Photographing Shenandoah NP: Pinnacles Overlook

June 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Photographing Pinnacles Overlook

Location: Shenandoah National Park: Central District

Best time of year to photograph: Year Around

Subject Focus: Sunrise, Landscape, Milky Way

Popularity: Low

Mile Maker: 35.1 on Skyline Drive


Pinnacles Overlook in Shenandoah National Park is a southern facing overlook in the Central District that provides one of the best views of Old Rag.  

Pinnacles Overlook PanoPinnacles Overlook PanoA beautiful sunrise at Pinnacles Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. (70mm, 2sec, F/10, ISO 100, 6 Image Pano) 

Looking south over the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 3,320 foot overlook has a great view of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains as well as a valley that leads the the rolling hills. Located at mile marker 35.1 on Skyline Dive, Pinnacles Overlook is one of 72 overlooks that are along Skyline Drive, which runs through the heart of Shenandoah National Park.  105 miles long, Skyline Drive offers great views of the surrounding Blue Ride Mountains and valleys. Just south of Mary’s Rock Tunnel and Hazel Mountain Overlook, the quickest way to reach this outlook is through the Thornton Gap entrance off of Route 211, and then drive south four and a half miles along Skyline Drive until you reach Pinnacles Overlook, which will be on the left side. 

Milky Way Over Old RagMilky Way Over Old RagThe Milky Way was shining bright over Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park.

(35mm, 15sec, F/1.4, ISO 3200)

Pinnacles Overlook looks due south, making it ideal for photographing side light as the sun rises out of sight to the east. Side light is outstanding for adding texture and depth to an image.  The valley that runs away from the overlook also provides a great leading line. If you are hoping to photograph the sun rising, visit Hazel Mountain Overlook or Buck Hollow Overlook- both are located about two miles north along Skyline Drive (click here for photography tips). Pinnacles Overlook is one of the best spots in Shenandoah to photograph Old Rag.  A valley runs perpendicular to the overlook to the base of Old Rag, providing a perfect leading line (click here for composition tips). Since this overlook faces south during the summer, you are able to photograph the Milky Way behind Old Rag.  

Pinnacles OverlookPinnacles OverlookA beautiful sunrise at Pinnacles Overlook in Shenandoah National Park.

(35mm, 1/4sec, F/10, ISO 100)

Click here if you want learn tips for photographing Hazel Mountain Overlook and here to learn tips for photographing Buck Hollow Overlook.

Click here for more photo adventures in the Appalachians Mountains!

Click Here for photo adventures in Shenandoah National Park!


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