Photographing Shenandoah NP: The Point Overlook
The Point Overlook
Location: Shenandoah National Park: Central District
Best time of year to photograph: Year Around
Subject Focus: Sunset, Landscape
Mile Maker: 55.5 on Skyline Drive
The Point is the best overlook off of Skyline Drive to watch the sun set behind the Blue Ridge Mountains.
(26mm, 4sec, F/16, ISO 100, facing North-Northwest)
The Point Overlook is one of 72 overlooks for people to enjoy the beauty of Shenandoah National Park as they drive along Skyline Drive. Skyline Drive is the road that winds through the heart of Shenandoah National Park, starting at Front Royal in the north and ending at Rockfish Gap in the south. Over 105 miles long, Skyline Drive offers great views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and valleys while simultaneously offering photographers the chance to glimpse the outstanding scenery of Shenandoah. The Point Overlook is located at mile marker 55.5 along Skyline Drive. Located in the Central District of Shenandoah 4.5 miles south of Big Meadows, the Point Overlook allows viewers to enjoy the amazing sunsets while in Shenandoah National Park. The quickest way to reach this outlook is through the Thornton Gap entrance off of Route 211 if you’re traveling from the north or the Swift Run Gap entrance off of Route 33 if you are traveling from the South.
(18mm, 1/40sec, F/16, ISO 100, facing West)
The Point Overlook is just over 3,200 feet in elevation and has a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The proximity of the Point Overlook to the campgrounds at Big Meadows and Lewis Mountain mix with the outstanding view makes this a very popular spot in Shenandoah, but most people never leave the pull off. In the middle of the overlook is a break in the stone wall, which is the entrance to a trail that leads down to a small rocky cliff. It’s a short 0.1 mile hike to the rocks, but most people who stop at the overlook will never make the hike. This rocky cliff makes an ideal place to photograph the Point Overlook. The Point Overlook is located in an ideal place in the Central District of Shenandoah. The Blue Ridge Mountains widen allowing photographers the ability to capture multiple layers of the Blue Ridge Mountain ranges rather than just one or two ranges found at most other outlooks in Shenandoah. The exposed rock can also make a foreground element. I believe the best part of this view is to the northwest making it ideal to photograph during the late spring and summer around the summer solstice, June 21, when the sun sets in the Northwest. During this period, the sun will set directly behind multiple ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which will add depth to your photograph.
(80mm, 1/30sec, F/8, ISO 100, facing Northwest)
To learn more landscape photography tips click here.
To learn about more locations in to Photograph in Shenandoah National Park click here.
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