Shenandoah Campgrounds

19 Best Shenandoah Campgrounds for Family Camping

Mar 11, 2024

There is something special about gathering your crew around a beautiful campfire, snuggling into sleeping bags under the sky, and leaving your worries behind for a camping excursion in Virginia.

Shenandoah National Park is the place to go, thanks in large part to 4 well-spaced family campgrounds along Skyline Drive.

Most campgrounds are open from spring to October. Some places can be booked up to six months in advance.

Shenandoah Campgrounds

However, most of the locations are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. As they say, the early bird catches the worm, and this is especially true at Shenandoah National Park.

For large parties (up to 20 persons), Dundo Group Campground can be scheduled up to a year in advance. There is also backcountry camping. To catch some zzz's out in the wild, you will need a free permit, which is easy to obtain through the park's website.

Each campground in Shenandoah National Park has its unique appeal. For example, Lewis Mountain is small and private, whereas Big Meadows is vast and packed with facilities such as a large picnic area and one of the park's two visitor centers.

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Best Shenandoah River State Park

Shenandoah National Park has many campgrounds that are available seasonally, from early spring until late autumn.

1. Lewis Mountain Campground

Lewis Mountain Campground

Lewis Mountain Campground is located at milepost 57.5, approximately six miles south of Big Meadows.

With only 30 first-come, first-served sites, this is Shenandoah National Park's smallest campsite. Lewis Mountain is nearest to the Swift Run Gap entrance and is open from late March to October.

All individual RV and tent sites cost $30 per night. There are no group campgrounds. All campsites are non-electric and have no hookups. Lewis Mountain also offers 15 mountain chalets for rent from mid-June to late November.

You'll discover climate-controlled one- and two-bedroom cabins with toilets but no wi-fi, as well as more rustic cottages with no running water. Pet-friendly accommodations are also available. Each well-behaved pet incurs a nightly charge.

Lewis Mountain is ideal for those looking for a quieter, more intimate camping experience with on-site amenities such as an ice machine, coin-operated laundry, and showers. An on-site camp store sells necessities such as firewood, snacks, and supplies.

A picnic area is located on the north side of the campground, near to Skyline Drive. Away from the main park road, the camping seems delightfully isolated.

Nonetheless, Lewis Mountain is just a few steps from the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, that runs south-to-north along the east side of this little campground.

Take the Appalachian Trail north for a short struggle to the summit of Bearfence Mountain at mile 56.4. Alternatively, go south to Pocosin cottage, a lovely trailside cottage constructed by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in 1937.

The summit vista is also accessible by a short southbound climb from the AT on the Lewis Mountain Trail.

2. Loft Mountain Campground

Loft Mountain Campground

Loft Mountain Campground is located in Shenandoah National Park's South District, directly on top of Big Flat Mountain. This campground, open from early May to November, is nearest to the Rockfish Gap entrance.

There are 207 sites, of which 55 can be reserved online at The other spots are first-come, first-served. Loft Mountain offers 50 tent-only sites. All individual RV and tent sites cost $30 per night. The campsites are non-electric with no hookups.

There are several conveniences available here, including coin-operated showers, laundry facilities, and convenient access to hiking trails.

Loft Mountain Wayside (available from late June to early November) lies right across Skyline Drive from the campground. Here you may find camping supplies and souvenirs.

You might even find cell service. Another advantage for first-time campers. It's not guaranteed, but you're more likely to be able to phone or text from the park's South District, which includes the campground and nearby hiking trails.

Given the campground's position, there are numerous places to watch a colorful sunrise or sunset, including along the Appalachian Trail, which rings the park.

However, it is important to note that the most popular spots, with the most breathtaking views, are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Plan on arriving early for your stay.

Another must-do trip begins on the Appalachian Trail and links with the Doyles River Trail to reach Doyles River Falls, which offers several inviting swimming spots.

The easy Blackrock Summit, which begins just south of milepost 84.4 on Skyline Drive, is also very popular. This is a definite must-do when at the park.

There are several notable treks nearby, including the Loft Mountain Loop via the Frazier Discovery Trail and the Appalachian Trail.

This short two-mile hike begins at Loft Mountain Wayside and takes you across Skyline Drive to breathtaking views. An overlook on the loop's north side provides breathtaking views of the sunrise from the east.

