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Hiker Comments for the Little Devils Stairs Hike - 1 to 115 of 115   
Average Rating:

By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Great hike with nice views of stream and small waterfalls throughout. Not as tough as I expected. When I got to the top of the trail at the fire road I made a right and continued a mile to Skyline Drive before turning back down the fire road back to the parking lot.

By: Madeleine Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 28, 2018
Beautiful hike, especially in October with the changing leaves. It was steep but doable and crossing the waterfall so many times was a treat. There wasn’t an overlook at the top- the hike itself was the view. However, once we turned onto the yellow blazed trail, there was an overlook a little ways down. We’ll be back!

By: Jackie Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 26, 2018
Did Little Devil Stairs to Pine Top to Piney Branch for an ~8 mile, 2,100 feet of elevation change loop. Just a warning, with all the summer rain, all the trails were very wet yesterday! Could have benefitted from waterproof shoes to make crossings easier, but rock hopping is still mostly possible. Took of shoes to cross on Piney Branch both times. Great loop, nice gradual downhills and fun uphill scrambles! Would recommend taking Pine Top/Piney Branch alternative down for those who want to add a little extra, trail is wet but overall is a good walk. There is a nice climb from about mile 6-7 though, but its all downhill after that!

By: Debbie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 25, 2018
My boyfriend and I hiked this trail for the first time after hearing good things about it.  The first 2 miles were awesome -- fun stream crossings and a great work out.  Only passed 4 or 5 other hikers the entire time. The rest of the hike on the fire trail is pretty boring. There is one spot where you can walk out to a rocky outcrop and see an amazing view so be sure not to miss it.  Also keep your eyes open for bears.  We were about .2 miles from the parking lot when a momma bear and 2 cubs crossed the fire road.  They stopped and looked at us but decided to keep going.  My first bear encounter -- got the heart rate up for sure.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 8, 2018
A wonderful hike. Three of us did the LIttle Devils/Piney River combo a few days after a period of much rain. A truly enjoyable hike as both streams were running beautifully, and one or the other could be heard throughout much of the hike. Switched to water/running shoes before the first crossing (until the last) of Keyser Run and then before the first crossing of Piney River (until the second and last). Made the same mistake we made two hikes ago (Stony Mountain), i.e., following each other blindly off the trail and ending up In a severe bushwhack situation. We rejoined the Little Devils Stairs trail somewhere between the gorge and Fourway.

By: Crowbelly Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, April 23, 2018
This definitely an interesting hike. First hike of the season for me. I'm from upstate NY and there has been no real Spring at all yet. I had business in Harrisonburg so I took the opportunity to visit SNP for a quick hike.

The road back to the trail head goes past many horse farms and there are long stone and wooden fences. Very picturesque! Eventually you turn left onto the Keyser Run Road, which is mostly dirt but not a problem, even for a passenger car. The road ends at the parking area.

I admit I ended up doing it backwards because I had not brought a map and didn't notice the trail head to the right of the parking area, so not sure how helpful this might be. Started at 1PM. Sunny. The road is obviously easy to walk. Taking it up was no big deal. The cemetery was interesting. A very large tree had (recently?) toppled over and lay across most of it, but only one tombstone was a bit askew.

By the time I reached the ridge, it had clouded over and there were no real views to be had. Eventually came to the trail junction and headed down. There was plenty of water in the run. Many small waterfalls and large rock ledges and cliffs. Multiple creek crossings but no wet feet. Definitely a fun place for kids to scramble and explore. If you can't find a blue blaze on the trees, look for the faint remnants on the rocks near the stream.

Stopped a little ways down (up for you smarter hikers) and had a quick snack. Start to finish was 3 hours, including numerous small rests and a 10 minute snack. 5.5 miles altogether. Enjoy!

By: Hobo Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Little sister hike to White Oak Canyon. Lots of bugs. Many small waterfalls, rock scrambles and steep climb. I did this loop from the Skyline drive Hogback/Overrun Falls parking lot. Took the AT to the Sugarloaf trail then Pole Bridge. That added an additional 4 miles.(2 extra miles of up on the way back that was brutal after the gorge climb.) After Pole bridge, then down then down the fire road. The fire road was steeper and longer than I expected. The gorge climb itself is only two miles. Making the fire road 4 miles. The lower parking area was completely full at 10:30am. There were young groups of 4, mostly couples and some dogs. I would not suggest attempting the hike from Hogback as it was a brutal 4 miles with a long up back to the Hogback parking lot. Over all this is a very nice hike in the gorge.

