Skyline Drive - Shenendoah NP Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

0.7
FIETS
104.9 mi
DISTANCE
11,357 ft
GAINED
0.2 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Craig Arcuri, Johnstown, PA, USA

INTRO

This 104.9 mile bike climb is located in VA, USA. The average gradient is 0.2% and there is a total elevation gain of 11,357 ft, finishing at 3,815 ft.

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ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Extreme
5
Road
5
Traffic
4
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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Sep 30, 2021
difficulty: Extreme
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 5
Sep 30, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 5
I rode the length of Skyline on September 24, 2021, the hard way north to south. This is a challenge century! Always up or down, no actual flat area. Max sustained grades around 7% but it all adds up. Traffic on Skyline is seasonal and regional; much more in the summer and early fall as day-hikers and sightseers are out. The road is only accessible at mile 0, 32, 63, and 105. The middle 1/3 is the busiest due to the attractions along it. I've ridden a lot of Skyline and its partner BRP to the south and traffic is usually very respectful. Road condition in 2021 was an 11/10, the smoothest 105 miles you will ever ride. Scenery is beautiful but consistent - big valley & mountain ridge views. 85% of this road is totally shaded, so while that's good for hot days it can feel cold in marginal temps. Shoulder seasons will see 35 degree swings on time of day and elevation so be ready. My wife drove support but can be (barely) done with available water. Bucket list to ride this in one day!
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Skyline Drive, Virginia - NPS sign for Shenandoah National Park on the Skyline Drive

Cycling Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Ride 104.9 miles gaining 11,253’

This is a magnificent bike ride that is one of the Big Three in the southeast:  

  • Skyline Drive/Shenandoah National Park (Virginia; 105 miles)
  • Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia/North Carolina; 469 miles; connects Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks)
  • Cherohala Skyway (Tennessee/North Carolina; 43 miles).

Cycling Skyline Drive, Virginia - map showing Skyline Drive, through Shenandoah National Park

The ride is along a ridgeline and entirely within Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park was established in 1935, is made up of 199,173 acres, and hosts around 1.2 million visitors a year.  There is the standard national park entrance fee of $15 to ride on Skyline Drive through the park (nps.gov), or free with your lifetime over 62 America the Beautiful National Parks Lifetime Pass (like yours truly 👍👍)

There are two visitor centers on our route:

Cycling Skyline Drive, Virginia - NPS sign for Dickey Ridge Visitor Center

Dickey Ridge Visitor Center -- mile 4.5.

Photo:  Skyline Drive Overlooks

Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center -- mile 51.

Photo:  Skyline Drive Overlooks

Thanks to Craig Arcuri of Johnstown, Pennsylvania for the photos he took along his 105 mile trek through the park on October 19-20, 2020.

Cycling Skyline Drive, Virginia - photo collage, fall foliage throughout the park, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

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