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3. Big Meadows Campground

Big Meadows Campground

Big Meadows, located in Shenandoah National Park's Central District at milepost 51.2, is open from late March to early November.

This campground is located immediately north of the Swift Run Gap entrance. It is also the largest campsite in the park.

There are 221 sites, including 168 that may be reserved online through The remaining locations are first-come, first-served.

Big Meadows offers 51 tent-only sites. All individual RV and tent sites cost $30 per night. Two group campsites may accommodate up to 15 people at a cost of $75 per night. All campsites are non-electric and have no hookups.

Big Meadows is very close to many of the park's most popular attractions, such as Hawksbill Summit and Bearfence Mountain.

The campground is also conveniently located near a spacious picnic area and the full-service Big Meadows Lodge.

Big Meadows Wayside at milepost 51 offers groceries, grab-and-go sandwiches, camping gear, and park souvenirs.

There are also restrooms, picnic tables, and a petrol station with two pumps. Visit the Byrd Visitor Center next door for ranger-led activities and Junior Ranger activity materials.

This campground is ideal for first-timers and offers a variety of amenities, which includes showers. Yes! There are really hot showers at Big Meadows, but remember to bring money or small bucks.

A five-minute shower costs $1.75. There is a change machine beside the showers. Big Meadows also offers coin-operated laundry facilities, ice, and firewood.

An amphitheater in the northwest part of the campground hosts seasonal ranger-led activities. To the left of the amphitheater lies the beginning for the forested hike to Lewis Falls, the park's fourth largest waterfall at 81 feet tall.

In addition to Lewis Falls, there are obviously two other waterfall walks near the campground: Dark Hollow Falls (milepost 50.7) as well as Rose River Falls (milepost 49.5). The latter truly impresses with a lovely swimming hole.

The children-friendly Story of the Forest Trail also departs at Big Meadows. This flat road is ideal for a casual stroll, however please bear in mind that pets are not permitted on this trail. On the Dark Hollow Falls Trail, you are also not permitted to bring your pets.

Skyland Stables, located just off Skyline Drive at milepost 42.5, is not only a trekking destination. Book a one- or two-hour guided equestrian trail ride to explore the Shenandoah Valley from a different perspective.

As in, from atop a horse, trotting through an old apple orchard along lush trails. Small youngsters can have hand-guided pony rides.

The Spottswood Dining Room, located inside Big Meadows Lodge, serves sit-down meals. Enjoy tasty menu items such as the New Deal Roast Turkey Plate. Save room for a large slice of Blackberry Ice Cream Pie.

To round off your day at the park, order a specialty cocktail or a glass of local wine from the New Market Taproom.

4. Shenandoah Valley Campground

Shenandoah Valley Campground

Shenandoah Valley campsite, located within a 1½ mile horseshoe bend of Middle River, is Virginia's only campsite featuring a stunning waterfall and four 6-person indoor hot tubs.

We provide free Wi-Fi, river tubing, wading, and trout and bass fishing in both the river and their well-stocked, weedless lake.

These guys feature a large pool, a kiddie pool, an 18-hole mini-golf course, a game area, and two playgrounds.

Their bunnies and squirrels will greet you on your journey to The Cafe, where you may enjoy a pizza, hand pulled pork BBQ, and hand dipped ice cream.

Play horseshoes or corn hole, basketball or beach volleyball, or cool off in the soothing waterfall. On summer nights, sing Karaoke (Fridays) or dance to their DJ (Saturdays).

They provide spacious shaded pull-throughs and back-ins beside the river. Full connections and satellite TV hookups are available.

Their heated/air-conditioned camping cottages have cable, a porch glider, a grill, a fire ring, and a deck. Their onsite Rental Campers have all of the amenities of a camper without the expense.

5. Mathews Arm Campground

Mathews Arm Campground

Mathews Arm is the park's northernmost campground, situated on the west area of Skyline Drive at milepost 22.1. This campground is available from May to October and is easily accessible from the Front Royal and Thornton Gap entrances.

There are 166 sites, of which 47 can be reserved online at The remaining locations are first-come, first-served. All individual sites are $30 per night and accommodate both tents and RVs.

