Driving Skyline Drive

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

NPS/Lewis

 

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive is generally open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Inclement weather may necessitate closure of Skyline Drive at any time. Please call the park's recorded information line: (540) 999-3500, 1, 1 for the most current Skyline Drive status.

You may still enter the park on foot if Skyline Drive is closed. For suggestions for hiking when the Drive is closed click here.

 

Entering the Park on Skyline Drive

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. You can enter Shenandoah at only four places:

Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340

Thornton Gap at Rt. 211

Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33

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

Check out our page on driving directions to the Park.

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 a direct benefit for the visitors!

 
Milepost on Skyline Drive
Milepost along Skyline Drive.

NPS

Basic Facts about Skyline Drive

As you travel along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the west side (right side if you are traveling south) of the road. These posts help you find your way through the park and help you locate areas of interest. The mileposts begin with 0.0 at 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 milepost 51. All park maps and information use these mileposts as a reference. Here is a driving map of Skyline Drive.

The speed limit is 35 mph, so you can roll down your windows, feel the breeze and experience every curve and turn of this beautiful drive. There are 75 overlooks that offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east.

Note: RVs, camping trailers, and horse trailers are welcome, but be prepared to shift into low gear. Also, be sure you will clear Marys Rock Tunnel (just south of Thornton Gap entrance from Route 211) at 12'8".

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 Drive and stay in your vehicle. Remember it is unlawful to feed the wildlife.

Check out the facilities schedule so you know what it is open in the Park before you arrive. Facillities tend to be limited during late fall and winter.

Last updated: January 18, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835

Phone:

(540) 999-3500

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