Don’t let anyone tell you that daydreaming is counterproductive – especially when you’re daydreaming about escaping into nature.
A crowded email inbox and ringing phone can wait when you’re mentally planning your next trip to Shenandoah National Park. So picture it now – message pings are replaced with the sounds of rustling leaves and the glare from your computer screen with rays of natural sunlight. Instead of a crowded commute to the office, you can take a tranquil morning walk through the forest.
Everyone needs a break from the real world, and you’ll find that perfect getaway with three full days in the beauty of the Shenandoah area.
Dreaming up a Shenandoah National Park itinerary? Whether this is your first time to Shenandoah or your 100th, we have suggestions tailored to fit a range of interests and experience levels.
Here is our perfect Shenandoah National Park Itinerary!
Tips For Visiting Shenandoah National Park
- Best time to go: September through November comes with mild weather and vivid fall leaves. March through May is also a great time to visit, as the wildflowers are in full bloom.
- Shenandoah National Park entrances:
- Front Royal (Northernmost Entrance): Mile 0.6
- Thornton Gap: Mile 31.5
- Swift Run Gap: Mile 65.7
- Rockfish Gap (Southernmost Entrance): Mile 105.4
- Reserve everything early. It can get busy during peak season – so get your reservations in early to ensure your spot and save yourself some time. You can purchase everything from your park pass to your camp spot in advance online.
- March to the beat of your drum. The popular hikes are great, but try a hidden gem trail for all the sights with significantly fewer crowds.
- Bring your pets! Shenandoah National Park is incredibly pet-friendly – so consider bringing your favorite adventure buddy along for the adventure.
- Cell services can be hard to come by. Make sure to download all your essential hiking and camping info while you still have service.
Is there anything better than a cozy cabin or roomy glamping tent that overlooks a stunning river? We don’t think so.
Whether you are looking to enjoy creature comforts or get close to nature, our Shenandoah National Park lodging ensures you never miss a moment of the surrounding Shenandoah beauty.
With full kitchens, cozy living rooms and easy access to the river and hiking trails, our cabins near Shenandoah National Park include everything you need to feel comfortable during your visit.
Our Shendadoah glamping tents will upgrade your standard camping experience with picnic tables, yard games, cozy porches and furnished canvas tents.
While there is no shortage of camping spot options in and around Shenandoah National Park, we recommend you get your camping reservation in as soon as possible. Here are some popular camping spots to consider!
Interested in backpacking through Shenandoah National Park? Check out our best Shenandoah backpacking tips here!
Shenandoah National Park Itinerary
Day 1 – Hiking Day
Day one should be your grand entrance into Shenandoah’s rocky overlooks, rolling hills and tree-top vantage points. This park has over 236 hiking trails, ranging from simple strolls to long overnight excursions.
No matter what type of first impression of the park you want on this trip, there is a trail that meets your needs! From loops to out-and-backs to waterfall trails and more, you will have a great time selecting your first Shenandoah hike.
Want some help narrowing the options down? See our favorite stunning views, iconic hikes and hidden gem trails in Shenandoah National Park here!
Day 2 – Shenandoah River Rafting
Spend your second day taking on the Shenandoah River!
We recommend a kayak or Shenandoah rafting trip for a raucous day of whitewater and exhilarating fun. For a more relaxed day paddling and enjoying calm water, a tubing, Shenandoah canoe or SUP trip will hit the spot every time.
With easy transportation to and from the river and quality rentals, your day on the water will be fun, stress-free and as easy as pie with Front Royal Outdoors.
Day 3 – Scenic Drive
When your muscles are tired from hiking and rafting, it’s time to sit back, throw on your favorite albums and enjoy the endless beauty of Shenandoah National Park by car.
Here are just a few of our favorite drives in and around Shenandoah that are incredibly gorgeous in the fall but offer stunning views year-round.
Looking for more fun things to do near Shenandoah National Park? Here are even more recommendations!
No matter what you’re in the mood for, there is an ideal Shenandoah National Park itinerary for you. Want help planning a great activity before or after your park adventure? Front Royal Outdoors is your ticket to having a blast on the Shenandoah River this year!