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Virginia Byway Highway Guide

Miles Kms Item Summary
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Welcome to Front Royal!, Virginia
Welcome to Front Royal!, Virginia
Gateway to The Skyline Drive Parkway, Virginia.
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Front Royal historic business district.
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Front Royal Welcome, VA. Center. Note: lots of friendly and helpful staff. Excel
Front Royal Welcome, VA. Center. Note: lots of friendly and helpful staff. Excellent source of information!
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Photo of civil war monument in Front Royal, Virginia.
Photo of civil war monument in Front Royal, Virginia.
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0.3
Skyline Drive Originates - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Skyline Drive Originates - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Skyline Drive begins at the intersection with US Route 340 just south of Front Royal, Virginia, elevation around 500 feet. Over the next 100 miles, you'll climb to almost 3,500 feet several times.
0.6
1.0
Front Royal, Virginia Entrance Station
Front Royal, Virginia Entrance Station
The North Entrance Station is the lowest point on Skyline Drive. From here the road climbs gradually for several miles past some spectacular overlooks and through picturesque wooded areas.
0.9
1.4
View from highway
Driving south on the Skyline Drive.
Driving south on the Skyline Drive.
2.0
3.2
Help Protect the Animals
Help Protect the Animals
There lots of wildlife ahead and there is a $25 nuisance fine for feeding them. Bears are increasingly seen throughout the Shenandoah National Park, especially in this time of drought. Before you poke food out a partially open window, think about what you'll do if it decides to rip out the window and come in for more! This picture was taken by Eleanor Ames of Bluemont Bed and Breakfast a little further south, but now is a good place to talk about helping protect yourself and the animals ahead.
2.8
4.5
Shenandoah Valley Overlook
Shenandoah Valley Overlook
This overlook provides one of the best northern views of the Shenanodah Valley you'll see. Stop and get a look at Front Royal, the snaking turns of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, and the beginning of the Massanutten Mountain. The Massanuttens run down the center of the valley for another 55 miles. You'll see the other end on the lower third of Skyline Drive.
4.3
6.9
View from highway
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
4.5
7.2
Dickey Ridge Visitior Center
Dickey Ridge Visitior Center
If you are approaching from the north, you have to pass by the Center to get to the entrance. It is quite a driving challenge to get into and out of the parking lot, but here is your chance to take a break, get information, etc. There are better views, but I like this shot looking north-west through these oaks.
5.5
8.9
Signal Knob Overlook
You're up at the 2,000 foot level now and Signal Knob provides another broad vista of the Valley, the Massanuttens and the River. While you're looking at the area, keep in mind that Native Americans used to burn off the broad plains along the river. The practice encouraged grasslands that brought bison, elk and deer to the valley to feed.
6.8
10.9
Gooney Run Overlook
Spectacular views, but the next one is even better.
7.2
11.6
Gooney Manor Overlook
Gooney Manor Overlook
Here you are...2,000 feet up and more than 180 degrees of view.
8.0
12.9
View from highway
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
10.5
16.9
Indian Run Overlook - Paved turnout
Keep on climbing and you get to this first overlook on the eastern side of the ridge. There are far better views to come, but stop and notice the view well off toward Washington and the foothills that build to the mountains.
13.6
21.9
Hogswallow Flats Overlook
Eastward view of the piedmont and farmland leading up to the Blue Ridge.
16.0
25.7
Mount Marshall Appalachian Trail Crossing
This is the first crossing of the trail you'll encounter on Skyline Drive. From here on to the end of the Drive, you'll cross paths with it many more times. Unless you're a hiker, be glad you're in a vehicle...you've climbed to about 3,000 feet now.
17.0
27.4
Range View Overlook
Range View Overlook
This is a spectacular view of the Valley and mountains looking from north to south-west.
17.2
27.7
Scenic Highway Ahead
The drive up the mountain is especially great when the light plays on the trees like this!
18.5
29.8
Gimlet Ridge Overlook
Gimlet Ridge Overlook
This is a great panoramic overlook. Whether spring, summer, fall or winter a real wower, especially on clear days!
18.5
29.8
Gimlet Ridge Overlook
Gimlet Ridge Overlook
Photo taken in fall from viewpoint.
20.0
32.2
Little Devil Stairs Overlook
Little Devil Stairs Overlook
The upper third of Skyline Drive is marked by great views and long gentle curves. Here the view of the Valley is particularly good.
20.7
33.3
Hogback Overlook
Hogback Overlook
The view here is, I'll bet, greater than 200 degrees and made all the better by the nearly 3,400 altitude.
22.0
35.4
Mathews Arm Campground
