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Shenandoah National Park

A Visitor’s Guide to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive


Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah Valley

Photo © Virginia Tourism Corporation

Shenandoah National Park is an ideal getaway destination for residents of the Washington, DC area because of its convenient location just 90 minutes west of the Capital Beltway. Visitors enjoy a wide range of recreational activities amidst breathtaking scenery in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The region is most known for its spectacular panoramic views along Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds through the entire length of the park. Shenandoah National Park, contains over 197,000 acres of land with over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. See a Picture Gallery

This Visitor's Guide includes three pages to help you plan a great getaway to Shenandoah National Park.

Page 1 - Directions, Fees, and Outdoor Recreation

Page 2 - Top Attractions Near Shenandoah National Park

Page 3- Hotels and Accommodations

Getting to Shenandoah National Park

From Washington, DC, take I-495 to I-66 West towards Front Royal. There are four entrances to the park. They are located at:
  • Front Royal via I-66 and Route 340
  • Thornton Gap via Route 211
  • Swift Run Gap via Route 33
  • Rockfish Gap via I-64 and Route 250
For more details, see A Driving Guide of Virginia's Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park Entrance Fees

December through February: $10.00 per private, non-commercial vehicle
March through November: $15.00 per private, non-commercial vehicle.
Motorcycle: $10.00
Each pass is valid for the day of purchase and the next six days.

Outdoor Recreation at Shenandoah National Park

  • Hiking and Nature Walks - Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. See printable hiking maps. Guided hikes are available throughout the year. Stop at a Visitor Center to pick up a schedule and register for ranger guided hikes. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center is located at Mile 4.6 and Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center is located at Milepost 51 on Skyline Drive. Hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily. For recorded information call (540) 999-3500.
  • Horseback Riding – There are more than 150 miles of horse trails in the park. Guided trail rides are available from April through early November and depart from the stable at Skyland Resort at Milepost 41.7. Riders must be at least 4’10”. Pony rides are also available for children. See the riding schedule and pricing.
  • Wildlife & Nature Photography – Shenandoah National Park is an ideal place to practice your photography skills. Forests, waterfalls, birds, and white-tailed deer make dramatic subjects throughout the seasons.
  • Fishing –A Virginia fishing license is required and may be obtained at Big Meadows Wayside at Milepost 51.2. There are limitations on fishing in some areas, so check the regulations before casting a line.
  • Bicycling – You may ride a bike along Skyline Drive and on paved areas in the park. Bicycling is not allowed on trails, unpaved roads or in grassy areas. Since the roads are steep with many blind curves, park officials do not encourage bicycling.
  • Water Sports – You may swim in any river at your own risk. Canoeing, kayaking, tubing and rafting trips can be arranged through private outfitters. Contact Shenandoah River Trips, Downriver Canoe Co. or Shenandoah River Outfitters.
  • Evening Campfire Programs – Special evening programs are available June through October. See the schedule.
  • Junior Ranger Programs – Special educational programs are available for kids ages 7 – 12 during the summer months. See the schedule.

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