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Gerry 03-21-2019 05:18 PM

Driving the Sky Line Drive in VA.
 
Wife and I are thinking of driving south on the Sky Line Drive this summer in our 17 ft Casita.
Has anyone driven over it and does it have any steep grades up or down?
Any sharp curves, hair-pin curves on grades?
Low Tunnels or bridges to go under?

Also our travel mates are in a 27ft motor home towing a trailer with a "spider" bike on it will he have any troubles?
Thanks for any advice.
Gerry

bsedwebt 03-21-2019 05:36 PM

You should be fine. I travel it all the time - tunnels are arch shaped with good clearance in the middle area. Curves are gentle and up/down grades quite doable. Road is wide and in good shape. LOTS to see - short hikes to waterfalls, nice overlooks, campgrounds, services, food, etc.... The Skyline is a PAY area (national park pass will get you in if you have it) it runs about 100 miles starting near interstate 66 and running south to interstate 64. At I-64 it turns into the FREE Blue Ridge Parkway that runs about 400 miles ending near Cherokee NC. Make sure to allow several days to travel off the path to many interesting places along the way. Grand Caverns, Sperryville is cute, Crabtree falls is nice, Natural bridge is nice, Floyd country store, Mabry mill (nice place to eat and photo), Damascus (Virginia Creeper Bike Trail), etc...

Gerry 03-22-2019 02:54 AM

Thanks Bryan, I looked at some elevation maps and it looked scary.
I forgot to mention that I will be towing with an 05 Toyota 4 Runner with the V6 with factory tow pkg. with trailer breaks.
You think it will be strong enough to pull it up the grades?

mary and bob 03-22-2019 07:05 AM

We drove the skyline drive several years ago with a car, no trailer. As I recall there was a fairly low speed limit because it is a scenic road ( Bryan can verify or correct me). So we were sightseeing but found there was always someone behind us in a big hurry running well over the speed limit. Nice that there are scenic pull offs to let traffic get by. Then a few years ago we were on the Blue Ridge Parkway section towing our Uhaul (no brakes on those) but had to get off because of a detour due to construction. Got lost, ended up on some steep twisty downhill road. Finally said enough sightseeing and got on I40. Gerry, is your trailer a 16 or 17?

thrifty bill 03-22-2019 07:38 AM

The grades on the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway are not the problem, its the roads on and off, the Parkway in particular. Skyline Drive IMHO is much less scenic. Of course, I only live about 8 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway so I am a little prejudiced.

Realize the parkway and drive basically follow the ridge, fairly gentle, with sweeping curves. Roads on and off are the steeper grade/twisty roads. No gas on the parkway so you have to get off the road at times. There are many spots where access to and from the parkway are not the windy/twisty variety. Others you will regret choosing to get off the parkway. Around me, roads like highway 276 and highway 215 are serious grades and very twisty.

Plan ahead where you are going to get gas to minimize the aggrevation!

The road does get busy, weekends the busiest. Don't plan on making good time on the road, its all about the scenery.

Sure, there are grades on the parkway, none steep by my eyes. If those grades cause you problems, then I would be seeking a new TV, as there are steeper grades around here on the interstate.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is higher in elevation than Skyline Drive, which is very nice in the summer!

Speed limits tend to be low and are enforced! It’s a road to be savored.
https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/gas-availability/

Radar1 03-22-2019 08:11 AM

We have enjoyed the Blue Ridge highway and Skyline drive many times, pulling our 16' Scamp at times with our 4 cylinder Subaru Outback. No issues with curves or grades at all with our setup. If you plan to camp anywhere in the National Park campgrounds, try to check it out on Google maps first, as some sites are not large enough for both the Casita plus the tow vehicle.

cpaharley2008 03-22-2019 08:17 AM

Speed limit is 35 mph and radar enforced. There are some restrictions that may impact motorhomes towing length.

Pete Hein 03-22-2019 10:11 AM

Skyline and Blue Ridge
 
Please remember that radar detectors are prohibited in Virginia.

Last time I drove the Skyline the speed limit was 35; fortunately, the nice lady who checked us into the park (onto the road ?) told us to take the detector down. Apparently they can (or could, then) confiscate the thing as well as issue a ticket for it.

Dan-NS27 03-22-2019 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete Hein (Post 736720)
Please remember that radar detectors are prohibited in Virginia.

Last time I drove the Skyline the speed limit was 35; fortunately, the nice lady who checked us into the park (onto the road ?) told us to take the detector down. Apparently they can (or could, then) confiscate the thing as well as issue a ticket for it.

Yeah, I've heard stories of police taking them and putting them under a tire and telling the driver to run over it.

