Winter in Shenandoah
As the leaves fall from the trees and cooler temperatures improve visibility, valleys below and mountains beyond are more spectacular than ever. Experience the quiet solitute of winter in Shenandoah National Park.
You'll also have a better chance of seeing woodland animals like deer, squirrels, and turkeys as they forage for food. Foxes and bobcats are also active through winter. Snow in the mountains makes it fun and easy to see who's out and about. Look for tracks of mice, rabbits, and other animals.
Listen and look for Shenandoah's winter birdlife. Chickadees, nuthatches, and a host of woodpeckers will be searching for seeds and berries or peeking under bark for hard-to-find insects.
A crisp, winter visit is just one more way to experience Shenandoah.
Scroll down for tips to help you enjoy Shenandoah National Park in the winter months.
Know Before You Go
Shenandoah National Park is always open. However, the lodging and food services, campgrounds, and most other facilities are closed from late November - March, with the exception of Byrd Visitor Center at mile 51 which is open weekends (Fridays through Sundays). Check the current operating hours and seasons.
Portions of Skyline Drive, the only public road through the park, are periodically closed during inclement weather and at night during deer hunting season. Visitors can still enter the park on foot for hiking or backcountry camping even when Skyline Drive is closed. Please call the park's recorded information line: (540) 999-3500, 1, 1 for the most current Skyline Drive status.
Hiking When Skyline Drive is Closed
Be sure to observe a few important safety tips:
Picnicking and Restroom Facilities Along Skyline Drive
Status from December through March, from north to south. (Park Map, pdf, 480kb).
Winter Safety-Be Prepared!
Winter in Shenandoah is unpredictable. Temperatures are usually 10 to 20oF cooler than in the lowlands and weather conditions can change quickly. What comes down as rain below can be ice and snow on the mountain.
Telephones are located along Skyline Drive at the following locations. Emergency phones connect directly to the park emergency services number: (800) 732-0911
There are also emergency phones at two popular access points along the park boundary:
Last updated: August 18, 2017