There are three group campsites that can accommodate up to twenty five people and cost $75 per night. All campsites are non-electric and have no hookups.

Mathews Arm is nice and quiet, but less developed than the other park campgrounds. As in, there are no showers available at Mathews Arm.

However, you will find flush toilets and running water (cold only). The closest coin-operated showers are at Big Meadows Campground, milepost 51.2.

Elkwallow Wayside, located at milepost 24.1, is a short two-mile trip south along Skyline trip for grab-and-go food, groceries, and camping supplies, including firewood. There's also a gift shop where you may buy park souvenirs.

Several family-friendly hiking paths may be accessed from Matthews Arm, which includes the Tuscarora-Overall Run Trail, which leads to Overall Run Falls. At 93 feet tall, this is Shenandoah National Park's tallest waterfall. It's an absolute must-see.

The Traces Trail can also be accessed from Mathews Arm. This easy-going nature route winds around the wooded campground. This gentle trail is ideal for an after-dinner walk with your children or dog.

The Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, located at milepost 4.7, is the nearest. This is only a short distance from the Front Royal entrance.

Here, you can look into ranger-led activities, get a Junior Ranger activity guide, or stroll across Skyline Drive for an easy one-mile circle hike on the Fox Hollow Trail (No dogs are permitted on this trail).

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6. Dundo Group Campground

Dundo Group Campground

Dundo Group Campground is located in Shenandoah National Park's South District, just a short distance from Loft Mountain. This campground, which is open from May to November, is located closest to the Rockfish Gap entrance.

There are three group campsites. Each non-electric site may accommodate up to twenty people. You can make reservations online at up to a year in advance for $75 per night. Loft Mountain, located up the road, is where all check-ins take place.

This is a more rustic campsite. There are picnic tables, water spigots, as well as restrooms, but no showers or a camp store. Loft Mountain Wayside, located at milepost 79.5, is the closest camp store for supplies.

The Appalachian Trail runs alongside the south side of this campground. From here, it's a short trek to Blackrock Summit and then on to Trayfoot Mountain via the Trayfoot Trail.

Backcountry camping is also available within the park, with a free backcountry permit. Request a permit online to print or reserve one in advance for pick-up inside Shenandoah National Park at a self-service kiosk located at all four entrance stations and Loft Mountain Wayside.

7. The Cove Campground

The Cove Campground

The Cove Campground is a privately owned and certified tree farm. The Cove comprises around 3000 acres in the Appalachian Mountains. The area includes three huge lakes and several ponds.

The Cove offers family camping and public access away from commercialization; it has various activities, including hiking, swimming, fishing, boats, cottages, hot showers, a target range, and winter snow tubing.

There are 30 miles of ATV and motorbike routes running throughout the Cove. The campsites are big and mostly wooded; several are lakeside, and some have electric hookups.

The current owners want to share The Cove's charm, seclusion, and beauty with folks who like spending time outside.

8. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Luray

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Luray

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort situated in Luray, Virginia, gives a family-friendly camping experience surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Their73 rolling acres are located near the famed Luray Caverns and the picturesque Shenandoah National Park.

When their campers aren't swimming and splashing at Yogi Bear's Water Zone & Splashpad or zooming down our 400-foot waterslide, they can enjoy on-site mini golf, a gem mining experience, an arcade, pedal boats, a fishing pond, two jumping pillows, daytime as well as nighttime lazer tag in the woods, outdoor sports, and play areas.

All of their cabins and campsites take full use of their park's unique position and breathtaking landscape.

They weren't kidding when they said the opportunities for excitement are practically limitless. Don't you believe them?

Check out the water zone, mini golf course, arcade, laser tag, jumping pillows, pedal boats, outdoor movie theater, and more. Your family will appreciate you for taking them to such a pleasant campground!

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9. Waynesboro North 340 Campground

Waynesboro North 340 Campground

Waynesboro North 340, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has been servicing campers in Virginia for more than 30 years.

This campground allows guests to experience the beauty and serenity of the highlands while also taking advantage of neighboring attractions, such as Shendoah Tiol Park! It is approximately an hour away, so guests can easily discover everything it has to offer!

Along with Shendoah Tiol Park, this RV Park is close to a variety of activities such as zoos, caves, museums, and more.

