Center map

Dismal Falls

Home - Dismal Falls

Dismal Falls is a 15-foot, multi-tiered waterfall on Dismal Creek approximately 1.5 hours from Roanoke. It is easily accessed from the road or a side trail off of the Appalachian Trail.

Dismal Creek is about 50 feet wide (depending on water volume) at this point as it flows down over several ledges. The ledges on the left side of the falls are step-like while the middle and right ledges are more of a straight drop. In lower water, the middle and right are not covered, and the stream is much narrower. Despite the width of the stream, the waterfall is not particularly open to sunlight with trees lining each bank and throwing much of the falls into the shade for most of the day.


  • A simple 0.1-mile round trip.

Hike It

  • Begin on the trail from the parking area.
  • The trail is very short and has easy terrain for walking.
  • Once at the destination, be cautious as the rocks may be slippery.


Take exit 98 from I-81 going north on VA-100. After 11.6 miles, turn left on VA-42. Continue for 10.1 miles then turn right on SR-606. After 1 mile, turn right on SR-671 which becomes unpaved after 0.4 miles. Continue on the unpaved road for another 0.5 miles, and there will be a sign for the falls. Pull into the parking area and begin the trail.

Add-On Adventures

  • Enjoy fishing? Bring a fishing pole to the nearby Dismal Creek – it’s full of Rainbow Trout!
  • If interested in making it an overnight visit, White Cedar Horse Camp offers large campsites a short distance from Dismal Creek surrounded by grand old oak and maple trees.
  • Horseback riding is offered at White Cedar Horse Camp ($15 for one horse, $25 for two horses).
Back to Create an Adventure

Create Your Own Land Adventure

Get Started

Powered by Roanoke Outside


Tips to safely get outside:

  • Avoid heavy use areas and choose off-peak times
  • Limit group to your household
  • Pack out your trash
  • Bring a mask and wear it when passing others
  • Use our trail finder to find #thepathlesstraveled
Outdoor Updates for Retaliers & Rec Areas