Wilderness Weekend

Thornton hollow with Fall foliage

NPS | Neal Lewis

Shenandoah National Park Celebrates Wilderness!
September 7, 2019

Celebrate America's wilderness heritage during Shenandoah National Park's 19th annual Wilderness Weekend. One of the largest wilderness areas in the eastern United States, Shenandoah's wilderness offers opportunities for solitude, scenic views, wildlife sightings, and glimpses into the past. Gaze into Shenandoah's wilderness from Skyline Drive or experience wilderness on the trail.

Shenandoah's wilderness was designated by Congress in October 1976. Forty percent of the park, almost 80,000 acres, is wilderness. Areas preserved as wilderness provide habitats for wildlife, sites for research, reservoirs for clean, free-flowing water, and sanctuaries for human recreation. Today more than 109 million acres of public land across the United States are protected in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

The film American Values: American Wilderness explores wilderness across the United States, and can be seen upon request at both Dickey Ridge and Byrd Visitor Centers throughout the day.

At Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6), visitors can enjoy the interactive wilderness exhibit and a special interpretive program on the topic of wilderness at 11 a.m.

At Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51), visitors can explore exhibits and enjoy hands-on activities including our highly regarded traditional tool display and demonstration, an interactive "wilderness campsite," and educational activities on wilderness exploration and rescue. Between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., the Dog's East organization will present a special demonstration by highly trained search and rescue dogs at the Big Meadows Amphitheater

Special commemorative Wilderness Weekend passport stamps will be available at both Dickey Ridge and Byrd Visitor Centers.

All events are free and no reservations are needed, however, there is a $30-per-vehicle entrance fee to Shenandoah National Park, which is good for seven days or use a valid Annual or Lifetime Pass.

Last updated: August 27, 2019

Contact the Park

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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