Because of its geographic location, half the population of the U.S. is within a day’s drive of Shenandoah National Park. Last year 1.2 million visitors enjoyed its scenic vistas, streams, waterfalls, and other attractions, placing it among the top 10 most visited national parks.
Shenandoah National Park is rich in history, with eleven sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From President Hoover’s summer white house at Rapidan Camp, to the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), as well as the stories of the former residents of the land, Shenandoah’s intriguing past invites visitors to explore deeper into this special place.
There are four developed campgrounds that offer sites for tents on up to RVs.
Although Shenandoah National Park doesn’t have a campground that is solely for recreational vehicles, it does have three campgrounds that will accommodate large rigs. Mathews Arm, Big Meadows, and Loft Mountain campgrounds all have pull-through and deep back-in sites, most of which can accommodate an RV with a tow vehicle. Reservations are available at these three campgrounds. Although the park campgrounds do not offer hookups, they have potable water and dump stations.
Simple as it sounds, there is a big difference between taking a travel photo and making one. When you take a photo, you simply point and shoot.
When you make a photo, you think about all the elements in a scene and how they interrelate and complement each other.
You think about the lighting and the background and the foreground. And you think about the mood you want to create with your image.
Capture a panorama
Use the panoramic format mode (P), to capture the grandeur of a wide vista.
Take photos, even in inclement weather
Don’t let overcast and rainy days discourage you from taking photos. Polished by the rain, colors become more intense. On overcast days, try to include a spot of color to brighten your photo.
Did You Know?
The 600-foor-long Marys Rock Tunnel was completed in 1932 and the public considered it a scenic wonder. It became iconic and tunnel images were used on everything from post cards to jewelry.
Quick Facts about Shenandoah National Park:
Skyline Drive: 105 miles long, 75 overlooks
Total Acreage: 197,438 acres
Designated Wilderness: Approximately 40% (79,579 acres) of Shenandoah is wilderness
Highest Peak: Hawksbill Mountain, 4,050 feet
Hiking Trails: 516 miles, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail
Highest Waterfall: Overall Run Falls, 93 feet
Plants: More than 1300 species
Birds: Over 200 species
Shenandoah National Park
Operating Hours: Always open; however, portions of Skyline Drive, the only public road through the park, are periodically closed during inclement weather and at night during deer hunting season, mid-November through early January
Admission: $10.00/vehicle, December-February; $15/vehicle, March-November (good for 7 days); all federal lands passes accepted
Location: In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia 75 miles west of Washington, D.C. and stretches 105 miles from its northern entrance at Front Royal to its southern entrance near Waynesboro
Maximum Speed Limit: 35 mph
Address: 3655 Hwy 211 East, Luray, VA 22835
Contact: (540) 999-3500
Note: This is the third of a four-part series on Shenandoah National Park and its 75th anniversary celebration.
Part 1: Make Your Destination a Journey
Part 2: Driving the Skyline Drive
Final article in the series: Celebrating 75 Years
I hear her voice, in the mornin’ hours she calls to me
The radio reminds me of my home far a-way
And drivin’ down the road I get a feeling’
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday
Country roads, take me home
To the place, I be-long
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads