1. Bring weather-appropriate equipment
Shenandoah National Park is open year-round. As long as there isn’t snow blocking the roads through the park, then you can navigate through it. The campgrounds tend to only be open from April through November.
If you are going to visit, make sure you are ready for the weather. It can get quite hot at some points while being freezing cold at others.
2. Be ready for the rain
If you look around you in the park, you will notice dense forests and lush green undergrowth. What this means is that the park gets plenty of rain, year-round.
Make sure you have a rain jacket, and rain pants, and have a waterproof spray to coat over anything that needs more attention. Being wet outside can feel pretty miserable.
3. Understand best practices around bears
There are large populations of black and brown bears in this area. Check in with your park’s rangers to learn more about the best behavior if you encounter one.
Otherwise, take storing your food supplies in the bear-proof containers very seriously.
4. Get backcountry permits
If you are going to trek and camp in the expansive backcountry wilderness in the park, be aware that you need to secure a free permit.
You can do so ahead of time or at the park’s visitor centers.
5. Consider camping in the park
Some National Parks do not have as many campsites as Shenandoah.
There are more than 600 campsites throughout the different campgrounds in the park. Most of these are very well-equipped.
Read More : Best Campgrounds at Shenandoah National Park
6. Get up early for first-come, first-served sites
If you did not get the chance to book a reservable site, then check out one of the first-come, first-serve sites.
To get these before other people, check with the rangers about the current availability and get up early to catch people leaving for morning hikes. These sites will go like hotcakes.
7. Understand the size of the park
Whether you camp in or out of the park, understand how big it is to know when to get up to get to your hikes.
The maximum speed throughout the park is 35 miles per hour, and there is a lot of traffic during the peak season. It can take 3 to 4 hours to get through the whole thing, especially if you stop anywhere.
Amanda Williams is a writer, plant-nerd, and outdoor enthusiast. She has traveled extensively, around the U.S., throughout Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Everywhere she treks, she takes time to enjoy the outdoors. John Muir is her hero. She aspires to inspire people to live better as he did.