Appalachian Trail Lodge-to-Lodge Trek in Shenandoah National Park
We’ll stay at beautifully situated lodges every night while hiking the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park without having to carry a large backpack as our luggage will be transported for us.
must be at least 18 years old+
Washington DC / Dulles Airport
Casual and Comfortable hiking clothes and shoes
Tours (see tour details)
International and internal flights
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Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
TRANSFER FROM DULLES (IAD) AIRPORT TO LURAY.
If you are flying in, plan to arrive Dulles Airport by 3p.m. Group transfer via ground transportation, 90 min. drive to our accommodations on the outskirts of Shenandoah National Park. If you are driving, you can meet us at our lodging. We will gather for a welcome dinner to introduce ourselves and begin our trip orientation.
HIKE FROM SOUTH RIVER FALLS PICNIC AREA TO LEWIS CABINS.
After a hearty breakfast we pack up and head for the Swift Run Gap Entrance of the park. The hike today is a lovely section with great overhead canopy. It is one of the easier parts of the trail, fairly level with just enough up and down to be interesting, so it makes a good place to start. Our destination today, The Lewis Mountain Cabins, are historic rustic cabins (they all have indoor plumbing) and since we will be occupying most of them, we will enjoy the quiet of the area. Mileage today: 8.3 miles
HIKE LEWIS CABINS TO BIG MEADOWS.
Our destination today is Big Meadows. We start with a gentle ascent of Bearfence Mountain. We have a choice between taking the Bearfence Mountain Scramble Loop (weather permitting) which is an amazing hands and feet scramble up basalt rocks to a 360-degree view. Alternatively, there is a very pleasant side trail. Next is Hazeltop Mountain (about a 600-foot elevation gain) and a mile walking along the ridge, the "green tunnel" that the AT is known for. We descend to Milam Gap to continue on the AT and hike directly to Big Meadow Lodge from Milam Gap. Mileage today: 8.4 miles
HIKE BIG MEADOWS TO SKYLAND LODGE.
Before continuing our hiking today, we will pay a visit to the Visitor's Center at Big Meadows where we can tour the exhibits, watch the park movie, and purchase souvenirs. We will then continue on the AT to Skyland Lodge - but it would be a shame not to take a couple of the blue-blazed trails that detour to panoramic overlooks. One in particular, the Salamander Trail, leads to the top of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest peak and widely considered to have the best views in the park. We then descend to the Hawksbill area and continue via the AT to our lodging. Tonight's dinner will be in the dining room at Skyland which has a lovely panoramic view overlooking the valley below. This time of year, there is often entertainment during the dinner hours as well. Mileage today: 8.5 miles
HIKE FROM SKYLAND LODGE TO MARY'S ROCK, RETURN FOR FINAL DINNER IN LURAY.
This is our last hiking day today so we will go out in style, as we hike to as many beautiful vistas as possible in one day. We will start with a detour off the AT on a blue-blazed trail, the Stony Man Nature Trail. This gentle trail leads to the top of Stony Man with a view over the valley to the Massanutten Mountains beyond. We will then continue to Pinnacles Picnic area. After lunch we will shuttle north to Meadow Springs and ascend to the AT again via the Meadow Spring Trail and continue to our last amazing spot of the week - Mary's Rock, with its many varied folk tales. Backtracking to Meadow Spring Trail again we will descend to the van for the short drive to our accommodations outside the park. After a chance to clean up, we will go into town for a final dinner in celebration of our 4-day and roughly 32 mile trek on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park! Mileage today: 7.4 miles
VISIT LURAY CAVERNS, ON TO DULLES (IAD) AIRPORT.
But wait, there's more! If you grew up on the East Coast, you have undoubtedly heard of Luray Caverns, which is advertised by countless ugly billboards. So, you know it is a tourist trap, but what you may not know is that the Caverns are really cool and definitely worth a visit. We will take the hour-long tour before driving back to the airport for our afternoon flights back home.
COST: $1,900 per person double occupancy
$375 single supplement
DEPOSITS: $500 refundable deposit due July 15, 2020
BALANCE DUE FINAL PAYMENT: September 1, 2020
From time of payment to 30 days prior to arrival = 20% cancellation fee
From 29 – 22 days prior to arrival = 25% cancellation fee
From 21 – 15 days prior to arrival = 40% cancellation fee
From 14 – 7 days prior to arrival = 60% cancellation fee
From 6 – 3 days prior to arrival = 75% cancellation fee
From 2 day prior to arrival = 100% cancellation fee
- five nights double occupancy accommodations (single supplement available)
- all transportation during the trip, starting and ending at Dulles Airport (IAD)
- all meals from dinner on Day1 through breakfast on Day 6
- entrance fees to Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns
- flights to and from Dulles (IAD) airport in DC
- alcoholic beverages
- travel insurance
This trip is suitable for anybody who either enjoys hiking or is new to hiking and wants to learn in a safe and fun environment. While the trail ups and downs are not huge (i.e less than 1000 feet at a time), they are continuous and there is little flat. A rating of 3.5 requires aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. There are typically 4 to 6 hours of daily activity.
This trip is all about hiking the Appalachian Trail in style. We’ll average around 8 miles per day over the 4 days of trekking, going up and down and up and down, immerse yourself in the lore and natural history of the Appalachian Trail - and end every night with a hot shower and soft bed and warm meal (and optional adult beverages from the lodges if you so choose).