Guide to Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park
With the pandemic, many people have gotten cabin fever. You may want to get out and take a vacation, but aren’t ready to take any sort of public transit. RV rentals are perfect for road trips. They allow for the comfort of a hotel room, while social distancing from other people.
Now that you’ve got your mode of transit and lodging sorted out, all you have to do is pick a destination. With fall arriving now is a great time to get out and see some beautiful foliage. There’s no better way to see the beautiful fall colors than the Shenandoah National Park! Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah is the perfect fall camping getaway. If the fall foliage doesn’t sell you, then we’re sure all the things to see and do will!
Take a Ride Down Skyline Drive
Spanning 105 miles, and running through the entire park, Skyline Drive is a roadtrippers dream. If you’re looking to take a cruise and see some fantastic views, this is the route for you. Skyline Drive runs mainly along the ridges of the Mountains, so you can get as close to a bird’s eye view as possible. With over 70 overlooks, there are plenty of places to take pictures too! On top of all the overlooks, there are countless trailheads that begin right alongside Skyline Drive. There aren’t very many roads where you can just pull off and go for a hike!
Explore Luray Caverns
Discovered all the way back in 1878, Luray Caverns is truly a sight to behold. It’s a 1.5-mile trek through a cave that will leave you in awe. Throughout the hike, you will descend down into a natural work of art. Stalactites and stalagmites can be spotted all throughout the tour, and you can even see the famed Stalactite Organ, a musical instrument made out of rock formations! However, the piece de resistance of the tour is Dream Lake. Dream Lake is a lake that can be found at the bottom of Luray Caverns, that is just about as close to a mirrored surface as it can get. It’s truly something to be marveled!
Once you emerge from the caverns, you can try to navigate their Garden Maze! It’s a gigantic maze, constructed out of 8-foot-tall hedges, that’s fun for the whole family!
Hike Old Rag Mountain
While you’re camping or kicking it in your RV, you might want to try hiking Old Rag Mountain. It’s a part of the Blue Ridge mountains, and it’s located within Shenandoah National Park. In fact, it’s the most popular hiking destination in the park, so you’re bound to run into some friendly faces while you make your voyage. Beginners beware, Old Rag’s summit is at nearly 3,300 feet in elevation, so it literally is quite the hike! However, it’s well worth the expenditure of energy. You’ll encounter gorgeous views the entire way!
Visit Dark Hollow Falls
If you’re in the mood for a hike, but don’t want to summit a mountain, then you might want to run over to Dark Hollow Falls! This picturesque waterfall is an incredibly accessible journey with some fantastic views. The trek to get there is just under a mile and a half, and to make things even better, you can access the trailhead from Skyline Drive. This gives you a perfect chance to park the RV and stretch your legs for a little while!
Explore a Portion of The Appalachian Trail
Extending over 2,200 miles long, the Appalachian Trail is the world’s longest hiking only trail. The trail broke ground in 1921, and took over fifteen years to complete! Now today, over two million people hike at least a part of the trail each year. On top of that, there are 31 different “trail clubs” that help the National Park Service maintain the trail. Luckily enough for visitors of Shenandoah, the Appalachian Trail runs directly through the park! This means taking a stroll through a piece of history is just minutes away!
Where to Camp
If you’re hopping on the open road with your RV rental, then you’re going to need a campground to stay at, of course. Luckily for you, there are plenty of places to stay with an RV in the Shenandoah National Park Area. A big fan favorite is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. Aside from being a great place to set up camp, it also features a waterpark, outdoor pools, and laundry service! On top of all the awesome amenities, Jellystone comes with a great location. It’s right on the edge of Shenandoah National Park, so you can step out of camp and right into the wilderness!
If Jellystone isn’t your speed, then you can also bring your RV rental right into the park, and set up camp at one of the park’s very own campsites. In total the National Park Service has 4 sites that accept RVs and campers in the park. They are: Mathews Arm, Big Meadows, Lewis Mountain, and Loft Mountain. While they don’t come with the same amenities as Jellystone, they are right in the heart of the park, so you can be enveloped in nature 24/7! All of them are incredibly close in proximity to hiking trails, and some even have waterfalls nearby.