TRIP SEARCH RESULTS

stunning views from the appalachian trail
stunning views from the appalachian trail
women hike mountain with small pond
women resting on rock during hike
woman smiles on hike overlooking valley
trees on the appalachian trail
women on adventure tour smile for photo appalachian trail
autumn leaves and colors on the appalachian trail
sunset through trees appalachian trail
women smiling on hike
women on hike stop for photo appalachian trail
women admire view from rock on appalachian trail
lodging along the appalachian trail
caves along the appalachian trail
women hiking the appalachian trail in autumn

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall

Destination: Shenandoah National Park, VA

Shenandoah National Park straddles the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they run north and south for over 100 miles. Embracing rolling hills, quiet hollows, abrupt hillsides, and verdant forests, the Park contains over 450 miles of hiking trails. The Appalachian Trail is the best known of these and this section of the trail is absolutely gorgeous in October. Because Skyline Drive follows this crest, the AT feels a little less remote here than in other sections. That is more than made up for by the presence of well-spaced lodges along the way, offering warm beds and hot food at the end of every day. The human history of the Park is also very interesting and we'll learn about the people who inhabited this area for years as we go lodge to lodge on the Appalachian Trail. Maximum group size: 12

Highlights

  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park without having to carry a backpack
  • Enjoying the May wildflowers in this beautiful mountain forest
  • Staying at beautifully situated lodges every night
  • Being surprised at just how cool the Luray Caverns really are
  • Having our luggage transported for us

Departures and Prices

October 20 to October 25, 2019
$1795.00 - FULL
Join Waitlist
October 27 to November 01, 2019
$1795.00 - FULL
Join Waitlist

Inclusions

  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • five nights double occupancy accommodation
  • all transportation during the trip, starting and ending at Dulles Airport (IAD)
  • all meals from dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Friday
  • entrance fees to Shenandoah and Luray Caverns

Not included: travel to and from Dulles, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and travel insurance

Details

This trip is suitable for any woman who either enjoys hiking or is new to hiking and wants to learn in a safe and fun environment. While the trail ups and downs are not huge (i.e less than 1000 feet at a time), they are continuous and there is little flat. A rating of 3 requires aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. On several days there are options for longer hikes; if you choose to do all of them, this trip would be closer to a rating of 4, and your aerobic conditioning should be for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 days a week. There are typically 4 to 6 hours of daily activity. Rating: 1 2[3][4] 5

This trip is all about hiking the Appalachian Trail in style. You can have a trail name, hike from 5.5 to 9.7 miles a day (depending on individual choices) going up and down and up and down, immerse yourself in the lore and natural history of the Appalachian Trail - and end every night with a hot shower and soft bed.

We'll spend the first and last nights at Luray Caverns Inn in Luray, Virginia. In between we'll spend one night at each of the Park Lodges: Lewis Cabins, Big Meadow Lodge, and Skyland Lodge. At Lewis Cabins the accommodations are double cabins (2 rooms with a bed in each and a shared bathroom). The other two lodges and the Luray rooms are standard rooms with 2 beds and a bathroom in each room.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
If you are flying in, plan to arrive Dulles Airport by 2 pm. We will pick you up there and make the hour and a half drive to the town of Luray. If you are driving, you can meet us at our lodging (Luray Caverns Hotel East) at 4:30 pm. We will gather to introduce ourselves and start getting to know each other and then begin our trip orientation. We will stop for dinner and then finish up any topics not yet covered.
DAY 2
After a hearty breakfast we pack up and head for the South River Falls Picnic Area. We will start our hike, appreciating the fact that the van carries our luggage to Lewis Mountain Cabins. The hike today is a lovely 5.5 mile section with great overhead canopy. It is one of the easier parts of the trail, fairly level with just enough up and down to be interesting, so it makes a good place to start. The Lewis Mountain Cabins are historic rustic cabins (yes, they all have indoor plumbing) and since we will be occupying most of them, we will enjoy the quiet of the area. Mileage today: 5.5 miles
DAY 3
Our destination today is Big Meadows. We start with a gentle ascent of Bearfence Mountain. We have a choice between taking the Bearfence Mountain Scramble Loop (weather permitting) which is an amazing hands and feet scramble up basalt rocks to a 360 degree view. Alternatively there is a very pleasant side trail. Next is Hazeltop Mountain (about a 600 foot climb) and a mile walking along the ridge, the "green tunnel" walking that the AT is known for. We descend to Milam Gap where our van is waiting. For those who feel finished for the day, we shuttle to Big Meadows Lodge, check in, and optionally take the path behind our rooms up to Blackrock, for a beautiful last view of the surrounding countryside before sunset. Alternatively you can choose to continue on the AT and hike directly into Big Meadow from Milam Gap. Mileage today: 6.1 - 8.4 miles
DAY 4
Before continuing our hiking today, we will pay a visit to the Visitor's Center at Big Meadows where we can tour the exhibits, watch the park movie, and buy those 'souvies'. We will then continue on the AT to Skyland Lodge - but it would be a shame not to take a couple of the blue-blazed trails that detour to panoramic overlooks. One in particular, the Salamander Trail, leads to the top of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest peak and widely considered to have the best views in the park. We then descend to the Hawksbill parking area where we can either shuttle into Skyland Lodge or continue another 3.1 miles via the AT. Tonight's dinner will be in the dining room at Skyland which has a lovely panoramic view overlooking the valley below. This time of year there is often entertainment during the dinner hours as well. Mileage today: 4.2 - 8.5 miles
DAY 5
This is our last hiking day today so we will go out in style, as we hike to as many beautiful vistas as possible in one day. We will start with a detour off the AT on a blue-blazed trail, the Stony Man Nature Trail. This gentle trail leads to the top of Stony Man with a view over the valley to the Massanutten Mountains beyond. We will then continue to Pinnacles Picnic area where a shelter and lunch await us. After lunch we will shuttle north to Meadow Spring Trail, and ascend to the AT again via the Meadow Spring Trail and continue to our last amazing spot of the week - Mary's Rock, with its many varied folk tales. Backtracking to Meadow Spring Trail again we will descend to the vans for the short drive into Luray. After a chance to clean up, we will go into town for a final dinner in celebration of our week! Mileage today: 7.4 miles
DAY 6
But wait, there's more! If you grew up on the East Coast, you have undoubtedly heard of Luray Caverns, which is advertised by countless ugly billboards. So you know it is a tourist trap, but what you may not know is that the Caverns are really cool and definitely worth a visit. We will take the hour-long tour before driving back to the airport. We will have you back there by 1:00 and you can plan to fly out anytime after 2:30. If you drove you can plan to be on the road by 11:00am.

