View Full Version : Winter/Early Spring lodging

12-11-2013, 20:37
I was considering staying in the park for a long weekend (3-4 days) in february or march. We have no intention of camping, and hiking will be limited to short day hikes. 2-5 miles. After checking the NPS website I noticed that Big Meadows, Skyland, and Lewis Mountain all close in November or December. The opening dates for 2014 are TBA. Does anyone know when the lodges typically reopen for the year? Any suggestions about where to stay and nearby attractions would be appreciated as well. Thanks.

12-11-2013, 20:59
Skyland usually opens in late March. I'm pretty sure that Skyland is first to open.

12-11-2013, 21:43
The PATC has some info on their web page about the SNP being closed through 31 Jan 2014. They also rent some very nice cabins at reasonable rates. http://www.patc.net/PublicView/Cabins/PublicView/Custom/PATC_Cabins/Cabins.aspx?hkey=5f0b8e83-6571-45fb-aec3-819ca09d651c

12-11-2013, 21:45
Skyline Drive does close during hunting season from 5pm to 8am and also at times due to snow or ice. But the park doesn't close so hiking is available year round.

Spirit Walker
12-12-2013, 14:36
There are motels in Waynesboro, Luray and Front Royal, so if the road is open, you can just go back and forth. If the ridge road is closed because of snow and ice, you will probably still be able to get to trailheads at the base of the mountains.

12-13-2013, 20:49
Skyland Lodge is the earliest to open in late March, usually the last Thursday of the month
The town of Luray has numerous motels off Rt. 211 that are central to activities near the caverns and < 9 miles from the park entrance.
If the Skyline Drive is closed you can still access the park by foot using the day lot of what was once parking for the Panarama restaurant back in the 70's.
Assuming the trail is passable, the closest must see view is from Mary's Rock going sobo one steep mile uphill.

If you're lucky, the S.Drive is open I suggest taking a 4 mile round trip hike to Rapidan Camp where President and Mrs. Hoover stayed when vacationing during his time in office during the early 30's. Take the Mill Prong Trail from Bootons Gap at mp53.
A really nice 7 mile loop can be done once leaving the Rapidan Wilderness Area by using the Laurel Prong Trail to the AT , then back to Milam Gap.