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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.

Distance: 7.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,614 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

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.

muddy
off trail
rocky
5 days ago

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.

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful hike. We went clockwise, starting with the branch to devils bathtub. This was a good Choice for the day, which predicted rain. There were prob 10 total crossings on way to the bath and shortly after, but the rest of the trail has none until you’re back to start (the first crossing is also the last on way out). The water is lovely and bracing on a hot day. The loop after the water areas is not as scenic or unique, but worth it for the full experience. Some unfortunate litter especially between start and bathtub. Some poison ivy on tight trail near start/end opposite the bathtub on the loop. I assume it’s because it tracked us waking around the swim area a while, but it clocked me at about 10m rather than 7. FWIW.

hiking
23 days ago

This is an amazing hike! I recommend doing the loop although you can go straight to the tub and back. Prepare to get wet there are several water crossings. I would also bring trekking poles, they help with the water. There’s a parking lot at the top and also some space at the bottom if you have a car that won’t go up the gravel hill.

hiking
24 days ago

Have a small vehicle so I parked in the gravel lot just before the small bridge. The walk from there to the actual trail isn’t very far. If you follow the direct route to the bathtub it’s not a very far hike and while you do have to cross many streams the trail is well kept and I believe not as treacherous as some of the reviews would lead you to believe. I started the hike early around 7ish and when we arrived at the tub we were the only ones there. On the way back to our vehicle around 10 we saw many people heading in so if you’d like a more peaceful experience I recommend starting early but the water is definitely chilly at the time of day. Have fun it’s a great hike

hiking
muddy
29 days ago

I would recommend this trail. From the scenery to the crystal-clear blue water, it was all worth the effort. Although I echo what everyone else has said about it being treacherous (and your feet will definitely get wet). I went at 8:15 Monday morning and only two cars were parked in the lot. I parked about 0.3 miles or so down the road from the trailhead over the bridge at the new parking lot. I also took the long way around to the Bathtub (the seven-mile loop). It was uphill most of the way but the trail was marked and looked like an untreated road for most of it so it was easy to follow. Unfortunately I was unable to find the Bathtub (my GPS didn’t work) but I did find the Swimming Hole & Waterfall, although there is a steep climb down to it. Luckily there is a rappelling rope there that you can use that makes the trek easier. Once you pass that, though, you hit the major stream crossings that will wet your feet, so be warned. My hiking boots got soaked.

hiking
29 days ago

This trail is extremely beautiful, especially as you get to the tub. However, it is a bit treacherous. You’re going to have to cross streams multiple times, and the water can get high and at points moves fast. Sometimes finding the trail markers can be difficult, but you just have to look. There were lots of people especially as we got closer to the tub, and a fair amount of trash left behind. If you’re going to come here or to any trail please pack trash out. That being said, this trail is definitely unique and worth seeing, but make sure you’re prepared to get wet and I’d suggest coming at a time it’d be less busy.

hiking
1 month ago

First I’ll start by saying if your vehicle is low do not attempt to drive to the main parking lot. Lots of deep potholes. They have a new parking lot with bathrooms at the bottom. Overall the hike is great. But it is by no means easy. There are 12 creek crossings. Some come up to your shin. Rocky , very rocky trail. I wouldn’t advise bringing Grandma unless she is in very good shape. Do not wear flip flops . Wear a good pair of shoes or boots. They will get wet. Also when you get to the Devils Bathtub you have to cross over a very tight ledge. They have a rope you can hold onto. We saw kids swimming at the upper falls one fell and hit his head ( hard) it’s slick. It’s worth the hike just take your time and be careful! It is so beautiful! Do check the weather. Don’t go in the rain because it floods.

hiking
flooded
1 month ago

Please check the weather and hike prepared! “An online alert posted on the Scott County tourism website warns that the swimming hole is prone to flash flooding. "For this reason, please do not attempt the trail if the water is above your knees," the alert reads. “ -CNN “the rescue of 20 hikers who were stranded by flooding along the trails. Mike Armstrong, chief of the Bristol Virginia Fire Department, said hikers were walking the trails around the popular swimming hole Sunday, but evening rain caused flash flooding. The high water from the various streams that cut across the trails left the hikers unable to get back to the parking area.” - Bristol Harold

hiking
flooded
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

It was a great hike. Crowded for a Sunday evening. The scenery was beautiful with several photo opportunities and water crossings.

