Little Devils Stairs Trail

HARD 98 reviews
#12 of 118 trails in

Little Devils Stairs Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Washington, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1548 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
2 days ago

Started at 9am and completed in 3 hours (going slow to take pics and enjoy the scenery). The first ~hour was fantastic, lots of rock scrambling, beautiful views, and no one else in sight. I then heard yelling and came across a couple who had been attacked by a swarm of wasps on the trail. I went off-trail to avoid the wasps which was challenging due to it being a steep slope with unsteady ground and covered in prickly plants (not recommended). They said there was another group ahead of them on the trail that didn't appear to have had any issues with the wasps. Shortly thereafter I reached the top of the stairs and started heading down the fire road. The road was pretty uneventful....boring except for the old family cemetery which was interesting to visit. The bugs kept swarming my head on the fire road so make sure you have bug spray.

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

We took the fire road down to the bottom of the trail and hiked up making it a 7.4 mile hike. When we started up we were underwhelmed until we reached the part that required hard work. Didn't see any falls but there was hardly any water sadly. Fun hike though! Took us about 3.5 hrs but so worth the trip.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked it yesterday with my wife and three teens at the advice of the ranger at Dickey Station. We completed the longer 7.4 mile loop.

The stairs were quite steep and rocky although they only represented a couple miles of the loop.

Overall it was a nice challenge and we finished in 4.5 hours with several stops.

We have never encountered a snake let alone 2 - the first being a Water Snake and the 2nd being a Timber Rattlesnake.

The Bolen Cemetary was quite the unexpected surprise. Haunting and eerie.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Did this in the early morning after a overnight rain shower. The stream water level was still low. The rocks could be slippery in places so watch your steps. If you are familiar with some other trails on eastern slope of Shenandoah NP, comparing with Cedar Run Falls Trail or White Oak Canyon Trail, this trail is easier mostly because it is shorter on the way up (2 miles). Highly recommend doing this hike, and wear good hiking boots.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

My 12 year old son and I did this hike yesterday. Temps reached mid 90's outside of the valley and into the mid 80s on the trail. This was a fantastic trail with the 1st 1/3 being the GEM of the hike up the "stairs." While difficult this was definitely manageable for my 12 year old and would debate bringing my 9 year old if we were to do it again.

Water levels were low as it had been several days without rain but I am sure that dynamic changed significantly after the late afternoon storms.

The 2nd 2/3rds of the trail was nice but simply fire road with not much to see. There were several people who had entered the loop from inside the park. If you do this I would recommend going down the fire road so that you can access the Stairs from the bottom by the parking lot.

Total hike was about 3.25 hours with several break to enjoy the views.

2 months ago

Great Hike. Long and hard enough for a nice challenge, but not ridiculous. Great waterfall views. Definitely wear waterproof boots.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was perfect! The first 2 miles are straight up, and then the finish back to the parking lot is just a dirt road. Perfectly tough hiking for a short trail - allows for a great hike without taking too much time. Don't miss the view shortly after you start taking the dirt road back. As other reviewers said, when you get to the top/the four-way, turn left to follow the road back to the parking lot. I can't wait to go back!!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this trail today from the top side, starting at the Parking lot in the SNP. Totaled for about 7.7 miles. Took me and a friend about 3.25 hours to do it.

The way down is easy going, comparable to a slightly overgrown gravel road. There's a graveyard near the bottom that was awesome to see and if you continue you'll come the lower parking lot where the real trail begins.

The trail itself was awesome. Strenuous climb but fantastic if you enjoy to scramble. At one point, the trail disappeared on us but we quickly found it again, as it follows the stream. After climbing a while, you'll reach a point where both sides are sheer falls that would be great to climb (unsure if you are allowed though). Once the trail breaks away from the stream you're nearly done after a few more switchbacks.

hiking
2 months ago

Went twice so far this May and June 2017. Crossings were ankle deep and rocks slippery in May. June was much more enjoyable because the crossings were for the most part very shallow.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a hard hike but lot of fun. The climb up is work navigating the rocks. Lot of small worms from Annelida, so please be careful not to step on them during the hike. We even saw a brow snake. They is no real summit, the trail ends at the top connecting to a road. But the climb up along the waterfall is really nice and cool. We went right after a rainy week so we did see sufficient amount of water to qualify a waterfall.

3 months ago

My wife and I hiked Little Devil this weekend and really enjoyed it. We've had a lot of rain recently and it made for a very full streams and great waterfalls. Some stream crossings were a little tricky but all in all doable and very fun. While there is about a mile and a half of steep upward climb at the beginning, it is in no way overwhelming. Once you get to the top of the canyon, it is a very easy hike for the remainder of the loop. We completed the hike in just under four hours even with a 15 minute lunch break at the Bolen cemetery. I will definitely do this hike again.

hiking
3 months ago