This trip is rated Moderate . 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 zip-line component of this adventure requires participants to be at least 70 pounds but no more than 250 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.
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 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
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
This morning we work together to break down camp before hopping in our shuttle for a 30 minute van ride to our next hike from Mary’s Rock to Thornton Gap. Later this afternoon we get our hearts pumping on a series of 7 ziplines, for a total of 2,700ft of line racing through the forest canopy at up to 35 miles an hour. Finally, after our full day of Appalachian adventure, we set up our new camp along the soothing Shenandoah River. This evening we can partake in an optional 1.4 mile hike to the Shenandoah River Overloop. All meals included.
Hiking: 3 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +792 / -1,372’; Canopy tour: 7 ziplines; Van transfer: 1 hours
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 Herndon 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 Herndon area until after 8pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
River float: 4–6 hours; Van transfer: 2 hours