Skyline drive and the blue ridge parkway
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Nov 30, 2012 11:28 AM Last Post By: earlymorningscott
Nov 24, 2012 3:54 AM
Skyline drive and the blue ridge parkwayHi there,
I'm looking at leaving on a little road trip on my way South from Washinton to include both the Parkway and Skyline drive mayb3 finish up in Atlanta or something like that...?
It sounds amazing but I thought some TT advice might be wise. It seems due to timing all the facilities (visitors centres ec) will be closed when I start my journey on the 5 (ish) of December. Is this something to be that worried about? I like it when places like this are quiter so maybe it's actually a positive??
I realiSe wether is unpredictable and there is the possibility that part (or all) of the the route could be close too but I'm happy to take my chances on that one.
Isthere a way I might be able to do a round trip of sorts to escape the one way fee with a rental car?? Maybe from Washington, D.C., or Asheville or something??
Any other advice on the trip you can help with would be super.
Nov 24, 2012 7:25 AM
1A short detour to Luray Caverns is well worth your time! If the weather is gloomy, it doesn't matter underground. If you already like caves, this is a great one. If you've never visited one, it's a wonderful place to start.
Nov 24, 2012 7:48 AM
First, are you aware that the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway is at the eastern entrance to Great Smokey Mountain National Park in North Carolina? The southern end is a junction with US-441. The northern end of Skyline Drive begins at Front Royal Virginia at the Northern end of Shenandoah National Park at a junction with US-340. Front Royal is 70 miles from Washington DC. The southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway is 162 miles from Atlanta. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive join to each other at Rockfish Gap. The entire length of both routes is 574 miles or 924 Km. Due to the winding nature of the routes, low speed limits, and the fact that you shouldn't be on them if you are in a hurry anyway, the end-to-end drive time will be slow, 14-16 hours plus stops.
The roads are subject to Closures for all the usual reasons plus a few unusual reasons, e.g., nights during Deer Season.
The Blue Ridge Parkway road closure number is (828) 298 0398.
The Shenandoah National Park recorded information number is (540) 999-3500.
Skyline Drive lies entirely inside Shenandoah National Park. It is the park's only through road. It does intersect with US-33 around mile post 65. I believe that is the only other way out of the park on a road. As long as you have enough gas, I don't see anything that should cause you "worry."
I don't know what the dates for deer season are in Virginia, but you may want to check.
Call the rental car companies. Talk to human beings. From the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is another day's Drive back to Washington DC.
Unless you are only planning to drive down Skyline Drive, this trip is more than a weekend getaway.
Have a great time.
Nov 24, 2012 9:37 AM
3Hi thanks for the info so far.
I d realise that it will take a significant amount if time and I had factored in 4/5 days in the area, more if necessary.
I guess the other way to do the trip would be to get public transport between DC and do a round trip from Ashville or Charlottesville. Any other ideas in this vain??
From what you were saying it def wouldn't be a waste to visit through the beginning of Dec. ((assuming the weather plays ball) ??
Thanks in advance
Nov 24, 2012 10:04 AM
I certainly didn't mean to imply that. There are very few places to sleep along either the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive even in summer. As long as the road is open, you have enough gas to get between gas stations - also rare to non-existant on the roads themselves, and you pack a picnic lunch, you'll br fine. Gas, food, and lodging are readily available off of the ridge in the valleys.
Nov 24, 2012 11:57 AM
Nov 24, 2012 2:43 PM
6Driving the whole length on the ridge parkways is feasible but likely to be too much of a good thing for most people. You have the option of peeling off to the parallel interstate or other valley roads at any point to speed things up. I would plan to do some hiking, and driving on the faster parallel roads at some point to make up for time lost to hiking. Charlottesville, Staunton, and Asheville are all worth visits too.
How best to avoid a drop-off fee? With one person, you might want to find a bus to Charlottesville and then drive a loop from there. With a group, it'd probably wind up working out better to just drive a loop from and back to DC, Alexandria, or Richmond, mixing in valley roads along the way.
Nov 29, 2012 6:16 AM
7Right, so I have reassess the whole trip and now will look at doing a smaller circuit to and from either DC/Richmond or similar. I'll try to take in a part of skyline drive and also checkout Charlottesville, head to the caves, Monticello, Arlington and Williamsburg...any Thing I'm missing? Time I should set aside for round trip??
Thanks so much
Nov 29, 2012 7:03 AM
That is a minimum of 4 half-day visits, two full days (Williamsburg and a drive through Shenandoah National Park on Skyline Drive,) plus the driving time between each location. You are looking at a 5-6 day trip if you want to enjoy it. Spend some time with Google Maps.
Have a great time too.
Nov 29, 2012 8:37 AM
9Williamsburg may be is the odd man out for this trip. If you're hitting Richmond anyway it's not that far, but it's east while the others are west. Harper's Ferry and Staunton are worthwhile for a tighter cluster. NPS Shenadoah website for good hikes if you want one.
Nov 30, 2012 11:28 AM
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