Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Shenandoah National Park weekend


Looks like I may have a weekend free as part of a work trip to Washington in April. It seems Shenandoah National Park could be my best option. I’m thinking drive from Washington Friday evening, activate short hike summits off Skyline drive Saturday and Sunday, drive back to Washington Sunday evening.

I’d appreciate itinerary tips from those with local knowledge to get the best SOTA weekend I can! Is Shenandoah the best option from Washington for a weekend? Should I drive Skyline as planned? Or is there an amazing hike that I should dedicate my time to that maybe takes in fewer summits with less driving? Where should I stay? I am pretty flexible, and will happily stay in a hut or a fancy hotel.


Dickey Hill, N Marshall, Compton Peak, and Hogback can all be easily done in a single day from points along Skyline Drive.

Stony Man and Hawksbill are also easiey to nab, as are Hazeltop, the Pinnacle, and Flattop.

My favorite peaks in the park are Knob Mountain, which is a lovely hike, but it’ll take you most of a day to get that one. Robertson is also great, but is also a longer hike.

Nate N0PCL


PS: I’d consider a joint activation with you if you’d like a hiking partner, and if the timing works out.

Let me know if you’re interested. Look up my email on QRZ.com if you’d like to.



Thanks for the tips Nate. Just been checking out your blogs for some of the peaks too, a fabulous reference! Got me thinking I might perhaps do one day of the easy to nab ones from Skyline drive, and then one day dedicated to a longer hike for Knob Mountain or Robertson. I may well take you up on the kind offer of a hiking partner, be great to have company with local knowledge and distinctly more SOTA experience than me!


2 days in Shendoah Park… I’ve done these over two days myself…

W4V/SH-007 (Hogback Mountain)
W4V/SH-009 (North Marshall)
W4V/SH-016 (Compton Peak)

W4V/SH-001 (Hawksbill)
W4V/SH-002 (Stony Man)
W4V/SH-005 (Pinnacle, The)
You could probably fit in Dickies on the way out the park also… if you start your day early’ish.
Nets 34 points.

Remember you will be in TICK and Snake country, be more concerned about the TICKs though…
There are a few easily accessible AT shelters that can be used for a simple overnight stay.

Richard // N2GBR


Thanks Richard. Ticks I’m used to. Snakes is a different matter. As are the bears!

Booked to be there the weekend of 13th and 14th April. Staying in the Skyland hotel which looks to be in the middle of Skyline drive. Now for the summit planning. For a start W4V/SH-002 (Stony man) looks to be walkable from the hotel.


From the Skyland hotel you could easily walk to both Stony Man and then (further South) Hawksbill using the AT mostly.
I’d swing down for a couple of days activating… but strangely I’ll be headed to the UK on the 16th for a week…

On the tick front, please be very aware… everyone knows about Lyme Disease… personally I’d be more concerned about the other 11 nasty diseases a tick bite can convey, and the old thinking about just wait 24hrs a look for a rash and it takes >4hrs to xfer is all a load of hogwash per the latest intel.

Snakes will only we an issue if its warmed up by then… just be aware and make plenty of noise (as in heavy foot steps) and listen… mostly they’ll let you know if you get close…
There are many Black bears in Shenandoah… again make noise… whistle, sing and be aware not to get between a mom and cubs… if you come close… DON’T turn and run… back away slowly… if you can’t, put your hands up to make yourself big and make a lot of noise… remember they don’t want to be near you either…

I doubt you see either… but you never know… Last time I was down there I saw a bob cat!


Richard // N2GBR