Marisa A.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2020

Centrally Located Shenandoah NP Campground

This was a great campground location to many, many National Park Trails. Our stay was during the last week of September. We met up with family who live in the area and got 3 sites hugging the AT. We pitched two large tents on our E178 site and a hammock in the trees just beyond our fire pit. My brother had a large tent on site E177 and it was just as nice. Our third site E176 was across the road from us flanked by travel trailer campers. That site had less privacy, but gave us a shorcut path to the running water bathroom. There was a sign in the bathroom that said it was ok to pour filter dishwater down the toilets, so we did that quite a bit to keep our campsites clean and safe from bears. My favorite sites were E177 and E178. They were a good size and distance from the other sites. We were close to the water pump and running water bathrooms. The pay showers were a bit of a walk from us, but they were clean. We liked having a nearby store, visitor's center, and gas station at this campground. In the evenings we went to the big meadow to watch the wildlife a few nights.Site E178 had great sunrise vistas through the trees. We positioned our chairs to face the valley and pretended there wasn't a packed campground full of families. It was actually pretty peaceful until the weekend which got rowdy at full capacity.The parking pad is level, on E178 but the grassy area was slightly sloped for our tents. I thought it was not too bad of a tradeoff for the view, but if you've ever slid down on your pad or cot a bit, you might not like it. My brother was at the adjoining site E177 and while his parking pad had a slight slope, he had a fairly level spot for his big tent.

There were bear lockers at each site (about 50 in x 34 in) and we never had any bears visit while we were there. The bear lockers were great for us since we were tent camping and our vehicle was a pickup truck, so we did not have to juggle messing with coolers/food in the truck cab. Deer came through the campground every morning right up to our tents, which was delightful, except it made me paranoid checking for ticks every night. I really enjoyed being right off the Appalachian Trail and enjoyed seeing a few through-hikers each day while we made campfire feasts.

We brought USDA wood and another camper gave us a few cords of USDA wood he brought from GA when he left. We did purchase one bundle from the campground and it was pretty green, so it burned smokey. The cost was about the same as it is at Lowes or anywhere else like that. We enjoyed multiple hikes and had a group with different hiking abilities, but there were many great Shendoah sites to see that we all could enjoy, including the group's dogs. Shenandoah is one of the few National Parks that allows dogs on most of the trails (leashed of course.) We had two dogs in our group and enjoyed seeing the other dogs in the campground. There was only one instance when we noticed someone bagged their dog poop on a trail, but left the poop in the bag. People!

Because of Covid-19, the ranger programs at this campground were cancelled. I would return again, but maybe choose dispersed camping for a better view and less people.

  • E178
  • AT trail steps from our campsite
  • Overlook just South of Big Meadows Campground
  • View of site E178 from the AT
  • A great flat-rock picnic spot about 10 feet past the AT behind our campsite
  • Same flat-rock picnic spot from a different angle
  • Metal Fire gate is about 20 feet to the left of this photo
  • Just through those trees the orange sun peaks up through the Blue Ridge haze every morning
  • Slight path (corner right in the pic) from the edge of site E178 to the Appalachian Trail with a  flat-rock outcrop in the background
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