By: Julian Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 1, 2018
First hike of the year and a great one. The gorge is the best part of the hike, beautiful rocks and Keyser run has multiple falls. Jumping Keyser run is quite fun as well. This hike is most challenging in the first 2 miles with the last 4 quite easy. Would definitely recommend.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
My son (14) and I had a great time today hiking Little Devil's Stairs. The gorge along Keyser Run was steep and chalanging in spots especialy as we reached higher elevation and the rocks were iced over. Found a nice rock outcrop to stay dry for lunch. Bolen Cemetary in the forest was a little creepy. Reminded me of a Stephen King novel. All in all I really enjoyed the hike. The gorge was our favorite. I recommend this trail.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 24, 2018
Very enjoyable hike! I would recommend crampons if hiking in winter. Lost of snow on the rocks and trail at the upper elevations. The snow allowed me to follow the foot prints someone who hiked the trail before me. Very helpful considering the terrain over second mile of the hike. (Uphill rock scramble.) Climbing up, especially at the top takes some focus. I loved it! Beautiful crisp day, and I had the trail mostly to myself. It will be a stunning hike in about 5 weeks when the forest is blooming.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Great hike - very quiet. Saw 5 people on the loop (up Little Devils Stairs, down fire road). No wildlife (someone on the trail earlier had seen a bear with two cubs). Did the hike in sturdy trail runners and they were enough for me - I wouldn't have wanted heavier boots given that 2/3 of the hike is on roads or smooth trails. The rock scrambles are pretty easy and the stream was very low at this time of year so no wet feet. No ticks. Very green - the only real view was an overlook off the fire road. The cemetery is worth a few minutes.

By: CMG Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 15, 2017
I was worried it would be too warm but almost all of the trail is nicely shaded. The first few miles with the incline is definitely a 4+ for difficulty but the fire road would be a 1. The incline and rock scrambling is fun but challenging. It was quite humid by the stream for the entire hike. Planning on doing this hike again in the fall and adding on the Piney Branch section. The fire road was relaxing after the incline but boring towards the end. Just a note that the parking lot was full at 9:30am and there is no cell service for about 10+ miles of the park so you can rely on GPS.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Bryans review of the "older couple" in their 40s is hilarious!!! This hike is appropriate for families. I have taken my kids, as young as 6 on this hike with no problem as well as my "older self" in my 40s. Sorry why I pause to laugh again. When you get to the split at the top you will feel glad you are on the descent, the cemetery is fun to explore. This is one of my favorite hikes.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 29, 2017
This hike should be rated a "4" based on the incline instead of a "3". I highly recommend people being in good fitness/hiking shape and have conquered other strenuous trails before tackling this one.

We went to the trail on a hot/humid April day. We parked alongside Keyser Road since the main parking area was full by the time we got there around 9:30 AM. The first half mile, and stream crossing, was a cakewalk and then the fun began: relentless incline, somewhat challenging stream crossings, and plenty of rock scrambles to meander through. At some point, we past an older couple (mid-40s) on the incline who were struggling to get past the various challenges. We think they turned back since we did not see them the rest of the day. There are many amazing waterfalls, which make for perfect photographic opportunities.

The Fire Road is a nice and easy walk after all the strenuous activity. It winds through the Shenandoah, and has one really amazing view halfway through it. The family cemetery towards the end is an interesting dynamic. Many people in my group speculated that this hollow ground was left after people were displaced from this area in the 1930s.

By: Big T Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 22, 2017
The directions to and description of the hike are fairly accurate. I ended up going this past Saturday when it was raining, but still saw about 6-7 other people hiking along the fire road section. The parking lot to Little Devil's Stairs is all the way at the end of Kesyers Run Rd. The trail is actually well marked even through the various traverses up the gorge. I would definitely suggest this hike when water would be present, I think it makes the hike more scenic. The first part of the trail is pretty steep and is continuous until you come to the trail merge with the fire road. The fire road portion is nearly all down hill and is actually a nice trail. The road itself is not too "hard packed" and has grass growing in the middle. I was able to complete the loop, stopping to take pictures in just over 2hrs.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Hiked this in the afternoon, about 38 degrees out. I wanted to make sure I was done by sundown so I kept a pretty steady pace and finished the 6 miles in 2 hours. The first section will definitely warm you up quick in the winter. It's a fun little scramble back and forth across the stream that does incline quite a bit. Only in a few places during the back and forth across the stream are the blue blazes are a bit hard to track down, but for the most part it's very easy to navigate. You don't ever go too far from the stream until you get to the switch backs. It's gorgeous on a crisp winter day. Just be careful when you're stepping as some of the rocks do have ice on them this time of year!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Just completed this hike plus the added-on Piney River trail section. The total distance for this longer loop is about 9 miles with about 2,300 ft. of vertical climb, according to our measurements. This is an outstanding hike with the first two miles creating one "ooh and ahh" after the other. The walls of the gorge on either side are rocky and in some places what looks like large boulder field cascade down the sides of the canyon. There are about 10 water crossings for which we'd recommend wearing good non-slip shoes. Be careful and use caution. The last waterfall before the trail ascends upward out of the canyon is the best one in my opinion and a good place to stop for lunch. We filtered water here and had an ice cold drink of mountain water.

