Little Devils Stairs and Piney Ridge Loop [CLOSED]

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Shenandoah National Park

Little Devils Stairs and Piney Ridge Loop is a 11.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Washington, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November.

Distance: 11.6 miles Elevation Gain: 2,841 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

closed

Note: This trailhead is currently closed by SNP and the County for the foreseeable future due to community health concerns— NO parking or road access is available. Please check with the park page for more information.

hiking
closed
2 months ago

This trailhead is currently closed by SNP and the County for the foreseeable future due to community health concerns— NO parking or road access is available.

Very fun trail. Should go up the rock scramble as opposed to down as it’s safer and a better work out! At about mile 1.75 there’s a part of the scramble that goes back over the water. It’s hard to see the blaze on the other side of the water and it looks like many people tried to climb the wrong side. If you have a hard time finding the blaze, look across the water. I put a couple cairns on a stump to help out. The rest of the trail is easy to follow and comfortable. After about mile ten when you’re comfy and thinking it’s almost over it gets you right in kisser! Not too bad, but after 10 miles you feel it! Great hike though! You will not be disappointed!

Excellent day-after-Thanksgiving hike. Started before 8 and had the whole trail to ourselves; until the last mileages 11.8, we passed just one hiker in the other direction. A few days without rain, so streams were passable. Definitely good to do the Devils Stairs first.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Nice trail. Great views and rock formations going up the little devils staircase scramble. Challenging climb. Amazing view at Skyline drive. Nice change in topography when you hit they Piney portion. Would do again.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

My boyfriend and I completed this hike 10/1/19. We loved the first part of the hike! It was definitely rocky going up and like the other comments I recommend going up little devils stairs, not down. It was very steep and slippery in some places which would make it very difficult to go down. The second mile took us the longest (55 minutes) which is the majority of where the scramble is. It can be slippery so we took our time in this part. We used this app to help us navigate the hike. If we hadn’t we may have gotten lost at some of the paths that crossed along the way. The Appalachian trail part of the trip was beautiful! There was a few overlooks during this part which made the climb worth it. Once we got off the Appalachian trail we entered the Piney Ridge part which was our least favorite part of the hike. The first part had so many spider webs (probably because this isn’t a popular trail). We tore down at least 40 spider webs that we otherwise would have walked into. The second part was very overgrown and I found myself dodging lots of leaves and branches. After this section, there is another uphill climb (~700 ft) that lasts for about a mile. After this you’ll come to a cemetery and from there it’s all downhill for another mile. Other than the spider webs and the overgrown part we really loved this hike. We may find a different way down next time to avoid this. The whole thing took us about 6.5 hours and my watch said it was actually more like 12.4 miles with a total elevation of 2,800 ft. Be aware of bears! We saw lots of bear scat after we got off the Appalachian trail but never saw a bear. Also, I brought 2L of water + a large Gatorade bottle which was the perfect amount. I ran out of water during the last mile and had water waiting in the car for our ride back. Happy hiking!

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
Sat Mar 30 2019

LD Staircase was great and worth the trip. We took this loop counter clockwise and glad we did. The intense portion in the beginning gave way to an easy stroll for most of the backend (save for the minor hill about .8 before the parking lot. Rock scramble was very fun and the staircase has you go back and forth over a creek/waterfall/creek/waterfall/etc the whole way up. No views outside of that until you get to the very top where you can connect with Skyline and see from an overlook. Saw a lot of bear scat and one bear in the distance. It’s the end of March and I suspect they are out everywhere now as it was 70 degrees by midday. Kind of boring through the Piney Branch section as they was no real view and a LOT of downed trees from a previous storm. Great campsites in a few locations along the trail. My favorite was just over a mile from the parking lot if you go clockwise. Right on the creek, flat, great water sounds. But, that bear where we saw the bear.

Great hike for the exercise. Nice vertical from the start and steady saunter down. Couple of nice views. Good water spots. Glad didn’t bring my Aussie though. Kind of steep in a couple of spots and though clearly someone brought their dog (tracks) it’s quite steep in a couple places and a couple places scrambling up rock faces (short but still). Some washout as well making one spot steep enough to need to grab roots and overhanging long to provide prevent sliding down a very steep spot. Still, well marked trails sometimes even on the rocks makes it doable and even fun. Just consider time and your fitness level to make it fun! I’ll definitely come back. Even got to help a volunteer clear some trees along the AT section of the trail.

hiking
Fri Nov 30 2018

Devil's Stairs was fun/great! I took the Piney Branch loop to enjoy the waterfalls. 10-12 water crossing. Took my shoes off for the last 2 crossing, water was high, strong, and freezing. Did this 2 weeks ago.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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