Check the Shenandoah National Park website for information on reservations here or any of the other camp sites or lodging in the park.
26.5
42.6
Jeremys Run Overlook
Jeremys Run Overlook
Notice the steep incline from the overlook... there's a streambed down there somewhere... but the view of the valley is great as well.
27.5
44.3
Thornton Hollow Overlook
Thornton Hollow Overlook
The Overlook faces east, so the morning sun forced me to take a picture looking more north than south. South takes you toward Thornton Gap and the US Rt 211 Overpass. Rt 211 marks the start of the middle section of Skyline Drive.
30.0
48.3
Pass Mountain Overlook
Pass Mountain Overlook
Here's a great view of the 4-lane US Rt 211 across the Valley toward the New Market Gap on the Massanutten Mountain.
31.5
50.7
Thornton Gap/U.S. 211 Intersection
Thornton Gap/U.S. 211 Intersection
Thornton Gap, Virginia marks the beginning of the middle section of Skyline Drive. Exit onto Rt 211 to visit Luray, VA. and Luray Caverns or take refuge in a great B&B. If you can't visit us, continue down the Drive for more natural wonders around every curve. This section has more overlooks and trails than the Northern Section and considerably more curves. The next 30 miles are, perhaps, the most visited section of Skyline Drive and offer many more spectacular overlooks, trails to hike, camping and picnic areas and the famous Great Meadow with ranger guided tours available.
31.6
50.9
Help Protect the Wildlife
Help Protect the Wildlife
The deer population in the Park is not quite as bad as it is in some of the urban areas. We still have plenty of hunters to help keep nature in balance. So, we ask you to make sure your vehicle doesn't become a weapon and remove any of them or yourselves from the mountain. They spring out qickly -- especially during the rutting season -- and young fawns can't jump the stone walls.
32.0
51.5
Marys Rock Tunnel
This is the only tunnel on Skyline Drive, but, as you'll note as you approach it, the alternative was to take the road much higher. DO NOT STOP here...it is a good place to get run over! There's an overlook just beyond the tunnel and plenty of time to get pictures from that side,
32.5
52.3
Marys Tunnel Overlook
Marys Tunnel Overlook
See? Here's what the tunnel face looks like on a nice clear day. The eastern view down the hollow and back toward Sperryville is especially noteworthy when the fall colors begin to swirl!
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52.6
View from highway
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Looking
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Looking out from the tunnel.
32.8
52.8
Bucks Hollow Overlook
Bucks Hollow Overlook
An especially good view north, back on Mount Marshall.
33.0
53.1
Bucks Hollow Overlook - elv. 2710 ft.
Bucks Hollow Overlook - elv. 2710 ft.
An especially good view north, back on Mount Marshall.
33.0
53.1
Hazel Mountain Overlook
Hazel Mountain Overlook
To avoid the morning sun, this picture looks at the overlook itself. As you can see, the overlook allows a better than a 180 panoramic view east and northward.
35.0
56.3
Pinnacles Overlook
Pinnacles Overlook
View from Pinnacles Overlook
36.5
58.7
Jewell Hollow Overlook
Jewell Hollow is one of the long necks of privately owned land that extends into the Shenandoah National Park. Access is through a gravel road that is almost hidden in the twists and turns of Rt. 211 going down the mountain toward Luray. Contact the Chamber of Commerce if you're looking for B&Bs, accommodations, restaurants and cabin rentals in the area or along the Shenandoah River as well.
36.7
59.1
Pinnacles Picnic Area - Public Restrooms
Pinnacles Picnic Area - Public Restrooms
This is a great place to take a break or eat a meal. Besides the main pavillion shown in this picture, there are grills and picnic tables across the picnic area. PLEASE be careful with the fires...we don't need a repeat of the large forest fire of 2000 that started right here at the Pinnacles.
38.5
62.0
Stony Man Mountain Overlook - elv. 3100 ft.
Stony Man Mountain Overlook - elv. 3100 ft.
Here's another spectacular view...this one looking west across the town of Luray and over to the Massanutten Mountain. Looking south you see Stony Man, which gets its name from the stone profile on the mountain...just add a touch of imagination and you see him right here!
40.0
64.4
Hemlock Springs Overlook
Paved turnout with drinking fountain - Looking northeast again, back at Hazel Mountain and the Piedmont hills.
40.5
65.2
Thorofare Mountain Overlook - Elv.3595 ft
The mountain in the distance is Old Rag, accessible primarily from the eastern approaches to the Blue Ridge. It has some very good hiking and climbing areas with camping between it and Skyline Drive.
42.0
67.6
Entrances to Skyland - elv. 3680 ft.
Entrances to Skyland - elv. 3680 ft.
Skyland is the highest point on Skyline Drive and the most famous 'camp' on the Drive. It became the 'in' spot for many summer vacationers in the late 1890s up to the time the Park was established. The cool mountain air was a welcome retreat for those who found themselves caught in hot humid summer city weather and could afford a week, a month or a summer on the mountain.
42.7
68.7
View from highway
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
43.0
69.2
Timber Hollow Overlook - elv. 3580 ft

