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 7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,074’ / -2,060’; Optional hiking: 0.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: Minimal; Van transfer: 25 minutes
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
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: 3 hours