It’s a steep, narrow hole more than forty feet high on the right side. A long, twisting slot cuts a shallow trough into the rock until the creek reaches a void then leaps over the lip. Water is correspondingly deep at the bottom, but nothing to jump from and not lots of surface area to aim for even if there was. The pool is five feet wide where the fall enters and no more than ten feet wide at the discharge. Plus there is a cleaver shaped rock in the middle. One misplaced dive and it would split you in two.
There’s almost no horizontal component at all. Just a couple of benches and boulders to sit on. It might seat three or four people. The value of this swimming hole is as refuge on the hottest days in the driest season. If Northern Virginia turned into the Gobi Desert, there would still be water in the bottom of this hole. It’s so dark and cool that a vampire could party all day without sunblock.
It takes a good pair of legs to hike the length of the trail. It’s a wicked 2,260 vertical feet to the top at Skyline Drive and this place is about one-third of the way up. This is a popular trail in Shenandoah National Park and you can be certain that lots of people peep over the lip of the fall into the hole, so forget about privacy. But comparatively few will make the trip down into it.