Once you get up to the four way intersection, follow the Hiking Upward trail directions to get down to Piney River. There are two trailheads up at the top of the hill so be careful to select the one that leads to Piney River if that's your end goal. It's worthwhile going the extra distance down to that river. We ran across zero hikers on the Piney River section and maybe 6 people on the LDS portion. The total hike took us about 5.5 hours and we weren't rushing it.

I've done this hike in various seasons and I think the winter is a great time to go because you get much better views without all the leaves and fewer crowds. Spring is also a good time but I really think winter might be my favorite time to go. Lots of solitude down in Piney River area and some good campsites in case you want to make an overnight trip.

We have a short video on our youtube channel Ott Mountain that previews the hike in more detail. Link below. Have fun!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 23, 2016
I just did this hike with my dog. While there was no foliage, it was still a beautiful hike and an excellent workout. Up, up, up it goes. It’s worth the work to get to the top.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Please check out our review of this hike on our blog --

By: JenniferH Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Fantastic hike! Trail is well marked and it follows a stream so it's difficult to get lost. This trail is accurately rated as difficult. The sheer length of time you are going up is what makes it difficult. The trail itself was never scary or too hard to navigate. Really fun having to climb in certain areas. The only negative was that the fire road to get down is very long and steep. It was painful on the toes and hard on the knees.

By: Ed Matthews Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 10, 2016
I guess I'm bucking the tide here in giving this hike three stars in the face of all the glowing reviews. Any hike beats sitting on the couch, but some hikes are better than others and I have enjoyed 9 out of the last 10 hikes more than this.

We took the stairs and then added the Piney Branch loop for what this site says is about 9 miles. I think our GPS had it at about 8.5. In any case, it wasn't nearly as long as I thought it would be. I highly suggest that if you're in shape, you avoid the fire road and take the Piney Branch loop. Though it is pleasant as fire roads go, and you cannot avoid the last mile or mile and a half on fire road, fire roads I find intrinsically boring.

All the fun is between mile 0.5 and 1.5 while climbing the canyon. After this, it is just another several miles of long green tunnel and though a pleasant walk, there wasn't a lot of scenery in terms of views. The walk along Piney River was nice enough and we had lunch on a rock in the middle of the creek. River is a fancy name for a creek that might be 8 feet across!

With all the other spectacular hikes in close proximity, not sure that I would re-hike this trail.

By: Jen Sweeney Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 3, 2016
Great hike! We hiked the stairs up and then took the fire road back down. Took us about 2.5 hours round trip.

By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
This is my new favorite Shenandoah hike. It was in the low eighties but with the ample tree cover and presumably evaporative cooling from Keyser Run, the hike was still pleasant. Middle of the week gave me a nice bit of solitude on the trail. Recent rains provided ample supply to the falls. While the fire trail back to the lot was a little dull as trails go, the wildflowers and birds provided some respite and it was a nice break after the climb up the gorge.

I bumped into a woman doing a lariat off of Marshall Mt. overlook from Skyline Dr. Not sure I'd try that, but perhaps the Piney Branch extended version could provide a change of scenery the next time around. Highly recommend this hike!

Not sure on pacing as I did it in 2 hours and 45 minutes with a 10 minute stop for lunch.

