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Devils Bathtub - Dungannon, VA

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
3.6 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
2 hours with half hour for lunch.
580 ft
Jefferson National Forest
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Parking on VA619. 36.81866, -82.62674

By Trail Contributors: Christine and Adam Anderson

This 3.5 mile hike in southwest Virginia takes you across more than 15 water-crossings to see a series of small waterfalls and swimming holes.  The main scenic draw of this hike is the visit to the Devils Bathtub – a beautiful sandstone formation in the streambed.

This hike is extremely popular and parking is very limited, so consider going on a quieter weekday.  Also, this area is fragile, overused, and littered, so please consider bringing an empty trash bag and packing out garbage that other have left behind.

For more detailed information, go to Virginia Trail Guide’s site.

  • Mile 0.0 – From the top end of the parking lot, follow the stairway uphill to meet the trail.  Take a left at the top of the stairs.
  • Mile 0.1 – Pass through a locked metal forestry gate. Descend slightly toward the stream.
  • Mile 0.2Cross Devils Fork stream for the first of 12-18 times (depending on seasonal water levels)
  • Mile .25 – Arrive at Devils Fork Loop Trail marker.  Bear left, following the directional arrow toward the Devils Bathtub.  The trail is blazed yellow.  The trail will follow the streambed closely, crossing the water multiple times.  Look closely for yellow blazes, as flooding has necessitated multiple reroutes.
  • Mile .65 – Look for an old coal cart overgrown with vegetation.  The railroad that used to run here was used to transport timber and coal.  Continue to follow the yellow blazes and cross the stream numerous times.  The fifth crossing is especially tricky to find the blaze as you must look down the stream about 75 yards to find the blaze and it requires you to rock-hop across the stream to get to the blaze.
  • Mile 1.65 – Look through the woods and notice an interesting cliff-side rock formation. The rocks have almost a geometric pattern.  At this point, the trail will descend rather steeply along the eroded stream bank.  There should be a rope affixed to the uphill side of the trail to assist your descent.
  • Mile 1.7 – Reach a large stream crossing at the base of a small waterfall and swimming hole. Climb steeply up the opposite bank to continue on the trail.
  • Mile 1.8Reach a wooden sign marking your arrival at the Devils Bathtub.  There are numerous social trails and footpaths cut through the woods in this area.  Follow an established trail to the water’s edge.  Carefully climb the rocks down to explore the area. The sandstone sinkhole that creates the bathtub will be directly below you.  The bathtub is fed by a small waterfall. After you’ve finished exploring, return to the wooden sign at the top of the basin and follow the marked trail back in the way you came.
  • Mile 1.9Descend the bank steeply and cross the stream below the small waterfall and swimming hole.
  • Mile 1.95Climb the eroded bank with the rope assist uphill.  Follow the yellow blazes and cross the stream numerous times.
  • Mile 3.35 – Return to the sign marking the split in the Devils Fork Loop. Be careful to continue on the trail, bearing back toward the first stream crossing. 
  • Mile 3.4 – Cross Devils Fork for the final time.  Climb slightly uphill, passing once again through the locked forestry gate.
  • Mile 3.6 – Descend the stairs back down to the parking area.
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