Where To Pitch A Tent In Shenandoah

15 Beautiful Spots to go Camping in Shenandoah National Park

Don’t want to limit yourself to a quick drive-through or a day vacation to Shenandoah National Park? Plan a journey that will allow you to spend more than a day traveling up the Skyline Drive, allowing you to spend the night camping in Shenandoah National Park at one of the numerous campgrounds. Take advantage of the park’s five campgrounds, pitch your tent in the backcountry, or park your RV in one of the campgrounds just outside one of the park’s four entrance gates to spend a night, weekend, or even a week taking advantage of everything the park and surrounding area have to offer by camping at one of the parks five campgrounds, or by pitching your tent in one of the park’s four backcountry campgrounds.

The campgrounds in the park provide a variety of possibilities, including tenting and RV campsites, cottages, and backcountry lodges, among other things.

Prefer Glamping? Read our guide toGlamping in Virginia

Don’t want to limit yourself to a quick drive through or a day excursion to Shenandoah National Park? Plan a journey that will allow you to spend more than a day driving the Skyline Drive, allowing you to spend the night camping in Shenandoah National Park at one of the numerous campgrounds available. Camping at one of the five campgrounds within the park, backcountry camping, or pulling your RV into one of the campgrounds just outside one of the park’s four entrance gates is a great way to spend a night, a weekend, or even a week experiencing everything the park and surrounding area have to offer.

Camping areas that can accommodate groups of up to 20 persons are available at several locations.

Tips for Camping In Shenandoah National Park

Campgrounds frequently fill up during summer and autumn foliage weekends, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as possible by visiting Recreation.gov. In the event that you decide to stay at the last minute, you could still be in luck. When you first arrive in the park, head to either the Loft Mountain or Mathews Arm campsites. First-come, first-serve is the policy at eighty percent of their locations. There is a 50 percent camp fee reduction available to individuals who have access to a National Park Senior or Access Pass when they provide their pass and picture identification.

Shenandoah Campground Opening Dates

Please keep in mind that the five campsites are not available all year. Big Meadows is open the longest, from late March through mid-November, although many other attractions do not open until May and end in October, according to the National Park Service.

Nothing beats waking up under the stars, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and getting ready for a day of exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, no matter where you stay (inside the park or outside).

Campgrounds within the Shenandoah National Park

  • The location is Mile Marker 22.1
  • The distance from Washington D.C. is 90 miles / 2 hours
  • The opening dates for 2021 are May 5 – October 31
  • And the closing date is December 31. Standard sites cost $15 per night, while group sites cost $50 per night.

As you approach the park from the northern gate at Front Royal, this will be the first campground you will come across on your journey through the wilderness. 165 picnic tables and fire rings are provided at each of the campsites. The Elkwallow Wayside, which is two miles distant, has additional supplies for those who require them. You may pick up any goods you could require right here. An amphitheater, storage lockers, and flush toilets are available at Mathews Arm Campground, however there are no showers available on site.

Big Meadows Campground

  • 125 miles / 2 12 hours
  • 2021
  • Mile Marker 51
  • Distance from Washington, D.C.: 125 miles / 2 12 hours
  • Dates of operation: March 26 – November 11
  • Standard campsites are $20, Group campsites (7-15 people) are $45, and hotels and cottages are $89 – $219 per night.

Big Meadows Campground, located around halfway up the Skyline Drive, is one of the most popular campgrounds in the area due to the fact that it offers the most amenities and is within walking distance to three of the park’s waterfalls. The campground’s 221 sites, 51 of which are designated for tent camping exclusively, are all equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. A coin-operated shower and flush toilet are available at the campground, as well as food storage lockers, laundry facilities, an amphitheater, and a camp store.

To well as camping and lodge accommodations, Big Meadows provides 29 rooms in the resort lodge and 72 rooms in rustic cabins and multi-unit lodges.

  • The Dark Hollow Falls Trek is a 1.4-mile circle that takes 114 hours to complete
  • To reach the Rose River Falls, travel the 4-mile loop in 412 hours
  • To see the stunning Lewis Falls, hike the moderate 3.3-mile loop in 4 hours
  • And to reach the Rose River Falls in 412 hours.

Read our full guide toShenandoah waterfall hikes

  • It is located at Mile Marker 57.2
  • The distance between it and Washington, DC:
  • If you’re coming in from the southernmost entrance, it’ll take you 120 miles (2 hours 20 minutes)
  • If you’re coming in from the Front Royal gate, it’ll take you 130 miles (3 hours).
  • 2021 Dates of operation: March 25 – October 31
  • Cabins range in price from $135 to $163, with a standard campground costing $15.

All 30 campsites at Lewis Mountain Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis. It is the smallest campsite in the national park, and it is a popular among visitors who prefer a more quiet stay than the busier Big Meadows campground while yet enjoying many of the same facilities. A camp store, food storage lockers, coin-operated showers, flush toilets, and laundry facilities are all available at the campground. The camp store offers a variety of items, including firewood and ice.

Loft Mountain Campground

  • Mile Marker 79.5
  • Distance from Washington, D.C.: 125 miles / 2 12 hours from the Swift Rung Gap Entrance Station in Elkton, VA
  • Year of construction: 2021 Dates of operation: May 5 – October 31
  • Cost: $15 for a standard camping
  • $20 for a premium campsite.