By: Ashipey Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, January 18, 2016
Great hike! Highly recommend completing the hike counterclockwise. The hike is much more challenging climbing the rock scrambles going uphill. Also much more scenic as you enter the ravine and follow Keyser Run. Bring a set of hiking poles to make the crossings much easier. This time of year the stream crossings are quite icy.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 2, 2016
Hiked this with 8 of my friends this lovely Saturday. It was in the low 40's and the water from Keyser Run was really flowing with all the rain. The water was up but was not much of a problem. We got to the trailhead at 10 am and the lot was already full. In fact, when we left around 3, there were cars lined up all along the dirt road leading into the little parking lot. We just took our time (did I mention we are all in our 60's and 70's?) and enjoyed the hike. Stopped and had a nice lunch once we got to the top with a view of the upper falls. There were alot of slippery rocks through the crossings and we also saw ice in a few places but for the most part, it was one of the funnest hikes I've done. One of our friends came without hiking poles but did fine. But myself, I would recommend them if only to help one from ending up in the water which was pretty cold. The hike up the rocks in some places was pretty mucky, but we all managed to stay relatively dry. The worst part in my mind is the fire road back down to complete the circuit. It is pretty boring but we did stop at the Bolen Cemetery and read some of the headstones and the plaque with the poem about why the mountains are blue. Quite sad!   Highly recommend this hike!

By: crackens Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 12, 2015
When it is 70 degrees and sunny on a Saturday in mid-December, I am not missing an opportunity to hit the trails. I've done the hike before as part of a larger loop starting and ending at Matthews Arms Campground, going down the Stairs and back out Piney Branch. I'm not sure the mileage on the larger loop, but it was a long day and I was tired afterwards.

Decided to do it as a shorter loop today starting at the Little Devils Stairs parking lot, hiking up, and coming back down the fire road. Showed up at about 11am and the lot was packed including a passenger van. Luckily we were behind the crowds and only ended up passing a few people near the top of the Stairs. With the leaves off the trees you can really see the canyon walls as you climb up. The water was running strong, but the multiple criss-crosses are a non-issue with a few carefully chosen steps. I agree that this hike is reminiscent of slot canyons like those commonly found in Utah. Though not as drastic as many of the western slots, it is still a unique experience to have the vertical rock walls tower over you as you hike upward, along the running water. Once we got to the top we passed the large van group as they were eating lunch at Fourway. The walk down the fire road is gentle and a few views of the mountains ahead and canyon walls can be seen at certain points. The Bolen Cemetery is a nice treat of history towards the end, and a reminder of those that once inhabited these mountains.

Last note, there was lots of bear scat on the trail, maybe a day or two old. I see bears in Shenandoah often and never have a problem with them. However, if anyone is wondering, it would appear that at least one bear has put off hibernation and also decided to enjoy the warm weather.

By: MarshMudMan Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 29, 2015
I really liked this hike! Today, everything was shrouded in clouds and fog so there were absolutely no views but the streams were flowing nicely, the temperature was perfect, and I didn't see a single other person hiking in the nearly 5 hours I was in the woods. I think that the character of this hike could be completely different at a different time of year, but today it gave me just what I was looking for. I really enjoyed hiking up Little Devils Stairs. Even though the trail was generally easy to find, there were still times where it felt like I was forging my own path up the canyon, hopping from rock to rock to get across the stream. The trail was steep in spots but wasn't any steeper than the steeper parts of White Oak Canyon (another favorite hike of mine) and I didn't ever need to do any hand over hand climbing. I did the longer loop as described on this site, except that I started at Skyline Drive and also added a few miles to the total distance. I parked just south of Hogback Overlook (Skyline Drive mile ~21.1). After a quick jaunt north on the Appalachian Trail, I descended the very nice Sugarloaf Trail to the Pole Bridge Link Trail. From there, I descended the Piney Branch Trail, ascended the Hull School Trail, and then descended the Keyser Run Fire Road to the Little Devils Stairs parking area. Next, I ascended Little Devils Stairs, took the Pole Bridge Link Trail to Piney Branch Trail and then ascended the Piney Branch Trail. Then, it was a little over a mile on the AT to get back to the parking area and my car. Total distance of 12.2 miles in just under 5 hours. Admittedly, I hiked quickly and took only a few short breaks, but I had gotten a late start and didn't want to get trapped on Skyline Drive when they closed the gates at 5 pm (I made it with ~30 minutes to spare!).

By: Dwhitten Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The water levels were the highest I have seen on this hike. It made for great fun crossing the stream as you hiked up the gorge. I have always taken the fire road down which is quite boring. This time we took piney branch down and it only added a little over 2 miles to the hike. The piney river was rolling strong and there were 2 crossings both of which had convenient logs located downstream. Try to experience this hike after a good rain.

