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Shenandoah National Park Adventure – Under 35

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$999 for REI Members
$1,099 for non-members
Departures May 2022-Oct 2022

Hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, paddleboard the Shenandoah River, and camp amongst the rolling hills of Shenandoah National Park.

Discover Shenandoah National Park with a group of like-minded adventurers on this fun-filled 3-day journey designed especially for travelers aged 18-35 (but anyone over 18 can join!).

Shenandoah National Park beckons us to explore its natural beauty where bears roam the hollows and brook trout navigate the tumbling streams. Only 75 miles from Washington DC the park is set along Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and includes more than 100 miles of the iconic Appalachian Trail. Outdoor enthusiasts relish in a park brimming with rippling mountain streams, tumbling waterfalls, verdant valleys, miles of old-growth forested trails, and views that stretch for miles.

We’ll enjoy spectacular views from the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point in the park. We’ll feel the mist of over six gorgeous waterfalls along Whiteoak Canyon Trail. We’ll try some of the best ciders coming out of the local apple orchards. We’ll splash through the waters of the picturesque Shenandoah River on our paddle boards. And, finally, at the end of each the day we’ll enjoy a hearty meal prepared by our expert professional guides before falling asleep under a sky-full of stars.

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Trip Highlights

  • Summit Hawksbill Mountain - the highest point within Shenandoah National Park
  • Play in the swimming holes and tumbling waterfalls of Whiteoak Canyon
  • Feeling the spray of a waterfall along Keyser Run
  • Paddle board along the crystal-clear waters of the Shenandoah River
  • Enjoy a hand-crafted Virginia cider tasting

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. Paddle boarding is suitable for beginners, though comfort in/around water is recommended. Paddling is on a river with rapids classified I–II whitewater. Trip members should be capable of paddling 3–5 hours.

  • Hiking
  • Paddle Boarding

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 3; cider tasting on Day 2; see trip gear list for details on gear provided during this adventure

Accommodations

Established campsites, 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Skyline Drive and Hawksbill Mountain

Meet your guides and traveling companions this morning in Herndon, 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 and scenic Skyline Drive to the Hawksbill Mountain trailhead. We head out on a section of the Appalachian Trail and summit Hawksbill Mountain. At 4,050’, it’s the highest point in Shenandoah National Park and offers a 360-degree view of the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Virginia Piedmont. 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: 5.3 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,494’ / - 1,307’; Van transfer: 3 hours

Day 2

Waterfalls, swimming holes and ciders!

We wake to the smell of coffee and sounds of the forest this morning. After a hearty breakfast we’re off on an exploration of White Oak Canyon. Known for its prolific concentration of waterfalls, creeks and crystal clear swimming holes the trail offers the chance to cool off during the heat and humidity of summer. In between splashing, selfies, and stopping to absorb the beauty of the area we’ll take a breather for a picturesque picnic lunch. Later, we head to a cider tasting as the orchards of Virginia are well known for their hand-crafted ciders. Tonight, we relax at camp for another night of great food and awesome company. All meals included.

Hiking: up to 10.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,408’ / -2,408’; Optional hiking: 1.1 mile, minimal elevation gain/loss

Day 3

Paddle boarding the Shenandoah River

This morning we hike out to spectacular Dark Hollow Falls cascading 70 feet down the side of the mountain. Our adventure continues with a stand-up paddleboard trip on the Shenandoah River. We stick to calm waters and choose the route based on current river conditions and the recommendation of our expert professional river guide. Our route promises incredible views with the backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, along with Great Blue Herons and turtles basking in the sun. Later this afternoon we head to the Front Royal Brewing Company to celebrate our adventure over dinner and brews. We are back on the road for our 1- hour transfer to Herndon, Virginia where we bid our final farewells.

We estimate arriving back in Herndon about 8:00pm today. But please note this time may vary depending on group pace, river conditions, weather, traffic, and other factors beyond our control. To be safe, do not book travel out of the Herndon area until after 10:30pm today. All meals included

Hiking: 1.1 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +378’ / -378’; SUP Paddle boarding: 3-5 hours, ~ 7 miles.

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.

    Terms & Conditions

    • Offer valid on selected REI adventure travel trips booked 11/27/2021, 12:01am to 12/6/2021, 11:59pm Pacific Time.
    • Offer is valid only for published 2022 departures of Shenandoah National Park Adventure, Shenandoah National Park Adventure Lodge to Lodge Hiking, Shenandoah Park Backpacking, Shenandoah National Park- Under 35.
    • Space is limited. Offer valid until trip capacity is reached.
    • Offer is not transferable and not redeemable for cash.
    • Offer may not be combined with any other discount or promotion.
    • Pricing may vary by date. Discount applies to trip base price only. Discount does not apply to any additional fees, extensions, or services.
    • 20% discount applies on top of REI member and non-member pricing. REI membership is required to receive member pricing.
    • Not a member? Get a lifetime membership for a one-time fee of $20 at https://www.rei.com/membership/benefits.
    • REI adventure travel trips are not eligible for the REI member dividend.
    • To order by phone, call 1-800-622-2236 | Monday-Friday, 7am through 5pm PT.