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Little Devil Stairs Loop

Difficult
 4.4 (16) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful and challenging trail into canyon scenery like nothing else at Shenandoah National Park.


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Map Key

5.5

Miles

8.9

KM

Loop

2,723' 830 m

High

1,270' 387 m

Low

1,453' 443 m

Up

1,429' 436 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

40%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Waterfall

The parking lot is pretty small, so there are limitations on nice days.

Overview

You’re basically climbing up a waterfall! This loop hike warms you up in the first mile by crossing the creek several times. After that mile, the fun begins with rock scrambles that will remind you of hints of Old Rag but you’re climbing up a waterfall!

The trail is pretty well marked but even if you lose it, just stay along the river. You’re in a gorge and there isn’t that much room to mess up. Once you are past the climbing, go to Keyser Run Road and turn left. Make your way back to the bottom and to the parking lot.

Need to Know

Much of the land near the parking is private—please respect all posted signage.

Description

Because of the steep grade, the first two miles of the Little Devils Stairs hike in the Shenandoah National Park can be tough if the day is warm. The best time to do this hike is the early spring when water levels are at a peak, making the numerous waterfalls along Keiser Run that much nicer. At one point, the trail even passes through a small set of falls. Enjoy spectacular views of either side of the gorge as the Little Devis Stairs trail gets closer to the top of the gorge.

The second half of the hike follows the Keyser Run Fire Road back down past the Bolen Cemetery. This is a pleasant hike through some old growth.

History & Background

You’ll pass the Bolen Cemetery on the Keyser Run Road.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joe Danz with improvements by Laurel Sunshine

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 16 votes

#685

Overall
  4.4 from 16 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#22

in Virginia

#685

Overall
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2,192 Since Nov 27, 2018
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Photos

Couldn't walk for a couple of days afterwards but boy was it worth every step! - October 2010
Mar 30, 2016 near Washington, VA
Keyser Run, Little Devils Stairs. with permission from rootboy
Apr 11, 2016 near Washington, VA
A view looking back down Little Devil's Stairs and the rest of my group coming up. So much beauty and challenge in one trail.
May 30, 2017 near Washington, VA
After making it to the top of Little Devils Staircase Trail we took the Keyser Run Road down and got to see this amazing view
Jul 4, 2016 near Washington, VA
Rock wall, Little Devils Stairs. with permission from rootboy
Apr 11, 2016 near Washington, VA
Bolen Cemetery at lower end of Hull School Trail (at intersection with Keyser Run Fire Road).
Jul 25, 2019 near Washington, VA

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Check-Ins

Jun 14, 2020
Michael McNamara
Slippery moss — 3h 00m
Mar 28, 2020
Charlie Scharfen
Great hike. Combo of old rag & white oak. Has easy scrambles & small falls & stream along the way. 3 hrs going slow with a lunch. Moderate difficulty 5.5mi — 3h 00m
Mar 21, 2020
David Q
Mar 19, 2020
Kerry Jordan
A gorgeous day and a really fun hike. 4.4mi — 2h 45m
Mar 1, 2020
Olivia Jones
6.3mi — 2h 15m
Mar 1, 2020
Sean Coombs
Challenging ascent, easy descent 5.5mi — 3h 15m
Feb 8, 2020
Kevin Morgan
Counterclockwise, longer route down Pine Branch Trail and back up School Hull. 9.1mi
Jan 25, 2020
Jessie Spielvogel
4h 45m