Shenandoah National Park

Next Trip: June 2019

Trip Rating: Strenuous Maximum Daily mileage: 6-10
Terrain: Mountainous hikes with rocks and roots
Elevation gains: Up to 1,000 feet - altitudes higher than 5,000 feet
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Dip your toes in mountain streams.

For one amazing week, leave urban life behind. Treat your spirit and body to a tranquil wilderness haven and outdoor adventure.

  • Hike a stretch of the famed Appalachian Trail and meet some of its hardy thru-hikers.
  • Delight in tumbling waterfalls and cascading streams, framed with brilliant azaleas.
  • Hike verdant forests and discover breathtaking mountain vistas.
  • Glimpse the park’s black bears…and perhaps cubs.
  • Kayak the Shenandoah River or horseback ride.
  • Enjoy your private balcony overlooking the Shenandoah valley.

Get lucky and see a black bear ... and cubs!

Hike to the top of the world.

Shenandoah itinerary highlights…

Day 1

Fly into Washington’s Dulles International Airport and let us drive you to Big Meadows Lodge, our mountaintop oasis. Enjoy panoramic views from your private balcony or patio. Savor great food in the lodge restaurant, and the sunset from rocking chairs in the lodge’s Great Room.

Savor wine, cheese, and a Shenandoah sunset
from a mountainside meadow

Day 2

Hike five miles along a gentle stream that winds through fern-blanketed woods. Then perch on a rock outcrop to watch the stream plunge into a canyon, savoring the views and peace. After dinner at the lodge, enjoy wine, cheese, chocolate, and the Shenandoah sunset from a mountain meadow.


Day 3

Hike four miles in a sun-dappled forest along a sparkling river that tumbles, pools, and beckons your toes. Then step back in time as you watch a gentle stream cascade down the cliff … and learn Native Americans stampeded buffalo over this cliff to gather winter food and supplies. Continue to walk through history in a pioneer cemetery, which paints a poignant picture of the challenges in early Appalachian settlements. Enjoy afternoon free time. Then, after dinner in Big Meadows’ dining room, gather around a campfire to roast s’mores and tell stories.

Play in a waterfall!

Day 4

Hike the legendary Appalachian Trail - choosing between a five or seven-mile section. Revel in great mountain vistas, lush flora, and thru-hikers you’ll meet along the trail. We’ll visit a shelter where thru-hikers bunk, and read the sweet and funny notes written by these hikers in the shelter’s trail journals. Dinner is at Skyland Lodge, where we’ll watch local cloggers put on a show.

Day 5

Join us for a morning hike into the lush Appalachian wilderness to view a wispy 80-foot waterfall. Then, choose how you’d like to spend the afternoon: Learn about the area’s rich heritage and history at the visitor center … Take a guided one-hour horseback ride … Read on your balcony … Join us for a seven-mile paddle on the crystal-clear Shenandoah River (suitable for beginners and experienced kayakers). Dinner is at Big Meadows Lodge.

Savor gorgeous waterfalls and ...
 

Day 6

Hike five miles on the leader’s favorite trail, where you can frolic under a waterfall, rock-hop across streams, and feel tiny next to ancient trees. Our last evening’s dinner is on the way home from our hike.

Day 7

Enjoy your last morning in Shenandoah. Then let us drive you to Dulles airport for your flight home, feeling Savor gorgeous waterfalls and … refreshed, adventurous, and strong.

... sweeping mountain vistas.

The trip includes*:

  • 6 nights at Big Meadows Lodge, in the heart of dramatic scenery and great hikes. Rooms boast private balconies/patios with valley views.
  • Guided hikes by experienced leaders.
  • Transportation throughout the week.
  • Shuttles to and from Dulles airport, within designated time frames.
  • Mountainside wine and cheese at sunset.
  • Campfire and s’mores.
  • Park entrance fees and permits.
  • Photo CD memento of the trip.
  • Guided discussions, based on nature, that foster warm friendships and help you view nature and yourself in new ways.
  • Informational booklet packed with tips on what to bring, fun facts about the area, detailed itinerary, and hiking tips.

* Prefer to room solo? Add $630 for a single-room upgrade (room availability allowing).

Testimonials:

“This week-long trip changed my life. I saw gorgeous scenery and I saw a newfound physical, emotional, and spiritual strength within me. Thank you. ” ~Anonymous

“This has been a week that I’ll never forget. ” ~Bambi

“The trip went beyond my expectations in setting, in friendship, in your leadership, in spiritual encouragement, in every way. I loved it! ” ~Eagle B.

“Thanks for the adventure of a lifetime! ” ~Peppermint Patti

“I cannot imagine a better week at this point in my life. Your leadership and sweet spirit have been such a blessing to me, and the trip itself has renewed my faith and my confidence in myself! Thank you! ” ~Ranger