Paul O. 03-22-2019 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan-NS27 (Post 736721)
Yeah, I've heard stories of police taking them and putting them under a tire and telling the driver to run over it.

I would like to know how the law allows for destruction of private property, and how it allows the police to force the owner to do so under duress. Issuing a ticket is one thing, what you describe is totally different. Confiscation on the spot sounds unconstitutional, besides.

We drove sections of both Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge and they were easy and definitely worth it. Also, it is best to keep it slow and enjoy the scenery. Yes, some of the access roads are steep and winding, so inquiring locally might be a good idea.

A special place is the Luray Caverns. There are many caves along the way but we only saw Luray. The locals might know best.

Gerry 03-22-2019 05:22 PM

Gee getting loads of info here and will probably traveling south on the Skyline ridge only down to Rt.64 W in Lexington.
I am almost sure our campmates with the motor home will not travel with us and we'll probably meet up somewhere.
We are planning our trip and the first let is to Mammoth Cave so this will be a nice drive for the wife and I.
Bob my Casita is a 16 footer.

mary and bob 03-22-2019 06:14 PM

Gerry; I thought you had a 16, but first post says 17 so I was thinking maybe you moved up. When we head to Florida and back we usually go down I81 with an overnight stop at Natural Bridge KOA. A couple times we have went route 29 instead. Waltons Museum and house is along 29 but we never stopped there. A few times we stayed in a motel in New Market VA and once drove from there to Luray Cavern. As I recall that was a steep up and down twisty road.

Gerry 03-23-2019 03:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bsedwebt (Post 736671)
You should be fine. I travel it all the time - tunnels are arch shaped with good clearance in the middle area. Curves are gentle and up/down grades quite doable. Road is wide and in good shape. LOTS to see - short hikes to waterfalls, nice overlooks, campgrounds, services, food, etc.... The Skyline is a PAY area (national park pass will get you in if you have it) it runs about 100 miles starting near interstate 66 and running south to interstate 64. At I-64 it turns into the FREE Blue Ridge Parkway that runs about 400 miles ending near Cherokee NC. Make sure to allow several days to travel off the path to many interesting places along the way. Grand Caverns, Sperryville is cute, Crabtree falls is nice, Natural bridge is nice, Floyd country store, Mabry mill (nice place to eat and photo), Damascus (Virginia Creeper Bike Trail), etc...

Yes Bryan, this is the route we plan to take and the 100 miles or so drive will afford us plenty of time to get out and take in the sites. Yes I did read on the web page that the speed limit is 35 in the park.
No worries, I'm that A---hole who most always does the speed limit anyway.
I see there are some campgrounds in the Strasburg area.
We are looking for Nation Forest or State Park campgrounds...Any recommendations?
Does anyone know about Elizabeth Furnace Rec. Area in Geo. Washington National Forest?

bsedwebt 03-23-2019 04:47 AM

There are several national park campgrounds ON the Skyline drive - ALL will fit your rig. No need to get off the Skyline if you do not want to but you should drop your trailer and go see some things. There IS gas at Big Meadows ON the parkway (and a nice campground as well as supplies and food) if I recall correctly. Luray Caverns is nice and close to the Skyline. There is gas at all towns usually just off the parkway and I have never had any problems with the grades or turns on the parkway or Skyline Drive. Speed limit is 35 on the Skyline and 45 on the parkway. If you are going to Mammoth Cave keep on the parkway as long as you can before going west. It is a LOVELY drive. Some roads that join the parkways are a bit twisty but the major roads like 33 and 231 are very doable but still have steeper grades and sharper twists than the parkways. The parkways were designed with the traveler in mind - it is meant to be a scenic adventure for the general public. If you are interested in some history a nice campground not far off the parkway on an easy drive on route 250 going towards Charlottesville is Misty Mountain. If you drop there go to Crozet and eat at Crozet Pizza (Cute). Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is a half hour drive and is quite nice. When visiting Monticello around mid day eat at Michie Tavern half a mile away and explore the grounds there as well. A couple miles east is Ashlawn Highland and Trump Winery. (at this time you are about in my neighborhood) A MUST see if you go that far south is Mabry Mill - right ON the parkway. It is BEAUTIFUL and has a very reasonable eatery inside with rustic feel and views. You will never forget it. The traffic on the Skyline and Blue Ridge Parkway is not that bad. It is very relaxing and you will WANT to go slower and enjoy the turn outs. Stop for a quick bite at several and just enjoy. There are several picnic grounds along the way and several restrooms in season. Picnic grounds do not give the best views like the pull offs. Ravens Roost pull off on the parkway is quite nice.


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