However, you don't need to leave the park to have a wonderful time. There's lots to do on-site, from relaxing by the pool to playing a friendly game of basketball or volleyball, you'll never be bored!

10. Misty Mountain Camp Resort

Misty Mountain Camp Resort

This campsite in the Blue Ridge Mountains' foothills is ideal for families. The 50-acre park is calm and serene, with just enough activities to keep everyone entertained.

Live music, dances, playgrounds, nature trails, a swimming pool, and hayrides are some of the facilities that you and your family, particularly the children, will enjoy.

You will feel completely at home at Misty Mountain Camp Resort. Enjoy some free coffee and donuts on Sunday morning before venturing off to explore the marvels of Shenandoah National Park, or remain back for a day of quiet leisure; the full hookup sites hidden in the shade trees are ideal for just that!

11. Candy Hill Campground

Candy Hill Campground

Candy Hill Campground is a stunning campground located just outside of Winchester, Virginia. Candy Hill Campground is a great place you can always stop by if you are passing through or searching for a spot to spend your perfect vacation away from it all.

Candy Hill Campground is open year-round and eager to greet you, the camper. Accepting everything from tents to motor RVs, this campground can accommodate you.

Candy Hill has gorgeous grounds and an excellent camping store. Candy Hill Campground is ideal for family camping.

12. Spacious Skies Shenandoah Valley

Spacious Skies Shenandoah Valley

Located near the Luray Caverns, Shenandoah Valley National Park, also the Shenandoah River, spacious skies Shenandoah Views offers covered sites, a pool, big rig accommodations, and scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The hills appear to go on forever from the vantage point of this nice rural yet convenient campground, perched atop a high hill above the Shenandoah Valley.

Shenandoah National Park, just a few miles away, has the iconic Skyline Drive and other hiking paths. Nearby outfitters offer canoes and tubes for float trips on the Shenandoah River.

This campground is close to Luray Caverns and provides easy access to various Civil War locations, including as New Market Battlefield State Historical Park and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

The campground's extensive grounds offer shaded campsites, a pool, and a sports field. Pool: Memorial Day - the weekend following Labor Day. The maximum pull-through distance is 85 feet.

This campground is in the midst of everything Virginia's Shenandoah Valley has to offer. Hiking options abound, as Luray is the closest town to Shenandoah National Park's Thornton Gap entrance and the Skyline Drive, which takes cars up the Blue Ridge Mountains' summit!

The Luray Caverns, a national historic site known for its famed Great Stalacpipe Organ, are only a few minutes away, and the surrounding Shenandoah River offers tubing, canoeing, and white-water rafting adventures. Museums and Civil War locations will satisfy your history-loving spirit!

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13. Shenandoah Hills Campground

Shenandoah Hills Campground

This is undoubtedly one of the most popular camping options for visitors to Shenandoah National Park, and with good reason.

It is close to the park's adventurous treks and spectacular splendor, but it also has its own beauty. The thick forests of this campground provide an ideal setting for a relaxed, laid-back vacation in one of Virginia's most attractive areas.

While the National Park is undoubtedly the most popular destination in these regions, the surrounding area has much more to offer! Shenandoah Hills has a variety of attractions, including Luray Caverns, Monticello, and Graves Mountain.

Back at the park, you may enjoy all of the amenities you'd expect from a high-quality RV resort. They have everything: groceries, RV supplies, WiFi, cable, and laundry facilities!

14. Riverside Camping LLC

Riverside Camping LLC

This outstanding campground is nestled between the Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains, directly on the banks of the Shenandoah River.

Riverside Camping could be described as simple, serene, and relaxing. The campground is primarily utilized by seasonal campers, however some sites are reserved for campers who want to stay for a short time.

You do not need to go far to see Shenandoah National Park; the entrance is only around 30 minutes away.

You may spend the day enjoying the National Park's adventures before returning to the campground and taking use of its numerous amenities.

One of the benefits is that you may fully utilize the river. There are other alternatives, including fishing, wading, canoeing, and boating. Alternatively, you may simply sit by the river and forget about the stresses of the day!

15. Luray RV Resort

Luray RV Resort

A 100-acre hideaway with 3/4 mile of riverfront on the gorgeous Shenandoah River in beautiful Luray, Virginia, the center of the Shenandoah Valley. Their campground will take you into a world of family fun and relaxation.

