View Full Version : Early April shenandoah national park

11-10-2009, 12:04
I searched and could not locate any information.....

What is the weather conditions, roughly of course, for this time of year. Is there still a bunch of snow on the ground....

Looking for a couple day trip with my 9 year old.

Other recommendations for a 3-4 day outing in the beginning of April?

11-10-2009, 12:23
Snow on the ground is very unlikely in April. Personally, I think it's a great time to hike in SNP. A few early wildflowers will protrude e.g. bloodroot and with the leaves not out on the trees yet, you'll hike in sunshine and see views.

That is, of course, if you have sunny days. You could easily also experience cold rain. April can bring anything! So prepare accordingly i.e. bring waterproofs and a warm layer for night because even warm days (which you could have) will still bring colder nights in the 30s.

Secret Squirrel
11-10-2009, 13:57
I hiked there with my wife April 1-5, 2009. No snow, a little sleet one of the days. It got down to around freezing each night. Keep in mind that other than Big Meadows, there are no services open. It is pretty desolate. That is a good thing for some folks.

11-10-2009, 14:04
Here's the 2009 schedule of facilities for SNP (http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/facilities-opening-schedule.htm). I'd assume it's nearly the same for 2010.

11-10-2009, 14:25
Fantastic, nothing like some first hand information. I had not planned on using the facilities, but it is good to know that they are unavailable for the most part.

Don H
11-10-2009, 15:04
I was there in the middle of last April. The weather can change quickly, one day it was nice, then rain and sleet, then snow, then nice again. Be prepared!

11-10-2009, 19:04
Have hiked a couple of times there in early April. I will caution that sometimes temps can get up in the 80's some years, and with no leaves on the trees, the lack of shade can make for tough going. Otherwise, it is great to see spring flowers poking up through the weeds and hear the birds singing.

Mrs Baggins
11-10-2009, 19:45
We did 3 days in mid-April this year. It was gorgeous out - warm, sunny, mild nights. Not much in the way of flowers or even green foliage but that just made it easier to see the views. And you're a little ahead of the main blob of thru-hikers. Elk Wallow Wayside was open and it was great to end there and get ice cold drinks and snacks.

11-10-2009, 20:02
I hiked the last week of April this year and it rained everyday. Not all day every day, but it was pretty interesting at times. Lots of fog and very few views. But the waysides were open and I could get a hot meal and dry out.

Lemni Skate
11-11-2009, 14:57
I live near SNP and early April will still be chili for the most part. Any substantial snowfall, however would be extremely unlikely. Still, if you're camping be prepared for freezing temperatures. Early April also makes hot temperatures very unlikely. I wouldn't expect more than 75 degrees and that would be rare.

The springs will be flowing nicely as spring is the rainy season in the park, but Shenendoah is by no means a rain forest so the odds are that most days will be clear.

Lemni Skate
11-12-2009, 06:51
I want to correct one thing from my previous post.

April is actually a low rain time for Virginia, doesn't mean you won't get any, but it is our third dryest month (behind Dec. and Feb.).

Average Temps for April 1-10 in Winchester are

Low: 39 (April 1) to 41 (April 10)
High: 59 (April 1) to 61 (April 10)

Record temps over this time period

Low: 21 (2002)
High: 86 (1991)

I figure you can subtract 5 degrees for the park (maybe 10 for Big Meadows)

Nasty Dog Virus
11-12-2009, 09:52
I hiked Shenandoah S > N in early April 2007. I had temps in the 80's for 2 of the days and woke up to 5 inches of snow on the last morning at Gravel Springs. Early April is very unpredictable...