Do You Have to Pay to Camp in Shenandoah National Park?

Camping in Shenandoah National Park is an excellent way to explore the beauty of this stretch of the Appalachian Mountains. With over 500 miles of hiking trails, a wide variety of wildlife and stunning views, Shenandoah offers something for everyone.

But do you have to pay to camp in the park? The answer is yes – there are both fee and free camping options in the park.

Fee Camping

The majority of camping options in Shenandoah National Park require a fee. These include developed campgrounds, backcountry camping, and group camping.

All developed campgrounds include access to flush toilets, running water, and fire pits and grills for cooking – making them a great choice for those who want a bit more comfort while camping. Fees vary based on the type of campsite you choose. Fees are due upon arrival at the campground and can be paid with cash or credit card.

Free Camping

If you’re looking for a more remote experience or don’t want to pay a fee, there are some free camping options available in Shenandoah National Park. If you’re willing to hike or bike away from the main roads, there are several primitive campsites scattered throughout the park that allow for no-fee overnight stays.

These sites offer basic amenities such as fire rings and picnic tables but do not have running water or bathrooms. It is important to remember that wilderness camping is not allowed outside of designated sites.


Overall, there are both fee and free camping options available in Shenandoah National Park. Developed campgrounds offer more amenities but come with a fee while primitive campsites provide an immersive experience with no cost associated. Whether you decide to pay or not will depend on your preferences but either way you’ll be sure to enjoy your stay in this stunning national park.

Photo of author

Jennifer Watson