44.0
70.8
Crescent Rock Overlook - elv. 3520 ft.
The peak to the northwest is the Hawksbill Mountain, at just over 4,000 feet elevation, it is the highest in the Park.
46.5
74.8
Old Rag View Overlook
Old Rag is about 5 miles away and discussed in the plaque here.
48.0
77.2
Spitler Knoll Overlook - elv. 3280 ft.

49.0
78.9
Franklin Cliffs Overlook - elv. 3140 ft.
Franklin Cliffs Overlook - elv. 3140 ft.
A good location to view the valley and town of Stanley area. There's also a good discussion of Jackson's maneuvers during the Civil War.
49.5
79.7
Fishers Gap Overlook - elv. 3425 ft.

51.0
82.1
Entrances to Big Meadows and Harry Byrd Visitior Center
Entrances to Big Meadows and Harry Byrd Visitior Center
It is hard to believe that thousands of acreas in this area and others throughout the park used to be prime pasturelands...not the wooded areas that we see today. Farmers moved livestock from the valley to this area when grazing grasses began to die in the summer. Senator Harry. F. Byrd, Sr. led the effort at the state and national government level to establish the Park and the visitors center here tells much of the story about what that took and meant. There are also Ranger guided tours of the Meadow.
51.5
82.9
Tanners Ridge Overlook

53.0
85.3
Naked Creek Overlook

54.5
87.7
Hazeltop Ridge Overlook - elv. 3265 ft.
West side of highway, paved no other services.
55.5
89.3
The Point Overlook
A broad panoramic view of northwest to southwest.
57.5
92.5
Entrance to Lewis Mountain Campgrounds

58.0
93.3
Overhanging Tree Vaults
Overhanging Tree Vaults
This is a beautiful sight any time of year. The play of light and shadows really comes alive when falls sets the area ablaze with reds, oranges and yellows!
59.0
94.9
The Oaks Overlook - elv 3125 ft.
The Oaks Overlook - elv 3125 ft.
On the way to this area, we passed a patch of thistle that was alive with butterflies. Only one pic per entry, so here's a great yellow swallowtail for the nature enthusiasts among us.
61.0
98.2
Baldface Mountain Overlook
The towns of Elkton and Shenandoah lie below here. Shenandoah was a major center for iron mining and smelting in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
62.5
100.6
South River Overlook

63.0
101.4
Entrance to South River Picnic Area - elv. 2950 ft.

63.5
102.2
Hensley Hollow Overlook

65.5
105.4
Swift Run Gap - Intersection of Skyline Drive and Rt 33
Swift Run Gap - Intersection of Skyline Drive and Rt 33
This intersection marks the beginning of the southern section of Skyline Drive. The next 30+ miles are a bit wilder than the previous 60 and there are fewer overlooks, though lots to see and plenty of trails to hike. Exit onto Rt 33 to head east toward Rt 29 and the Charlottesville, Virginia and the University of Virginia, or west toward Harrisonburg, Virginia and James Madison University.
66.5
107.0
Appalachian Trail Crossing

67.0
107.8
Swift Run Overlook

67.6
108.8
Sandy Bottom Overlook
Great view out across the Page County part of the Shenandoah Valley.
69.0
111.0
Bacon Hollow Overlook

70.5
113.5
Eaton Hollow Overlook elv. 2500 ft.