hiking
1 month ago

Do NOT be put off by the reviews of poor trail markers and difficulty with route finding! The loop trail is a gem! We had a gorgeous day in May. We did the counter clockwise loop ending with the DBT at the end. The trail was well established and very well marked with yellow blazes every few trees. The start was a moderate upgrade, muddy in parts but not terrible. Once cresting that, you remain on a logging road for a bit, then end up on a trail through forest with wild magnolia. A few small stream crossings along the way. We saw hardly saw anyone else. A few water crossings that could be dicey if heavy rains. Be smart about that. Coming to the water fall, we were the ONLY people there. We shimmied down the rope (it helps to have rappel experience but more a comfort thing than anything else), and sat for lunch. We climbed up the "steps" of the shale rock to climber's left, using roots if needed. We did start meeting more people as we got closer to the Bath Tub. And, unfortunately there is some trash there. Not over-whelming, but there none the less. Still, we are Emergency NP's from NJ and just being away from the chaos of our hospitals, was sheer joy. Finding happy, laughing , healthy, people, jumping into pools and giggling, a delight. The water is crystal clear, and oh so blue. For little kids, there are ample, smaller pools along the clockwise trail to the DBT, if they can't or don't want to go the entire way. We laughed, ALOT. The loop is 8.6 miles based on our GPS. We drove down after a night in Kentucky, and I will say the 9 mile SC High Knob Road rutted, winding, steep, guttered, road was probably the most scary part of it all. I was very glad to have an SUV on that road! IF the actually parking at the trail head is full, cars did park along the road up to it, but that made it VERY difficult to pass on our return, technically you could be towed there. If you continue past the turn for the DBT a mile-ish, there is ample parking there. We arrived around 9 and had no problem getting a parking spot at the trail head, much later, it probably gets pretty busy. It was Saturday so likely makes it busier. Would love to do this trail again during the week. It's a treasure! Keep it that way! Pack out your trash (and even your poo and toilet paper...plan for that with a little baggie with kitty liter in it...really, it sounds gross, but this gem could quickly become quite overwhelmed!) Leave no Trace.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Highly Recommended! A great mixture of Sunshine, shade and water! Adventurous and beautiful hike! Lots of rocks along the paths, and you will definitely be getting wet crossing many streams/creeks along the way. It’s a good 4 mile hike round trip but nothing too steep or strenuous except at the top near the bathtub.. Just hiked this in May and the water was frigid! Suitable for some kids! We have made plans for another trip this year! I loved it!

1 month ago

my absolute favorite place to hike BEAUTIFUL I've been in July and September July was absolutely gorgeous because the Magnolias were blooming and make a tunnel over the trail at the top of the mountain strenuous hike in places but absolutely worth it. If you plan on parking in the. very small parking lot definitely bring four-wheel drive otherwise be prepared to walk in. DO NOT park where advised not to your vehicle will be towed! 5 stars

hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

Great morning hike. We didn’t see a soul until around mile 5. Almost missed the devil’s bathtub with the water being so high. There os such great variety in the loop. I imagine the forest walk would be pretty hot in the middle of the summer.

hiking
8 months ago

Was beautiful, we did the loop trail, not alot of water right now, but definitely worth doing! Also only passed one other hiker! Hopefully we be able to come back in the spring when the water is roaring. There is a waterfall around the 3 mile point, three forks I believe was the name! Around 3.5 there is a sign letting you know that the trail is rugged. It has lots of crossing and up and down the terrain, very Rocky!

hiking
bugs
private property
rocky
9 months ago

The water was nearly non existent and the hike was definitely rocky. We were met by many knats. Despite the lack of water it was a VERY beautiful hike. My husband and i spent round about 3 hours there. We plan to go back next year. It was not busy. The road leading up to it was as everyone said, difficult so a 4 wheel drive is suggestive. It wasn't busy at all today. Overall it was an amazing trip. Highly recommended

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Really fun if you like swatting away bugs and trying to keep your balance on super uneven terrain while wiping off spider/caterpillar webs from your face, arms, legs, body for 7+ miles!

hiking
9 months ago

One of the most beautiful places that I have ever hiked. It was indeed super crowded with people, but reaching the Devil’s Bathtub & seeing the beauty and getting into the water made it all worth it!

hiking
over grown
10 months ago

I recently completed this trail (the entire loop) a week ago 8/17/2019. Use Carter's on the Creek for parking and shuttle if going on the weekend. There is very little parking. when taking the long trail, there are several trees down, major elevation gains early on. I loved this trail. taking my kids again soon!

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