Spring in Shenandoah

 
A close up of two green leaf buds sprouting from a tree branch.
 

The typical spring season in Shenandoah National Park is from the middle of March through the end of May, with average temperatures ranging from 35°F in March to 55°F in May.

Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings. Leaves begin to show up on trees that have been bare all winter long, and pops of color can be seen among the brown leaf litter as wildflowers spring forth with the warmer weather. Wildlife that have been tucked away during the colder months begin to reappear, and a wide array of migratory bird species take refuge in Shenandoah during their long trip north. Facilities and services within the Park also begin to open for the season, and more visitors take to the trails to stretch their legs after a long winter. While our tips for visiting Shenandoah apply throughout the entire year, here are a few more things you should know before visiting in the spring:

 

Wildflowers

We get pretty excited about wildflowers around here, and a trip to Shenandoah in the spring will show you why! With over 862 species found within the Park boundaries, there are plenty of reasons to come see the show for yourself. Wondering which flowers bloom when? Check out our wildflower calendar to help you plan accordingly.

May 6 - May 7, 2023 is Wildflower Weekend in Shenandoah. Check out this year's schedule for walks, talks, and more.

Spring Weather

Spring temperatures in Shenandoah National Park can vary dramatically from day-to-day. While warm spells can bring temperatures upwards of 70°F, it is not uncommon to get winter storms that bring significant snowfalls in March. Knowing that the weather this time of year can be so unpredictable, it's always a good idea to check the forecast before you come to the Park so that you'll know what to pack. Temperatures are usually 10oF to 20oF cooler in the Park than in the lowlands, and weather conditions can change quickly. Dress in layers, and don't forget that raincoat to keep you dry during those spring showers!

Birds

Spring is also one of the best times to go birdwatching in Shenandoah. Migratory bird species are beginning to show up in the Park, and you usually have the best chance of seeing them before the the trees are fully leafed out. Birdwatching is a great way to enjoy the warmer weather with the whole family!

Hiking

Hiking trails can get quite crowded with the warmer, longer days of spring. For the best chance of avoiding crowded trails and full parking lots, try to visit Shenandoah during the week. If a parking area is full, move on to a trail that is less crowded. Check out our list of lesser-known day hikes to help you find some solitude!

Special Events

Spring also marks the return of special events in Shenandoah! Check out our calender for ranger programs and more.

April 22nd | Fee Free: First Day of National Park Week | All National Parks
April 22nd | Junior Ranger Day | Events at both visitor centers
April 22nd - 30th | National Park Week | All National Parks
May 6th - 7th | Wildflower Weekend | Parkwide
May 20th | Kids to Park Day | Visitor Centers


 

Last updated: March 17, 2023

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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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