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Sunrise Hikes at Great Falls, Virginia

In-Person Program

Morning Tour

Friday, September 29, 2023 - 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET
Code: 1NSC02
Tour meets at Difficult Run Parking Lot near
Great Falls National Park
8801 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA
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Great Falls at sunrise

Located just 15 miles outside Washington, the Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan area. Rise early on an fall morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

The excursions at Great Falls National Park include a hike past Great Falls and into Mather Gorge, two of the area’s most remarkable geologic features. Explore the natural history of the area’s forest, observe a variety of birds, and learn about the effect of local land-use patterns on conservation efforts along the Potomac. The hike covers about 3 miles of hilly walking and rocky trails.

Know Before You Go

  • Tour participants meet at the Difficult Run Parking Lot, 8801 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Virginia. Bring water, a snack, and comfortable, sturdy shoes. This is an intermediate-level hike of approximately 3 miles on uneven and sometimes steep and rocky terrain.
  • Hike is limited to 20 participants.

Additional Date Options for this Tour

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 28, 2023.
  • Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
  • For additional tour information: