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“Another great Shenandoah campground!”

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Mathews Arm Campground
Reviewed July 29, 2012 via mobile

This is the second campground that I've stayed in at Shenandoah and I had another great stay in the park. This campground is located 22 miles from the park entrance in Front Royal; it's also the first campground you'll come to from this entrance. The sites are well maintained and offer a modest amount of privacy. A store to buy camping supplies like wood is located 2 miles south of the grounds. There aren't showers located at the campground, so keep this in mind if you'll need to shower before departing. The closest showers are several miles away. Between Mathews Arm and Lott Mountain, I prefer Loft Mountain personally but this is still a good site if you're in the norther part of the park. See my review of Loft Mountain for more information about that campground.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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2  Thank Tim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 - 47 of 50 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2012

Matthew's Arm is a great campground. The camping lots are spacious and laid out very well. There's room for two tents easily and maybe even three. The fire pits are well made.
I walked the 6.5 mile trail, which has a beautiful overlook pay off at the end, but is a straight 3.25 mile uphill hike on the way back. So, keep that in mind. There hadn't been much rain fall. So, the spectacular waterfall was a little sparse on water, but still the view was just breath taking.
It's easy to get drinking water, but it was interesting that there were no showers present. Not a deal breaker by any means, but this was the first campground I'd been to without showers. They also ask that you wash your dishes at your site instead of the sinks.
There's a place where nature talks are given. Keep a lookout for bears. Black bears are prevalent.
There's also a store two miles south with anything you could need or want, including firewood, gas... and alcohol.
The drive there is glorious, as any ride on skyline drive is. This is the most northern campground in the National Park and Luray Caverns isn't too far away. So, that's another great way to spend some time.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kidd1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2011

The sight was pretty. Everyone was friendly and lots of campers brought their pets. We stayed at C146. This sight faced trees but had campers on both sides. The entire sight lacks privacy. There were some more private spots in the A section. We didn't see any bears around the site, but we did see lots of deer. On thing that I really did not like, was the people who brought the loud generator! They totally ruined the peace. If you are a party animal trying to get wasted and loud, I do not suggest the park period. There are campsight host who keep the peace when the rangers are off duty. So someone is always watching. If you do plan on partying, start early because silence starts at 10pm and ends at 6am. Six AM is also about the time that the garbage man comes. I was able to sleep it off though. The nights were really cold and the mornings were wet from the dew. Make sure your tent repels water and spiders. We did two trails: Little Stoney Man and the Appalachian Trail. Little Stoney Man was bumpy and my feet kept slipping off the stones. The view at the end was beautiful though. The is a good rock for those of you who rock climb. We heard there were a lot of bears on the Appalachian Trail, but when we went, we didn't see them. The Appalachian is kind of steep, so take some water to stay hydrated. Also, wear layers when hiking because you start out freezing and then get hot! If you are going to be hiking all day and just need a spot to rest at night, Mathews Arm is good enough.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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4  Thank Natdl11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2011

i've been going for years ,about 10 or 12 years now. i think it's a great place to go for camping,hiking,and sight seeing. I'm getting older now, and wish I could still hike like I used to, but still do the campground loop,and other short hikes. I wish I new of this place when I was younger. The bears are a big atraction,and the deer are neat too. the only thing that i don't like is there are no showers.

Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
4  Thank smith46641
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2011

We stayed for one Saturday night in October during the peak fall color season. We weren't able to make a reservation at our favorite spot, Big Meadows, because after a certain date during the year, all campsites are first-come, first-served. So, we left Maryland early (ok, not as early as we planned), and headed down to Shenandoah. We entered the park at Thornton Gap, hoping to get a spot at Big Meadows. There was a long line of cars at the entrance, and a sign saying that all campgrounds were full! Frustrated, I turned the car around and went back down the mountain. BF and I discussed possibly finding a place to stay in Luray, but decided to at least do some sight-seeing, so we drove back UP the mountain to the entrance again, and the sign says there is vacancy at Mathews Arm. We raced (as much as you can at 45 mph speed limit!) and got to choose a spot at the campground. The people working the check-in were very nice and helpful. The campground is fine if it is what is available. There are no showers, which wasn't a problem since we only stayed one night. We did not see any wildlife in the campground and the camp store area was CROWDED! Leaf peepers had to stand in VERY long lines for food and bathrooms. Word to the wise: if you are doing a day trip in fall, bring a picnic! Do not waste time in line to buy sandwiches/burgers. The weather and sights were absolutely beautiful in October, but my BF and I both kept comparing Mathews Arm to Big Meadows and agreed that it just wasn't the same.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Mego86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2010

It is a scenic area, but the rangers were very bad tempered. We had a group of 5 families with children from 5 to 16 yrs old and adults 35-45 yrs old. After 10pm the rangers came up and very nastily told us it was "quiet time and we needed to go to sleep or he was going to fine us each $130!?!?!" We were not being loud, and were only adults sitting up and talking around the campfire. I chalked it up as he was having a bad night but the following night he came back again and just as rude. We were even intentionally trying to be as quiet as possible, the second night but his response was "you are a large group and it wasn't possible for us to be quiet and we needed to go to bed" Then the rangers started walking through our campsite pointing spotlights in our tents and vehicles with no regard for our privacy? Meanwhile the site 3 down had dogs yipping and barking constantly the whole time. Will never visit again and would not reccomend to anyone.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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9  Thank miked_in_MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2010

We arrived Friday with a large group of people and a few kids and 2 dogs ready to have a great weekend and enjoy staying up late talking around the camp fire. Well for starters, who ever did the site layouts did a horrible job! The picnic tables were way too close to the campfire and the tables nor fire pit could be moved, not that is was THAT big of a deal but we dealt with it. So Friday night we are sitting around talking and laughing and enjoying the great weather about 11pm when we were approached by 3 campground security officers telling us there was a no noise tolerance past 10pm and that he advised us all to go to bed and if we kept it up that he would come back and fine each person $130?!? While one of the other officers was going through our open cars with flash lights??????????? Mind you, we are all adults here with a few children who were only talking and laughing. So we all went to bed as told! Saturday night same thing! it was not even 10pm yet when we were warned about the no noise tolerance and needed to go to bed by 10?!?!? Okay so first thing every morning the trash truck would come through between 6 and 7 AM LOUD as can be and honked the horn every time he backed up stopping at every trash station. And people with little yappy dogs through the day and night and wee hours of the morning barking at every noise they heard. We had 2 dogs with us that DID NOT BARK ONCE!!! Yet we talked passed 10pm get yelled out and they allow other people to let their dogs bark all night???????? I'm just very disappointed by this campsite, if you plan on going and enjoying yourself past 10pm or sleeping past 6am THIS CAMPGROUND IS NOT FOR YOU! WE WILL NEVER GO BACK AGAIN!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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11  Thank calbright78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mathews Arm Campground

Address: Mile 22.1 Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
Location: United States > Virginia > Shenandoah National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Shenandoah National Park
Number of rooms: 179
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A campground with no showers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mathews Arm Campground Hotel Shenandoah National Park

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