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Big Meadows Campground
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119 - 124 of 149 reviews
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Upon entrance to SNP, the gentleman collecting the entry fee was amazing! He was very friendly, and went the extra mile to even point us in the right direction. We were handed a really nice map with a few brochures. The drive to big meadows was stunning! The park was absolutely beautiful and full of wildlife.

Upon arrival of Big Meadows campground a very friendly older gentlemen pointed us in the right direction. I drove to the site, and within 3 minutes of me parking in our assigned spot, another ranger showed up and followed me as I went to look at the sites. He just wanted to make sure people were out of our sites so that I could set up.We went camping at sites A15 and A17 with 11 people. (Rules say 2 cars, 2 tents, 6ppl a site). A15 and A17 are separated by some pretty thick brush, but we set up the tents at different sites and all hung out around A17. A17 is big and A15 was barely big enough for 2 tents let alone 1. We figured we'd walk back and ask him if we could put 3 tents at 17 and 1 tent at 15 because we didn't want to block the pathway of our camping neighbors (walk to sites). Instead of a nice gentlemen we got a stickler of a girl who wanted us to put 2 and 2. I don't understand the reasoning behind the no, since it would make our neighbors life easier, and wasn't on any brush or tall grass, but it was in the rules so we went with it.

Later in the evening some of my siblings and I went to go cut up some firewood to bring to the site off Lewis trail. Two rangers siting in their vehicle saw four of us go down the trail with 2 axe's and a knife, but they followed us back there and very RUDELY said they "just want to make sure we were cutting up dead and down and not trees because they heard a saw." Our saw was a knife about the size of your hand. It would take about 4 hours to MAYBE cut down a tree with that. lol I get that they just wanted to make sure, but I really feel like this was age discrimination because my siblings and I are all between the ages of 18-28. If we had gone down there with a chain saw, THEN I would understand.

Later that evening, the same 2 rangers came by our campsite, I guess to warn us that it was 10PM and quiet hours just started, but my guess is that she couldn't get us on firewood earlier so she'd come to our site to get us for something else (She'd asked what sites we were at when we were chopping up wood. I'm not sure why that matters...) Half way through her warning, she said "Is that alcohol? Are under age people drinking here!? Who's in charge? Is this a church group? Let me see everyone's ID's" Three people, above 21, had alcohol, which is within their campsite rules. Then my sister turned her ROOT BEER bottle around and showed them the label. At least four underage people were drinking root beet.The ranger smelled it and then proceeded to tell us to make sure all our food was in the bear box when we go to sleep. Again, she saw a bottle and immediately jumped to the conclusion that underage people were drinking. Not only did she jump to a conclusion, but she was so RUDE! Her tone was accusatory, not inquisitory. After this happened, most of the fun was sucked right out of the trip. We were all scared to breathe.

OTHER than the most disrespectful staff I've ever met, the park was amazing, deer came right up to you, the trails were great.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank J L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

This was our first camping trip as a family. The site was just what we needed. There was a slight incline where we put the tent but nothing major. The bathrooms were a short walk away. They were clean and warm which was nice since it was very cold while we were there. The staff was friendly but firm. We were late arriving and the staff made sure we were aware of the rule that if you do not arrive on the date you were planning that you have until 12 the next day to arrive or make other arrangements. If you don't they have the right to give the site to someone else even though you had already paid. We arrived in time but they made sure we knew of the rule for the next time. We were able to pull right into the site with no problem. The campground was full when we were there so there was a lot of coming and going but nothing really annoying. You need to be very careful with food storage and trash disposal since this is a bear area. We really enjoyed the trip and plan to return in the future.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Kelly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

We went camping for 4 nights (9/10 - 9/14). We stayed at the walk-to site in the woods #47. The site wasn't quite level, so when we were trying to sleep we kept sliding down the hill in our tent. It was chilly in the evenings, much colder than we had expected. We had to wear extra clothes in our sleeping bags to stay warm. So be prepared for chilly nights if you go in September or later.

We had a picnic table and a fire pit, and the kids really enjoyed having a fire every night. The camp ground was well maintained. The bathrooms were close by and had a utility sink for doing dishes.

The showers were located near the entrance and cost $1 for a 5 minute hot shower. Firewood was available for sale for $5.25 a bundle, and a bundle would last us a couple of nights. We also loved that the Wayside store was only a 5 minute drive for those things you might have forgotten or if you wanted some hot food.

There were lots of campers with dogs. We also had our two with us. All the dogs were well behaved and it appeared that everyone picked up after their pet.

There were lots of trails to walk nearby. Plus, there were always plenty of deer to see in the mornings and early evenings.

We look forward to going again at some point.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Anita H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012 via mobile

Spent 3 nights on 3 different sites over the course of a week. Stayed on sites 49, 50 and E185. 49 and 50 were hike in sites. Both sites were very quiet. E185 had a nice view of the surrounding mountains and at night you could see the lights of the town in the valley. We stayed in a tent and 185 was very rocky to sleep on.

We love this campground! Showers and bathrooms were very clean and the staff was very friendly. Never saw bears in the campground but the deer were everywhere.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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4  Thank ppmccormick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

We did a multi-family tent camping trip. Both families involved have teenagers.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a park volunteer (Paul - a grinner not a picker!) who told us everything we needed to know about bear safety. He also warned us about the skunks. He was funny and knowledgeable. We took his advice and did not have any issues with bears.

We did in fact have an encounter with a skunk who happened to like our camp sites. We had our dog with us who wanted to go after the skunk. In the ruckus, I slammed my toe on the picnic table and broke it. But nobody got skunked! There were also deer that just wandered through the campsites.

The Ranger at the ranger station was also very helpful. We asked him for advice about hiking trails. He gave us a map, highlighted the trails that met our needs, and gave us advice about those specific trails.

The camp store is very well stocked, but VERY expensive. (A half gallon of milk was $4.50) We wound up going to the Walmart in Luray for supplies on the one night we decided to eat out.

The nighttime sky is wonderful. You can see the milky way! We had fantastic weather until our last night and then we had wild wild wild weather. We were in tents for the storm that killed 14 people and knocked out power to over 3 million people. The next morning, Paul, the volunteer came checking on everyone. He informed us of the various park conditions and let us know that the lodge had its own generator and was serving breakfast.

The bathrooms were clean. Showers were coin operated - $1.00 got you 5 minutes of hot water. Shower stalls were okay, but not great.

Because our trip was right before the July 4 holiday, it was probably more crowded than usual.That was only apparent in the the evening, though. Because of my toe, I got to experience the campground during the day. Most people leave to go to various hiking/viewing sites, so it is extremely quiet. That is the only time I was afraid of bears. I felt like I was the only one there.

All-in-all a fantastic trip. I highly recommend Big Meadows. http://mamaflynn.blogspot.com/2012/07/oh-shenandoah-ive-been-to-see-you-and.html

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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9  Thank MamaFlynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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