We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nature, hikes and caterpillars”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Shenandoah National Park
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Big Meadows Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 25, 2013

This was our first time to the Shenandoah's. Skyline drive is full of amazing views. While driving we even saw a mother bear and her cub gently crossing through the road. Our campsite was A67. It was not a walk in site but quite nice and secluded. The meadows surround with thick grasses and in the evening the deer come through, many of them tagged.. (I suppose to see where they roam) While the campsite in A was large and full of many people ,the area was quiet during the day and lights seemed to be off by 10. The rangers were pleasant and would venture through on a small golf cart to make sure things were in order. We did not have a bear box but made sure to have all food in the car at night. At this time of the year, the common milkweed plant had bloomed and was making seedpods. This plant is what butterflies and caterpillars love so needless to say we had plenty of caterpillars on our tent and our hats throughout camping!
We did two hikes while there.. its a straight up and down of sorts with rugged terrain, its worth the view even if you hear the complaints of how hard it is from the kids. We enjoyed our visit and the campsites were well maintained. Plenty to do and see, if you like nature, hikes and wonderful views this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (148)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

112 - 118 of 148 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2013

We like the primitive walk-in tent sites in A loop. You park your car about 50 to 100 yards from the site and walk into large campsites back in the woods. Deer will visit, and we woke up with them sniffing around the tent. I don't care for the crowded standard sites, but the convenience of having your car on your site is nice. We have also stayed in the RV sites before, and they are nice if you're in an RV (but not necessarily level.) If you do get a walk-in tent site, avoid the sites directly in front of the parking area since car lights and noise may disturb you. A36 and A37 are especially nice sites, for example. Follow the food and animal rules. Put away anything that smells like food including scented candles, etc. or you will have visitors (or fines). When you leave camp for the day, put everything away since rangers walk the sites along with the animals. Animals eat your things and leave droppings; rangers leave fines or warning notes. Use the bear box for food and other storage. Never take any food or even toothpaste into your tent. Bugs were not a concern on this visit. Temperature in August can easily dip down into the 60s at night, so you will want a sleeping bag or blankets. Bathrooms are okay. Take quarters for showers. You must buy all firewood in the campground to protect the environment from unwanted insects and diseases. Enjoy your visit! Visit the lodge for a splurge breakfast. The park is amazingly beautiful and peaceful. Eat blackberry ice cream at the Wayside. There are many great hikes. Buy a hiking guide at the Wayside to help you find a good hike.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank Bill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Camped one weekend night on August 10th, 2013. This is a very nice campground for tent camping or RV'ing. About 50% of the sites are large enough for two medium tents or RV, while others are somewhat smaller. Avoid any sites next to the restrooms, otherwise you will have people walking thru your site to get to them as there is no dedicated trail for people to use to get to them. There are coin operated showers at the Camp Store so if you need a campground with showers this is a good one. The store has most everything one would need including hot food. There is also a gas station which is the only one left in the park (best bet is to enter the park on a full tank of gas to be safe). Most sites are closer together than others but many sites in the D section were decent. The walk to sites seemed roomy, but most were not on level ground although they offered a good amount of privacy and tree cover (you park your car in a small parking lot and walk to your site 100 or more feet). Noise level at night was simply an occasional bark from a nearby dog. A few campers stayed up past 11PM at one site talking but was not very loud. (they were two sites over from us). We stayed on D157 and D159, both easily accommodate 2 tents, fairly level lots, with tree cover. The picnic table at 157 was in direct sunlight. FirePit's have a built-in grill section for grilling. Do not bring firewood into the park. You must buy it at the camp store or pick up downed wood to burn from designated areas only.

The nearby trails are excellent, with some boasts multiple waterfalls and great views. It's downhill to the waterfalls so be prepared to walk back up 1 to 2 miles. The hills are moderate and the trails are well maintained. I am told that this camp is the most popular for folks who are not solid outdoor types, while Loft Mountain is a bit more secluded and is located in the best part of the park. Overall I'd stay here again but be sure to do a recon of the sites, perhaps ask the staff for a site that fits your needs if you can reserve them. Weekends and October I am told are the busiest time for the Campgrounds. Remember the weather up there can change in a moment so be prepared. It is chilly at night and in the mornings even in the summer just so you know... It can get down to 60/50 degrees in summer and 50/40 in the fall at night with dew in the early mornings, be sure to waterproof your tents and use a tarp as ground cover, some sites can be very rocky).

Happy Camping

Room Tip: D Section offers sizable lots. Bathrooms are close by.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank brianh2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

It all started on Skyline Dr when we noticed a few stopped vehicles...we noticed travelers were all looking in the same direction. To our surprize it was a black bear and a cub in the woods! We all safely stayed and clicked pictures from our vehicles. As we pulled away we noticed a security vehicle pull in.
At the campsite, we got everything set up when it started raining! We put on ponchos, scurried to put things in the truck, and then waited it out at the warm and dry Visitor Center.
Back at the site, we kept the campfire going. We roasted marshmellos, played "Go Fish", told stories and cooked the most delicious campfire food ever.
The next day we hiked at Dark Hollow Falls. The walk down was shaded, cool and invigorating. The falls are stuningly beautiful! The walk back up was somewhat challenging but we rested along the path when needed.
While it was still daylight, we went to the fabulous Big Meadow with a colorful kite and long tail. With 5 adults and one 5 year old we were able to get it flying high.
We enjoy the wayside store where I usually pick up some post cards and blackberry preserves and we eat breakfast at the restaurant while we're there.
We have so much fun getting back to nature, every year at the Shenandoah National Park, Big Meadows and we'll come again soon.

