"Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Shenandoah National Park by travelfrosch

Shenandoah National Park Travel Guide: 169 reviews and 567 photos

Autumn in the Shenandoah

It was a sunny and warm November morning, so we decided to make the 90-minute trip to Shenandoah National Park. While I had driven through the valley before, I'd never been to the park itself. The fall foliage was past peak, but still spectacular.

Skyline Drive to the Visitor Center

Skyline Drive is a 105-mile (about 170 km) mountain road that snakes its way along a ridge line, affording tremendous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River (hmm... why is a John Denver tune suddenly in my head? :). The road is entirely within Shenandoah National Park, which requires a fee to enter.

We entered on the north end, just outside of Front Royal, Virginia. After showing our National Parks Pass, we entered Skyline Drive and made our way southward. After a brief stop at the Shenandoah Valley Overlook (the northernmost of 75 "Overlooks," or places to get off the road and take in the views), we continued on to the Visitor Center just past Milepost 4.

Hikes, Hogbacks and Overlooks

We were just making a day trip, so we asked for advice on a good 3 hour hike. The ranger suggested we continue just past Milepost 21 and make a 5.2 mile loop hike along a part of the Appalachian trail and the Sugar Loaf trail.

At Milepost 21, the Hogback Overlook, the highest altitude overlook in the northern part of the park, offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. We stopped briefly and then took our hike.

As we returned to our car and headed back towards Front Royal, we pulled over several times at various overlooks and took in some more views.

  • Last visit to Shenandoah National Park: Nov 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (12)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    Love this part of the US. A few years now since we were here but the autumn colour is unforgettable.

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    Great photos - takes me on a nostalgic trek down memory lane - God's country for sure! Grazie for great tour.....

  • VZ-Pam's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    A lot of information for hikers. Oh snakes !!! Dr Indiana Jones doesn't like snakes too :o)

  • terible22's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2008 at 8:26 AM

    Beautiful pictures and helpful information. Thanks!!

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2008 at 6:25 PM

    We really enjoyed your photos of the various overlooks. Thanks for sharing them.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2007 at 4:30 PM

    Virginia and especially shenandoah is on my mind for summer. it was pleasant coming over these pages. good tips. i liked warnings!

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2007 at 8:15 AM

    I'd love to go hiking there once! Beautiful pictures again!!

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2007 at 7:18 AM

    What a beautiful place! Glad to read you didn't trip over any snakes whilst hiking!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2007 at 7:48 PM

    Enjoyed a virtual tour of the summit drive. Shenandoah River reminds me of the song "Country Roads". Thanks for sharing this scenic region. Cheers, SL

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2006 at 10:50 AM

    Thank you for the birthday wishes! I absolutely loved Skyline Drive. I love how you identified all the good overlooks for my next trip! Thank you!


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