The largest campground is located at the summit of Big Flat Mountain, near the park’s southern entrance, and is the most accessible. The amphitheater, laundry facilities, a camp store, flush toilets, and coin-operated showers are all available to guests staying at one of the 207 campsites. The camp shop sells ice and firewood, which you may use to keep warm. It is certain that you will take pleasure in the spectacular views to the east and west throughout your stay here. You will also want to put on your hiking boots and head to the Jones Run Falls and Doyles River Falls hiking trails, which are both located nearby.

Dundo Group Campground

  • Distance from Washington, D.C.: 130 miles / 2 hours and 40 minutes from the Swift Rung Gap Entrance Station at Elkton, VA
  • Year of construction: 2021 Open from May 5 to October 31
  • Cost: $45 for a group campsite (for 7-20 people)
  • Open daily.

This is the most basic campground in Shenandoah National Park, with only three campsites, vault toilets, and no showers. It is also the most remote. Each of the sites does feature fire rings, picnic tables, and access to food storage lockers, although none of them is very large (bears do live here).

Because the water in Dundo is not drinkable, make sure to stock up on supplies before arriving. Those looking to go on a day trip along the Appalachian Path will find this to be an excellent home base because the trail goes right through the camp.

Camping Outside the Shenandoah National Park

Campsites outside the national park’s limits are available near each of the park’s four entrance gates, making it a viable alternative. The campsites listed below are some of our favorites since they are near to the park and provide easy access.

Near the Front Royal Entrance

  • It is located at 585 KOA Dr. in Front Royal, Virginia 22630, approximately 73 miles / 1 hour 20 minutes away from Washington, DC. The cost of a campsite is $27 – $43, while the cost of a cabin is $47 – $68.

Front Royal RV Campground is located about three miles from the Front Royal entrance gate of Shenandoah National Park and has 114 campsites as well as twenty one- and two-room cottages. The tent sites are located in a forested location, and they include a variety of amenities such as full hook-ups, water/electric hook-ups, and no hook-ups. There are lots of amenities and activities for the whole family to enjoy, including a pool, playground, mini-golf, horseshoe pits, a fishing pond, a movie room, and a basketball court.

Elizabeth Furnace Family Campground

  • Distance from Washington, DC: 80 miles / 112 hours
  • Cost: $20 per night
  • Address: 15618 Fort Valley Rd, Fort Valley, VA 22652.

The Elizabeth Furnace Family Campground, which has 32 sites along Passage Creek in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The campsite is open year-round and operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each campground is equipped with a fire ring as well as a picnic table. From Memorial Day weekend to the end of September, the campsite offers flush toilets and hot showers for guests. During the rest of the year, there are vault toilets available on site for your convenience.

A dump station is available for campers, however there are no hookups available at any of the sites.

Low-Water Bridge Campground

  • From Washington, DC, it is 80 miles (about 112 hours) away at 192 Panhandle Rd in Bentonville, Virginia. It is open from April 1 to November 30, and it is located in the city of Bentonville. Cost:$27 – $39 per night for two people
  • Additional adults (ages 13 and above) are an additional charge. $9

The campsite, which is located along the Shenandoah River, is an excellent place to stay if you want to go fishing, tubing, or canoeing down the river. There are 60 campsites available, several of which have electric/water hookups and some of which have direct river access. Cabins are also available for rent, and there are even a handful of them. Each site is equipped with a fire pit and a picnic table. It has restrooms with hot water, showers, and a dump station. There is also a camp store where you can buy camping goods, ice, and firewood while you are at the campsite.

Near the Thornton Gap Entrance Station – Luray

  • It is located at 3402 Kimball Rd in Luray, Virginia 22835. The distance between Washington, DC and Luray is 90 miles / 1 hour 40 minutes. It is open from March 15 to November 17 and accepts reservations.

Only 10 miles from the Thornton Gap Entrance Station, this classic KOA campsite offers a complete range of amenities including a gaming room, playground, pool, WiFi, and a dog park. The campground is also pet-friendly. From pull-through sites with a maximum length of 85 feet and complete hook-ups to tent sites with no hook-ups, the 100 available sites are a mix of the two. You may also hire a yurt or a cottage, both of which come with toilet facilities. Each site is equipped with a picnic table as well as a fire pit.

Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resort

  • It is located at 2250 US Highway 211 E in Luray, Virginia 22835. The distance between Washington, DC and Luray is 90 miles / 1 hour 50 minutes. It is open from March 20 to November 20. Cabins range in price from $84 to $402, while campsites range from $44 to $71.

This 73-acre resort, located just five miles from the Luray Caverns and six miles from the Skyline Drive, offers something for everyone. Multiple swimming pools, mini-golf, laser tag, waterslides, arcades, and playgrounds are among the attractions available.

The variety of campsites available ranges from complete hook-ups with concrete pads and updated fire rings to simple tent sites with no hook-ups but with a picnic table, fire ring, and fire ring with a picnic table.

Outlanders River Camp

  • Address:4253 US-211, Luray, VA 22835
  • Distance from Washington D.C.:100 miles / 2 hours
  • Hours of Operation:All Year
  • Contact Information: Cost: Tents go from $40 to $48, RVs range from $89 to $45, and reservations are required.

This 100-acre campground, located on the banks of the Shenandoah River, provides a choice of campsites ranging from full hookups to rustic tent sites, as well as four cottages. Within the campground, there are hot shower bathhouses, covered shelters, a camp store, and a tube float to keep you cool. There are a variety of access points to the river over its 34-mile riverfrontage, allowing you to take a paddle at your leisure.

Near the Swift Run Gap Entrance Station – Elkton

  • It is located at:19540 Spotswood Trail, in Elkton, Virginia 22827
  • The distance between Washington, D.C. is 120 miles or 21 hours and 14 minutes.

