October weekends are our busiest time. Campgrounds are fully booked for 2019. There are some first-come, first-served sites but those fill quickly and usually by Thursday evening. We will try to communicate status via social media on Thursdays and Fridays on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
PLEASE NOTE: You must be at the campground in person to get a first-come, first-served site. You cannot reserve a site by calling the park directly. We have a very high volume of calls this time of year, so monitoring via social media is the best way to track campground status.
Wondering what's up with the color in Shenandoah? We've devised several ways to keep you posted, but remember: the Park is over 100 miles long and spans a wide elevation range. Fall color conditions can vary dramatically from area to area. Weather affects the color from day to day and even hour to hour. It is impossible to predict a peak. However you experience fall color in Shenandoah, know that what you see is a unique snapshot of an ever-changing, living forest.
If you want to consult the experts on the topic, check out one of the fall color prediction maps available online, like this fall foliage map from SmokyMountains.com.
Tips for Visiting in Fall
2019 Fall Color Updates
October 31As fall begins to wind down, there is still plenty of color throughout the park. Plan ahead! Thornton Gap and Front Royal entrance station will continue to be impacted with high traffic during the weekends.
October 24The colors are popping! Fall is in full effect with most trees changing colors. You may notice a difference in some parts of the park due to the varying elevation.
October 17Some noticeable change is starting to take effect! Reds, oranges, and yellows are peaking through - especially at the higher elevations.
October 10Still mostly green, but a bit of rain and plunging temps this week should help. Looks like we might even get our first frost this weekend.
October 3Seeing a little more color, but still mostly green. Color is very localized--just random vibrant trees here and there. Probably the biggest snap is the bright red Virginia creeper that stands out against the gray tree trunks all along Skyline Drive. We desperately need rain. Last week's shower was less than a inch, and while we are thankful for any amount, we need more!
Here's a grid of the photos we've taken so far so you can see the difference from last week to this week. The top is Dickey Ridge at mile 4.6, the middle is Tanners Ridge Overlook at mile 51.5, and the bottom is Ivy Creek Overlook at mile 77.5. Thanks so much to our photographers: Jodi Davis, Lara Ellis, and Paula Keeter!
September 30Woohoo!! It's raining! It's been so horribly dry, and while this won't fix the situation entirely, it's so nice to get some moisture in the air. AND!! The forecast is for much cooler temperatures next weekend. We have to get through a hot spell on Wednesday, but we hope between the rain today and cooler temps coming, the color will get a bit of a jump-start.
Don't forget to join us for our Livestream on Thursday at 2:00 for an update! And please post your own photos on our social media!
September 26, 2019
We've had a few welcome dips in the thermometer that have served as a reminder that fall is on its way. As you can see from the photos, it's still mostly green, but there are a few over-anxious trees sprouting some bright hues here and there!
What we really need ASAP is some rain! For lots of reasons! Rain would help a lot with more vibrant color. If this continues, we run the risk of the leaves just turning brown and falling off!
Last updated: October 31, 2019