Summer in Shenandoah


The typical summer season in Shenandoah National Park is from June through August, with average temperatures around 65°F, although hotter temperatures are not uncommon.

With the warmer weather, nothing quite beats summer. School is out and vacation mode is in full swing, so it's time to take advantage of those longer days with a trip to Shenandoah. If you're thinking about seeking out the mountains for some respite, here are a few things to consider before heading our way:


Avoid the Crowds

At the trailhead: warmer weather tends to bring larger crowds to the Park. 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, it's time to move on to another trail. Use this busy time of year to look for the hidden gems that are less traveled!

At entrance stations: the two most northern entrances, Front Royal and Thornton Gap, are the busiest and have the longest waits. Try a nice circuit trip south through the lowlands on Route 29 to the east or on Route 340 to the west to Swift Run (Route 33) or Rockfish (Route 64) entrance stations, and then return via the Skyline Drive.

At campgrounds: all of our campgrounds book quickly during the summer, although there are some first-come, first-served sites available. You cannot reserve a first-come, first-served site by calling the Park directly; you must be at the campground in person.

Summer Weather

Although temperatures can be 10oF cooler in the Park than in the surrounding valley, the weather can still get very hot and humid during the summer months. In order to stay safe and comfortable while out and about, it's important to plan ahead and bring plenty of drinking water, for you and your pets, whenever you plan on being outside in order to avoid dehydration. Keep in mind that the average person drinks one quart of water per hour while hiking on a hot day. And don't forget the other items essential for beating the summer heat: sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses!

Wildlife Safety

Our wildlife is more active with the warmer weather, too! Since they tend not to pay attention to crosswalks, it's important to observe the speed limit while driving Skyline Drive. You should also make sure that you know what to do if you encounter bears, snakes, ticks, or other wildlife while out on the trail. Doing so will help to ensure that you have a safe, enjoyable wildlife viewing experience.

Summer Special Events

Shenandoah's annual Night Sky Festival, SNPA seminars, and more! Browse the list below for what's happening this season.

June 3nd | National Trails Day | Visitor Centers
June 18th | Go Fishing Day | Visitor Center at Big Meadows
June 18th | Stroll back in time to a CCC camp and meet the president | Byrd Visitor Center
June 28th | The Illustrated Journal | SNPA Seminar

July 16th | Stroll back in time to the original Stony Man Camp | Skyland Lodge
July 25th | Painting in the Park Seminar | SNPA Seminar

August 4th | Fee Free: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act | All National Parks
August 11th - 13th | Night Sky Festival | Parkwide
August 19th | Basic Night Sky Photography in SNP | SNPA Seminar

September 2nd - 3rd | Wilderness Weekend | Visitor Centers

A group of visitors on a wildflower walk gathered around a ranger.
Special Events

Check out this year's special events here!

A large group of people hiking on a mountain top full of boulders and rocks.
Old Rag Pilot Project

Day-use tickets are required to hike Old Rag. Click here for information.

Ranger shows visitors where to go on a map.
The Basics

From hours and fees to the weather and directions: everything you need to know to get started.

Yellow flowers scattered throughout a meadow in front of an overlook into the valley below.

Last updated: July 5, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


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

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