How Long Does It Take To Drive The Blue Ridge Parkway (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Minumum Ten To Twelve Hours

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most famous parkways in the world. The name has been given Blue Ridge Parkway as it runs along the Blue Ridge mountain chain. The Blue Ridge mountain chain is a part of the famous Appalachian Mountain Range.

It is very long when it comes to the distance it covers as it crosses over two states. The two states that the Blue Ridge Parkway covers are Virginia and North Carolina. It is also known as Longest Linear Park in America.

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How Long Does It Take To Drive The Blue Ridge Parkway?

Traveling across the Blue Ridge Parkway consumes quite a lot of time due to the vast distance it covers. Since the Blue Ridge Parkway runs for around 469 miles or 755 km, it will take hours to complete the journey.

The time it will take to cross the complete Blue Ridge from start to end can depend on many factors. The Blue Ridge Parkway is visited by many people not only for traveling but also to view the scenic beauty on both sides of the two-lane undivided expressway.

On average, it can almost take ten or even twelve hours to drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway. This time is based on the condition that the person is driving non-stop on the road. However, since the parkway is known for its view and different attractions like Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock, The Meadows Of Dan, and more, it can take a few days to enjoy the place and complete the journey.

Apart from the locales, there can be other factors like the weather that might increase the overall timing it will take to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Although the Blue Ridge Parkway is not crowded on a normal day and the traveler can drive through, but there can be unforeseen traffic that might cause the overall journey across the to take more time than the usual twelve-hour.

ConditionsThe time it will take to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway
Direct (Without Stopping)Ten to twelve hours
Taking breaks/TrafficThirteen to fifteen hours
Exploring all the scenic spotsTwo to five days

Why Does It Take So Long To Drive The Blue Ridge Parkway?

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a beautiful parkway that was established in the year 1939. It is spread over 93,390 acres of land. People prefer this route to travel across Virginia and North Carolina. 

There can be several reasons behind the trip across Blue Ridge Parkway taking hours to days. The reasons are below:

  • The primary reason is the area that one has to travel to the final point of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The whole parkway spreads to an area of about 469 miles. When the traveler is driving constantly and consistently, it will take about 10 to 12 hours.
  • However, driving without breaks and at a constant speed is not always possible when on such a long journey. Hence, including the breaks that a person might take or the shift in speed in certain areas, the overall time that a person will take to drive from the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the end will be 12 to 15 hours.
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway is known for its scenic beauty and breathtaking attractions. If a person is planning to visit all the spots that will come during the drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway, then it will take about three to five days to reach the end. It can be a day less or more depending upon which sites the person intends to stop for.
  • The driving speed is another factor that determines the overall time it will take to drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Another factor that adds to the time is the weather. Bad weather can cause blockage and add more time to the overall drive.


A beautiful parkway unit of the National Park System that is visited by thousands of people over the year. Over 14 million people have already visited the famous Blue Ridge Parkway to date.

The parkway also has side roads that can be taken to connect to other highways on the way.


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