Hiking Project Logo

blue Sam Knob Loop

  4.6 ( 15 ) Favorite


9.8 mile 15.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,393' 425 m
Descent: -1,402' -427 m
High: 6,062' 1,848 m
Low: 4,992' 1,522 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

A great loop that goes to the top of Sam Knob, around to Devil's Courthouse, and back to the parking lot.

Kristen Arendt

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall


This is a nice loop that can be completed as an overnight backpacking trip or can be done in a long day if you really power through. The top of Sam Knob has some pretty spectacular views, and there is a bridge that crosses a picturesque waterfall. There are several sources for water along the trail.


The Sam Knob Trail starts in a meadow, right up to the base of Sam Knob, where you'll have the option to continue the loop or take a little side trip to the top of the Knob. Once you descend from the mountain and continue on the trail, you'll descend into a forest, where the trail crosses the creek a few times joining with the Flat Laurel Creek Trail. Along the way, there will be several excellent campsites, both for tent campers and hammock hangers.

Continuing on, the trail follows a ridge, so there will be excellent views of a valley along much of the way. The Flat Laurel Creek Trail will cross a creek one more time, and then it will end at a parking lot. At this point, hike up to the street, staying on the left side as you hike up the road. Be on the lookout, because after about half a mile the Mountains-to-Sea Trail will cross the road, and you need to get on it!

From this point, the trail will be uphill. In about 1.5 miles, you'll come across an intersection and have the opportunity to go to the top of Devil's Courthouse. Past this, the hike opens up into mostly meadows, providing great views of Sam Knob and Little Sam Knob as you hike around them. Cross a creek once more, and head up to the top of the hill on the Flat Laurel Creek Trail where it ends at the parking lot where you started.

Flora & Fauna

This area is know for black bear activity, so be prepared to properly secure your food so as not to share it with the wildlife!

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, History & Background


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Jun 1, 2019
Andy Nunnery
May 25, 2019
Adam Socha
Good hike overall! Without the accent to the top of Sam's knob, this is a fairly easy hike. The small section on the road was not ideal. Overall, g…
Apr 15, 2019
Matthew Riffle
From parking lot to Sam Knob and back 2.5mi — 1h 11m
Mar 23, 2019
Vivek Patel
9.8mi — 4h 00m
Mar 2, 2019
Nandeesh Kadengodlu
Mar 1, 2019
very muddy in a few places with all the ice melting in the loop. will probably be better in the next 3 weeks if it stops 10.8mi
Nov 4, 2018
Chris Felt
Sep 24, 2018
Bodhisattva Robinson
great 360 views

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 15 votes


  4.6 from 15 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


491 Views Last Month
9,967 Since Apr 19, 2018
Intermediate Intermediate


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking