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“Great campsites, but try to get a good spot.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Loft Mountain Campground

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Loft Mountain Campground
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3655 US Hwy 211 East, Shenandoah National Park, VA 22835   |  
Hotel amenities
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Great campsites, but try to get a good spot.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This was our first time taking our little 3 year old camping and was long past due. We booked a site over 4th of July weekend, so we were pleased to find this place wasn't booked to capacity. Check in took about 20 minutes, and then we found our spot very close to the front.

We soon realized that there were other campsites available that were a lot more private (we were literally 5 feet away from the tent at the neighboring campsite) so even though we had already put up our tent and unloaded the car, we walked everything around the corner to the next site which was MUCH more private. With a little kid running around, I was too paranoid about disturbing the neighbors so this put me at ease.

It was pleasantly cool, and we didn't encounter any mosquitoes. But there were flies in abundance. Perhaps it was our location?

We enjoyed the short walk to a beautiful look-out point over the valley where we watched the sunset. The whole campsite seemed very clean and well maintained.

I appreciated the flushing toilets and sinks. Growing up in Utah, our campsites in the mountains were always portable toilets so this was a nice change. The camp store was also helpful. Sure, some things were a little pricy, but the hot dogs and buns were actually cheaper than what I had paid at the food lion. They also have a four pack of marshmallow roasters for $3 that came in handy when we realized we left ours behind. I really liked having access to ice while camping too.

My one main complaint was that I wish we had a better fire pit. It was just a slab on concrete, and we had to create a makeshift wind barrier with cardboard to finally get our fire going. An actual pit would have been nice.

Over all we had a good experience. I liked the grassy sites, which left our tent and shoes clean. The bathrooms weren't too far and everyone seemed to be polite and quiet. Next time we'll probably try to find a spot that is even more secluded, but our neighbors weren't much of a bother at all. Great camping!

Room Tip: Try to get a site that has a pull-through spot for your car/trailer. These seem to be a little more...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    31
    16
    5
    2
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New Jersey, United States
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

My wife and I found this campsite and read a lot of great reviews. Unfortunately, I trusted my NAV computer and it routed me through baltimore and DC coming down from NJ. Ultimately arriving well after dark. We were constantly visited by rangers who corrected every single little nit picking thing. The fact that the rangers and law enforcement were there every few minutes walking through and inspecting shatters the peaceful get away we had hoped for. We ended up cutting our trip two days short and calling it quits. I called and let them know of our travel issues and that we would be arriving well after 9PM.
- My vehicle was facing the incorrect direction (even though I needed headlights to set up due to late arrival).
- My wife had turned the vehicle around and one tire was touching the grass...another ranger discussion.
- My dog must be tied to tree or staked to the ground with no more than 6 feet of leash (another visit).
- My 9 year old son pulled bark from a tree. He meant well and I was explaining a fire to him, when my back was turned he thought it was appropriate. Before I could correct the boy, a ranger was sitting him down to speak directly to him. The badge is a symbol of power and my kids were afraid and rattled by all of the corrections.
The volunteer came by to remind we hadn't checked in regardless of the fact the office was closed when we arrived. I promptly drove to the office and could hear this persons conversation about me and warning the ranger with a "heads up" for the man in that site. This was all I could stand. The rangers addressing my children and the volunteer talking about how my frustration level was rising. I checked in and out at the same time and we were on our way the following morning.

I must say that Ranger Bill is a very nice man. It's obvious through our encounters that he desires an orderly campsite and wants everyone to have fun. While he reminded me I could have been issued a citation for the few issues, they were kind enough to warn me rather than slap my wallet. It was explained this campground was once without a supervisor and a party place. I feel the corrective efforts have gone far enough and order has been restored. He offered another site and took the time to speak with us. I just wanted to spend time with my family but it turned into rangers walking up and patrolling constantly. Sadly, they were able to find us breaking a rule one to many times. I wish them the best but I won't return.

If you're coming in, the camp store is only good for firewood. As an example, I picked up a propane lantern for $28 at Target before heading off. Checking that same lantern in the store at $169... I'm sure that lantern and other overpriced items will be there long after the building falls down.

Service was nothing special - asked for them to leave firewood and charge my card so our late arrival would not ruin the kids first night. They refused stating the store closed at 8 and I would have to arrive before that.
Value was not great since we were on a corner lot and next to the garbage, flies everywhere and bottles clanking all night long
Cleanliness of the campsites are great but the bathrooms and showers are filthy
Location - see above, right next to the trash bins
rooms - see above, bath and showers unclean
kids activities - we didn't find anything but the kids did get to meet lots of rangers
no pool

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesapeake, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

If you enjoy primitive (no electric or water hookup) camping, then this is a great spot. Our kids enjoyed the many encounters with nature (mostly deer). There is a trail to hike up to the amphitheater nearby, which is a perfect distance if you happen to have a toddler like we do. The showers are a bit of a trek (we had to drive to get to it and we are people who don't mind walking) and you have to pay to use them (a couple of $$ for every 5 minutes I believe?). The camp store came in handy for essentials and at reasonable prices. Beautiful views, well-wooded sites.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fairfax
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

On a whim, we decided to drive to SNP the Sunday before Memorial Day. Crazy- I know. We left the DC area after dinner and made it to the Front Royal entrance before sunset. We figured...We would either just enjoy a beautiful sunset or...if we were lucky... we would get to enjoy a night of camping. We had called ahead to check to see if there were any walk in sites still available, there were a few. So we weren't completely insane.

