Driving Skyline Drive

 
 
A curve on Skyline Drive with yellow and orange Fall foliage.
 

Learn and Explore

The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the Park. It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the Park on a clear day.

Skyline Drive is generally open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. If it's closed due to inclement weather, you may still enter the Park on foot at one of the entrance stations or from a boundary access point.

 

Entering the Park on Skyline Drive

You can enter Shenandoah with your vehicle at only four places along Skyline Drive:

Front Royal Entrance Station near Rt. 66 and 340

Thornton Gap Entrance Station at Rt. 211

Swift Run Gap Entrance Station at Rt. 33

Rockfish Gap Entrance Station at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway).

If there are no staff at the entrance stations when you first arrive at the Park, you may proceed into the Park and pay your fee when you exit. Remember, your fee dollars go towards projects that have direct benefits for the visitors!

Basic Facts About Skyline Drive

As you travel along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the west side of the road (right side if you are traveling south, left if you are heading north). These posts help you find your way through the Park and help you locate areas of interest. The miles begin at 0 in Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the Park. The largest developed area, Big Meadows, is near the center of the Park, at mile 51. All Park maps and information use these mileposts as a reference.

The speed limit is 35 mph, so feel free to roll down your windows, feel the breeze, and experience every curve and turn of this beautiful drive. There are nearly 70 overlooks that offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east.

Be sure you will clear Marys Rock Tunnel (mile 32.2), with a maximum clearance of 12'8". RVs, camping trailers, and horse trailers are welcome, but be prepared to shift into low gear.

Deer, black bear, wild turkey, and a host of other woodland animals call Shenandoah home and regularly cross Skyline Drive in their daily travels. Watch carefully for these animals who may dart across your path without warning. At 35 mph, you'll stand the best chance of a fun and exciting wildlife encounter rather than an unpleasant wildlife experience. If you want a closer look, be sure to pull completely off the road and stay in your vehicle.

Last updated: October 7, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835

Phone:

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

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