Shenandoah National Park announces fall, winter Visitor Center hours

shen national parkThe Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6 on Skyline Drive) and the Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51) in Shenandoah National Park will both be open on Thanksgiving Day. Both visitor centers will continue to be open for the season through Sunday, November 30. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except Tuesday andWednesday) and Byrd Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

A visit to the Park is a great way to work up an appetite or work off that Thanksgiving feast. To kick off the holiday season, the Shenandoah National Park Association (SNPA) will offer a Thanksgiving sale beginning on Thanksgiving Day and running through November 30. All items in the bookstore will be marked 10% off.

Starting the week of December 1, Byrd Visitor Center will go to a weekend only schedule, weather permitting. The visitor center will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays when skyline drive is open. Rangers will be available to answer questions and help plan visitor trips. Movies, exhibits, and the bookstore will be available. Backcountry camping permits may also be obtained during operating hours.

Late fall-winter is a special time to visit Shenandoah National Park. Trails are less crowded and new discoveries can be found around every corner. Winter visitors must come prepared as no commercial services (food or fuel) are available after November 30. The following picnic grounds will remain open, weather permitting: Elkwallow, Pinnacles, South River, and Dundo.

Weather can be drastically different in higher elevations and along skyline drive than in the surrounding valleys. Please use caution when driving skyline drive or hiking in the park. Be prepared to encounter winter driving conditions, including snow and ice, at any time. Winter visitors need to be self-reliant. Keep extra, warm clothing in your car and wear layers when hiking. Visitors should bring plenty of water and food, as well as a flashlight, map, and traction coils for hiking boots.

skyline drive is open year round, but the Drive may be temporarily closed on short notice for indefinite periods due to winter weather conditions. For the most current skyline drive status, call (540) 999-3500, choose Option 1, and then Option 1. Park road status is also posted on Facebook and Twitter.

There is a $15-per-vehicle entrance fee to the park, good for seven days. Rates drop to $10 per vehicle from December through February. For more information about planning a trip to Shenandoah National Park, please see the park’s website athttp://www.nps.gov/shen/ or call the park at (540) 999-3500.

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