When we arrived at the Front Royal entrance we saw that the only campsite with a vacancy was Loft Mt. Which was both good and bad. Good: We hadn't stayed at this campground yet... BAD: it was the furthest one away from where we were (80? or so miles). We decided to take a chance. We drove through the park until the sun had set. Along the way we were treated to many views of a glorious sunset and lots of wildlife. (deer and bears) We stopped for a while to watch a mama bear watching her 3 bear cubs climb up and down a tree. We were far enough away to not be upsetting her. But when some other tourists got to close we got to hear her snort and huff at them- Please respect the wildlife...this is THEIR home! Ok- but on to the campground.

We eventually arrived at LM around 10:30 pm. There was obviously no one at the registration desk; but the information on how to pay and pick your site was well marked and easy to follow.

Since it was dark, we chose the first site that was empty- which ended up being A-16. It was large, private and had a long pull through for your car. The site was open so we could see the stars, our tent had to be set up a little close to the drive way- but I'm not about to complain when we got a site so late! The AT runs directly behind this site and the deer apparently enjoy hanging out here as well.

The bathrooms were a short walk to LOOP B- they were clean and and 2 stalls and 2 sinks. But had no electricity? We just used the lantern at night. Sequester?

The best part of staying here was how peaceful it was. Everyone seemed respectful and there were NO loud groups of "partying" campers. This has not been our experience during other camping trips to SNP at Big Meadows or Matthews Arm. Both of those campgrounds have ALWAYS had loud loud people who seem to be there for reasons other than serenity. We were surprised to have it be so quiet both at night and in the morning especially for being Memorial Day weekend.

I'm giving it 4 stars instead of five because there was no great place to pitch the tent- it was hard to find a level spot, tent stakes were nearly impossible to get into the ground- it is a Mt. after all and no tent pad- just know that going in.

We are gonna go again soon, I hope it will be the same!

Room Tip: All the sites in the A loop looked good.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maple Shade, New Jersey
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 only because this campground is a little more off the beaten path. However, there is plenty to do around here and a lot of campers like being off the beaten path from all of the crowds. Big Meadows and Skyland are the most travelled to areas in the park, so just keep in mind that these areas are about an hours drive away from Loft Mtn campground. Loft campground is beautiful with more secluded sights than the other campgrounds. That's why we chose to stay here, even though we are coming from the north and it is a further drive for us - well worth the trip!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keller
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed an SNP for 2 midweek nights in June 2012 and had a nice stay. We had just come from 4 nights in DC and were on our way to Kentucky.

We were at site A10A. This was an excellent campsite. It was adjacent to the Appalachian Trail (AT) so there were occasional passers-by. It was quiet at night and we slept well. There is a bathroom a short walk up the hill, but far enough away that you don't hear it or see the light from it. A reasonably well stocked park store with showers is a short car ride away.

A10A had a great view of the valleys below and I would recommend it. There are probably sites nearby with more tree cover, but this one had good cover and seemed quite private to me. Plus it's nice to be able to see the sky at night. It's not like that anywhere at SNP you're in Death Valley and need shelter from the sun.

For families with younger children SNP will probably not have enough to interest them for more than 2 full days. We did an excursion to Jefferon's home at Monticello, and we drove Skyline drive one day and did a couple short hikes off it.

We saw a beautiful sunset the night of a ranger talk (see photo).

Pros: Showers (so many national parks don't have these), easy drives to scenic vistas, excellent camping sites (such as A10A), near to historical places of interest. Would be great for young people who want to do more serious hiking.

Cons: None really; But know going in that it's not going to be like Great Smokey Mountains National Park where there are amusement parks nearby to keep the kiddos amused.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

I booked spot A10A over 3 months in advance - booked in June for a 1 night stay in October! After reading reviews, site A10A seemed to be the best and in high demand. We arrived right at noon and went straight to the site to set up. The site was a 20 second walk from the car down a small incline which was convenient. The tent area was a little rocky but was spacious. The view was nice but there was not much privacy as fellow hikers could walk within a few feet of our site.

The bathrooms were a minute walk away and were pretty clean (2 stalls and 2 sinks). As we walked around, we noticed other sites that didn't have a view but looked much more cozy and private with more tree coverage. That night was particularly windy and being closer to the cliffside, I barely got sleep because the wind was so strong. Once we walked up to the car, the wind was noticeably calmer.

A good thing to note is that the camping store offers more than your basic necessities. We picked up bread, apple butter, and milk for breakfast.

Room Tip: If you are looking for a quiet, uninterrupted camping experience, check out more secluded sites. Alt...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Loft Mountain Campground

Address: 3655 US Hwy 211 East, Shenandoah National Park, VA 22835
Location: United States > Virginia > Shenandoah National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Shenandoah National Park
Number of rooms: 200
Also Known As:
Loft Mountain Campground Hotel Shenandoah National Park

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