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blueBlack Little Devil Stairs Loop

  4.4 ( 8 ) Favorite


5.5 mile 8.9 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,453' 443 m
Descent: -1,429' -436 m
High: 2,723' 830 m
Low: 1,270' 387 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 40% (22°)


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Trail shared by Joe Danz

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

Joe Danz

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Waterfall

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


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.


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.

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Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Jun 22, 2019
Keylie Gibson
Beautiful scenery. It has a steady progression to very difficult scrambling and using hands to get up the narrow trail. Opportunities to play in creek 5.5mi — 3h 30m
Apr 25, 2019
Jeffrey Landau
Extremely strenuous in the second mile. Countless water crossings and intense climbs, bouldering and ascents. 6.1mi — 4h 15m
Apr 18, 2019
Jason Gall
Done 5.5mi
Mar 17, 2019
Jordan Haverly
Mar 7, 2019
Ben Hammond
Great hike! Strenuous start, tough before the top, then a relaxing walk down the fire road. 5.5mi — 2h 32m
Dec 25, 2018
Chris R
Bring waterproof boots or extra socks and shoes! 5.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 8 votes


  4.4 from 8 votes
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