Trips: Shenandoah Fall Snow 2017

A rare autumn snow coated the upper reaches of Shenandoah National Park just as falls foliage peaked.  The result was an enchanting mix of color and snow.

Is it autumn or winter?

Is it autumn or winter? Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

The Sun rises over the Piedmont, soon to disappear behind a bank of storm clouds.

The Sun rises over the Piedmont, soon to disappear behind a bank of storm clouds. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A mountain hillside holds on to a few of fall's final colors, dusted by last night's snow.

A mountain hillside holds on to a few of fall's final colors, dusted by last night's snow. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Many of Shenandoah's mountains are dominated by oaks that, in fall, turn a varying of red, tawny and russet but when the sun...

Many of Shenandoah's mountains are dominated by oaks that, in fall, turn a varying of red, tawny and russet but when the sun is right can appear almost orange. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

There is a feeling of loss.  The seasons are changing and a picnic table, dusted n a light snow, stands deserted beneath some...

There is a feeling of loss. The seasons are changing and a picnic table, dusted n a light snow, stands deserted beneath some golden leaves. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Just past Hughes Gap Overlook, Skyline bends and begins it ascent by Stony Man Mountain.

Just past Hughes Gap Overlook, Skyline bends and begins it ascent by Stony Man Mountain. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Stony Man Mountain rises above Skyline Drive.

Stony Man Mountain rises above Skyline Drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Freezing temperatures and ice have frozen these oak leaves as they were being blown in the wind, leaving them frozen in time...

Freezing temperatures and ice have frozen these oak leaves as they were being blown in the wind, leaving them frozen in time in suspended animation.. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

The apples are ripe and ready for deer and other animals when they finally fall.

The apples are ripe and ready for deer and other animals when they finally fall. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Over the years, deer and other animals have worn a series of well trod paths through Big Meadows.

Over the years, deer and other animals have worn a series of well trod paths through Big Meadows. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Golden grass contrasts with the ruby red berry bushes in Big Meadows.

Golden grass contrasts with the ruby red berry bushes in Big Meadows. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A heavy bank of fog covers Big Meadows.  A lone oak stands above the grasses and berry bushes.

A heavy bank of fog covers Big Meadows. A lone oak stands above the grasses and berry bushes. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

In early fall, Big Meadows turns into a colorful carpet.  The heavy fog simplifies the meadow and it is seen in its most elemental...

In early fall, Big Meadows turns into a colorful carpet. The heavy fog simplifies the meadow and it is seen in its most elemental forms, grasses and two lone oak trees in the distance. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

The fog highlights the colors of Big Meadows.

The fog highlights the colors of Big Meadows. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Like the skeleton of some extinct dinosaur, this dead tree rises above the grasses of Big Meadows.

Like the skeleton of some extinct dinosaur, this dead tree rises above the grasses of Big Meadows. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Twisted by pine, colored by fall and dusted in winter's first snow this tree stands atop a cliff's edge in Shenandoah National...

Twisted by pine, colored by fall and dusted in winter's first snow this tree stands atop a cliff's edge in Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Every few years there is a day when winter's first snow catches autumn napping.

Every few years there is a day when winter's first snow catches autumn napping. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

The sun rises after an evening snow has fallen on the higher elevations of Shenandoah National Park.

The sun rises after an evening snow has fallen on the higher elevations of Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Tunnel View Overlook provides one of the best views of the Blue Ridge mountains at sunrise, highlighted here by a light snow.

Tunnel View Overlook provides one of the best views of the Blue Ridge mountains at sunrise, highlighted here by a light snow. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Snow has fallen on the ridges atop Shenandoah National Park.  Autumn's color are receding even in the valleys below and the Blue...

Snow has fallen on the ridges atop Shenandoah National Park. Autumn's color are receding even in the valleys below and the Blue Ridge mountains roll to the Piedmont valley. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

The sun has risen but is quickly concealed by a new round of storm clouds and the temperature quickly feels even colder on this...

The sun has risen but is quickly concealed by a new round of storm clouds and the temperature quickly feels even colder on this mountain ledge. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A red sourwood is covered in a light snow at sunrise.

A red sourwood is covered in a light snow at sunrise. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

On this snowy morning, Skyline Drive is empty.  There remains a surprising amount of fall color.  It is beautiful and quiet drive...

On this snowy morning, Skyline Drive is empty. There remains a surprising amount of fall color. It is beautiful and quiet drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

At the edge of the woods, a large oak is coated in light snow.

At the edge of the woods, a large oak is coated in light snow. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A fall drive in an early snow on Skyline Drive is one of the great experiences in Shenandoah National Park.

A fall drive in an early snow on Skyline Drive is one of the great experiences in Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A strong wind blows this autumn morning across Pinnacles Overlook which affords one of the best view of Old Rag and the mountains...

A strong wind blows this autumn morning across Pinnacles Overlook which affords one of the best view of Old Rag and the mountains to the south in Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Last night's snow creates the perfect backdrop for fall's colors.

Last night's snow creates the perfect backdrop for fall's colors. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Fall colors are at peak and snow has fallen across the mountain tops in Shenandoah and Pinnacles Overlook.

Fall colors are at peak and snow has fallen across the mountain tops in Shenandoah and Pinnacles Overlook. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn's leaves defy the powerful winds that have followed last night's snow storm.  But the end is inevitable and in just a...

Autumn's leaves defy the powerful winds that have followed last night's snow storm. But the end is inevitable and in just a couple more days all of these leaves will be down. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

The wind driven snow has pasted the western side of every tree lining Skyline Drive.

The wind driven snow has pasted the western side of every tree lining Skyline Drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

It may have only been a couple of inches of snow but it has transformed the autumn landscape along Skyline Drive.

It may have only been a couple of inches of snow but it has transformed the autumn landscape along Skyline Drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Hickories and Oaks create a patch of color around the bend on Skyline Drive.

Hickories and Oaks create a patch of color around the bend on Skyline Drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Pines try out their first winter snow coat of the year.

Pines try out their first winter snow coat of the year. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A color stand of sumac lines Skyline just before Little Stony Man.

A color stand of sumac lines Skyline just before Little Stony Man. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Skyline Drive is one of the most spectacular drives in America.

Skyline Drive is one of the most spectacular drives in America. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

An ethereal light from the forest's interior.

An ethereal light from the forest's interior. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.