Drinking Water

A close up of a water spigot in the middle of a campground.
Frost free hydrant

NPS Photo

 

Did you know that the average person drinks one quart of water per hour while hiking on a hot day? It's important to plan ahead and bring plenty of water whenever you plan on being outside in order to avoid dehydration. While you may use the water fountains during the warmer months in some of the developed areas of the Park, you'll need to plan ahead if you will be spending any time on a trail or in the backcountry, or if you plan on visiting the Park in the winter.

Although the Park may have natural sources of clean, potable water, most springs and water sources along the trails are unprotected and susceptible to contamination by disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, infants, young children, and older adults are at increased risk of illness.. For this reason, with the exception of developed water fountains and marked water spigots within the Park, all water should be purified before it is used for drinking, cooking, food preparation, handwashing, brushing teeth, or washing dishes.

To purify water, simply boil it for at least two minutes, use a chemical treatment (purification tablets), or filter it through a portable water filtering system. If you choose to use purification tablets or a water filter system, follow the manufacturer's directions. Dishes, clothes, and hands should be washed well away from the water supply.

The tables below are updated periodically.

 

Water Sources along the Appalachian Trail

Mile

Source Location

Comments

5.3

Indian Run Maintenance Building Area

Piped; steady flow; shallow pools (8/14/23)

9.9

Hogwallow Flats

No water located (8/14/23)

14.3

Gravel Springs Hut

4.3 liters/min; Steady flow; scoopable pools (7/8/24)

19.4

Range View Cabin

Piped; 2 liters/min; steady flow; moderate pool (9/14/23)

20.7

Elkwallow Gap (below picnic area)

Piped; 1.1 liters/min; slow flow, no pool (9/14/23)

24.3

Beahms Gap (38.697266,-78.322227)

No flow; very shallow pool (9/14/23)

26.4

Pass Mountain Hut

Piped; 5 liters/min (9/4/23)

34.7

Byrds Nest #3 (access road near Drive)

Piped; 30 liters/min (7/2/24)

44.3

Hawksbill Gap

Pipe not located; dry, no water found (7/20/23)

45.6

Rock Spring Hut

Piped; 2 liters/min (7/2/24)

57.1

Bearfence Mountain Hut

No flow, shallow pool (6/30/24)

59.8

Pocosin Cabin

Piped; ~1 liter/min (7/2/24)

63.1

South River Maintenance Building

Low flow; scoopable pool (8/16/23)

Swift Run Gap Stream (38.35680° N, 78.54665° W)

No water (9/2/23)

Hightop Box Spring

Piped; very slow flow; box is full, deep pool (9/2/23)

69.5

Hightop Hut

Piped; 2 liters/min (6/30/24)

77.7

Pinefield Hut

Piped; minimal flow, shallow pools (6/30/24)

81.4

Ivy Creek Maintenance Building

Piped; >7 liters/min (9/1/23)

85.7

Doyles River Trail near cabin

Piped; low flow; shallow pool (7/22/23)

90.9

Blackrock Hut

Piped; 2 liters/min (6/9/24)

97

Jarman Gap (38.09698° N, 78.77819° W)

Little to no flow (8/10/23)

97.4

38.09100° N, 78.78226° W

No flow; shallow pool (7/19/23)

98

Calf Mountain Hut

Piped; 1.25 liters/min; shallow pool (10/14/23)

Water Sources along Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive mile

Water Source Location

Water Availability

4.8

Dickey Ridge VC/Picnic area

frost free hydrant (PA year round, VC seasonal)

22.1

Piney River Maintenance Office

frost free hydrant (year round)

24

Elkwallow Picnic Area

frost free hydrant (year round)

31.6

Thornton Gap Entrance Station

frost free hydrant (year round)

31.6

Panorama

frost free hydrant (year round)

36.7

Pinnacles Picnic area

frost free hydrant (year round)

42

Skyland area

frost free hydrant (stables area) (year round)

51

Big Meadows area (2)

frost free hydrant (Maintenance area/Visitor Center comfort station – both are year round)

57.8

Lewis Mtn. CG and Picnic area

Intermittent (shut off for winter)

65.4

Swift Run Entrance Station

frost free hydrant (year round)

73.1

Simmons Gap area (2)

frost free hydrant (Trails cache / Maintenance area - both are year round)

80

Loft Mtn CG and Wayside area

Intermittent (shut off for winter)

Additional Water Sources

Nearest Trail

Source Location

Water Availability

Saddle Trail
(Old Rag)

Old Rag Day Use Shelter

1.1 liters/min (6/9/24)

Last updated: July 9, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835

Phone:

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

Contact Us