Devils Fork and Devils Bathtub Loop Trail

HARD 128 reviews
#1 of 13 trails in

Devils Fork and Devils Bathtub Loop Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Fort Blackmore, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1866 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

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.

4 days ago

go early! avoid the crowds in trail and in parking. some garbage lying around so i carried out what i could. beautiful trail.

You can not camp here. Big sign that says NO CAMPING at Trail head. Also signs warning that your vehicle will be towed. It was late and we needed to set up camp so we couldn't even walk the trail. We tried the "trail" north of this one and it turned out to be forest roads. Found a spot by a small stream and left VA as soon as the rain let up in the morning. Worst camping trip ever.

Beautiful trail but unfortunately too crowded to really enjoy.

hiking
11 days ago

Had a great time...took me a minute to jump into the ICE COLD WATER!!!

16 days ago

*My review is for the actual "hike" to Bathtub not the 7 mile loop.

The immensely long dirt/gravel road to reach this destination can be challenging for those who drive smaller, compact automobiles. I drive a Honda Fit and it was a little rough in some spots but mostly I was just concerned about tire wear.
Upon arrival, I managed to get a decent place to park, by the time I returned to my automobile, the parking lot was beyond congested and chaotic.
Leaving the parking lot I decided to take a nearby two lane instead of tackling that monster of a dirt road. I ended up driving roughly 25 miles out of the way but it's not a big deal considering my Fit gets insanely great mileage.

The hike itself was not necessarily rough but watching your footing on dry and slippery rocks is crucial.

As far as the actual Bathtub and swim holes goes - Not impressed. I was raised in hills of Appalachia and everything I could see reminded me of when I would wade in the creek near my parents house. I mean essentially that's what this destination is - A creek. Obviously it offers more rocky routine and lovely vistas compared to my youth but the most part I found this location to be extremely overhyped and I would not make the trip back unless it was to hike the entire loop and see something fresh.

hiking
16 days ago

Great trip! Walked a bit further than Bathtub, saw waterfall. Nice hike to Bathtub (about 1.8 miles) and back. A must see. A number of people although it was a Monday, would encourage anyone to go during week. I imagine people galore on the weekend. Parking can be tricky, again, can't imagine what this must be like on a weekend day.

18 days ago

Beautiful. The Devils Bathtub was worth the hike.

19 days ago

We arrived around 10, and by the time we got to the swimming hole there were about 10 or 15 other people there. The water is cold but it is easy to get in and out. You have the keep climbing either up the waterfall (it's not slippery) or up the steep path to the right of the water to get up to where the bathtub part is. By the time we left, there was zero parking, it was extremely crowded. This trail is not appropriate for small children, though I saw several running around.

19 days ago

20 days ago

It was a great trail. I did the entire loop. It is crowded and there's a lot of litter and parking is rough. I got there late and the only time the trail was hard to navigate was at night. Using a headlamp to find the yellow markers wasn't too fun, but overall it was a great trail

hiking
21 days ago

22 days ago

This trail is NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Me and a few friends did the entire loop and a lot of it is uphill so be prepared for that. But the trek is well worth it and the devil's bathtub is extremely refreshing.

hiking
23 days ago

Hiked the whole loop in a counter clockwise direction so the swimming area was last. It was well marked with yellow blazes. I used the gpx file in my Garmin 30 etrex so I had a directional reference as well. FYI the gpx file loads as a Route, and you have to look under Rout Manager in Garmin to see the down loaded file to run the file. It was a very strenuous ascent in the first 1.5 - 2 miles. As we got half way thru the loop we had seen only 1 old campsite that had trash piled up, looked like possibly volunteers had gathered it to be bagged at a later date. We did the Jones Hollow Falls descent/repel using what rope was there, but it was extremely difficult and dangerous. The bank has eroded and is very slick, we had hiking boots on and still found the footing sketchy. High likelihood of personal injury or death. In hindsight, it was stupid. The water felt great coming off the fall. We hiked out of the ravine at a different point up stream where the footing was better. There were approximately 60ish people at the various swim spots around the Devil's Bathtub. The park service needs a porta-john in that vicinity because there is a wooded area above the swimming areas where people are toileting and it's upstream...disgusting. Lot more trash found by these areas. It's a shame the local people aren't intelligent enough to cherish what they have. I will be back, but it will be during the week with a garbage bag and a pair of gloves.

24 days ago

24 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

wonderful hike. alot of people on this particular Saturday and it was 90+ degrees. no rain left the pools low so the view was not that pretty. need to go back on an off day and when it has rained.

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

Really enjoyed the beauty of this hike! Little further past Devil's bathtub is a beautiful waterfall. Only wished we had backtracked from there. If you continue the loop be warned there are even more miles of rock you can stumble on and steep ridges to climb up and down. This is not an easy hike. Take plenty of drinking water with you because this trail kicked my butt but we made it!!

hiking
29 days ago

29 days ago

You have to start early to find parking where you won't be towed. Also park smart or you will be blocked in. We were also tempted to start the trail on the long side of the loop to finished at the water. SO glad we did not! Early at the water is peaceful with few people and took exceptional photos and really were able to take it all in. Spectacular! After leaving there to continue the loop we saw a beautiful waterfall. We also discovered the last 1-2 miles of the loop was all down hill. Glad we didn't head up it! Beautiful place but sadly there is a lot of trash to pick up along the way.