As the temperature drops…
And leaves fall from the trees, visibility in the park improves.
The views of the valley below and the mountains beyond are even more spectacular in the winter.
Winter is one of the best times of the year to experience the park. Much of the fall foliage is gone, and the wildlife in Shenandoah is full of creatures hunting for food.
Your senses will be heightened in the quiet cold of winter as you look and listen for chickadees, nuthatches, and a host of woodpeckers searching for seeds and berries or peeking under bark for hard-to-find insects.
In addition to small, feathered residents, the park also hosts large game like deer, squirrels, and turkeys, who spend much of their time in the open, foraging for food.
As you take in the sights and sounds of the season, if you look carefully, you can find signs of life from animals that often keep to themselves. While walking through the snow, you will undoubtedly come across smaller tracks left by animals like mice, rabbits, and other burrowing creatures. If you are lucky, you may also encounter traces of foxes and bobcats.
Shenandoah National Park is open year-round and is waiting to welcome visitors. Lodging, food services, campgrounds, and visitor centers close from December through March. If you are planning a winter visit, be sure to check road conditions. Portions of Skyline Drive, the only public road through the park, are periodically closed during inclement weather and at night during deer hunting season.
For current conditions and information, visit www.nps.gov/shen.