View Full Version : Transportation to and from the AT

05-13-2017, 11:44
My family and I are doing a inn to inn hike in Shendoah. We are starting at Swift Gap Run and ending at Thornton Gap a couple days later. We are taking an Amtrak to Charlottesville. Can I just take an Uber to Swift Run Gap trail from there? Also, I am not sure what time we will end at Thornton Gap. Is it possible to finish there and then call an Uber to get back to Charlottesville? Sorry if this is a silly question, I have read some articles about some areas only allowing certain shuttles to the trail. Thanks! Sara

05-13-2017, 13:16
Any vehicle entering the park has to pay a fee. An Uber driver would expect you to pay for that in addition to the ride. A shuttle driver who services the area might have a season pass to the park so that would be less of an issue.

05-13-2017, 15:51
You have two choices:
(1) Pay for two shuttles between Charlottesville and Shenandoah, meaning you'll pay twice for a driver between those two locations. You'll have to arrange the second only after you arrive at the end of your hike. At best, you'll have to wait an hour or so for the ride to arrive; but if you have trouble getting online to arrange this ride, you'll be in for a long wait.
(2) Pay for one shuttle within Shenandoah, which means you'll pay only for a driver near Shenandoah (ie, shorter ride, meaning less cost); AND for a rental car from Charlottesville to Thorton Gap (then the shuttle to Swift Run Gap). You can park the rental at Thorton Gap during your hike, and then return the rental car to Charlottesville after your hike. Your return to the city will be immediate from the end of your hike, and you'll absolutely no worries about getting a car -- it'll be waiting for you!

While it may seem silly to pay for a rental car that just sits there for a few days, my guess is that the final cost of option (2) will be less than option (1). It's an approach I've done innumerable times, and I've never had a problem.

Right at Thorton Gap is a parking area for (what used to be) Panorama Visitor Center. If you enter the lot that's right off Highway 211 (ie, the "lower" lot), you can (as best I can tell) park for free.
I can NOT speak for the safety of parking a car there, but it's within the park and within sight of a ranger entrance station.