Air Quality

A photograph looking out towards New Market Gap from Skyland, blanketed in haze. A photograph looking out towards New Market Gap from Skyland, blanketed in haze.

Left image
Looking out from Skyland towards New Market Gap on a low visibility day.

Right image
Looking out from Skyland towards New Market Gap on a clear day.


Shenandoah National Park is one of only 49 Class I air areas managed by the National Park Service and is afforded the highest level of protection under the Clean Air Act. Air quality is fundamentally important to the preservation of natural and cultural resources and values. Clean air contributes to the ecological health of the park’s flora and fauna, and is critical for visitor health and the preservation of the parks extensive vistas. View our Air Quality Webcam and see real-time weather and air quality information: NPS Air Resources: Shenandoah National Park Webcam

The air quality program encompasses a wide range of activities that are dedicated to measuring levels of air pollution. Park staff, in cooperation with NPS Air Resources Division, maintains a sophisticated air quality monitoring station near Big Meadows to measure air quality in Shenandoah National Park. The Park’s air quality monitoring program has three primary components: visibility, atmospheric deposition, and ozone monitoring. In addition, meteorological monitoring is conducted to aid in interpreting measured air pollution levels. To find and view our data collected at Big Meadows: Live Weather and Air Quality Data.

Air quality at Shenandoah has been a significant concern over the past four decades and the park and its partners have made tremendous strides in reducing air pollution. Most parameters including ozone, sulfur, and visibility are showing improving trends while nitrogen is neither improving nor declining. Changes in regulations in the Clean Air Act have helped clean up the air. There is still plenty of work that needs to be done but we are headed in the right direction. Find out more about the Park’s air quality conditions and trends.

The National Park Service is committed to upholding its affirmative resource stewardship responsibilities under the Clean Air Act through continuation of a strong monitoring and research program, and through resource-efficient regional planning. The National Park Service is also involved in educational efforts, implementation of environmental leadership activities, and providing review and comment on proposed new or modified sources of air pollution.


Air Quality Interactive Feature

In this virtual field trip of Shenandoah National Park, you will visit several locations that highlight the importance of clean air. As you explore you will learn how park scientists study air quality and about its effects in the Park.


Last updated: October 21, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


540 999-3500
Emergency Phone: 1-800-732-0911

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