I'll see if I can find a link to a TR of sorts I did when we bought our current camper. I flew to Connecticutt and bought it, then picked up my wife the next day at the airport in Philly, and then went west to I-81....south to Front Royal and camped there on the river. Then got up the next day and drove south through the park and did the first 2/3rds of the park (going south.) The southern third of the park was closed due to a snow/ice storm that had come through several days before. We then headed down into the Shanandoah Valley and eventually back to I-81.
This trip was in late January of 2007.
on edit - the trip through the park was awesome. I don't know about all the other parts, but within the National Park it was terrific, and they do keep it open as possible during the winter. We had it to ourselves and could drive thruogh Mary's Tunnel right down the middle without any clearance issues.
Here is part of a trip report last June. We liked the Shenandoah NP better than the Blue Ridge because of better places to stop for photos:
After leaving DC we drove 76 miles west to the town of Front Royal , which was on the western boarder in 1738. The name may come from the French. It was referred to in French as "le front royal," meaning the British frontier. Here is where the Shenandoah National Park starts on its north end.
Streets are narrow in old Front Royal.
Starting up the Skyline Drive of Shenandoah NP
Misty weather covered the views.
At about mile 50 we camped at Big Meadows at the Byrd Visitor Center. We were blessed with a bit of sunshine. It is a lovely campground, and it wasn't crowded.
It rained hard all night. The morning road was socked in with visibility limited sometimes to 50 feet.
Tree trunks show how moist the area is.
The rain abated and we could see from the overlooks.
We crossed onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our rig was one of the few on the road that morning. This is the Big Spy Mountain Overlook at mile 26.
Buena Vista Overlook at mile 46
The Blue Ridge was a disappointment in that there are not many good overlooks to the valley scenes. The Shenandoah is much better for photography. After about 80 miles we left the Parkway and headed to the Western Virginia back roads on Hwy 43.
Hwy 615 was narrow to say the least. The lanes were the width of the rear dual wheels. The traffic was light so I was able to put the left side tires on the yellow lines when possible..
I wanted to see hollows and gaps of the Appalachian mountains where the Scotts -Irish settled in the great migration in the 1700s. James Webb's superb book "BORN FIGHTING" illuminates the history of these remarkable people.
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Skyline Drive was awesome with a campground close to the southern end. Blue Ridge parkway wasn't all that great for the area we traveled and we got off after about 20 miles. I am pretty sure they close some of the roads during winter.
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started bike riding the brp 15yers ago. not any better place in the usa.i waz riding one time and came round a corner and a foot of ice, had to turn and go the other way, might ought to check on the roads there. happy-camping
Another new attraction is the Blue Ridge Music Center, Link. A must see if you are a bluegrass music fan.
As for boondocking, you cannot camp on the overlooks or Parkway property not designated campgrounds. There is some dispersed free camping on adjacent National Park property that is adjacent to the Parkway.
Come on down and stay a spell.
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No Ranchos, no air bags, no problem