A lot of space, clear bathrooms, frendly personel
This campground has some spots that are reservable and some that are first come first serve. There are walk up and drive up sites, all including a fire pit with a grate and a picnic table. The bathrooms were clean and there was a campstore down the road. Great place to stay!
Loft Mountain was the third stop on our tour of Shenandoah National Park. First stop traveling south on Skyline Drive was Mathews Arm and second was Big Meadows at about the halfway point. Loft Mountain is at about the 3/4 mark. These parks are well spaced for viewing and hiking in between each campground.
I'm a big fan of campgrounds in national parks. Why do I like this one? Pretty much the same reasons as I liked the other Shenandoah campgrounds:
All the basic needs are available in a scenic setting.
Generator-free sections (because I hate noisy generators)
About 75% of the sites are first-come, first-served sites so you should always be able to find a site if you arrive early.
The $15 price is a bargain and our Lifetime Senior Pass cuts the fee in half.
Hiking: There's a lot to keep you busy in the entire national park, but rainy, foggy weather kept us from exploring as much as we'd like. We'll be back!
Things to Know About the Sites
Some sites have food storage boxes. Use them as an alternative to keeping food locked in your vehicle.
Walk-to tent sites: It's not a long walk to your site from a designated parking spot.
I was surprised to see that most sites (other than walk-to tent sites) have long, pull through parking pads, and most have a grass buffer (and possibly a few trees) separating the site from the road. These asphalt pads can accommodate RVs of all sizes and have a spacious area behind the pull through with a picnic table, fire ring and room for a tent. Great sites!
Generator-free sites in loop F and part of G are reservable sites. If you want one of these sites, I recommend a reservation. See the site map photo.
Restrooms with a utility sink outside some of them
Potable water and trash/recycling stations are spread throughout the park. These are all shown on the site map photo.
Camp store with ice, wood and limited food choices is a short walk from the campground entrance.
Showers: $1.75 for 5.25 minutes. These are located in a restroom near the campstore and look new. There is a handicapped accessible shower/bathroom combination.
Laundry facility near the camp store
Loft mountain campsite I’d say is more for hikers, site see’rs, and maybe travelers. If you want to just get away and go camping, I’m not sure this spot is the best. If you want to get out and find hiking trails or beautiful sites along Skyline Drive and just need a site to lay your head down at night? This is the place. Many of the sites are very close together, and in direct view of other camper. To some this isn’t a problem and it’s really not for me either. But for the just camping to get out of the city trip is what your looking for, this may not be for you.
The reservation service through the website was weird. Must reserve two days in advance, at least.
We went last weekend of Sept and just drove there on Friday night hopping a walk in would be available. There was. By Saturday afternoon every campsite was occupied. The self register when the guard shack is closed is an easy and fair system.
There is a great store that closes at 8pm but has everything that you probably forgot at home plus more. They require that you only burn kiln dried wood at Lift Mountain. They have bundles for sale in the store for $7. We found out that the wood was still a little moist and did not burn all that great.
The nearby trails and views are AMAZING! We did a short 3.3 mike round trip to two waterfalls and it was fantastic. Later on watched the sunset at one of the Skyline lookouts.
My overall take: if your looking to really get outdoors and see nature this is your camp. If your looking for a leisurely camp away, your could find better.
Nice shady camp sites. Some are bike in sites and most good shade. Nice trails near by including the AT. Wildlife spotting .. mother bear and 3 babies, deer, snakes, owl, rabbit, etc.
In our opinion this is the best campground in Shenandoah National Park. Sites are large and many offer privacy. Sites include fire ring and picnic tables. Some of the sites have a mountain view where you can watch the sunset. The campground has great facilities including flush toilets, hot and cold running water, indoor showers ($1.75 for 5 minutes), laundromat, camp store with groceries, camping supplies, wine and beer, sandwiches, and morning coffee. The sites are $15 per night in this campground, and there is an entrance fee into Shenandoah National Park (we paid $30 for a week). The Appalachian Trail runs thru this campground and offers some great hiking.
This campground is perfect for those looking to just get away from things for a couple of days. The drive in from Swift Run Gap or the South Entrance is fairly easy, but off the road enough that you won't hear traffic. The roads within the campground are curvy enough to encourage people to go slow. Also, most sites are hedged on all sides with woods, boulders, and bushes except for the road side.
I've only car camped here, but there were plenty of people hiking into their sites. Those sites look far more remote and peaceful than the car camping, but having a potty-training 1-year old, I opted for a site close to the restrooms. We were actually right next to one and the sounds were a bit bothersome to me, but it was a great trade off for the family.
This is bear country and we saw a few bears lolly gagging in the area. They were curious and never posed a danger from what we could sense. If you are comfortable with being close to a more docile black bear, then you'll get your chance out here. Having said that, keep your food in a bear bag or in your car. DO NOT leave it in a rag top Jeep/car as I've had a friend replace their Wrangler roof after it was torn into by a bear smelling food.
The camp store is loaded with everything you need from food to needed gear. Plus, the showers are a couple of bucks in quarters for 5 minutes and they are far cleaner than I've experienced out West.
There is not a gas station close by, so be sure to have at least a half tank when you arrive. I'm sure the rangers would assist, but just not worth it if you can prepare.
There is a short hike (around 1 mile) called Frazier Discover Trail. It starts at a Wayside point at the turn off for the campground from Skyline Drive. It's got a nice incline, but the views are worth it.
My favorite part with the family was the Saturday night Ranger presentation. The location of the presentation allows you to get FANTASTIC views of the sunset while learning about mushrooms, local wildlife, or something else the rangers make interesting. You've got to make the sunset to make it worth it.
This was my second stay at Loft Mountain and I'd do it again.
We loved sharing the site with so much wildlife. We had a bear, a doe and her fawn, and a lively family of rabbits. The facilities are clean, and there is a store and showers. Only thing I didn't like was the one way through the whole campground, but I understand the need for it. They have walk in sites for tent campers who want a more wilderness experience or for the through trail campers.
Great central location in deflation to some awesome hikes and close to civilization. Basic goods and alcohol available in the camp store. Nice spacious and clean camp spots. If you come here early in the season there's also plenty of firewood available in the wooded areas all over the campground.
I'd have loved to see free showers on the campground but no complaints otherwise.
Will certainly go back!
I recently camped at one of the “tent only” sites, and it was a pleasant stay. The campground hosts are friendly, great amenities, quiet atmosphere, and access to many hiking trails. The camp store is close and is awesome! They have anything and everything if you forget it. Highly recommended if you want to camp in Shenandoah.