This full-service campsite, located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and five minutes from the Swift Run Entrance Station, has 43 sites with bathrooms, showers, a swimming pool, and a laundromat. The Swift Run Entrance Station is five minutes away. The fact that it is so close to the park makes it an excellent alternative even though it is not a premium campsite.

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Near the Rockfish Gap Entrance Station – Afton

  • Address:56 Misty Mountain Road, Greenwood, VA 22943
  • Distance from Washington D.C.:130 miles / 212 hours
  • Hours of Operation:All Year
  • Contact Information: Cost:Tent/RV sites range from $26 to $60, and cabins range from $55 to $249. Reservations are required.

The Misty Mountain Campground, located just 10 minutes from the Skyline Drive’s southern entrance, offers a diverse selection of camping alternatives to accommodate every tourist. Choose from tent camping, RV full hook-up sites, a cottage, or glamping accommodations inside the park’s 50-acre grounds. At Misty Mountain, you’ll find a plethora of services, such as hot showers in the bathhouses and workout facilities, a splash park and cornhole, as well as an outdoor pool and fishing pond. Those interested in visiting some of the area’s vineyards may look into their Camping and Wine Tour packages.

  • The majority of the tent sites have a picnic table and a fire ring. RV sites are included with a gravel pad, a fire ring, a picnic table, and wireless Internet access. Many of the locations also offer cable television. Bring bedding and towels if you intend to rent one of the cabins
  • Otherwise, you will not be able to use them.

Need a Shenandoah Hotel?

Consider the following hotels and vacation homes that can accommodate your group’s size and comfort requirements.

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Summer vacations in the Blue Ridge Mountains are ideal, and staying at one of these seven Shenandoah campsites will put you right in the heart of the action! Shenandoah National Park, which is located in Virginia, is renowned for its breathtaking vistas and wildlife. Outdoor activities may be found everywhere, from the highest peaks of the Alps to the Shenandoah Valley. Hiking, biking, fishing, and kayaking are all popular outdoor activities in the region, as are other sports. If scenic drives are more your style, the Skyline Drive, which covers the length of the National Park, is a 105-mile track that offers breathtaking views.

Let’s get started!

1. Big Meadows Campground

The park is located within the Shenandoah National Park. The cost is $20. Why You Will Enjoy It: For campers who prefer to spend their time in the National Park, Big Meadows Campground is an excellent choice. In addition to excellent hiking paths, the park lodge and laundry facilities will be right outside your door. The drawback is the lack of cell connectivity. At this campsite, it’s likely that you won’t be able to get a signal. Camping in Big Meadows is permitted in either a tent or an RV.

View a map of the park by clicking here.

The following is an excerpt from a recent Campground Reviews entry: “Even though this campground has no hookups, it seemed like a full service park.” In addition to the main restaurant, there is a bar and restaurant on the ground floor.

Its Great Room is a pleasant air-conditioned space in which to rest or work, and it has several outlets for charging your phones.” The vibes at Shenandoah Campground are 8.3 out of 10. Classic camping ambiance combined with some of the greatest hiking paths around!

2. Outlanders River Camp

Luray, Virginia is the location (15 miles to National Park entrance) RV camping costs $45 or more, while tent camping costs $40 or more. Why You Will Enjoy It: This isolated campsite exudes a strong sense of tranquility. Numerous tent camping spots are located beside a wooded river, which is a nice touch. Golf cart rentals, hiking paths, a contemporary bath house, and a playground are all available at the property. If you’re looking for complete RV hookups close to Shenandoah National Park, this is the place to stay.

What Is The Word: What is the word?

This was our first time staying in a 40-foot RV, and the inner roads were simple to manage.

The campsite is in a great location for touring Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns, and it’s also lovely to relax at the campsite and gaze out over the mountains on both sides of the valley.” “This is an excellent location for exploring Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns.” Shenandoah Campground’s vibes rate 7.8 out of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.

3. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp

Luray, Virginia is the location (6 miles to National Park entrance) Price ranges from $46 to $1,050. Why You Will Enjoy It: For a family holiday, this is the ideal campground to stay at. Let me begin by saying that they have a freaking water park on the premises! RV sites are available at Jellystone, as well as rustic cabins, luxury cottages, a group lodge, and tent camping spots. There is a well-kept washing room at this campsite. They also have a camp store and a variety of food options on site.

The following is an excerpt from a recent Campendium review: “This was our second Jellystone encounter and it did not disappoint.” A vast park with various playgrounds, loads of activities, and an incredible pool with water slides, this one is a must-see.

The vibes at Shenandoah Campground are 8.5 out of 10.

4. Endless CavernsRV Resort

New Market, Virginia is the location (28 miles to Shenandoah National Park) Price ranges from $43 to $70. Why You Will Enjoy It: Endless Caverns is a one-of-a-kind camping destination. Aside from offering camping, they also provide guided tours of their cave! The cave is divided into several chambers, each of which contains spectacular natural formations. They are located in a tranquil setting surrounded by natural beauty. They have the ability to accommodate huge RVs (up to 40 feet in length) as well as tent campers.

“We stayed in early June,” according to a recent Campendium review.

It was easy to park our 38-foot travel trailer, tow vehicle, and additional vehicle at our campground, which was quite big enough for everyone.

Despite the fact that the campground was almost completely full, you couldn’t tell. It was deafeningly silent.” The vibes at Shenandoah Campground are 6.9 out of 10. The travel to the National Park is longer, but there are many of entertaining things to do once you get there.