Room Tip: rooms on the south side are quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Janice Reyes R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We stayed at Big Meadows Campground for one night with our 4 children (14, 12, 8, 6) at campsite 10. We've done several camping trips with the kids but this year was the first time we have used 2 tents. Our "big" tent is starting to get a little tight on space with 4 growing children. There was plenty of room for both tents at the campsite. Site 10 is one of the walk to tent sites and sits not far from the road that leads into the the campground. I was a little concerned about noise from traffic and such at night but from 10:30pm on there was none.

The campsite is one of the largest that we've stayed at in a National Park. Midweek, it wasn't fully booked so the activity/noise level was very low. We saw several deer, chipmunks, and squirrels at our site but no bears or skunks thankfully!

The only downside of the camping trip was that we didn't bring enough blankets to keep ourself warm while sleeping. My fault entirely...the kids had sleeping bags and fleece blankets and were fine. But my husband and I only had a quilt and sheets on an air mattress. I forgot how cold it can get at night in the mountains.

As far as interaction with rangers, we had none until we visited the visitor center to figure out what hikes to take the kids on. I wish I could remember the name of the ranger who helped us...she was very nice and helped us pick 4 hikes (Hawksbill Gap, Dark Hollow Falls, Blackrock Summit, Bearfence Rock Scramble).

The kids had a fabulous time! Skyline Drive has so many great hiking trails on it and fabulous scenery. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank beachmomto4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

First visit to Shenandoah National Park! What a beautiful park! We stayed two nights at Big Meadows Campground. We had reserved a spot in the E loop. I'm so glad that my husband had the foresight to research the sites before we arrived. Most of the sites are right on top of the ones next to them. Our site was the last one on the ridge line, so we lucked out in this regard. However, to get water, we had to walk through another campsite. We heard several campers complain about the lack of privacy. Good news is that everyone seemed to respect the lack of privacy and kept noise down at night. If we were to stay at the park again, we would look into the other campgrounds available.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Stacey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2013

This is the largest campsite in Shenandoah National Park. It is also the one that is almost always full on the weekends. The are many campsites to choose from- most are pretty close to each other. If you go on a week day it’s much less crowded and you may be able to find a campsite that is not directly next to someone else.

The showers are located between the picnic area and the campground and are clean with good water pressure. You get 5 minutes for $1.00. Money well spent after a day on the trails.

Campground quiet hours are from 10-7- and I wish that I was ever camping on the days when other reviewers complain about the rangers! In my experience, Big Meadows is never quiet on the weekends and on the weekdays- you've got a fifty –fifty shot of finding a peaceful setting. In fact, if you imagine the neighbor that you go to the mountains to get away from….now -imagine him camping here with his entire family and all his friends. It seems as though people go here to be loud, party and drink.

I don’t get the feeling many people who stay at this campsite respect nature or the parks rules and the importance of them. For example in the BEAR NAZI review….if you leave your food unattended…the BEARS will come to the campground- which is not safe for us humans or the bears. The bears will start to come around the campsites because they can get food and someone human or bear will be hurt. So don’t be mad at the ranger for doing their job when you were ignorant about the importance of the rules. Then there’s the photo of “mushroom hunting”….THIS IS A NATIONAL PARK all things are protected…you don’t pick the flowers or fungus! You don’t feed or pet the animals…you leave only footprints and take only pictures….Needless to say the kinds of people who stay at Big Meadow probably have never even heard that before….

It is a nice central location which makes it a lot easier to get to many of the hikes from here….is it worth it? I guess it depends on the day- literally.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Location
7  Thank travelbugs920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Shenandoah National Park
9.5 mi away
The Mimslyn Inn
The Mimslyn Inn
#1 of 9 in Luray
1,013 reviews
24 mi away
Hampton Inn & Suites Woodstock
9.5 mi away
Hotel Laurance
Hotel Laurance
#3 of 9 in Luray
56 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
9.5 mi away
The Cardinal Inn
The Cardinal Inn
#4 of 9 in Luray
138 reviews
5.3 mi away
Skyland
Skyland
#1 of 1 in Shenandoah National Park
2,326 reviews
0.3 mi away
Big Meadows Lodge
Big Meadows Lodge
#1 of 8 in Shenandoah National Park
1,167 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Big Meadows Campground? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Big Meadows Campground

Address: Mile 51.3 Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
Location: United States > Virginia > Shenandoah National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Shenandoah National Park
Number of rooms: 217
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Offers 217 campsites with full ammenities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Big Meadows Campground Hotel Shenandoah National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing