Shenandoah National Park (06/29/2020)

The Sunset from the Lewis Falls Overlook

The next stop on my covidcation was Shenandoah NP. We started from the northern-most entrance and drove down. Our goal was to hike Hawksbill at night for some nice night time photos while also hiking to one of the falls. We got there around 3pm and drove down, stopping at most of the overlooks until we got to Big Meadow. We had a picnic lunch Elkwallow, where we regrettably missed the bathroom and gift shop by about five minutes We began running out of time somewhere around the Thorton Gap entrance, so we only made a few stops after that. One stop was Skyland which, despite the misleading name, lacked much of a view. We got to Lewis Falls just before sunset and managed to hike a shorter loop from a firebreak road. The trip there was downhill, the trip back, was the opposite, and I am far from in shape. No matter, the falls itself was a little disappointing, but the view of the sunset was pristine. I just wish I hadn't gotten winded so quickly so I could have got my mind focused on taking more pictures of the very red dusk. 

We then drove back to Upper Hawksbill after a restroom break and my recuperation and proceeded along a very dark night hike to the highest summit in the park. We thankfully didn't run into any bears (though we did see one chilling by the road outside Skyland), and the stars were spectacular, despite an annoyingly bright moon and some light pollution on the horizon.

The Milky Way from Hawksbill Summit

We were there until 12:36am before hiking back and beginning the long drive back home (which returned us just after 5am). The trip as a whole was amazing. We saw a bear, three raccoons, two owls (who were sitting right in front of our car when we returned from Hawksbill), a bunch of deer, a red thing, and two rock my girlfriend mistook for animal. Unfortunately, my camera was never primed when we ran into an animal, so I always missed the shot. 

The full gallery is available here.


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