run Creek in Shenandoah National Park (Rockingham County)
I challenge all hardcore hikers to go and see the Falls of Dry Run Creek in Shenandoah NP!
So far I documented seven waterfalls – during my research I saw photos of only 3, meaning I hiked in an area that’s rather unknown even to experienced waterfall enthusiasts.
I must start with a warning – do not hike down Dry Run Creek unless you are VERY comfortable with insane terrain. It is wet, slippery, steep and plain dangerous. It is much easier in summer but you need to go when the Creek is flowing hard; early Spring. Or after several days of heavy rain in the area.
AGAIN – When the Dry Run area is in flow, you will face danger down near the waterfalls.
I urge you to read my article about bushwhacking in Shenandoah!
Now for some good news!
Dry Run Creek is flanked by a Fire Road that runs all the way from Skyline Drive to roads down in the valley. This means you have a relatively easy trail to navigate in order to get down – BUT you have to leave this road and bushwack in order to see any of the seven waterfalls listed here.
It is not all about waterfalls! About 0.7 miles down this Fire Road is a small trail on your right that leads to the top of a scenic rocky outcrop called the Lost Cliffs! So check that out for a nice landscape photo opportunity.
On Skyline Drive, park at the South River Overlook at mile 62.5 then cross the road and look for the gated fire road slightly north of the outlook (on the west side of Skyline Dr).
The fire road is not in good condition so expect tall grasses and mud, etc.
At 0.7 miles you can take the short side trail to the top of Lost Cliffs. Scrambling required.
Continue down the road until it crosses Dry Run Creek at mile 1.3. This is where the fun starts!
The Trail and Map
You can see the Fire Road, the parking area and the location of the Lost Cliffs on the map below.
Also look at our Virginia Waterfall Map for precise locations.
The seven waterfall locations are accurate as per my GPS. You may discover other waterfalls either upstream of downstream so do not hesitate to explore on your own.
You will note a vague green trail on the map. That is my bushwhacking route. It does not mean it is the best way to reach the waterfalls, or the safest or the easiest! I was exploring with no markers or waypoints to guide me.
Basically I hiked down the Fire Road to the Park’s western boundary, bushwhacked down to Dry Run Creek at the boundary, then followed the creek upstream.
Waterfalls #3 and #5 are both massive cascades. Most folks who hiked in the area made it to #3. But #5 is even more impressive. It is a huge and tall cascade.
Profile – Fire Road
NOTE – This is a profile of the fire road down to the park boundary and not the bushwhack trails down to the Falls which are much much steeper!