Shenandoah National Park Adventure

Trip Length4 Days
Group Size4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$1,799 for REI Members
$1,979 for non-members
DeparturesJun 2024-Oct 2025

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. 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.

White tailed deer are just one of the 50 mammal species who call Shenandoah National Park home.

Trip Highlights

  • Summit Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point within Shenandoah National Park
  • Frolic in the swimming holes and tumbling waterfalls of Whiteoak Canyon
  • 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


This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be capable of hiking 5-8 hours each day (up to 10 miles) with as much as 2,100' 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. Kayaking and rafting are suitable for beginners, although comfort in/around water is recommended. Trip members must be under 300lbs. Paddling is on rapids classified I-II whitewater.

  • Hiking
  • Kayaking

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 lunch on Day 4; see trip gear list for details on gear provided during this adventure


Established campsites, 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Shenandoah National Park Adventure
Day 1

A scenic journey along Skyline Drive before summiting 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 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 to 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: 8-10 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,074' / -2,060'; Van transfer: 25 minutes

Day 3

Explore Big Meadows, Big Rock Falls, and Zip Line through the Canopy

We rise early this morning in anticipation of adventure to come! After a quick breakfast in camp, we depart for Big Meadows. These early morning hours in the meadow are incredibly peaceful and give us the opportunity to spot wildlife. Once through the meadow we descend into the forest towards Big Rock Falls and on to historic Rapid Camp. After a morning of exploration, we load into our van and head towards our zip line tour. We get our hearts pumping on 7 ziplines and 2,700' of line racing through the canopy at up to 35 miles per hour. Tonight, we settle back into camp for an expertly crafted dinner. After dinner we chase the sunset on a short walk out to Blackrock Overlook, one of our favorite places to relax, unwind, and watch the sun fall below the horizon. All meals included.

Hiking: 4.7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +782'/-1020'; Canopy tour: 7 ziplines; Van transfer: 2 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 Herndon, VA, where we bid our final farewells. Breakfast and lunch included.

River float: 4-6 hours; Van transfer: 3 hours

*Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions.

Itinerary map for Shenandoah National Park Adventure

Gear List

We provide

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.

Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.