Shenandoah National Park Hiking – Lodge-Based

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 12
Activity level
Starting from
$2,499 for REI Members
$2,749 for non-members
Departures May 2023-Oct 2023

Spend four days hiking the highlights and hidden gems of Shenandoah National Park while sleeping in comfort at two historic park lodges. We handle the logistics and move your luggage so you can enjoy fully guided, point-to-point hikes.

This journey into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains reveals Shenandoah National Park’s natural beauty, rich cultural history, and incredible vistas. Point-to-point hikes enable us to explore more fully. We summit the park’s highest peak, visit President Hoover’s private retreat, and cool ourselves in the spray of waterfalls. You may even catch glimpses of black bears foraging, hear the call of wild turkeys, or see salamanders plodding along in the undergrowth. Each night we stay in unique, historic lodges with views that can’t be beat. After a strenuous day on the trail, nothing is better than a delicious meal and a soft bed!

By the end of this four-day trek you’ll understand the history of the park’s creation, appreciate the challenges of hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and have a newfound appreciation for this region’s charm. If you’re ready for this one-of-a-kind experience, join us on the trail!

The Shenandoah River provides dramatic contrast to dense lowland forests.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore beautiful Shenandoah National Park with fellow hikers and expert guides
  • Learn to identify native species of plants and animals in their wild habitat
  • Visit some of the most iconic waterfalls Shenandoah has to offer
  • Spend each night in a unique and comfortable Shenandoah National Park lodge
  • Discover the storied history and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountain region

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Trip members should be capable of hiking 5-8 hours each day (up to 9 miles) with as much as 2,800’ of elevation gain and loss. Trails can be rocky with short water crossings and significant elevation changes throughout the day.

  • Hiking

What's Included

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

Accommodations

Historic National Park lodges, 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Shenandoah National Park Hiking – Lodge-Based
Day 1

Welcome to Shenandoah National Park and hike to Overall Run

Meet your guides and fellow hikers this morning for a short introduction and orientation. We load into our van and set off for Front Royal, the gateway into Shenandoah National Park and the start of our adventure. After a quick stop in Front Royal to fuel up with a hot drink or delicious local pastry we hit the trail in Thompson Hollow. Today’s hike takes us on a steady climb towards Overall Run Falls, at 93 feet Overall Run Falls is the highest drop of any waterfall in Shenandoah National Park. We continue towards Elkwallow Wayside where we’ll be whisked off to the Skyland Resort. The Skyland Resort was built in 1895 on the site that would later become the highest point on Skyline Drive at 3,680 feet. Sunset views from the lodge’s balconies and restaurant are sure to leave a lasting impression. Lunch and Dinner included.

Hiking: 6.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,242’/-723’; Van transfer: 2 hours

Day 2

Delve into Whiteoak Canyon and summit Hawksbill Peak

We start the day with a delicious breakfast and watch as the fog burns away opening to spectacular views of the Shenandoah Valley. After breakfast we check out of Skyland and head to our next hike. Just across Skyline Drive is one of Shenandoah National Park’s most iconic hikes to Whiteoak Canyon Falls, where we can hike along a series of waterfalls. We keep our eyes peeled for wildlife and soak in each new waterfall along the way. From Whiteoak Canyon we traverse across to Hawksbill Summit, the highest point in Shenandoah National Park at 4,050 feet. A more varied and beautiful hike would be hard to come by! At trail’s end we have a short transfer to Big Meadows Lodge, our home for the next two nights. All meals included.

Hiking: 8.7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,745’/-2,613’; Van transfer: 15 minutes

Day 3

Dark Hollow Falls, Historic Rapidan Camp, Big Rock Falls, and a Cookout

Enjoy a hearty, healthy breakfast at Big Meadows Lodge before hitting the trail for a day of chasing waterfalls. Today we hike directly from our lodge and head out towards Dark Hollow Falls and on to Rapidan Camp. Rapidan Camp was built by President Herbert Hoover in 1929 as a retreat where he could go and relax and talk with trusted friends and advisors. From Rapidan Camp we hike to Big Rock Falls and are reunited with Skyline Drive at Milam Gap. Our guides will then transfer us to the Lewis Mountain Picnic Area where we enjoy a guide prepared meal and have more time to relax and enjoy the ambiance of Shenandoah National Park. All meals included.

Hiking: 8.4 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,681’/-1,968’; Van transfer: 25 minutes

Day 4

Skyline Drive and Hiking Dickey Ridge into Front Royal

Today is our final day in Shenandoah National Park, but the adventure is not over. After breakfast we depart Big Meadows for a scenic drive on the most iconic section of Skyline Drive. What trip to Shenandoah is complete without enjoying Skyline Drive? Our hike today starts near Lands Run Gap and has us hiking parallel with Skyline Drive on Dickey Ridge towards the entrance to Shenandoah National Park and Front Royal. Today we relish views of the Shenandoah Valley and river, lush meadows, and a long gradual descent to the park’s entrance. Tonight, we have dinner in historic Front Royal, an incredibly quant town that was a focal point during the Civil War. We expect to return to our host hotel between 8:30-9:30pm. All meals included.

Hiking: 8.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,114’/-2,518’; Van transfer: 2.5 hours

Itinerary map for Shenandoah National Park Hiking – Lodge-Based

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.

Already booked this trip? Sign into your online traveler profile for a more detailed list of what you'll need.

REI members can shop for gently used gear online or at most REI stores. Members can also trade in pre-loved used gear online or at any REI store in exchange for REI gift card credit. Check out Re/Supply at REI to learn more.

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (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.