Naked Creek has long been on my list of things to d in Shenandoah, but I haven't gotten there yet. Question-- does the terrain preclude backpacking down there?
Not at all. You can easily carry a backpack in from the Naked Creek Overlook on Skyline Drive and there is plenty of flat area along the creek to camp. If you want to go down the creek a backpack will slow you down quite a bit since there is no longer a trail. At each of the falls, you might have to go fairly wide away from the creek to find a good route around the rocky ground adjacent to the falls - it's easier if you're not carrying a heavy pack - you might want to bring a rope for lowering your pack.
Thanks for getting back. I'd like to backpack in just so I can enjoy the solitude out there a little more, but I might just go in the afternoon to take advantage of the lighting. If I do take a pack, it won't be a winter outing; I don't want to mess with snow or ice while bushwhacking.
Good camping spots are available just into the woods from the Naked Creek overlook less than 1/4 mile in. I have used this area several times as a free campsite just a few miles from the Big Meadows area (showers and food!) You can get close to the stream and just a little bit above the upper falls where the going starts to get tough. Nice and quite, not much traffic through there and the bears will be active in the area especially in the early fall.
You just don't want to try to get down to the creek in the late summer - the stinging nettle will do you in.