Enjoy the tranquility of the flowing Shenandoah River and the awesome views of the Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountain ranges while staying in a modern vacation cabin rental, a full hookup RV site, or a riverfront tent campground.

Swim, canoe, tube, or fish along the shoreline. Visit local sites include Luray Caverns, George Washington National Forest, Shenandoah National Park, and Skyline Drive.

Whether you are searching for a peaceful escape, a getaway with family or friends, or an outdoor enthusiast, Luray RV Resort on the Shenandoah River has it all.

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16. Shenandoah Acres Family Campground

Shenandoah Acres Family Campground

This family campground, located at the foot of a mountain, offers exceptional service as well as breathtaking views. The campground was recently taken over by new owners, who have worked extensively to improve this already wonderful park.

They've built a "home away from home" for campers, which offers an excellent base for exploring Shenandoah National Park.

When you arrive at Shenandoah Acres, you'll be greeted with great warmth and shown to your campground. It extends even further with the numerous amenities that make vacationing here a pleasure.

Multiple bathhouses, laundry facilities, a dump station, and a camp store provide easy access to basics.

They didn't skimp on the pleasure, either; mini golf, two game rooms, a swimming pool, and a fishing pond are all options. There are also lots of scheduled activists, such as children's crafts, live music, and so forth.

17. Waynesboro Campground

Waynesboro Campground

Waynesboro Campground provides both serenity and convenience. This campsite is close to the highway, but not so close that you can hear everything that happens on the road.

Many families pick Waynesboro as a vacation destination due to the campground's attractions and convenient location.

Waynesboro Campground provides a family-friendly environment that everyone can appreciate. The easygoing atmosphere allows you to enjoy your time away from the big metropolis thoroughly.

Even with the serenity, you can stay connected thanks to the superb phone signal and Wi-Fi. This is an excellent location for individuals who want to go away without fully disconnecting from reality.

18. Outlanders River Camp

Outlanders River Camp

This camping facility has about a mile of riverfront property. The property, which is open year-round, is located 35 miles northeast of Harrisonburg in Luray, Virginia. Visitors can enjoy on-site recreation while also being close to several area attractions.

If you enjoy being near water, this is the ideal RV park for you. Activities on the Shenandoah River include fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. The property has an on-site playground, hiking paths, and golf cart rentals.

If you forgot something at home, simply go to the camp store. There is also a bathhouse with showers and toilets for your comfort.

You may expect ample campsites across the property. You'll also be within driving distance of several caverns, historic battlefields, and museums.

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19. Charlottesville KOA

Charlottesville KOA

This KOA site is unique in that it offers cave excursions and waterfalls. This is also one of the few campgrounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, that are near to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. You can go hiking in the morning and then enjoy some history around midday.

The Charlottesville KOA offers nothing less than the best amenities and an overall nice ambiance. You can make the most of your vacation at this resort, from the very clean shower area to the pool area, which is safe for all members of the family. That's why so many visitors come to this Charlottesville campground.

Important Campground Rules

Quiet hours at all campgrounds run from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. As previously stated, there is no power at the campgrounds, however generators can be used from 8a.m to 10a.m and 4p.m to 7p.m.

Generator hours are extended to 9 p.m. from October 15 till the end of the season. Generator use is prohibited on "generator-free" sites and group sites.

The national park is home to a variety of wild creatures, including bears, deer, and raccoons. Food and waste must be kept in a locked car or storage facility while not in use. Many campsites include a bear-proof food locker.

If the site you're looking at has one, it'll say so in the description on In some circumstances, food storage lockers are shared between two locations.

Finally, like in many areas these days, you must purchase firewood inside the park to use at your campground. If you carry firewood from outside the park, it must be USDA-certified and properly labeled.

Final Thoughts

Shenandoah National Park is without a doubt one of Virginia's top RV destinations. The breathtaking environment only adds to the thrilling hiking paths, and there are numerous fantastic campgrounds to select from in the vicinity.

Any of these parks will make an excellent home base; all you have to do is decide which one best meets your family's needs.

Then you can plan your stay, select great RV rentals in Virginia, and begin your amazing trip in Shenandoah National Park!

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