25 Best Photography Spots in Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful national park in Virginia. It’s known for its mountains, forests, and rivers filled with wildlife. The park has hundreds of miles of trails that you can hike or bike on your own or with a guide. In addition, there are many scenic overlooks that offer views of the valley below and the Blue Ridge Mountains beyond.
Each year, around 1.5 million visitors visit Shenandoah National Park to appreciate the park’s natural beauty. There are numerous Shenandoah National Park attractions to appreciate. Here are 25 lists of the Best Photography spots ins Shenandoah National Park, including waterfalls, parks, ice caves and overlooks.
THE BEST GEAR TO TAKE PICTURES IN SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
We strongly advise taking along a high-quality camera as well as the holy trinity. A magnifying glass that removes all obstructions. 14–24 mm or anything along those lines. A lens with a focal length of 24-70 millimeters or an equivalent and, of course, a lens with a focal length of 70-200 millimeters or an equivalent.
If you don’t have these lenses, don’t worry; you can use something very similar instead, and it will work just as well. Investing in a tripod is essential if you want to capture stunning images of evening skies and sunsets.
1. Hawksbill Mountain
Experience the best of Shenandoah National Park with Hawksbill Mountain, an award-winning adventure that takes you on a journey through its iconic landscapes. This tour is perfect for photographers, as it showcases some of the most beautiful vistas on earth, including the Great Falls.
2. Betty’s Rock
Betty’s Rock is one of Shenandoah National Park’s most popular photography spots. The tall rocks on the edge of the canyon make it a great setting for engagement photos and portraits, and the colorful foliage makes it a perfect spot for fall pictures. Make sure to set aside plenty of time before sunset because this is one of the best things to do with kids in Virginia, particularly if you want a peek at what might be lurking below!
3. Linn Cove Viaduct – Blue Ridge Parkway
Linn Cove Viaduct is one of the most photographed spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway and a great place to admire both nature and human workmanship. The sweeping curve was built uniquely, using only hand tools, to ensure that it would match the surrounding mountain ridges as closely as possible. It’s not hard to see why this bridge has been featured on so many postcards!
4. Old Rag Mountain
Old Rag Mountain is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. It’s renowned for its fall colors and breathtaking views, but come spring, Old Rag transforms itself into a landscape painting in its truest form. The stone cliffs punctured with bright green flora provide endless photo ops at this famous Virginia destination.
5. Crescent Rock
Crescent Rock is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. Located just below the summit of Old Rag Mountain, this solitary geological formation looks out across the waters of Swift Run Gap and offers stunning views of the sky on any clear day. This trail also features diverse terrain, including rocky trails and rocky scrambles, while also providing access to a wide variety of flora and fauna native to the Appalachian Mountains. Its stunning views, unique rock formations, and lush greenery are all great reasons to go hiking there. The rock itself has several overlooks and a small cave to explore.
BEST PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTS IN SHENANDOAH NATIONA PARK
6. Big Meadows
Big Meadows is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. It’s also one of the most breathtaking hiking trails in the park. The hike is through a gorgeous old-growth forest filled with towering trees, wildflowers, and wildlife. Clean air and fresh water make this an ideal place to fish, kayak, or visit Northern Virginia’s Loudoun County.
7. Dark Hollow Falls
One of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park, Dark Hollow Falls is an easy stop along the Appalachian Trail. The trail leading up to the falls is flanked by colorful wildflowers and mossy boulders, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of a beautiful waterfall. If you take the trail further up, it intersects with some other trails that lead to even more scenic vistas.
8. Rose River
The Rose River is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park and our favorite backcountry campsite. The Rose River is located at mile marker 32.1 on Skyline Drive on route 642 near Swift Run Gap. It can be accessed from either end of the road, but this is our preferred starting point because it’s less crowded and there’s a small parking lot. The hike is about 3 miles round trip, with a steep climb to get to the river but it’s well worth it for views like those from the nearby overlooks. It is a short, easy trail that follows the Rose River through a shady, isolated area filled with abundant water, moss, ferns, and wildflowers. Along the way, you will find several large boulders to rest on and enjoy your snack as you gaze out over this beautiful river.
9. Lower Doyles River Falls
The Lower Doyles River Falls is one of the most popular spots in Shenandoah National Park. A trip to the falls is an opportunity to see and photograph America’s premium outdoor attractions, including wildlife and geological features. This accessible hike leads you along a beautiful, rocky creek for about 1 mile and it will treat you to an abundance of cascades, waterfalls, and hidden pools.
10. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center is a great place to experience Shenandoah National Park. The trails around the center are easy to access but offer stunning views of the valley and forest. A visit to this location will highlight the beauty of nature at its finest. The Visitor Center features exhibits and displays on forest ecology, wildlife, and cultural history, with great photo opportunities outside the center.
11. Mary`s Rock Tunnel
Mary’s Rock Tunnel is an iconic and beautiful location in the George Washington National Forest, just outside of Harrisonburg Virginia. The tunnel is not only one of the most popular locations for photographers but also for hikers and runners. At the end of the trail, there is an opportunity to climb onto the top of the rock structure that makes up the tunnel. It is one of the most photogenic and well-known rock formations in the park and is located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The tunnel itself is beautifully decorated with natural graffiti, giving it an ancient and mysterious feel.
12. Bearfence Mountain
Bearfence Mountain is one of the most beloved spots in Shenandoah National Park. This cultivated area is also an amazing landscape, with plenty of different ways to experience it. From multiple trails sprinkled throughout Bearfence, to the distant views at Skyline Drive, there are many ways to explore this area.
13. McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail
McAfee Knob is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. The 360-degree views are absolutely amazing and on a clear day, you can see over 100 miles! This trail is steep at times and offers a strenuous, rocky ascent to the top of McAfee Knob but I promise it will be worth it. It’s an easy and gorgeous hike with a little bit of everything: beautiful scenery, wildflowers, birds, and waterfalls and there are great places to sit and rest along the way.
14. Limberlost Trail
One of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park is the Limberlost Trail. Many hikers, both experienced and beginners alike, have been inspired by this breathtaking trail overlooking the Potomac River. The scenic vistas and historical ruins are captivating, while the peacefulness and quiet offer a refuge from busy city life. Equally beautiful in the fall and spring, this hike takes you through some of the most stunning parts of Shenandoah National Park.
15. Hazel River
The Hazel River is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. With its long exposures, flowing river, and bedrock archways, this place is perfect for capturing inspiring photos. To get here from Skyline Drive, take the gravel road up to Huckleberry Knob Mountain, then follow the trail to a rock outcrop by the river. You can set your tripod on the rock or find a spot at the base of it in front of the flowing water.
BEST PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTS IN SHENANDOAH NATIONA PARK
16. Cave stalactites at Luray Caverns
Cave stalactites at Luray Caverns is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. The caverns glow with dusky light, creating a romantic atmosphere for your engagement shoot. Stalactites and stalagmites can be found throughout the cavern, from small ones to long rows. Take a tour of Luray Caverns to experience the grandeur of these mysterious underground wonders. The stalactites and stalagmites are some of the oldest formations on the planet, slowly forming over tens of thousands of years through mineral precipitation and water exfoliation. Take photos at this photography spot in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
17. Stony Man Mountain
Stony Man Mountain is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. The picturesque landscape features a massive rock outcrop at the summit that resembles a giant hand holding a stone. The area surrounding this peak is steep and rocky, making it an ideal spot for climbers, but the view from high is worth scaling the mountain.
18. Black Rock Mountain
Black Rock Mountain is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park with an elevation of around 4,000 feet and an overlook allowing views of not only Shenandoah County but also Loudoun County in Virginia. The area is open to hikers and day hikers. It’s one of the most dramatic and photographed spots in Shenandoah National Park, but it’s not hard to get to. You’ll see some of the best fall colors while climbing this trail, then once you’re at the top.
19. Boulder-Covered Summit
Boulder-Covered Summit is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. Climb up the rocky path to view panoramic views of nearby peaks and enjoy the amazing wildflower display in late spring or summer. The best thing about the landscape of Shenandoah National Park is how many different kinds of terrain you can find in one place. Boulders, trees, and rocks surround you, while a mountain ridge lines the horizon. This spot has plenty of space to set up your camera, tripod, and lens – then get your shutter finger ready!
20. Linville Gorge
The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. Named for the Linville River that flows through it, this pristine swath of wilderness offers miles of trails overlooking sheer cliffs and waterfalls twirling down boulders like a fairy tale. The gorge is known for its abundant plant life, including blueberries and huckleberries in the summer. Hikers will also enjoy visits from black bears and elk herds as they explore the lower sections of this underrated park.
21. Linville River flows
The Linville River Valley is a breathtaking area of the Blue Ridge Mountains that flows through North Carolina and Virginia. The river itself is a destination for whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities. It is also a popular spot for photographers throughout the region, with its beautiful landscape, unique rock formations, and flowing water.
22. Wiseman’s View
Wiseman’s View is one of Shenandoah National Park’s most iconic natural features. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this overlook offers a panoramic vista of the valleys and mountains in the distance—a truly spectacular view at any time of year. For a more adventure-seeking experience, join us for a hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, where you can enjoy views stretching into West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia from the top of Shenandoah’s highest peak.
23. Blackrock Summit
Blackrock Summit is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. Nestled between rocky outcrops, this spot offers great views down into a valley and of the surrounding mountains. Hikers can take great pictures from Blackrock Summit Trail, which leads it. Blackrock Summit is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. It offers an excellent vantage point to see the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Trail as well as Big Meadows below. This panoramic viewpoint has become a popular spot for visitors to enjoy the sunrise and sunset, or just watch the beauty of nature around them.
24. Byrd’s Nest Shelter
Byrd’s Nest Shelter is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. The shelter features a stunning view of the area, with the peak of Afton Mountain behind it, and is a great place for taking pictures during the fall or spring. An ancient hiking trail runs just below Byrd’s Nest, so keep that in mind when taking pictures here.
25. Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley is one of the best photography spots in Shenandoah National Park. The valley has a wide range of vistas that include fields, waterfalls, and views across the valley floor. If you’re looking for a place to take stunning photos without crowds, this is the place for you!
THESE ARE OUR BEST PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTS IN SHENANDOAH NATIONA PARK
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