5. Luray KOA

Luray, Virginia is the location (9 miles to Shenandoah National Park) Price: Approximately $59 and up Why You Will Enjoy It: The Luray KOA is another another RV park that welcomes families. The pool, playground, and vast open fields will be a hit with the youngsters. Additionally, this KOA is dog-friendly! Cabins are also available for rent for those campers who prefer not to rough it on their camping trips. Great amenities are something that KOAs take great pleasure in providing – and at the Luray KOA, they more than deliver on that promise.

This is according to a recent review on Campground Reviews: “Beautiful setting on a tiny hill such that there are fantastic views of the mountains in this region.” The farm was directly next door, and it was great to see the cows roaming past during the day.

The campground was exceptionally clean and well-maintained.” The vibes at Shenandoah Campground are 8.2 out of 10.

6. Shenandoah Valley Campground

Mount Jackson, Virginia is the location (29 miles to Shenandoah National Park) Price ranges from $39 to $199. Why You Will Enjoy It: If you want to get away from the throng and camp in a tranquil area, Shenandoah Valley Campground is the place for you. Some of the surrounding sights are within 10 miles of the hotel, while the National Park will be a 40-minute trip from the property. The location, on the other hand, is ideal for those looking for peace and quiet. The campsite is rig-friendly, with wide pull-through sites that can accommodate large RVs.

What Is The Word: What is the word?

All of the amenities, especially the pool and showers/restrooms, were immaculate.

Some reviews cite highway noise, but we were unable to hear it once we were inside.” The vibes at Shenandoah Campground are 7.9 out of 10.

7. Loft Mountain Campground

Location: on the inside Shenandoah National Park is located in Virginia. The cost is $20. Why You Will Enjoy It: Located within the National Park, this is a charming and rustic camping. This is the campground to choose if you’re seeking for the most picturesque setting. Loft Mountain will take your breath away, whether you’re admiring a July sunrise or the changing hues of the leaves in the fall. Keep in mind that this is a rural location with limited cell coverage. It’s possible that you’ll want to bring a cell booster to strengthen your signal.

“Shenandoah is just incredible,” GamingDad on Campendium comments.

The campsite is surrounded by the AT, which contains the finest Amphitheater I have ever seen. Despite the overwhelming number of campsites (over 200), it is well worth staying the night.” Shenandoah Campground Vibes: 9.1 out of 10 National Park Campground wins the award for best campsite!

Trip Routing to Shenandoah

If you’re driving to Shenandoah in an RV, it’s critical that you plan your itinerary ahead of time. Known for its scary mountain passes and abrupt turns, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a popular tourist destination. With the RV Trip Wizard, you may have a far better picture of what to expect on the day of trip itself. A low-hanging bridge is the last thing you want to happen after investing a lot of money on an RV! We plan our cross-country excursions with the help of RV Trip Wizard. We may easily travel through the United States in safety if we use techniques such as budgeting, fuel planning, and avoiding bridges.

Try out RV Trip Wizard for yourself!

The Best FREE Camping in the USA

We like camping all around this magnificent land. And, of course, when it’s free, we’re all over it. Here is our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the United States of America. If you’ve never attempted free camping, commonly known as boondocking, before, have a look at our beginners guide to boondocking, which has everything you need to know to get started.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Dave Herring Shenandoah National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking views in the country, including the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive winds through Shenandoah National Park for 105 miles, taking you past amazing mountain vistas, cascading waterfalls, and serene rock formations. Along the way are five campgrounds where you can enjoy a night or two under the stars. There are a number of great options for camping in Shenandoah National Park, but not all offer the same amenities.

  • Camping is an American tradition that offers something for everyone.
  • In this Shenandoah camping guide, we’ll provide information about what you can expect from each of the five Shenandoah campgrounds.
  • If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
  • For more information, view myprivacy policy.
  • We honor all Indigenous caretakers of these lands and waters, the elders who lived here before, the Indigenous today, and the generations to come.

How to Get to Shenandoah National Park

In the area between Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, there are various entrances to Shenandoah National Park to choose from. Located in Front Royal, Virginia, along Highway 340, the north entrance is accessible. The Thornton Gap entrance may be found about 20 miles east of Luray, Virginia. It may be found off of Highway 211.

Swift Run Gap is a third entry to the park that can be found along Highway 33. Finally, Rockfish Gap is the southernmost point of entry. It’s located off of Highway 250, near Waynesboro, in the Virginia countryside. Unsplash/Aaron Burden is the source of this image.

What You Need to Know About Camping in Shenandoah National Park

We recommend that you make your bookings as soon as possible if you are planning a vacation during the busy season (May to September). Many campgrounds are already booked months in advance! Reservations can be made on the Recreation.gov website. Only a few campgrounds in Shenandoah provide first-come, first-served campsites, so get there early if you’re hoping to score one of these spots. There are no campsites in Shenandoah National Park that are open all year, regardless of the season. Some campsites open in March, whereas the majority of campgrounds open in May.

  • Electrical outlets and connections: There are no electrical outlets or hookups available at any of the Shenandoah Campgrounds.
  • For the convenience of all guests, recycling bins, garbage cans, and restroom facilities are offered at the campsites.
  • Campfires: Campfires are only permitted in fire rings that have been marked.
  • Firewood must be USDA-certified, and can be purchased at camp stores located around the park grounds.
  • To burn in your fire ring, you can also gather dead and downed wood.
  • Food Storage: Each campground is equipped with a picnic table, a campfire ring, and at least one bear box to keep your food secure from predators.
  • Keep your food in a cool, dry place to keep these creatures safe.
  • I strongly advise you to learn more about bear safety in national parks before embarking on your Shenandoah camping adventure.
  • Pets should never be left unsupervised or tethered to a tree or other structure outside.
  • Photograph by Rene Deanda on Unsplash
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When to Visit Shenandoah National Park Campgrounds

Despite the fact that the park is accessible all year, the majority of the campsites are only available from late March to late November. Opening dates are dependent on weather conditions and are subject to change, so contact ahead before making your travel arrangements!

Peak season at Shenandoah National Park is from May through September, so if you want to escape the crowds, consider camping in October or November instead of May or September. This time of year, you’ll be treated to magnificent fall foliage! Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Akhila Katuri

What to Bring Camping in Shenandoah National Park

The most effective approach to prepare for your Shenandoah camping trip is to ensure that you bring the appropriate equipment. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep on hand at all times: Preparation: There are several publications available to assist you in planning your Shenandoah camping excursion. It is recommended that you read theFalcon’s Guide to Shenandoah, theLonely Planet Guide or the Moon Guide to Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, as well as this waterproof map of Shenandoah.

  • I would recommend obtaining a National Parks Pass in order to save money on your trip.
  • After you’ve visited three national parks, the trip will have more than paid for itself.
  • Some mornings in Shenandoah National Park might be cloudy and drizzly, so dress accordingly.
  • Bring a sleeping bag that is appropriate for the temperature in Shenandoah National Park at night if you plan on spending the night there.
  • Nothing will derail your vacation more quickly than being chilly and wet!
  • Many people believe that sleeping pads are exclusively for children and inexperienced campers, but they actually serve a crucial function by acting as an insulation between your body and the chilly earth!
  • After all, you do spend many hours in your tent each day!

Camp stoves powered by propane are authorized, while charcoal camp stoves are not.

First Aid Kit: Because there are no first aid facilities in any of the Shenandoah campsites, it’s a good idea to bring your own first aid kit with you when you go camping.

Flashlight: Having a light source is essential for navigating your way about in the dark.

Make sure to bring plenty of additional batteries!

If you’re looking for sunscreen, look for something with an SPF of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.

Food and water: You’ll want to have food on hand to keep you fueled when hiking or riding your bike.

Dry some freeze-dried meals from Mountain House or Backpackers Pantry to serve as a base for larger meals.

If the camp stores in and around the campsites are open when you arrive, you may also stock up on food while you’re there.

Boots for Hiking: Some of the most spectacular walks in Shenandoah take you to gorgeous falls and scenic vistas.

There are several trails that begin near the Shenandoah campsites! Some of them can be rather steep and rocky, so good hiking shoes are a need! My Hoka trail runners and Keen hiking boots are two of my favorite pieces of footwear. Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Patricia Kanashiro

Shenandoah National Park Campgrounds

There are five campsites in Shenandoah National Park. Each one is distinct in terms of its location and facilities. Continue reading to discover more about camping in the Shenandoah National Park!

Shenandoah Campgrounds Map

You can get a map of each particular campsite by looking through the list below.

Big Meadows Campground

This strategically situated campsite is an excellent starting point for seeing some of the most exciting attractions in Shenandoah National Park. Dark Hollow Falls, as well as numerous other excellent walks in Shenandoah National Park, are among the highlights. If you’re searching for services like laundry, flush toilets, and showers, Big Meadows is a terrific choice. But keep in mind that it’s also the largest and most populous campsite in Shenandoah National Park. Big Meadows also has a camp store where you can get all of your camping essentials, such as firewood, ice, and other supplies.

  1. Milepost 51.2 on Skyline Drive is the location.
  2. Water, flush toilets, showers, and a dump station are among the amenities available.
  3. Click here for a map.
  4. Yes; visitRecreation.gov for further information.
  5. Season is from late March through the middle of November.

Dundo Group Campground

During peak camping season in Shenandoah National Park, Dundo Group Campground is a wonderful alternative if you’re searching for isolation, especially if you’re camping in Shenandoah National Park. This campsite is intended solely for group camping. Group campsites can accommodate groups of seven to fifteen individuals. Vault toilets are available on the premises. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. Bring your own drinking water because there is no potable water accessible.

  • Milepost 83.7 on Skyline Drive is the location.
  • Toilets in vaults, food storage lockers, trash/recycling bins, and non-potable water are available.
  • Reservations accepted?
  • RVs?
  • Season is from the beginning of May until the end of October.

Lewis Mountain Campground

Alternatively, Lewis Mountain Campground is an excellent choice if you’re searching for a more tranquil setting when camping in Shenandoah. Lewis Mountain Campground, like Big Meadows, is centrally placed, although it is the smallest of the Shenandoah campsites in terms of size. This offers you greater seclusion while still being in close proximity to famous tourist destinations. Along with several amenities, Lewis Mountain offers a camp shop, flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities for its guests.

Milepost 57.5 on Skyline Drive is the location.

Trash/recycling, food storage lockers, flush toilets, baths, laundry, and potable water are among the amenities.

No reservations are accepted; instead, this campsite operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Upon arrival, you will be able to self-register. Lewis Mountain does allow RVs; however, there are no power hookups available in the park. Time of year: from late March to the end of October Sites: Tents and recreational vehicles (RVs) are permitted at all 30 sites.

Loft Mountain Campground

Loft Mountain Campground is located on the southern edge of Shenandoah National Park on the slopes of Loft Mountain. Waynesboro, as well as a few hiking trails and waterfalls, are all within easy driving distance of the property. This campsite is similarly perched on a mountain, providing great views to the east and west from its location. Toilets and showers with running water are provided. There is also a dump station available for campers who are traveling in an RV. Campers may get help with everything they need from the people working at the camp shop or the campsite hosts on-site.

  • The cost is $15 per night.
  • Click here for a map.
  • VisitRecreation.gov.
  • : Yes, they do exist.
  • Sites: 207, with 50 of them being tent-only.

Mathews Arm Campground

Mathews Arm Campsite, located near the Front Royal gate, is the northernmost campground in Shenandoah National Park. This spacious campsite is conveniently located near town and has a few hiking trails. In spite of the fact that it has more than 150 campsites, it does not provide as many facilities as some of the other Shenandoah campgrounds offer. As a result, it has become somewhat less popular. If you need camping supplies or food, Elkwallow Wayside is a two-mile drive away and has both. Milepost 22.1 on Skyline Drive is the location.

  1. Trash/recycling, food storage lockers, flush bathrooms, an amphitheater, drinkable water, and a dump station are among the amenities.
  2. Reservations accepted?
  3. Camping with RVs is permitted; however, there are no power hook-ups at this location.
  4. Sites: 165, including three group sites among them.

Pin the Park Expert’s Shenandoah Camping Guide

Camping in Shenandoah National Park is a fantastic experience that can be had in a variety of settings. Gather your belongings, clean the tent or RV, and prepare to embark on an adventure. We hope that our Shenandoah camping guide has been helpful in determining where to camp in Shenandoah, Virginia. If you’d want even more information on visiting Shenandoah National Park, you may get it by clicking on the following link. Take pleasure in your journey!

7 Spots for Camping in Shenandoah National Park

You’re thinking of camping in Shenandoah National Park, right? You certainly should be! No matter if you’re an RV owner, a tent camper, or a fan of cabins, Shenandoah National Park offers a fantastic campsite to suit your needs. Both outside and inside the park, there are plenty excellent dining alternatives to consider. Do you desire peace, quiet, and solitude? There are campsites available for you immediately inside the park, in strategic areas for exploring. Want a resort with waterslides, heated pools, and off-the-hook amenities?

Then consider staying at Jellystone Luray, which is located just outside the park and offers a resort-style camping experience.

Looking for anything in the middle of these two extremes? TheLuray KOAmmight be the ideal solution in this situation. In and around Shenandoah National Park, there are a variety of excellent camping sites to choose from. To begin, let’s start outside of the park and make our way inside from there.

Campgrounds Outside Shenandoah National Park

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is located near Luray, Virginia. With regard to water features, activities, and family-friendly activities, Jellystone Luray is one of the greatest campsites in the country, according to the experts we spoke with. After a hard morning climb in the mountains, our sons look forward to returning to this campground to rest in the swimming pool. Although the mountains can be seen from here, it is only a few minutes’ drive to the National Park’s entrance. Don’t have access to an RV?

Prices, on the other hand, will be significantly more here than in the National Park.

Luray KOA

Luray KOAThis immaculately maintained KOA is a fantastic alternative for campers looking for full hookup sites for their RVs while yet enjoying a serene environment and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. For a KOA, the amenities and activities available to children are relatively restricted. Because it is a great place to throw a frisbee, play an outdoor game of ping pong, and mingle with your neighbors, we particularly enjoy the central green in the centre of the campsite. Aside from that, there are cottages available for rent.

Shenandoah River State Park Campground

For RV owners looking for a tranquil location without the hassle of towing their vehicles into the park, the Shenandoah River State Park Campground may be just the place to call home. You can view Shenandoah National Park to the east, and you may hire a canoe or launch your own directly inside the area. You can also hike around the park. Despite the fact that sites are big, obtaining one may be tough. If you want to guarantee yourself a space, make your reservation as soon as possible.

Campgrounds Inside Shenandoah National Park

National Park Service’s Shenandoah National Park’s northern part Located at mile marker 22.1 on Skyline Drive, Matthew’s Arm is a popular hiking destination. Overall Run Falls is a waterfall walk that begins near the campsite and ends at Overall Run Falls. This is an excellent location for tent camping, and there is a dump station available for RV owners who choose to stay within the park. Located on the northern terminus of Skyline Drive, Matthew’s Arm Campsite is the closest campground to the gateway hamlet of Front Royal.

Big Meadows Campground

Shenandoah National Park’s Big Meadows Campground is a great place to camp. Big Meadows is our particular favorite campground within the park, and we recommend it to everyone. Why? For the fact that deer pass through the campsite every night, and because there are beautiful sites for tent campers and RV owners alike. The campground’s close proximity to the Byrd Visitor Center and Big Meadows Lodge is a big plus for us. The campsite has a lonely and secluded vibe about it.

It is possible, however, to travel a short distance to the Lodge for supper or a beverage after an exhausting day of climbing. It is located at mile marker 51.2 on Skyline Drive, in the Big Meadows area. Located in the heart of Shenandoah National Park, the Central Section

Lewis Mountain Campground

Lewis Mountain Campground (placed at mile marker 57.5) is the smallest campground in the park, and it nearly appears to be a miniature replica of Big Meadows in appearance. It has a similar appearance to Big Meadows. However, it is also less complicated. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; however, there is no dump station for RVs. For tent campers who don’t care about being close to the Lodge for dinner or beverages, this might be the perfect location for you.

Loft Mountain Campground

The Shenandoah National Park’s southern section may be found here. Loft Mountain may take home the distinction for having the most beautiful amphitheater with mountain vistas in the National Park Service, according to some. This campground is incredibly stunning, with mountain views to the east and west, as well as to the south. There are two waterfall treks in the area. While you’re here camping, be sure to attend a ranger talk if possible. Loft Mountain may be found near milepost 79.5 on Skyline Drive, just north of Seattle.

