Map & Compass Navigation

Thornton Gap Entrance Station Advisory

Due to a fire at the entrance gate, Thornton Gap - one of the park's busiest entrance stations - will be down to one lane. Please plan accordingly.

You may also pre-purchase your park pass online at, which will make the overall entrance station experience go quicker.

Learn about land navigation in the absence of technology - magnetic compass, topographic map, even the sun! Learn how to find out: where you are, where you're going, and how you're going to get there. Never feel helplessly lost again!

This is a full day course, taught outdoors, in the mountains. All needed equipment is provided. Led by Shenandoah Mountain Guides.

Available on select dates and limited to 10 participants.

Book Online Now!

 Date   Depart   Return   Location 
 Apr 28   9:00 AM   4:00 PM   Skyland 
 May 26   9:00 AM   4:00 PM   Skyland 
 Jun 23   9:00 AM   4:00 PM   Skyland 
 Jul 28   9:00 AM   4:00 PM   Skyland 
 Aug 25   9:30 AM   4:30 PM   Skyland 
 Sept 22   9:30 AM   4:30 PM   Skyland 

  • Cost: $160 per person plus taxes.
  • Rate includes a boxed lunch featuring Roasted Turkey & Cheddar Cheese on a Wheat Bun (Lettuce, Tomato, Mustard, Mayonnaise), Apple, Granola Bar, Bag of Chips, Bottled Water, Paper Napkin/Moist Hand Wipe.
  • Reservations required and full payment due at booking.
  • No refunds if guest arrives late for the event.
  • Event will take place in all weather conditions excluding thunderstorms.
  • Check in at front desk at Skyland (mile 41.7 & 42.5) to receive your participation voucher. Then meet your guide in front of the dining room building.

It is recommended that participants:

  • Wear long pants, shoes or boots comfortable for rough mountain travel, and insect repellent.
  • Dress in layers, minimizing the use of cotton - as it has very little insulation.
  • Bring a daypack or small backpack to carry supplies, as well as clothing you might shed while hiking.

  • Reservations required, and full payment due at booking.
  • Maximum of 10 paid participants accepted for all departures.
  • Minimum of 2 paid participants required for program to be offered.
  • Should program be cancelled due to lack of participation or severe weather conditions, 7 day advance notice will be given.
  • 7 day advance cancellation notice is required.
  • Unfortunately, wheelchairs and walkers are not okay as the event does not take place on accessible walking areas.
  • Minimum age required is 12 years. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
  • No pets allowed.
Shenandoah Mountain Guides is a permitted and licensed guiding/educational service provider for Shenandoah National Park.

Working from a base of operations high in the Blue Ridge mountains, the Shenandoah Mountain Guides is internationally known for quality instruction and guiding. With some of the best paddling streams and most remote mountain highlands in the eastern US located nearby, we offer exceptional educational programs in canoeing, backpacking, orienteering, survival/outdoor skills, mountain biking, outdoor leadership, rock climbing and environmental awareness.

The instructional staff serves on the faculty of several colleges and universities as well as on the staff of several national certifying agencies for instructors and trainers. We teach the teachers.

The self-defined mission of Shenandoah Mountain Guides is to help folks get out from behind the steering wheel and out of the car to see, hear, and feel what a treasure Shenandoah National Park is. Towards that end they have developed a schedule designed to introduce different sections of the park at particularly special and scenic times.

Whether you visit Shenandoah with the guides or on your own, we hope you will take the time to explore this mountainous gem of a national park. You’ll be amazed at what you find!

Please review our Service Updates that impact your visit
See All The Lodging Options Shenandoah Has to Offer
First Access to Exclusive Discounts, Events, & Offers

P.O. Box 727, Luray, Virginia 22835 | 877-847-1919