Shenandoah National Park Adventure

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4?12
Activity level
Starting from
$1,699 for REI Members
$1,869 for non-members
Departures Jul 2020-Oct 2021

Soar through treetops, float the Shenandoah River and hike Shenandoah National Park?s most gorgeous trails on this 4-day adventure.

With a cultural history as rich as its spectacular pastoral and mountain scenery, Shenandoah National Park offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature while traveling in the footsteps of centuries of humankind. Only 75 miles from Washington, DC, the park was a favored oasis for politicians from Herbert Hoover to Jimmy Carter. Since then, outdoor enthusiasts have relished its rippling mountain streams, tumbling waterfalls, verdant valleys, miles of forested trails, and the inspiring views that go on for days.

Our Shenandoah National Park adventure makes the most of what this gorgeous region has to offer. Enjoy spectacular views from the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point in the park. Feel the mist of no less than six waterfalls along Whiteoak Canyon Trail. Hike through deep caverns filled with underwater streams and anthodite formations. Soar over a canopy of old growth on a zipline tour of the forest, then splash through the waters of the picturesque Shenandoah River. And at each day?s end, tuck into a hearty meal prepared by our accomplished guides before falling asleep under a sky full of stars.

Open trip gallery
See all trip photos

Trip Highlights

  • Summit Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point within Shenandoah National Park
  • Frolic in the swimming holes and tumbling waterfalls of Whiteoak Canyon
  • Explore the deep recesses of remarkable Skyline Caverns
  • Soar over the forest on a zipline with views across the Shenandoah Valley
  • Enjoy a float along the crystal clear waters of the Shenandoah River

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be capable of hiking 5-8 hours each day (up to 11 miles) with as much as 3,000' elevation gain and loss. Zip-lining is suitable for beginners. The zipline component of this adventure requires participants to be at least 70 pounds but no more than 270 pounds. Rafting is suitable for beginners, although comfort in/around water is recommended. Trip members must be under 300lbs. Rafting is on rapids classified I-II whitewater.

  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • Zip-lining

What's Included

Any park or other admission fees or permits, guides; round trip transportation from Fairfax, VA to all destinations visited during the trip; all meals and snacks from lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 4; see trip gear list for details on gear provided during this adventure.

Accommodations

Established campsites, 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

A scenic journey along Skyline Drive before summiting Hawksbill Mountain

Meet your guides and traveling companions at 10:30am this morning in Fairfax, Virginia. The guides give a brief orientation for the days ahead before we hop in the provided shuttle for a 2.5-hour drive along historic Skyline Drive to the Hawksbill Mountain trailhead. From there we set off on our quest to summit Hawksbill Mountain. At 4,050?, it?s the highest point in Shenandoah National Park. A little later we reach our first waterfalls and cascades on a short hike up Dark Hollow Falls. The day wraps up at Big Meadows Campground where we enjoy a hearty meal prepared by our guides before climbing into our sleeping bags for the night. Lunch and dinner included.

Hiking: Up to 3 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,235? / -1,235?; Van transfer: 3 hours

Day 2

Feel the spray of tumbling waterfalls on a hike up Whiteoak Canyon

We wake to the smell of coffee and the sounds of the forest this morning. After a hearty breakfast we?re off to explore Whiteoak Canyon. Known for its prolific concentration of waterfalls, creeks and crystal-clear swimming holes, the trail offers many welcome opportunities to cool off during hot Virginia summers. The canyon?s wide variety of water features also makes it a beloved destination for hikers. In between the splashing, the selfies, and the soaking in of all the beauty, we take a breather to enjoy a picturesque picnic lunch. After a few more peaceful miles in the canyon we head back to camp for another night of great food and endearing company. All meals included.

Hiking: Up to 10.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,408? / -2,408?; Optional hiking: 1.1 mile, Elevation gain/loss: Minimal

Day 3

Explore Skyline Caverns before ziplining above the forest canopy

This morning we work together to break down camp before hopping in our shuttle for a 1.5 hour van ride to our next adventure. With some of the longest and oldest anthodite formations in the world, Skyline Caverns offers a unique visit into a series of colorful caves. Our cavern host teaches us about the special circumstances that contribute to these geologic masterpieces. Later this afternoon we get our heart pumping on a series of ziplines, rappels, and bridges that soar over the hardwood forests of the Shenandoah Valley. Finally, after our full day of Appalachian adventure, we set up our new camp along the soothing Shenandoah River. All meals included.

Canopy tour: 8 ziplines, 1 rappel, 2 bridges; Van transfer: 1.5 hours

Day 4

Float down the picturesque South Fork of the Shenandoah River

Today we round out our Shenandoah adventure with a fantastic float down the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Our method of transportation down the Class I or Class II rapids will be determined by river conditions and the recommendation of our expert river guides. But regardless of vessel, this route promises incredible views, as the South Fork is ideally situated between the banks of the Massanutten Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. Later this afternoon we get back on the road for a 2-hour van ride to Fairfax, VA, where we bid our final farewells.

We estimate arriving back in Fairfax around 5:30pm today. But this time may vary depending on group pace, trail conditions, weather, traffic and other factors beyond our control. To be safe, don?t book travel out of the Fairfax area until after 8pm. Breakfast and lunch included.

River float: 4?6 hours; Van transfer: 2 hours

Gear List

This gear list has been created to help you choose the best equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff. The weather and other conditions at the time of your arrival will dictate what clothing and equipment you will be required to use each day and what (if anything) can be left behind. It may be a necessary precaution that you bring certain items on the list, even if it is uncertain whether or not they will be needed.

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.