Devils Fork and Devils Bathtub Loop Trail

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Jefferson National Forest

Devils Fork and Devils Bathtub Loop Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Fort Blackmore, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length7.3 miElevation gain1,614 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningDog friendlyForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeOver grownRocky
Description
Waypoints (18)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Note: This swimming hole is prone to flash flooding. For this reason, please do not attempt the trail if the water is above your knees. Scenic hike to the Devil's Bathtub, a scoured rock formation within Devil's Fork Creek. Hike follows the creek closely along its entire course, crossing the creek multiple times and passing several scenic swimming holes, rock formations, and waterfalls. This hike continues beyond the Devil's Bathtub, climbing the mountain and returning to the original trailhead. Beyond the Bathtub, however, the trail is much less maintained and may be difficult to follow in some seasons. Overcrowding at the Devil's Bathtub has become a problem, exacerbated by disrespectful hikers ignoring No Trespassing signs and parking along private property when the trailhead parking area becomes full. Please be aware that ALL areas outside of the signed parking area at the trailhead should be considered private property and should not be used for parking. Access to the trailhead is only allowed through an easement from a private landowner, and disregard for property owners' rights by visitors does nothing but needlessly strain this relationship...and puts you at risk of getting your car towed. If you arrive at the trailhead and the parking area is full, consider going somewhere else rather than breaking local trespassing laws. The Bathtub will still be there on another day, and you won't have to fight crowds of people to see it. Little Stony Falls or the Guest River Gorge are alternative hikes, both of which are nearby, have similar scenery than the Bathtub, and are virtually never crowded.

Virginia Tourism Corporation, 901 Easy Byrd Street , Richmond, VA, 23219, Phone: 804-786-2051, Fax: 804-786-1919

- Getting to the Bathtub is not an easy stroll to a swimming hole - it is a difficult backcountry hike involving some skill at route-finding and multiple stream crossings. People can (and frequently do!) get lost and/or injured when they attempt to hike to the Bathtub in poor weather conditions, without enough daylight remaining, or without proper experience or preparation. In short, this is NOT a good choice for a first backcountry hike. Always hike at your own risk, and consider taking some easier hikes in the area first to become familiar with the demands of backcountry travel if you are inexperienced. Above all, be smart and come prepared when attempting this trail. If you don't know what good hiking preparation entails, it may be best to choose an easier hike. - While often easily navigated, the multiple stream crossings on this trail may require significant wading at high water and may even become treacherous during extremely high creekflow. Even at low water levels, some creek crossings are technical and cannot be made dry-shod. Use caution and good judgment before attempting any creek crossings in wet weather. - Steep terrain and heavy forest cover along this trail may prevent adequate wireless internet access and/or reduce accuracy of smartphones' GPS while on the trail. Your location on the map may therefore not be precisely accurate if tracking your progress directly on the trail. As with all online guides, the information contained herein should only be used for educational purposes and not for use in backcountry navigation or as a substitute for a trail map, planning, and good judgment.

Directions from Fort Blackmore, VA: Head northwest on Rt. 619. Travel approximately 3 miles to the trailhead.

Weather
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Reviews (333)
Photos (616)
Recordings (165)
Completed (678)
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Craig Mack
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble

This trail is now on my top 5 list. Hiked the entire loop on 12/10/20. Recorded 8.3 miles and 1800 ft elevation gain going counter clockwise. Saw no other hikers on the trail. Recommend waterproof socks for all of the creek crossings. Water flow was great and the water was crystal clear. Will be repeating this one in the future!

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Yvonne Yang
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Hiking
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Nathan Wolitarsky
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Hiking

A bit wet from yesterday’s rains and lots of leaves on the trail but still very doable and worth it.

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Michael Kurtz
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Hiking
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Brittany Hewitt
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Hiking

This hike is very taxing. We went to the bath tub first and then hiked to the waterfall and up the mountain. I would do it in reverse if I did it again. Start early, we didn’t start until after noon and almost ran out of day light. All around a beautiful trail. Lots of water crossings, bring water shoes.

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Leslie Barrack
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Hiking

Perfect trail.

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Rebekah Aguirre
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HikingGreat!Muddy

One of our favorites! We have done this trail twice this year. Best to wear quick-dry clothes and shoes that can get wet for creek crossings. In the spring the water was higher (in some areas above my knees). Rocks can be slippery so I suggest a good walking stick for balance across the creek. Have taken my kids and they love the swimming area just before the devils bathtub.

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Matt Gilliland
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Hiking
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Jared Jarvis
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Jennifer Green
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HikingGreat!

Challenging trail with a sweet reward at the end (if you choose). We started with the steep incline and ended with the tub. Definitely should be rated as hard, it was physically exerting. The path was full of rocks, roots, mud, and slippery stream crossovers. The bathtub was freezing cold, what an awesome experience! A must do! Bad reception so make sure to download the map. Also recommend parking in the new lot which is before the AllTrails endpoint. You walk a little further but avoid crowded parking and harsh driving terrain.

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Doug Allen
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Hiking

The Devil’s Bathtub is beautiful and amazing. There are numerous stream crossings. Suggest wearing shoes that can get wet. Crossings can be very slippery so be aware. Devil’s Fork Loop is a challenging and rugged trail that is worth the effort. Lots of waterfalls and stream crossings. Some parts can be very challenging and I would recommend for moderately confident hikers w good endurance only. Only complaint is that there is a lot of litter and most visitors do not wear masks nor practice good social distancing during the pandemic.

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Alayna Johnson
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HikingMuddy
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Kristen Penberthy
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HikingGreat!

The difficulty of this trail is in the multiple stream crossings; if you are in water shoes you can fly through the trail. Overall very enjoyable and the bath tub and swimming hole at the end are a lot of fun.

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Rebecca Sharp
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HikingMuddy

This was a nice short hike. Not reflective of the difficultly rating at all. However I could appreciate that if there was substantial rain this could become difficult. Plenty of water crossings yesterday but nothing above knee height (I’m 5.1). Trail is clearly marked with yellow markings everywhere so it would be difficult to get lost. It took less than an hour to hike up to the pool. Hiking during the week is a great recommendation. I got there with no one else present but on the way back I passed two families with 4-8 kids in tow and another 3 couples. I’ll post some photos below of the hike.

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Kimberly Coleman
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Bill Tyson
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Kaila Apperson
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HikingGreat!

The trail was amazing. I would happily do it again. The multiple creek crossings, a little bit of all 4’s work kept me engaged. It seemed as if after every difficult stretch there was an slight reprieve. Which really made for an excellent hike! Sadly, the trash was a consistent problem until we got past the bathtub. Afterwards it got a bit better. The trail was very quiet, again, once past the bathtub. We didn’t run into anyone. I do suggest getting an early start. We began the hike around 8am and only encountered about 4 people. In returning, the parking lot was packed. So I can only assume the spectacle of the bathtub was packed as well. Over all, the drive to the hike, the bath tub and the hike itself were great. *** I highly HIGHLY suggest watching the weather closely. We ran it to a isolated storm that wasn’t very heavy and not for very long, but the last exit point of the hike brings you across another river crossing, which even in just a short, light rain had raised the water to waist level. (It was ankle/calf level when entering) I could DEFINITELY see how this could pose serious safety issues in a heavier storm. *** Hike with care. Happy travels.

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Marcie Franklin
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Hiking

Parking is a big problem. We ended up parking on the edge of the road leading to the parking lot and didn't get towed. The road to the parking lot is treacherous. The trail is beautiful and well maintained but definitely moderate to hard. Wear rugged shoes that can get wet. Would recommend a walking stick. Take water. Would not take small children or grandma. Pay attention to time of day and weather. Recommend take the shorter trail.

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jeff hess
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HikingGreat!Rocky

The hike is difficult, but so worth it! Many stream crossings. TIP, go during the week, fewer people. After the hike, proceed up rt 619/High Knob road to an amazing tower at sunset! The parking problem for Devils bathtub is solved by parking at the first parking area to your right, you will see cars parked there, although it adds 1/4 mile to your hike. If the water is a bit high DO NOT expect to see the tub as seen in photos, but you will be pleased with other pools and waterfalls. When the water is high, the aeration/bubbles makes it to where the pool will not be recognizable as the pool is approx 6'X25'. Still do the hike as we did with higher water, very nice! But I will return when the water is lower to see the pool as seen in photos!

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Mary Bailor
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HikingMuddyOver grownRocky

One question does the US Forrest service measure miles with crows??? I swear it’s longer then 7 miles, maybe it’s because we got stuck in the rain not sure. I loved it, I recommend doing the loop if you enjoy hiking if you don’t just do the 1.5 and leave it at that because you are not in the right shoes aka boots!! Please take out what you bring in it’s beautiful

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Madelyn Church
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

I went on this hike last Sunday 7/5/2020 and maybe it hadn't rained in a while but the water was not nearly as high as some of the reviews have said. Was able to mostly stay on the rocks at every crossing (I counted 10 creek crossings to the tub). The bathtub itself was beautiful! Water was chilly but my pup still swam around. If you're taking a dog I would suggest just making sure they are well trained on the leash not to pull. To get down to the tub it is a little thin and could be dangerous if they tried to pull you. Also crossing the creeks could get dangerous if they decided to pull. I got there around 10am and only saw about 3 people at the bathtub which was great! I headed back down and left around 2 and probably met 20 people going back down so I would suggest getting there early. Great hike!!

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Marcie Morrison
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MuddyOff trailRocky

Getting there early was the right thing to do. We shared the trail with 4 other families until the way out, when we passed 15 other groups. This trail is not easy. Come prepared with great hiking shoes for water, and maybe a spare elastic bandage. There was more than a few spills witnessed on the hike. Totally worth it. What a beautiful gem this place is. Pay attention to weather, as flooding would be a big problem. I look forward to a chilly fall hike.

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