Shenandoah National Park Operating Hours & Seasons
Shenandoah National Park never closes, it’s open all of the time, every hour of the day and every day of the year. The only public road which runs through the park is Skyline Drive, and parts of Skyline Drive are at the mercy of the weather at some times of the year, as well as being closed at night-time during the deer hunting season which runs from the middle of November until early in January. Even if Skyline Drive is closed visitors are more than welcome to enter Shenandoah National Park on foot for a spot of hiking.
The majority of the facilities in Shenandoah National Park are open from some time in March until late in November when they close down for the winter.
Shenandoah National Park Seasons
Shenandoah National Park really does change with each season with plenty of exciting new things to see at each time of the year. Well known for the bright and colorful foliage in the fall, it’s also pretty enchanting during the spring (and less crowded) when the trees and wildflowers are in full bloom. During the summer time you can enjoy the lush greens and comfortable temperatures, with temperatures ranging quite dramatically depending on your elevation at the time. Winter time ranges from rain in the lowlands to a beautiful blanket of snow and ice in other parts of the park. Beautiful clear blue skies, bare trees glistening in the ice and snow, it really is a sight to behold on a bright, crisp winters day.
Whenever you visit Shenandoah National park you really do have to be prepared for a change in the weather. Lots of layers are advisable during the winter and remember that many of the parks facilities are closed so you’ll have to take everything with you. Remember to carry plenty of water with you in the summer, and check out the forecast before making the trip to see whether any lightning is expected.
Shenandoah National Park Visitor Centers
- Dickey Ridge Visitor Center – is 4.7 miles along Skyline Drive and opens daily from 6 April through to 3 November between 8.30am and 5pm. From 4 until 25 November the visitor center is open except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it also closes for Thanksgiving Day.
- Byrd Visitor Center – is 51 miles along Skyline Drive and opens every day from 30 March through to 25 November, between 8.30am and 5pm
Shenandoah National Park Picnic Areas
- Dickey Ridge Picnic Grounds – 4.7 miles along Skyline Drive is open between 6 April and 25 November, depending on the weather.
- Elkwallow Picnic Grounds – 24.1 miles along Skyline Drive is open all year round.
- Pinnacles Picnic Grounds – 36.7 miles along Skyline Drive is open all year round.
- Big Meadows Picnic Grounds – 51.2 miles along Skyline Drive is open between 30 March and 25 November, depending on the weather.
- Lewis Mountain Picnic Grounds – 57.5 miles along Skyline Drive is open from 6 April through to 4 November, depending on the weather. This picnic ground opens and closes with the campground and store.
- South River Picnic Grounds – 62.8 miles along Skyline Drive is open all year round.
- Dundo Picnic Grounds – 83.7 miles along Skyline Drive is open all year round.
Hmm, seems he fancies a picnic too. Make sure that you clean up all of the food scraps and take them with you.
Other Shenandoah National Park Facilities
- Elkwallow Wayside – where you can stock up on food, gasoline, gifts and camping gear is 24 miles along Skyline Drive and is open from 20 April through to 4 November.
- Skyland Resort – is open for food, lodging and gifts from 29 March through to 2 December, 41.7 miles along Skyline Drive.
- Big Meadows Lodge – is open for food, lodging and gifts from 16 May through to 4 November, 51.2 miles along Skyline Drive.
- Big Meadows Wayside – is open for food, gifts, camping gear and gasoline from 23 March through to 25 November, 51.2 miles along Skyline Drive.
- Lewis Mountain Cabins and Campstore – opens between 6 April and 11 November for lodging, gifts and a selection of camping supplies, 57.5 miles along Skyline Drive.
- Loft Mountain Wayside – is open between 27 April and 4 November, 79.5 miles along Skyline Drive for food, gifts, camping supplies and gasoline.