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Little Devils Stairs - Sperryville , Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
5.5 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
4.0 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,480 ft
Shenandoah National Park
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e.g. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
Park at the end of VA670/Keyser Run Rd. and parking area for Little Devils Stairs.
38.73060, -78.25827

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 the run that much nicer. At one point the trail even passes through a small set of falls.


The second half of the hike follows the Keyser Run Fire Road back down past the Bolen Cemetery. This is a pleasant walk through some old growth. If you would like to make this hike longer add the 3 sections of the Piney Branch hike to make the circuit a little over 9.0 miles.

  • Mile 0.0 –The hike will begin up the right side of the parking area on the blue blazed Little Devils Stairs Trail. After 0.9 miles the grade will increase sharply as the trail climbs the ravine, and starts crisscrossing Keyser Run.

    The Little Devils Stairs Trail is hard to spot in places and you have to look for the blue blazes on the trees. However, if you believe you've lost the trail it's difficult to go too far off track, as the gorge is very narrow and trail runs along one side or the other of the stream. As you climb up the gorge there are several spots that require hand over hand climbing.

    Near the top of the ravine The Little Devils Stairs Trail becomes less steep, then makes several switchbacks before leveling off completely and arriving at the intersection of the Keyser Run Fire Road, and four way junction.

  • Mile 2.0 - Turn left down the yellow blazed Keyser Run Fire Road and in 2.0 miles enter an old hemlock forest before arriving at the Bolen Cemetery and intersection of the for the the Hull School Trail.

  • Mile 4.4 - Stay left down the yellow blazed Keyser Run Fire road where it becomes steeper for the final 1.1 miles back to the parking area.

  • Mile 5.5 - Arrive back at the parking area.
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Hiker Reviews For The Little Devils Stairs Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Little Devils Stairs hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Muffin Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 25, 2015
Did this hike in 2 hours and 30 minutes. The 2 miles hike up was not easy, but definitely not extremely difficult. The way back down was super easy and it was under the shades of trees so it was nice. Wear steady, water resistant shoes as you will cross the run several times and had to climb the rocks which were slippery at some points. Overall, nice hike.

By: The Wandering Fools Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 19, 2015
Arrived at the trail head around 11am on Sunday morning. We knew that we had a challenge ahead of us based on the trail description and reviews from other hikers. The first 2 miles was definitely more strenuous than anticipated. We enjoyed the hand over hand climbing and multiple stream crossings all the way to the top. There were plenty of places along the way to stop and rest. We wish we would have taken it a bit slower...the scenery was gorgeous and we didn't spent nearly enough time taking it in.

There is a great little camping area once you arrive at the fire road to have lunch. If you hike a few feet further, you can enjoy a break at the overlook but it was full of other hikers so we were just as happy having a quiet lunch off the beaten path. The remaining three miles of the hike are very easy. The views were pretty spectacular as we hiked down the road and we were happy to have done this hike earlier in the season while the leaves were still off the trees.

The cemetery at the end was cool to explore and also provided a shady resting area before the final push to the end. We will definitely come back and do this hike again!

Word of advice: bring bug spray! The gnats were awful and it was the only part of the hike that we didn't enjoy.

By: adventurer dave Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 19, 2015
Great hike. Definitely takes some work to get to the top but not too bad. The hike up is one small waterfall after another. About half way up you come to same impressive looking vertical rock walls on the side. Numerous places to step off the trail and take a break if you need one. Many rocks and downed trees to rest on.

Near the top the trail changes to switchbacks with soft forest ground under your feet. This is a nice reprieve after walking on rocks for over a mile. At the top before you head down is a nice spot to drab lunch but if you hold off a little there is a amazing spot with a view. Although when arrived there where some other hikers on the overlook rock enjoying the view.

Farther down the fire road is a cemetery and another nice spot take a break.

You know your getting close to the parking lot when the grade becomes much steeper for the last mile or so.

By: mth Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 19, 2015
Good hike. We did this by going down Little Devil Stairs and then coming back up the fireroad. Going down was not strenuous although at times a maneuver or two took some thought and careful stepping so you don't end up in the water. Sometimes you really have to look for the blue markers on the trees because you have to switch back and forth among the water a few times. Some nice little waterfalls and a stream to take pictures of. The fireroad is super long and mostly uphill so it was a bit tiring at times. The little cemetery was an interesting stopping point. Would like to do this hike again but go the other direction and go up Little Devil Stairs. Would be much more difficult but worth it, I think.

By: Lecia J. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 18, 2015
The hike was beautiful going up Little Devils Stairs, I do not recommend starting at the top and going down, I feel you would miss a lot. It was a great workout and at times required hand over hand climbing but nothing difficult. I will suggest that you wear hiking shoes that are water resistant or water proof because you have to cross the creek several times.

    View all 83 reviews for the Little Devils Stairs hike
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