Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Jones Run Falls - an Easy SNP Day Hike
Over the course of the last week, I read somewhere that the waterfalls throughout Shenandoah National Park were at their peak because of the recent heavy rains, which followed a snowy winter. I asked Mary if she thought she might be up for a hike to check out a waterfall or two, suggesting we might go to Jones Run Falls in the South District, which has become one of my favorite waterfalls in the park. We set off on Sunday morning, with Tessie coming along for the hike, and on the way to the trailhead we saw lingering snow in the shadows along Skyline Drive.
As I prepared to write this post, I took a minute to recall my previous hikes to Jones Run Falls, trying to figure out why I like this waterfall so much. I’ve linked a couple of the old posts below – they’re full of photos of the scenery, and that is certainly part of what I like so much. It could also be that the cascades along this stream, along with Doyle’s River, are so accessible to hikers – you can literally walk right up to them if you want, and even jump in there for a shower if you like.
While I have done the Doyle’s River/Jones Run circuit before, we agreed that we weren’t up to a hike as rigorous as that. Instead we chose to simply hike down the Jones Run gorge from the trailhead at milepost 84, a descent of 900-plus feet and a round trip of 3.4 miles. The combination makes it an “easy” hike in my book, it needs to exceed 500 feet of elevation change and five miles of distance to be moderate.
The fact that there are three waterfalls and two stream crossings on this short hike makes it a very worthwhile outing. While there are no rock scrambles or other features of that sort, the jumbled formations of boulders strewn about the gorge offer some pretty great views as well.
Mary, Tessie and I had a nice walk together, and spent about an hour enjoying the falls once we reached them. A couple of family groups were out for the day, and everybody wanted to give Tessie some attention. That’s a canine who knows how to work it.
In addition to the linked posts below, I’ll be making a second post about this hike – I wanted to use a couple of the iPhone photo features, and I’ll share a couple of extra photos tomorrow.
As I mentioned, here are some previous blog posts about this hike: