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“Best secluded sites in the SNP w/showers”

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Loft Mountain Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 1, 2014

After reading all the reviews I could find on camping in Shenandoah National Park, we chose Loft Mountain Campground because of the privacy hedges between sites and the availability of showers. It was exactly what I wanted and what previous reviewers had described. An abundance of wildlife! Deer and bunnies literally everywhere... and bears! I'll address a few negative comments I've read about the campground and clarify with my experience.

1. Rangers act like "cops"- yes... they do for a reason. But they are also VERY friendly and extremely helpful and are looking out for your safety. I found the Rangers at the arrival gate much more stern that the Rangers in the camping area. They are trying to convey the importance of bear safety and therefore have a much stronger voice than once on site. We visited 6/27-6/30/14 and upon arrival were told there were 8 bears in the campground and 2 were becoming very brave around campsites and were being aggressively sought after by the Rangers to avoid any incidents with campers or the need to put the bears down. ALL food- beer, coffee, water included, and anything with fragrance such as suntan lotion, bug spray, cleaning supplies, makeup must be locked in your car at all times. Even if you make breakfast, run to the bathroom or your neighbors tent- if your hands and body aren't in front of the food consuming it- it must be stored in the car. You will get a ticket for leaving food unattended even for a few minutes. Think this is overly cautious? Our camp site neighbors left a coffee pot on the fire, mixing bowl with dried pasta sauce on the table, and oreos in their tent. Then they left the site to hike. A bear came through our site headed straight to their site and got into the food and coffee, chewed empty beer cans that were on site, and spent a while trying to get into the tent! After 6 Park Rangers and 2 Law Enforcement officers tried for over an hour yelling, setting off noise makers,and creating an unfriendly environment for the bear- the bear had to be shot at with bean bag pellets by law enforcement. It is an orphaned yearling and was lured in by the stupidity of campers. If the bear comes back (which the Rangers said he will since he had such a feast), he will be tranquilized. If he returns after that, he will be put down. This is why you will see the Rangers often driving by the sites and walking in to inspect if there is food or fragrance product left around. This same day, we had a bear cross in front of our car upon entering the campground as well as saw a bear on a ridge 20 min away near Lewis Mountain.. this is bear country.
2. Firewood can not be brought in due to disease and worms that hurt local trees. Take any hike through the park and you will find downed trees due to the diseases and worms that non-local firewood has brought. Well seasoned firewood is available for purchase at the camp store for $5. You get about 6 pieces. The wood is very well seasoned- no smoke or crackling/popping. You can also scavenge your own downed dead wood. My husband and I were both impressed by the quality of the wood at the store- much better than the "seasoned" wood you get a walmart or grocery stores.
3. Showers and laundry are at the camp store. I visited the same time as another reviewer and had no issues with shower cleanliness. Bathrooms were also clean in the campsite area. The bathrooms only have 2 stalls, but considering we visited on a full weekend, I only waited one time for a stall in the women's bathroom near F132 and that was at 7pm- a popular family visiting hour before bed.

Our Experience:
First big camping trip with our 3 yr old son. We registered online for the only site available, F132. I was not expecting to like it since it was beside the restrooms, but I was shocked- it had a great privacy hedge on all sides and the area for the tent was hidden and tucked in to a tall thicket. There were tall trees and blackberry bushes all around us- we could barely see the top of the tent in the campsite beside us. We had forest behind us (no campers) and to the left were tall trees and bushes which hid the path to the water supply and bathrooms. We pitched a 4 person tent in the hidden corner of our site and placed a large screen house over our picnic table. All vehicles must stay on the paved area in front of your site. We had a deer and multiple bunnies in our campsite upon arrival and they returned to visit each day. We even had an 8 point buck one day munching in our bushes. The campsite was full and surprisingly we rarely heard noise or people heading to the restrooms. We had 6+ inches of rain our first night and bright and early the next morning the rangers checked on each campsite for flooding and to make sure all campers were safe and dry. The site amazingly never took on water and we had no mud! As all other reviewers mentioned, all of the outer edge A sites have valley/mountain views. We may try one of those sites next time, but honestly- my husband loved the convenience to the water supply and restrooms... there was tons of privacy and for a campground that was full, the sites are positioned so you don't realize how many people are there! There were several hiking trails that lead out from the campground. All of our immediate neighbors were regular campers at Loft and they all agreed this was their favorite campgrounds because of the privacy. We went to Big Meadows Campground to look for ourselves as well as Lewis Campground. Big Meadows was a huge turn off for us because non of the sites are private- even the hike in sites are on top of one another. Lewis Campground had trees and the exterior edge sites were more private, but non compared to the privacy of Loft Campground. We re already planning another trip back for this month.

