3655 Hwy 211 East
Luray, VA 22835
Information Line: (540) 999-3500
Gazing across the horizon from the peaks of
Shenandoah National Park it's hard to believe you are
just 75 miles from the bustle of our nation's capital. Take
Drive along the crest of the mountains through the woods
and past spectacular vistas. Hike in the shade of oak trees
along the Appalachian Trail, discover the stories from Shenandoah's
past, or just relax in the wonder of wilderness.
View Larger Map
The park passes through parts of eight counties.
On the west side of
Skyline Drive they are, from northeast to
Warren, Page, Rockingham, and Augusta counties. On the
east side of
Skyline Drive they are Rappahannock, Madison,
Greene, and Albemarle counties. The park stretches for 105 miles along
Skyline Drive from near the town of Front Royal in
the northeast to near the city of Waynesboro in the southwest.
lies along the
Blue Ridge Mountains in north-central Virginia.
These mountains form a distinct highland rising to elevations above
4,000 feet, local topographic relief between the
Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley
exceeds 3,000 feet at some locations. The crest of the range divides
Shenandoah River drainage basin, part of the
Potomac River drainage, on the west side, from the James and
Rappahannock River drainage basins on the east side.
Rocks exposed in the park are among the oldest
in Virginia dating to over one billion years in age. Bedrock in the
park includes Grenville-age granitic basement rocks (1.2-1.0 billion
years old) and a cover sequence of metamorphosed Neoproterozoic
(570-550 million years old) sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the
Swift Run and Catoctin formations and early Cambrian (542-520 million
years old) clastic rocks of the Chilhowee Group. Quaternary surficial
deposits are common and mantle much of the bedrock throughout the
The park is located along the western part of
the Blue Ridge anticlinorium, a regional-scale Paleozoic structure at
the eastern margin of the Appalachian fold and thrust belt. Rocks
within the park were folded, faulted, distorted, and metamorphosed
during the late Paleozoic Alleghanian Orogeny (280 to 330 million
years ago). The rugged topography of
Blue Ridge Mountains is a result of differential
erosion during the Cenozoic, although some post-Paleozoic tectonic
activity occurred in the region.
Park Features Include: