Brown Mountain Overlook is an amazing place to watch the sunset in Shenandoah National Park’s Southern District, and it’s just over 10 miles from the Swift Run Gap Entrance making it super easy to get to.

At mile post 77 off of Skyline Drive, Brown Mountain Overlook offers photographers a western view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park, and the Shenandoah Valley. At 2,840 feet, Brown Mountain Overlook is one of 72 beautiful overlooks that are on Skyline Drive located in the northern part of the Southern District.  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 Ridge 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 Swift Run Gap entrance off of Route 33 and then drive 11.4 miles south along Skyline Drive until you reach Brown Mountain Overlook, which will be on the right side.

Photographers have a clear western view of a few ridge lines which will add layers and depth to your images.  Brown Mountain Overlook’s amazing view allows photographers to capture a valley created by Big Run along with Cedar Mountain, Trayfoot Mountain to the southwest and Rockytop to the west and Rocky Mountain to the northwest. Brown Mountain Overlook is also the trailhead of the Brown Mountain Trail; hiking down this trail a few hundred yards will give photographers a great clear view to the northwest.  This is a great location to photograph Rocky Mountain and will also allow photographers to capture the sun setting behind the mountains year around.  If you follow the trail down to the “Y”  and take the left fork, the trail will lead turn southwest and is a great place to photograph some wildflowers during the spring with the beautiful mountains in the background. From the top of the overlook, there are a few trees that can be used as foreground element when you photograph Rocky Mountain.  With a trailhead at this overlook, there are plenty of parking spaces and enough room for people to spread out to photograph this amazing view. 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Snack
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible


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