Glade Creek Grist Mill/ Shutterstock Image

Glade Creek Grist Mill/ Shutterstock Image

Know Before You Go, New River Gorge National Park


Detailed map of New River Gorge with hiking trails, river, and viewpoints.

Start Planning! 

You’re about to go on an epic adventure at New River Gorge National Park! Here’s what you need to know before you go. 

  • The tour has five starting points:
    • North of Beckley, WV on Route 19
    • East of Beckley, WV on I-64 East
    • I-64 near Sam Black Church
    • Route 19 by Summersville Lake
    • Route 60 by Hawks Nest State Park
  • The park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, however, attractions have varying hours, check out “Hours of Operation” below for more information. 
  • You can take the tour clockwise and counterclockwise. 
  • The tour takes about 3-5 hours to complete. 

Budgeting and Hours of Operation 

Scenic autumn waterfall surrounded by rocks and trees.Shutterstock Image


How much you spend truly depends on what you do along the tour route, but here’s a breakdown of some costs. 

  • Every stop on the tour is free.
  • $10-15 per person for meals.

Hours of Operation 

Although the park is open 365 days a year, the house of operation varies based on the time of year and staff availability.

Call (305) 242-7700 to confirm the park hours during your visit.

The park’s visitor centers also have varying hours of operation. Those are listed below: 

  • The park is open 24/7
  • Canyon Rim Visitor Center is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm year-round. 
  • Sandstone Visitor Center hours may vary depending on the season; it is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily from April through October; and open weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from November through March. All visitor centers are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day). 
  • Grandview and Thurmond Depot are seasonal visitor centers, open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and sometimes intermittently after Labor Day, depending on staffing.
  • Babcock State Park is open year-round, but the Glade Creek Grist Mill is open seasonally, from May through October.

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Get Packing!

A woman sitting on a rock, gazing at a bridge in the distance.Shutterstock Image

​​Here’s our packing list for this tour. It may seem a little long, but remember, what you bring depends on the activities you choose to do for the day. 

  • Reliable sneakers
  • Comfortable hiking clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses and/or hat
  • Snacks
  • Cash
  • Car charger *Very Important*
  • Phone Mount

Best Time to Visit 

Scenic mountain valley with a river, bathed in sunlight as the sun shines brightly overhead.Shutterstock Image

The park is open year-round, but May-October is peak season and when everything with seasonal hours is open.

Safety Information

  • Some trails lead to high cliff areas, so be mindful with children.
  • Fayette Station Road should not be attempted in wintry weather.

Leave No Trace 

The majestic New River Gorge Bridge stands tall, spanning the picturesque river below. A marvel of engineering and natural beauty.

While exploring, we encourage you to abide by the leave-no-trace principles. Embrace the outdoors responsibly with our commitment to preserving natural wonders.

Respect wildlife habitats, minimize your footprint, and carry out memories, not waste.

By following Leave No Trace principles, you contribute to the longevity and beauty of our planet's most stunning landscapes.

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Ready to take the tour? Check out Shaka Guide's New River Gorge National Park Tour!

We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at aloha@shakaguide.com.

For more detailed information to help you plan, check out our New River Gorge National Park Itinerary.

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The majestic New River Gorge Bridge stands tall, spanning the picturesque river below. A marvel of engineering and natural beauty.

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