Room Tip: F132 was directly beside the water supply and below the bathroom. It was shockingly quiet and privat...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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16  Thank sissiebecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 76 of 110 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2014

Sites are ok, hilly - be careful if you have a camper... Nice but because it was pretty empty. Its in the out of the way part of the park. Nice hiking. THE BIGGEST down side was the bathrooms at the camp store (showers). If they are cleaned and closed each day at 1 to 3, why are they FILTHY at 3:15?>>> really I would rather stink if hadn't had flip flops - but I did so I used the showers. One guy looked like he didn't want to get his flip flops dirty in there. Overall we enjoyed our time here, spent 2 nights. Camp store lady was friendly, restaurant nearby.
Bathrooms in the campground were ok, new, clean.

Room Tip: G loop is a hill, F loop less so, keep going to A and its flatter. We looked behind A12 and there...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank liketwobike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

This campground was wonderful! The privacy of each camp site is as good as it gets. The sites are clean, quiet and full of wild life. We were able to see deer foraging for food right in the foliage next to our tent, and we saw 9 bears, so they are present! The Rangers are not as harsh as other reviewers make them out to be. They were all kind and helpful and are simply keeping the patrons and facilities safe from the wild animals that live there. We stayed in site A12 after reserving site D89. D89 was a lovely site, however, it was a little small for our needs and the ranger helped us acquire A12. BEAUTIFUL! Although not right next to the views, with a 3 second walk to the Appalachian Trail, the view was amazing!
I have 2 suggestions for the campground, 1. Season the firewood. For $5.50 a bundle, the firewood should lite and stay lit. It was practically impossible to keep a good fire going without searching for wood in the forest. Don't expect to find wood by your site, most is gone, but you can go to Skyline Drive or any trail to easily find some wood. 2. Although the showers were warm, the shower itself was not very clean and could have used more attention, especially the men's shower. I don't have that high of standards, I am camping after all, but considering the bathrooms are pristine, I expected better showers. Overall, this campground is the best in the Shenandoah and for $15 dollars a night is WORTH every penny!

Room Tip: If you have a camper, RV or pop-up you MUST keep it on the cement, keep it in mind when you RSVP! A...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jennifer K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2014

We have been to this beautiful park a number of times, camped in the backcountry, Big Meadows, and Loft. We had the best views from A10 site, the sunsets were amazing and the overall view of the valley was also superb.We always enjoy the full moon and the light it brings, the stars light up the sky..

I wish they were a little further apart from each other but it was still very private but some people just talk loud and like to clank bottles. The sites were a short walk to the AT trail and the cliff from where we watched the sunset and just relaxed enjoying the view of the valley at night with the light of the moon and stars!

Rangers were extremely friendly and answered our questions about the trails and other going ons in the park. This visit we didn't see many bears as compared to our last, we did see a lot of deer, rabbit, and birds( especially woodpeckers).

Love this park and campground!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank cubanbucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2014

I had the best time of my life here. Top tips and observations:

1. Go to the amphitheater at sunset for an AMAZING view.
2. Showers are $1/5 minutes. Your stuff will sit on an outside-of-stall bench. Water is warm. 4 women's stalls.
3. Camp store is overpriced. $5.20 for graham crackers. $5.50 for a small bundle of wood. If you need it, then you'll be willing to pay.
4. Best rangers ever. Coolest folks. The hosts allow through-hikers to camp on their site if they can't find a spot and don't have a car. THAT IS COOL.
5. We saw a bear. This is bear country. Respect it.
6. $15/night. Best $15 you will spend. Gets you a fire ring. Shared bathroom and utility closet.
7. Biking up 1.45 miles to the campsite will suck. Flying down it will be fun.
8. Biking south on Skyline from here - fewer cars, but less shoulder. Expect less amenities, and more climbing.
9. Biking north on Skyline from here - more cars, more cyclists, more amenities.

Room Tip: The walk-in A tents have the best view. With a car, and lots of stuff, that wasn't an option for...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank clcohen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2014

This campground is located in the center of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP. It makes it easy to enjoy the park in all directions. Great place to photograph deer at sunrise/sunset. There are asl many photo ops from the many turn-offs along Skyline Drive. There is also a general store, gas station, and showers nearby.

Room Tip: Bring bug spray because there are loads of horseflies.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Bozzzzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We enjoy tent camping & this campground was wonderful. I love the separation of tent sites from the RVs. The restrooms & the shower rooms are kept very clean. The rangers & staff are very friendly & helpful. We had a great campsite-peaceful & private. We would definitely go back to this campground.

Room Tip: It is a campground! Bring your own "room"
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
5  Thank sciteach82
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 #4 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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