Directions to Shenandoah National Park

English: Shenandoah National Park Map

English: Shenandoah National Park Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shenandoah National Park is in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia . . . . . on the trail of the lonesome pine . . . sorry, I couldn’t resist that one, I went all musical for a minute. Anyway, it’s a pretty big place close to Washington DC – which is 75 miles away – but the park actually stretches out for more than 100 miles from the entrance in the north (Front Royal) to the entrance in the south (close to Waynesboro).

Just take a look at the map, I know the image is a bit large but like I said, it’s more than 100 miles.

Anyway, there are a total of four different entrances to Shenandoah National Park plus a number of other gateway communities with services on offer, so your directions to the park really depend on which entrance you’re heading for. I’ll try to explain!

The four main entrances to Shenandoah National Park are at;

  • Front Royal – which is accessible from I-66 and Route 340
  • Thornton Gap – which is accessible from Route 211
  • Swift Run Gap – which is accessible from Route 33
  • Rockfish Gap – which is accessible from Route 250 and I-64 – this is also an entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway – the northern entrance.
Driving to Shenandoah National Park
From Metro Area, Washington DC
  • North Entrance – take I-66 west as far as Front Royal, Virginia (a distance of 62 miles) then take the exit onto Route 340 south and keep on following the signs until you reach Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive.
  • Thornton Gap Entrance – take I-66 west as far as exit 43A (a distance of 32 miles), then take US Hwy 29 south as far as Warrenton, Virginia (a distance of 11 miles), then Hwy 211 west for the final part of the journey to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, a distance of 28 miles.
From Virginia Area, Richmond
  • South Entrance – take I-64 west for 87 miles until you reach exit 99 then simply follow the signs for Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.
  • Swift Run Gap Entrance – take I-64 west as far as Charlottesville, Virginia, a distance of around 65 miles, then take the exit to Hwy 29 towards the north for 14 miles before heading left on Hwy 33 west for a further 14 miles when you will reach Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.
From Pennsylvania Area, Pittsburgh
  • North Entrance – take I-76 east for 105 miles to exit 161, then I-70 east as far as US Hwy 522 south (a distance of 25 miles). Stay on the 522 for a further 24 miles to VA-37 south to I-81 south (another 7 miles), then follow the I-81 south for around 9 miles to I-66 east. Take the I-66 as far as Front Royal, Virginia, a distance of 7 miles then follow the sign posts to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.
Flying to Shenandoah National Park
If you live a little too far away to drive to Shenandoah National Park, you can always fly to the area and then pick up a rental car. These are the closest major airports to Shenandoah National Park;
  • Washington Dullies International Airport ((IAD) – which is around 56 miles from Front Royal
  • Reagan International Airport (DCA) – which is approximately 70 miles to the west of Front Royal
  • Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) – which is around 27 miles to the east of Swift Run Gap
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO) – which is around 31 miles to the west of Rockfish Gap

 

 

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