Little Devils Stairs Trail

HARD 121 reviews
#13 of 138 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, walking, trail running, and nature trips 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
1489 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
24 days ago

Nice hike through the gorge to the falls. Definitely recommend to hikers in the area

25 days ago

Walking through the gorge with waterfalls and the river was pretty awesome. I hiked it backward, so the first 3 miles was walking on a fire road, which was a bit of a bummer. Would probably do the gorge as an out and back next time

camping
29 days ago

Any backcountry camping in this area?
Looking for just an overnight... Thanks!

3 months ago

Beautiful little trail. Lots of elevation to get the heart rate up. Peaceful little waterfalls and cascades.

3 months ago

Quite a workout. It’s effectively just cutting up through a gorge. It’s a lot of fun, and quite a bit of climbing over rocks. I️ did get to see a young bear cub, which made for excitement since I knew mama bear couldn’t be too far away. Didn’t have spectacular views, but still a lot of fun.

4 months ago

Very fun trail! The park says it should take 7-9 hours to complete but we were done in 3.5.

hiking
4 months ago

A bit disappointed. The first 2 miles are challenging but the remaining 4 miles are boring, just walking down the fire road. The view would definitely be better if the water level is decent. It hasn't rained for at least a month now.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was fun but we took the long way back by taking piney tree trail instead of the fire road. It was about 10 miles all together and took us about 5.5 hours. Instead of turning left at the 4 point intersection you go straight. From there you keep turning left for a few times and then finally straight when you get to the cemetery at the fire road. It feels like never ending, we felt lost a couple of times but luckily they mark some trees to keep you on the right path. You will cross the stream a bunch of times just make sure you have a map, directions and Google maps. I had to compare the old school map with the GPS on my phone a few times to make sure we were going the right way. The last left turn we took we were going up hill so that confused us for a bit but once we saw the cemetery we knew we made it. Overall, challenging but fun. Also there isn't a overlook view at the top. Just a trail to enjoy nature, the butterflies that follow you and the waterfalls. It was worth the challenge and to be out hiking and getting lost in the woods. Best time to go is in the spring, we went in the fall and there wasn't much water in the streams. Bring plenty of water and snacks!!

hiking
5 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
7 months 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 wearing good hiking boots.

hiking
7 months 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.

7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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
7 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
7 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
8 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.

8 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
8 months ago

Great trail, beautiful waterfalls, and I agree with some of the other reviews, definitely like a stair master for the first 2-2.5 miles. Nice scenery, good workout, good rock scrambles! Remember to turn left to get down to the parking lot or else you will find yourself on the Appalachian Trail. Drove my Tesla on the gravel road leading up to the trailhead, definitely slow going and out in the middle of nowhere, very fun hike! Took us about 3-3.5 hours and we were taking it slow to take pictures.

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