Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shenandoah National Park Day 3: Little Stony Man and Luray Caverns in Luray

Shenandoah National Park: Stony Man & Luray Caverns
Shenandoah National Park Day 3 - Wednesday 4/8/15
The weather on day 3 was not great. It started out really foggy in the morning, cleared while on our hike up Stony Man, then the clouds rolled in and stayed. It was pretty dreary the rest of the day so we headed to the Luray Caverns which turned out to be a pretty awesome place.

We started the day walking from our lodge to the dining hall at Skyland Resort for breakfast. It's a nice little walk to take, just wished the weather was nicer.
Walking to the dining Hall at Skyland Resort
Breakfast at the dining hall was decent, nothing spectacular but fine. They had a nice menu for kids and the kiddos did a great job eating their pancakes and french toast. We took our time heading back to our room because of the fog. If we went on any hike, we wouldn't see a thing and since the kiddos wanted to play on the rocks outside the dining hall, we let them. Miraculously while Hubby was checking out and giving the keys back to the resort, the clouds started clearing and that was when we decided to hike Stony Man.

Stony Man, Mile Marker 41.7
As you can see below, the skies cleared and the weather was great while heading up Stony Man. The kids were having a great time as we let them play on some of the big rocks that we passed.
Shenandoah National Park: Stony Man
However just as we got to the summit, the clouds rolled in. We were pretty bummed that we didn't get the views. We just couldn't believe how fast the clouds came. Here's a pic I took so you can get an idea of how cloudy it was at the summit.
Foggy on Stony Man Summit
The hike is 1.6 miles total. Good for kids and another popular hike so be prepared for lots of people on the trail.

With the forecast for the rest of the day cloudy with a chance for some rain, we decided to check out the Luray Caverns in Luray (the caverns are not a part of the National Park).

Luray Caverns
After a quick lunch in Luray, we went to the caverns. Be prepared for long lines. When we got there the line was quite long. I'd say we waited in the line for about 45 minutes. However those 45 minutes were worth it. I had never been in a cave and seeing and walking inside was pretty amazing. I will let you see for yourself from my favorite pics from our visit.

There is a guide talking throughout the tour that leads the group. We hung out in the back so we didn't catch a lot of what our guide was saying. We wanted to hang out back and take pics, plus it was just easier with the kiddos to be in the back. My favorite part was this area where there is pool of water and you see the reflection of the stalactites in the water and it looks like a city.
Luray Caverns
Luray Caverns
Luray Caverns
There is a wishing well where all proceeds are donated for medical research, educational grants, and to other charitable and nonprofit organizations.
Luray Caverns Wishing Well
I was impressed with how big the cave was and how much we got to see of it. We walked about 1.25 miles, so it was a nice tour. I would say definitely worth the price we paid. Adults are $26 and kids 6-12 $14, and kids 5 and under are free, so we did not have to pay for the kiddos which was nice. Admission also includes entrance to the Car and Carriage Caravan and the Luray Valley Museum. We checked out the Luray Valley Museum which had some interesting old furniture but didn't stay long. We also checked out the Garden Maze which was not included in admission but we got a $1 off and paid only $6 for Hubby to go in with the kiddos (kids 5 & under are free). The kiddos loved the maze and they even did it twice. They even said that was their favorite part which I thought was interesting. Maybe because we did that last.

In any rate, I definitely recommend the Luray Caverns as a place to go if you ever visit the Shenandoah National Park area. Day 3 turned out to be a great day, so glad we went to the caves! 


  1. The foggy pic is so pretty and look at those caves! What a great adventure!

  2. Wow the caverns are really cool looking.

  3. That's too bad it was cloudy at the summit. The Caverns look cool! Great pics!

  4. Thanks Sherry! Yeah it was a bummer, but it happens. The caves were awesome!

  5. Thanks Abby! It was a fun experience.

  6. Thanks Marcia! The caves were my favorite part of the day!

  7. I haven't been to Luray Caverns in years. Ahh sometimes there is a Groupon for the caverns, should have mentioned it to you. Glad kiddos got in for free :)

  8. Glad the fog cleared out so you could go on the hike, but too bad about the clouds moving in by the time you got to the summit. That's spring for you I guess:) Either way, looks like you still got to go out on a great hike!
    I love caverns, I have been though many and have not been to these, yet:) Actually I am glad to know they are there, for when I finally visit the NP I will definitely have to do this!!!

  9. It's ok. I did check for a Groupon before we came there wasn't any but there was a LivingSocial deal to the Shenandoah Caverns that we had just missed, but I'm glad we went to Luray. It was pretty awesome for a first cave experience!

  10. Yeah it was pretty crazy how fast the weather changed on us! Just happy we got good enough weather and without any rain. The caverns were pretty awesome especially since it was my first time. I'm excited to check out others now. :)