71.1
114.4
Rocky Mount Overlook

72.0
115.9
Beldor Hollow Overlook
Beldor Hollow Overlook

74.5
119.9
Loft Mountain Overlook - elv. 2410 ft.

76.0
122.3
Twomile Run Overlook - elv. 2770 ft.
Good view of the south end of the Massanutten Mountain, which originated 50+ miles north which we saw from the overlooks at Front Royal.
77.0
123.9
Brown Mountain Overlook - elv. 2840 ft.
Incredible views here
77.5
124.7
Ivy Creek Overlook - elv. 2885 ft.

78.0
125.5
Rockytop Overlook
Rockytop Overlook
The valley below is a one of the largest watershed areas in the park...not that there has been much to run down hill for two years now.
80.0
128.7
Entrance to Loft Mountain Area
Entrance to Loft Mountain Area
Turn here and head down the road a mile and a half to get to the quick shop store, campgrounds and picnic area on Loft Mountain.
81.0
130.4
Big Run Overlook - elv. 2860 ft.
West side of highway - paved turnout with information center.
82.0
132.0
Doyles River Overlook
Doyles River Overlook
This area has a small picnic area as well.
83.5
134.4
Dundo Overlook
Broad perspective view of the middle Shenandoah Valley.
87.0
140.0
Trayfoot Mountain Overlook

88.5
142.4
Horsehead Mountain Overlook
Horsehead Mountain Overlook
Here you'll see large fields of rock sloughed off exposed rock faces across the mountain. Similar rock fields may be found in several locations along the eastern sides of the Massanutten Mountain, further north.
91.5
147.2
Riprap Overlook - elv. 2920 ft.

92.0
148.1
Moormans River Overlook - elv. 2975 ft.
Broad view east/southeast toward the Charlottesville Reservoir.
92.5
148.9
Crimora Lake Overlook - elv. 2975 ft.

93.5
150.5
Turk Mountain Overlook - elv. 2960 ft.

93.5
150.5
Wildflowers Along the Way
Wildflowers Along the Way
Here's a pic of what I'm told are Bear's Britches. Whatever they are, they are hardy. They seem to grow with little or no water and can be seen throughout the summer and fall. (What an idea! Great color for the yard if I can find the seed...it is illegal to gather seeds in the park.)
95.5
153.7
Sawmill Run Overlook - elv. 2195 ft.
Paved turnout, with information sign.
96.0
154.5
Sawmill Ridge Overlook - elv. 2210 ft.

96.8
155.8
Jarman Gap - elv. 2175 ft
This is the only Gap I talk about in this log. It marks the actual end of the Park...the next 9 miles+ are a sliver of right-of-way through private property. You'll note this is particularly true when you reach the exit for I-64 and see all the commercial developement before entering the Blue Ridge Parkway further south.
97.1
156.3
View from highway
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia enjoying
Driving south on the Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia enjoying the fall turning of the leaves.
99.0
159.3
Calf Mountain Overlook - elv. 2485 ft.

100.0
160.9
Beagle Gap Overlook - elv. 2490 ft.

102.5
165.0
McCormick Gap Overlook - elv. 2434 ft.

105.1
169.1
Southern Boundry of Shenandoah Nationl Park
Southern Boundry of Shenandoah Nationl Park
Exit just beyond the station for I-64 and/or Rt 250 to Waynesboro, VA. - Staunton, VA. and I-81, Charlottesville, VA. - Monticello, VA. - Richmond, VA. and I-95 and Williamsburg/Norfolk, VA. The entry station here looks pretty shabby, but a new one is under construction. I hope to have a picture of the new one to post before fall 2003. NOTE: For continuance of highway travel south via the Blue Ridge Parkway - Virginia Scenic Byway - See attached link for more information.
108.1
174.0
Junction of Virginia U.S. Highway #250
West to Waynesboro, Virginia, east to Charlottesville, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia. NOTE: For highway travel west, via U.S. Highway #250 - See Milebymile.com Road Map Highway Travel Guide - U.S. #250 - Waynesboro to West Virginia State Line for driving directions. Start Finish of Highway Travel Guide. -e

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