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“Peaceful Camping”

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Big Meadows Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 29, 2014

This area is perfect if you are into hiking with the best views. We did see a bear crossing the road when driving, and many deer in the park. The campsites are somewhat close together, but the surrounding campers were friendly and the noise was minimal. We stayed at H loop. Everyone seemed to settle down for the evening around 9 pm. The lodge was a nice stop for breakfast on the way out, food was good and prices good also. The only complaint was the cleanliness of the bathrooms and the shower area. Of course some bugs are expected, but it just seemed excessive. Showers with mud and smeared unknowns on the walls that were there for the 2 days that we stayed. I've stayed at other campgrounds where the park crew would come around a few times during the day, but really only saw this twice during our stay. The dumpster near our site was completely full by mid Friday, with no way to add more garbage. It was nice that there was recycling available at the park. There was a gas station/food at the entrance to the campground that opened at 8am. A pleasant relaxing stay.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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Thank momwith3boys2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 - 110 of 148 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2014

If I was rating loops e and higher - it would be 2 or 3 stars. We started in the last loop last site and were hanging off a hill, no where for the camper and the entire campground seemed to drain through this site. So they let us move the next day (full the first night)... then it was fantastic. E and higher have old bathrooms and seem wet / humid /sloped...very close to the road and / or with camp sites right on top of other campsites...some really should NOT be sites.

We ended up in C after the first night.. very level.. A B C D were bright and sunny and open. A little close to each other but otherwise good. The bathrooms were more modern too. Also better neighbors.. less partying types I guess. Had a great time after the first night... central to most things you want to do and kids riding bikes around and up to the camp store for ice creams... deer all over the place with their fawns in late June.

Room Tip: Loops A, B, C, D are best bets,,, unless its very hot then consider the shade of E and higher loops.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank liketwobike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2014

Spent the week before Memorial Day here and absolutely loved it. I imagine that the campground will be pretty full for the summer, but was largely pretty quiet most of this week. The deer walk right through your campsite! My wife, who was there the entire week, saw about 5 black bears, I just got to see one. Bathrooms were clean but run out of hot water quickly, which includes the dishwashing station. The pay showers were always hot though. We put off going here for years because of the pay showers and entry fee, but pay it, it is well worth the money!

Room Tip: Plan in advance and get a 'walk in' site, whether it's a reservable in advance site or n...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TomK959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2014

I've camped all of the USA in many National Parks. The campgrounds run the gamut from super-private to urban-style "combat camping." Big Meadows falls somewhere in the middle, depending what loop you are on. I've been camping at Big Meadows since the mid-1980s, in everything from a two-person tent to my current small pop-up Sportsmobile campervan. Many of the sites are tightly packed in, especially in the older section (the far back side of the CG, including loop E, are the oldest). Older ones also can have sloping parking pads and not the greatest tent areas. It can be hard to find even a shred of privacy in some spots. Newer loops have bigger sites, flatter parking pads, and even some pull-though sites for the big rigs.

Bathrooms are basic, but generally clean. Bathrooms in the newer sections are, of course, newer and more deluxe. A shower facility is located near the CG entrance and is usually very clean and well run. Showers are $1 in quarters for 5 minutes. There are probably 10 unisex newer showers in an outside building, each with a private door, and another three in each of the bathrooms (male/female). We never had to wait for a shower in the morning. You can also buy firewood there for $5.50 a (small) bundle, which lasts for maybe 1.5 hours or so depending on your fire size.

From the CG entrance to Big Meadows Wayside (camp store, small restaurant, and the Big Meadows Visitor Center) it's about a mile via a paved walking/biking path. Beware that it's mostly uphill coming back to the CG! Big Meadows Lodge is a short walk from the CG entrance, maybe it would take you five minutes to get up there. The camp amphitheater where they hold the ranger evening fireside talks is easy to get to as well. If you like to hike, the Appalachian Trail runs literally right behind Loop E and is easy to access.

Room Tip: CG fills up quickly, and most sites are pre-reserved. If you are getting there late on a weekend nig...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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11  Thank BriPhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2014

My husband and our 2 daughters (ages 19 months & 5 1/2 yrs) drove here from Delaware and stayed wed-sat. The park is beautiful lots to see, we even saw a bear on our drive to the campground on skyline drive! We didn't see any other bears though, but plenty of deer all over the campground and park. As for the bear thing, I think they try to scare people to get them to watch ever speck of food they have, when in reality if you drop a goldfish on the ground I seriously doubt a bear would have come for it.

The campsite is nice, there is a store that sells literally everything you may need, including a tent! Just know that it closes at 5:30pm on weekdays. The restaurant has a delicious breakfast if you need an easy bite to eat.

A lot of the sites at the campground are very small and have neighboring sites very close. I called and asked for assistance with choosing a campsite and the people I spoke to were very helpful. I enjoyed my site.

The bathrooms were clean, but one in particular AlWAYS had bugs in...yuk! My 5 yr old and I managed to do our business and get out quickly though! The showers were very clean and they have a handicap one with a sink and toilet in it which was great for bathing the little ones. The shower is $1 for 5 min and must be quarters, they do have a change machine that didn't always work during our stay. Also the shower head is one of those that you can pull down and use handheld (great for kids).

You are allowed to use any down/dead wood you find for fires so during our hikes we would fill our jogging stroller with wood and never needed to buy any!

We did the dark hallow falls hike which we took our stroller about 1/2 way down then had to ditch it on the side of the trail and carry the little one the remainder of the hike. It was so beautiful and totally worth it though! Maybe invest in or borrow a kid-carrier backpack?

  • Stayed: May 2014
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4  Thank Mcollins4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2013 via mobile

We went there at the end of October. It was so windy and cold at night. We had a hard time to do the campfire and BBQ. It was not a quiet night either. We are very close to the neighboring camp sites. We can see what others were doing and hear their loud talk at night. The wind was so strong and it came from all directions, we inhaled lots of smoke when we were trying to set up the fire and did the BBQ. The wind really gave us a hard time. People got headaches the other day.
The good thing is we saw a lot of deers around the campground. As well as their waste. :-p
And their is a camp store and hot shower! We bought the firewood there. Quite convenient.
We were not there at a good timing I guess. Because fall foliage has passed its peak. Many leaves have fallen. We wish we could have came 1 or 2 weeks earlier. But due to the government shut down, we couldn't.
This is our first time camping in Shenandoah park. We hope to find quieter and less windy camp ground next time.
Our camp site is in the B loop, so-called generator-free area. Our campsite is kind of tilted. Tricky to set up the tent.
Btw, the space between the ground and the BBQ grid is high. I guess it is to allow more room for firewood. But make sure the temperature is hot enough when the fire reaches the grid to get the meat done.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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2  Thank puddingpai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

Very clean and great location. The staff was friendly and the facilities arevery clean. Great location on Skyline to many wonderful hikes. Would recommend this campground! We saw a lot of wildlife the deer roam all over and come close to the tents.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank Tasha9914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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

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