  1. In addition to being one of the finest National Places of the Eastern United States, Shenandoah National Park is also one of the top “hiking” parks in our wonderful nation.
  2. Do you have any other suggestions for campgrounds in the area?
  3. Please click here to listen to an in-depth review of Jellystone Luray in its entirety!
  4. We’ll see you at the campground, then.
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See also:  How Must To Ship Tent Acrpss Country

Camping in Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah provides a diverse range of camping options, ranging from wilderness campsites and huts along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail to family-friendly campgrounds and RV parks. There are four campsites in Shenandoah National Park, all of which are located along Skyline Drive. The Mathews Arm Campground can be found at Milepost 22.1, Big Meadows at Milepost 51.2, Lewis Mountain at Milepost 57.5, and Loft Mountain at Milepost 79.5. The Mathews Arm Campground can be found at Milepost 22.1, Big Meadows at Milepost 51.2, Lewis Mountain at Milepost 57.5, and Loft Mountain at Milepost 79.5.

  • Reservations may be made in the Big Meadows, Loft Mountain, and Mathews Arm campsites, among other locations.
  • Although Shenandoah National Park does not have a campsite dedicated just to recreational vehicles, it does offer three sites that may handle big RVs.
  • Despite the fact that there are no connections, the campgrounds do provide potable water and waste disposal facilities.
  • Mathews Arm Campground (mile 22.1) is the closest campground for visitors entering the park from the northern entrance road.
  • A nature trail and a hiking route are also nearby.
  • The cost of a night’s stay is $15.
  • Big Meadows Campground is open from late March through the end of October.

A short stroll will take you to three waterfalls; the Meadow, with its profuse plant growth and fauna, will take you a few minutes longer.

Sites with no generators and sites for groups are available.

Lewis Mountain (mile 57.5), the park’s tiniest campground, caters to those seeking a bit more seclusion without trekking too far into the wilderness.

There are 31 spots available for $15 per night on a first-come, first-served basis.

Loft Mountain Campground (mile 79.5), the park’s largest campground, is located atop Big Flat Mountain and has spectacular views to the east and west.

The cost of a night’s stay is $15.

Camping in the Backcountry In Shenandoah, there is a surprising amount of wilderness that has been declared.

The park’s backcountry camping possibilities are plenty, whether you’re hiking down the Appalachian Trail, which runs 101 miles through the park, or taking one of the many side trails, where you may set up your tent pretty much anywhere you like.

While you will need to obtain a free permit, there is no reservation system or specified camping areas in the park (the exception being the A.T.

During business hours, visitors can get a permit at one of the visitor interaction stations.

If you are planning your visit far in advance (allow two full weeks), you may also get a permit by mail from the National Park Service’s headquarters.

Highway 211 EastLuray, VA 22835or fill out apermit application and phone (540) 999-3500 to get a permit.

Check out Shenandoah’s webpage on preparing a backcountry journey for more information to assist you with your trip preparations. On this website, you may learn more about the park’s backcountry rules and restrictions.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Virginia is home to the National Park Service. Shenandoah National Park, located just 75 miles from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C., is a region brimming with cascading waterfalls, stunning panoramas, meadows of wildflowers, and calm woodland hollows, among other things. Over 200,000 acres of protected grounds that are home to deer, songbirds, and black bear provide a plenty of opportunities for exploration. and the beginning of your trip is right here!

Camping and Day Use

  • Big Meadows Campground – Shenandoah (VA)
  • Dundo Group Campground
  • Loft Mountain Campground
  • Mathews Arm Campground
  • Big Meadows Campground – Shenandoah (VA)

Activities and Experiences

  • Auto touring, camping, climbing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and wildlife viewing are some of the activities available.


Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, west of Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is a popular tourist destination. It runs over 105 miles and has four openings: Front Royal (the northern entrance), Thornton Gap, Swift Run Gap, and Rockfish Gap. Front Royal is the northernmost of the four gates (southern entrance to Shenandoah and the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway). The Park’s administrative offices are located at the location given, not the actual park itself.

Additional Information

  • Shenandoah National Park Map
  • Shenandoah National Park Official Website
  • Shenandoah National Park Information Center

Photo Gallery

Everything You Need to Know About Camping in Shenandoah National Park is Contained Within This Document. Big Meadows Campground (Milepost 22.1) Mathews Arm Campground (Milepost 22.1) Mathews Arm Campground (Milepost 22.1) (Milepost 51.2) Lewis Mountain Campground is a great place to spend the night (Milepost 57.5) Loft Mountain Campground (Milepost 79.5) Dundo Group Campground (Milepost 79.6) Loft Mountain Campground (Milepost 83.7)

Can you camp anywhere in Shenandoah?

A permission to camp in the wilderness is necessary. To camp in the Shenandoah National Park’s backcountry, you must first get a free backcountry camping permit. Please make certain that your permit is entirely filled out. Before you can register, you will need to know your entire itinerary in order for this to be possible.

Can you pitch a tent anywhere in a national park?

Both yes and no. Most national parks permit “backcountry camping,” which is the same as “dispersed camping” or “boondocking,” but they only permit it in particular regions of the park. If you intend to camp in such a location, the National Park Service will allow you to set up camp anywhere you choose.

Is Boondocking legal in Virginia?

There is something for everyone in Virginia, from premium RV resorts to basic service public campsites. Virginia has something for everyone. Camping in dispersed Virginia RVs (boondocking) is permitted on USDA Forest Service properties for no charge.

What is the best campground in Shenandoah National Park?

The Best Campgrounds in Shenandoah National Park 3 reviews for 1 Rock Tavern River Kamp. 1 Rock Tavern River Kamp Big Meadows has 79 ratings and reviews. The Shenandoah/Lewis Mountain area has 28 ratings and reviews. Loft Mountain Campground has received 40 positive reviews. Downey Meadow has received three positive reviews. Shenandoah River State Park has received 35 positive reviews. Mathews Arm Campground has received 33 positive reviews. Misty Mountain Camp Resort has received 26 positive reviews.

Where should you not pitch a tent?

If possible, avoid putting a tent in a hollow area since they will become puddles if it rains.

Nothing is more terrifying than waking up in the morning and discovering that you are surrounded by water. As a result, avoid pitching your tent at the foot of hills or near streams.

What is special about Shenandoah National Park?

For example, unlike many western parks, which were established to preserve wilderness and natural features on land already owned by the federal government, Shenandoah National Park was established to allow lands that had been heavily used and were no longer needed for agricultural purposes to be restored to their natural state.

What is Shenandoah famous for?

The Shenandoah Valley is located between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in the western section of Virginia and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and it is the largest valley in the United States. The region is most recognized for its natural beauty as well as its involvement in the American Civil War.

Can you camp on the beach in VA?

When it comes to camping along the coast of Virginia, beach campers have a plethora of options to choose from, whether they choose to camp on secluded False Cape and Virginia Beach, or on the calm Eastern Shore, or even along enormous tidal rivers feeding the Chesapeake Bay. The only way to get to this Virginia state park if you want to camp overnight is by foot, bicycle, or boat.

Where can you camp for free in Virginia?

Virginia’s Best Free Camping Spots Vesuvius, Virginia. Oronoco Campground is a campground located in Oronoco, California. There have been 7 reviews. The Eastern Shore of Virginia Welcome Center is located in Cape Charles, Virginia. There have been 8 reviews. Little Fort Campground is located in Fort Valley, Virginia. There have been 6 reviews.

Is Shenandoah camping open?

During the season, all of our campgrounds are open from the beginning of spring until the end of October. On weekends and holidays, it is highly advised that you make a reservation.

What is the best time to visit Shenandoah National Park?

In the spring and on weekdays from June through October, the most pleasant times to visit are during these seasons. Without stopping, you should be able to travel the whole length of the Skyline Drive in roughly 3 hours, unless you get stuck in high traffic on peak autumn foliage weekends.

How much does it cost to camp in Shenandoah National Park?

Since 1939, visitors to Shenandoah National Park have been required to pay an admission fee. For the time being, the existing rates of $25 per car, $20 for motorcycles, and $10 for individuals have been in force since 2017. In all, 117 parks in the National Park System charge an admission fee, with this park being one of them. The remaining 300 sites are completely free to see.

Is Shenandoah National Park free?

The admission cost to Shenandoah National Park is generally $30 per car, $25 per motorbike, and $15 per individual, with each vehicle being allowed to stay for a maximum of seven consecutive days. It costs $55 to purchase an annual pass to Shenandoah National Park, which provides unrestricted entrance for one year to the pass owner and any guests traveling in the same vehicle.

Do I need bear spray in Shenandoah National Park?

If you have bear spray, use it immediately. If you intend to bring bear spray into the park, make sure you are familiar with its use before entering the park. In the unlikely event that you are attacked by a black bear, you should always defend yourself. Make an effort to concentrate your attack on the bear’s eyes and nose.

Is Shenandoah National Park worth visiting?

Why Is a Visit to Shenandoah National Park a Good Idea? We recommend visiting Shenandoah National Park in part because it offers a unique wilderness camping experience in a convenient location.

There aren’t many parks that provide the variety that Shenandoah does; you may participate in both relaxing and rigorous activities; the choice is yours! 5th of April, 2020

Is it legal to camp anywhere in a national forest?

The practice of free camping, often known as scattered camping, is permitted in all national forests, unless otherwise stated. You can locate camping spots along the sides of major roads, or you can travel farther afield by following forest access roads (which are generally gravel or dirt) to more secluded locations. The usual guideline is to set up camp 100-200 feet away from any road, path, or water source, depending on the circumstances.

What does Boondocking mean?

At our opinion, boondocking is the option to camp off-grid, away from the services and conveniences that can be found in RV parks and planned campsites. It’s a more peaceful method of camping, and it frequently takes us to stunning locations for days or even weeks at a time.

How much is it to camp in Shenandoah?

Individual RV and tent camping spaces are available for $15 per night. There are no group camping areas available. All of the campsites are non-electric, which means there are no hookups. The Lewis Mountain Resort also includes 15 mountain chalets that may be rented from mid-June to the end of November.

Can you sleep in your car in Shenandoah National Park?

Parking at Shenandoah National Park during the night Except in authorized camping places, you are not permitted to sleep in your car anywhere within the Park, as is the case with most national parks.

How many days do you need in Shenandoah National Park?

In an ideal world, I would spend at least 3-4 days in the park on each visit, but I understand that not everyone has the luxury of doing so. Two days in Shenandoah can be a wonderful way to get to know the area and its people.

Where can I camp for free in Moab?

Camping is available for free in Moab. The Manti LaSal National Forest is located in northern Utah. Road with a yellow circle on it. Willow Springs Road is a residential street in the city of Willow Springs. The Road of the Gemini Bridges. Canyon Road is a long stretch of road. Area of Lone Mesa. Mineral Point is located on BLM 340.

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