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "Did this trip meet your expectations?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

Beautiful country; great guides

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/21/2018-10/26/2018


Obviously disappointed by the lack of fall colors, but you can't control that. It also was quite cold so that inhibited some activities. Really enjoyed being able to progress along the AT and sample different parts of the trail. It's a great itinerary.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/21/2018-10/26/2018


Well organized, wonderful guides, pleasant and like minded women. Beautiful time of year!

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


Everyday was a hiking challenge. The scenic hiking locations we saw made this all worthwhile. Also, new found friendships with fellow hiking companions was just wonderful. Great group of fellow hikers and 2 great guides.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


Meeting and spending the week with a great group of women, including the guides. Spending time outdoors in a new and beautiful environment.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


So many highlights! Expertise of the guides, the Appalachian Trail itself, the views from overlooks, the other hikers...

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


This is my 4th trip with AGC. I love AGC! You folks are my idols! Your trips make my life better!! Thank you so much! I will travel with you always!! But to be absolutely honest, I'm so sorry to say that this trip seemed a tad overpriced.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


Loved everything about the trip; learning to use the equipment, the physical challenge, connecting with the guides and the participants, and yes, even getting absolutely soaked at the end of the first day!

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


AGC is the most organized company I’ve dealt with. I can’t say enough about how great the guides, Carrie and Claire, were. They worked so hard everyday to ensure they provided us with everything we needed to ensure we had a great vacation. They were very informative. When I booked the trip, I was just looking for something different to try. I didn’t expect to walk away being informed about all aspects of hiking from trekking poles, to backpacks, to respecting the woods. This was such a great trip.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


Each day the hikes were unique and the distances were perfect. I did the long hikes each day. The women in the group were great. Each day was a treasure.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/22/2017-10/27/2017


great people, excellent guides, challenging and fun hikes, UNPLUGGING on the AT

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


I loved everything. The comraderie, Jan and Carrie, the beautiful hiking, learning to be a better hiker, being outside all day, and especially meeting the physical challenge of that much hiking.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


This is not a complaint, but only a personal opinion: The trails were great, but seeing only tree trunks for long stretches bored me. I should have expected it after reading "A Walk in the Woods;" that was one of Bill Bryson's observations. Don't get me wrong; I had a wonderful time. I loved the rock scramble; for me, it added much needed diversity.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


Good group, knowledgeable leaders, good workout

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


My expectation was to hike the A.T. and we did! With a lot of help [thanks to Jan

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


I loved the hiking, meeting the other women who were so supportive, fun and like-minded. The guides were great.

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


This is a very well-designed itinerary. I really appreciated the pace of the day, the variety of hikes, the scenery, and how well everything fit together. It was one day too short for me. Not giving the trip a 5 only because of the weather - it was really cold in the mornings and the wind was pretty fierce two day.s

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


camaraderie with new women friends; learning new skills and about new places

Hiking Lodge to Lodge on the AT in Fall 10/23/2016-10/28/2016


  1. Where do we eat?

    Breakfasts and dinners will be in restaurants where you can order off the menu. Before you start the day, the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch or occasionally lunch will be picnic style.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
Replied!