Photographing Shenandoah NP: Moomans River Overlook

February 27, 2017  •  1 Comment

Moormans River Overlook


Location: Shenandoah National Park- Southern District

Best time of year to photograph: Year Around

Subject Focus: Sunrise, Landscape

Popularity: Modorate

Mile Maker: 92 on Skyline Drive


Moormans River Overlook is one of the few eastern facing overlooks in Shenandoah National Park’s Southern District, which makes this a prime location for watching the sun rise when in this part of the park. 

Moormans River Overlook PanoMoormans River Overlook PanoMoormans River Overlook is located in the Southern District of Shenandoah National Park just off Skyline Drive. Moormans River Overlook faces due east making it ideal to watch the sunrises over the Blue Ridge Mountains. (86mm, 1/20sec, F/11, ISO 100, Facing Northeast)

At mile post 92 off of Skyline Drive, Moormans River Overlook offers photographers a 180 degree view of the eastern most Blue Ridge Mountains and rolling hills surrounding Charlottesville, Virginia.  The overlook also provides a clear view of the Charlottesville Reservoir, which could be used as a nice foreground element.  At 2,975 feet, Moormans River Overlook is one of 72 beautiful overlooks that are on Skyline Drive.  Skyline Drive is the road that winds through the heart of Shenandoah National Park, is 105 miles long, and offers great views of the surrounding Blue Ride Mountains and valleys while simultaneously offering photographers the chance to glimpse the outstanding scenery of Shenandoah. The quickest way to reach this outlook is through the Rockfish Gap entrance off of Interstate 64 and then drive 13 miles North along Skyline Drive until you reach Moormans River Overlook, which will be on the right side. 

Charlottesville ReservoirCharlottesville ReservoirCharlottesville Reservoir at sunrise from Moormans River Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. (70mm, 1/6sec, F/10, ISO 100, Facing East)

One thing I really love about this overlook is the fact there are no trees growing right up next to the outlook to obstruct the view.  Photographers have a clear eastern view even during the heart of the summer when the trees are full of leaves. The 180 degree view allows photographers to capture Cedar Mountain to the Northeast and Calf Mountain to the Southwest and will also allow photographers to capture the sun rising year around.  When looking to the Northeast or Southwest, photographers are able to capture multiple mountain ridges providing layers to their image.  Since Moormans River overlook is so close to interstate 64 and one of few eastern facing overlooks in Shenandoah’s Southern District, it can be popular.  With that said, there are enough parking spots, and because of the clear view, there is plenty of room for people to spread out.

Cedar Mountain SunriseCedar Mountain SunriseCedar Mountain at sunrise from Moormans River Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. (150mm, 1/25sec, F/10, ISO 100, Facing Northeast)

Moormans River Overlook is near a lot of great hikes in the Shenandoah National Park Southern District.  After you enjoy the views, I highly recommend checking out one of these hikes: Blackroack Summit and Frazier Discovery Trail.


Learn More: Essential Landscape Photography Tips,  Photographing Shenandoah National Park


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