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Gravel Springs Gap Parking Area No matter which entrance to Skyline Drive you use, we meet at the parking lot at Milepost 17.6. What is Skyline Drive? The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park. You can enter Shenandoah at four places: Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33, and Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway). It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day. As you travel along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the west side (right side if you are traveling south) of the road. These posts help you find your way through the park and help you locate areas of interest. The mileposts begin with 0.0 at Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the park. The largest developed area, Big Meadows, is near the center of the park, at milepost 51 (Where We Meet for Todays Event). All park maps and information use these mileposts as a reference. The speed limit is 35 mph, so you can roll down your windows, feel the breeze and experience every curve and turn of this beautiful drive. There are 75 overlooks that offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east. The park purposely leaves the roadsides unmowed so wildflowers put on a show all year long. In early spring you can see trillium peeking through the grass. June's display of azaleas is spectacular, and cardinal flower, black-eyed susans, and goldenrod keep the color coming right into fall. Deer, black bear, wild turkey, and a host of other woodland animals call Shenandoah home and regularly cross Skyline Drive in their daily travels. Watch carefully for these animals who may dart across your path without warning. At 35 mph, you'll stand the best chance of a fun and exciting wildlife encounter rather than an unpleasant wildlife experience! If you want a closer look, be sure to pull completely off the Drive and stay in your vehicle. Remember it is unlawful to feed the wildlife. Need to Know How to Get to Skyline Drive? Step 1: Decide Which Entrance Works Best For You Depending On Where You Are Coming From

Shenandoah National Park is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia just west of Washington, D.C. and stretches 105 miles from its northern entrance at Front Royal to its southern entrance near Waynesboro. Click Here to see a map of the entire area which shows all entrances, including the little used, Swift Run Gap Entrance which is an additional Central entrance that is better for some people depending on where they are coming from.

• Front Royal (Northern Entrance)

Accessible via I-66 and Route 340. Northern District: Front Royal to Thornton Gap and Covers Skyline Drive mile 0 to mile 31.5. Click here for a map of the north area of Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park that shows all of the hikes in this area so you can decide which entrance you wish to use to get to this hike. See the next section on this page for customized driving directions to this area once you decide which entrance you would like to use for getting there.

• Thornton Gap Entrance (GPS Coordinates: 38.660959, -78.320761) Thornton Gap is One of Two Central Entrances), the Other One is Swift Run Gap. Most people in our group use Thornton Gap as it is the one best for coming from the DC or Baltimore areas

Accessible via Route 211. Central District: Thornton Gap to Swift Run Gap and covers Skyline Drive mile 31.5 to mile 65.5 Click Here for a map of the Central District area of Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park that shows all of the hikes in this area so you can decide which entrance you wish to use to get to this hike. See the next section on this page for customized driving directions to this area once you decide which entrance you would like to use for getting there.

• Swift Run Gap (One of Two Central Entrances)

Accessible via Route 33 accessible via Route 211. Alternate Central District Access: Swift Run Gap puts you on the drive at mile 65.5 Click Here for a map of the Central District area of Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park that shows all of the hikes in this area so you can decide which entrance you wish to use to get to this hike. See the next section on this page for customized driving directions to this area once you decide which entrance you would like to use for getting there.

• Rockfish Gap (Southern Entrance for Skyline Drive/SNP and is Also the Northern Entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway

Accessible via I-64 and Route 250 (South District: Swift Run Gap to Rockfish Gap (Skyline Drive mile 65.5 to mile 104.6) Rockfish Gap is also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Click Here for a map of the Southern District area of Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park that shows all of the hikes in this area so you can decide which entrance you wish to use to get to this hike. See the next section on this page for customized driving directions to this area once you decide which entrance you would like to use for getting there.

Step 2: Once You Have Decided Which Entrance Works Best for You, Here Are customized Directions for How to Get There

While our hike directions assume you are looking for the quickest way to reach the trailhead I am VERY often contacted by members asking if there is another way to enter the park where can enjoy a leisure drive to and from where they are hiking. Take note that no matter where you enter the park, there are over 70 pull overs and they all allow you to turn around and head either direction so you are not stuck on a one way road, yay! So, your choice of how to get to the hike does not limit any driving and enjoying or the overlooks after your hike if you want to take in some fantastic sights!

 

Depending on How Much Driving You Wish to Enjoy Along Skyline Drive , You Can Use the Northern Entrance (near Front Royal), the Central District Entrance (near Sperryville), or the Southern Entrance (near Waynesboro)

How to Get to Skyline Drive From Washington, D.C. Metro Area

To North Entrance - Travel west on Interstate 66 to Front Royal, Virginia (62 miles). Take exit onto Route 340 South and follow signs for Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. For customized driving directions from where you are coming from to this entrance, Click Here for Google Driving Directions.

 

To Thornton Gap Entrance (Thornton Gap: 38.660959, -78.320761)  - Travel west on Interstate 66 to exit 43A (32 miles). Take US Highway 29 South to Warrenton, Virginia (11 miles). Take US Highway 211 West to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive (28 miles). For customized driving directions from where you are coming from to this entrance, Click Here for Google Driving Directions!

How to Get to Skyline Drive From Richmond, Virginia Area

To Southern Rockfish Entrance - Travel west on Interstate 64 to exit 99 (87 miles) and follow signs to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. For customized driving directions from where you are coming from to this entrance, Click Here for Google Driving Directions!

 

To Swift Run Gap Entrance - Travel west on Interstate 64 to Charlottesville, Virginia (65 miles). Take exit to US Highway 29 North (14 miles). Turn left onto US Highway 33 West and follow 14 miles to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. For customized driving directions from where you are coming from, to this entrance, Click Here for Google Driving Directions!

How to Get to Skyline Drive From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Area

To North Entrance - Travel east on Interstate 76 to exit 161 (105 miles). Take Interstate 70 East to US Highway 522 South (25 miles). Follow 522 to VA-37 South (24 miles) to Interstate 81 South (7 miles). Follow I-81 South 9.5 miles to Interstate 66 East. Take I-66 to Front Royal, Virginia (7 miles). Follow signs to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. For customized driving directions from where you are coming from, to this entrance, Click Here for Google Driving Directions!

Public Transportation: There is no public transportation to, or in, Shenandoah National Park. NOTE: Please remember to take the leader(s) number(s) with you but please respect the fact that we are all volunteers and there is often no cell coverage at trailheads and varies according to service provider. If you call very close to hike time, please understand that we are very busy with pre-hike preparations for ourselves in addition to group sign in, pre-hike briefing, and then leading the hike. It is also very difficult to provide instructions to someone while following them too, hence providing very detailed directions on this separate page. Leaders are advised to not answer phones once a hike is started so we don't miss a turn on the trail due to the distraction of a call. Thank you for your understanding and see you there!

 

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