The Parkelogue Danya & Eric's National Park Travelogue

The Luray Caverns and Final Day in Shenandoah

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For our final day in Shenandoah we checked out the Luray Caverns. The trek through the cavern is a 1.5 mile guided tour.

 

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The cavern has some really impressive formations.

 

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The cavern is well lit and there are plenty of places to stop and take in the majesty! 

 

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There is a pool to make wishes from which they have donated over a million dollars for charity to date! The Luray Caverns is also home to the worlds largest musical instrument. The Stalacpipe Organ is a one of a kind and uses the cavern itself to make tones. It was unique and beautiful to hear music from it!

 

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Our trip to the Shenandoah Valley was a wonderful winter-time adventure!

Dark Hallow Falls and Hawksbill

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Today we hiked to the Dark Hallow Falls and to Hawksbill peak which is the highest in Shenandoah.

 

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Early in our journey we saw this cool bobcat stalking through the brush. He paid little attention to us and was pretty focused on getting a meal.

 

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The hike to the Dark Hallows Falls is nice decent next to one of the streams that feed the 70' falls.

 

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Hawksbill is the highest summit in the park at 4050 feet. There is this neat shelter and a viewing platform at the top.

 

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There are almost 360 degree views from the summit and the views are breathtaking.

 

 

Little Stony Man Trails

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Our first hikes were on the Little Stony Man trails. There are great views of the valley in this area and some fun rocky hikes.

 

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Some of the trails carve right through the mountains!

 

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It was a cold day and there was ice on the trails so we had to take it slow in spots.

 

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Look at all these ice cicles!

 

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The top of Stony Man was windy and cold but the views were spectacular!

 

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We had a great first day of hiking!

Shenandoah Skyline in December

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Shenandoah National Park is beautiful and relatively quiet in December. It felt like we had the Skyline Drive all to ourselves! It is a really fun drive through the park with great views at every turn.

 

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There are 75 scenic overlooks on Skyline Drive and it takes about 3 hours to drive the length.

 

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We were lucky enough to be greeted early into our adventure by a family of black bears just off of Skyline. They made their way quickly into the trees when we turned the corner and saw them and we made sure to give mamma bear her space and moved on.

 

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It was a cold day and overcast but these views are fantastic!

 

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It was a great start to our short week in Shenandoah!

Horseback Riding in Many Glacier

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For our last full day in Glacier National Park we rode horses on the Cracker Flats Trail thanks to the great wranglers at Swan Mountain Outfitters. Danya's horse Houston was fun and wanted to go fast. Eric's 37 year old mule Gus was slow and hilarious! They don't allow cameras on the ride but trust us that the views are great!

 

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After our ride we had a late lunch at the Many Glacier Hotel where the sights are breathtaking. We even caught a glimpse of a bear across the lake. 

Going-To-The-Sun Road Part Deux

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Today we drove the Going-To-The-Sun Road to hike some of the trails around St. Mary Lake. This is Wild Goose Island and is one of the most iconic spots in Glacier National Park. It really is an epic view!

 

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Driving on the Going-To-The-Sun Road is really fun with the shear cliffs, tight switchbacks, and this cool tunnel.

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On a nice day like today, the view is incredible!

 

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Seriously, these views are insane!

 

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We saw some people trekking up an unmarked trail near the Weeping Wall and wanted to give it a try. 

 

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It was a challenging climb and the most difficult path of the trip but we made it to the top of the falls section!

 

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Thankfully Danya was willing to hold all of this snow up for everyone else ;)

 

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We next stopped next to the Jackson Glacier Overlook to hike the Continental Divide Trail.

 

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There are some really interesting waterfalls on this part of the trail.

 

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We hiked to this clearing for a great view of Jackson Glacier on the recommendation of a nice couple we met on the hike.

 

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We ended a long day of driving and hiking with a birthday dinner for Danya at the Summit Mountain Lodge & Steakhouse. The view off of their deck is spectacular!

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