By: Eric Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 7, 2015
The conditions for the hike were not perfect. The streams were nearly dried up when I went on the hike, so we did not get wet at all crossing them, and the waterfalls weren't impressive.

We saw a black bear about 20 feet from the trail on the fire road. There were 4 of us and the bear did not bother us, however the encounter did give us a bit of a scare. Other than that, there were no views at the top, just the fire road. The downhill section was tedious and long, with the annoying to hike on rocky path the whole way down. We were up and back down before 4 hours were up, despite taking frequent breaks on the climb and having lunch near the fire road. If not for the streams, I might have given this a 3 star. It was a good reminder to be prepared, however, and I may buy some bear spray.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 25, 2015
I enjoyed this hike very much. I have been in the early Spring, late fall and mid summer(this time). I highly recommend early spring and late fall over summer months. The water flow after the winter snows is beautiful and the fall colors and leaves changing is nice. Summer the problem was the over grown brush on the trail causing the trail to almost be impossible to see at times. I also worried about snakes as i walked through the overgrown brush. I do look forward to hiking it again, just not during the hot, dry summer months.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 4, 2015
I did this as a 4th of July Solo hike. Directions didn't say that the parking lot was at the end of the road, but that is an issue with Google Map, not the hike.

This was a challenging first two miles as it was very slick going over wet rocks and criss crossing Keyser Run. I am large and not in particularly great shape but I am adventurous and not afraid of a challenge. I did get passed by a group of 5 hikers on the uphill portion, but I passed them back on the downhill over the fire road when gravity was on my side. I took some great pictures of the falls/Keyser Run as everything was a lush green.

The Fire Road down was rather boring, although if I had ventured off the road a bit I may have had some good views, this would probably be better in the least the walk down portion. There were about a half dozen cars in the lot and I did pass couple doing the hike in reverse (and they parked at the top (alternate parking lot for this hike???) I am not sure where the other hikers were as only one other couple was back at the parking lot when I returned.

All in all, a pleasant way to spend 3 hours (1:50 uphill 2 miles and a little over an hour downhill 3.5 miles-with a quick stop in the cemetery.)

By: Jeremy Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 26, 2015
Hike of Little Devil Stairs in Shenandoah National Park. I extended the hike and also did the Piney Branch Trail to make it an ~9 mile loop. Only saw one other person in the 6 hours that I was hiking and that was within 0.25 miles of returning to the parking lot on the fire road.

The initial 2 miles of Little Devil Stairs was rough but I would not consider it to be scrambling. The stream was ever present with cascades the length of the hike. Nice waterfall at the very end but no vistas.

I had planned to do take the fire road back to the parking lot but felt like adding a few miles so took the longer Piney Branch Trail. The trail was nice but lacked any major features. From about the midpoint the trail begins to follow a stream but stay maining above and a couple hundred yards away from it. I found the trail posts confusing with some indicating Piney Branch Trail in all directions. Since I had not planned to do this as part of the hike I had not brought directions and was off the edge of the map I had brought. Ultimately you just keep turning left and will end up back on the fire road at the cemetery.

Video of Little Devil Stairs:

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.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 8, 2015
This was a really nice hike on an unseasonably warm day! My dog and I took this loop clockwise to make it a little longer uphill, but snow and ice covered most of the trails, making the downhill through the gorge slower. The scenery through the gorge was absolutely beautiful. I know the ranking for the views are for high elevations looking out (which this has very little of), but if I that included the gorge, it would easily be up to a 4/6. The waterfalls, flowing creek, and high rock walls on either side combined with the ice and snow made for some great photo ops. It was really interesting to visit the Bolen Cemetery, a piece of history right there in SNP. Many people on this hike so if you're seeking solitude, try a weekday.

By: Lawu Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 18, 2015
My partner and I hiked Little Devils Stars in mid-January on an unseasonably warm day (about 45 degrees at the bottom of the mountain). We did get a little lost driving to the parking lot at the boundary of the park, but the instructions on the Shenandoah National Park's page are correct. There were only about five other cars when we arrived at 10am. I really enjoyed the first part of the hike up the stairs. The stream was flowing, but the waterfalls were frozen over, making a very striking contrast with the limestone rock formations. Waterproof/resistant shoes are a must in the winter! The last half mile of the ravine was pretty steep and I was certainly huffing and puffing. We are not in great shape, but we hike weekly or every other week, so it's certainly a challenging hike. We didn't come across any bears, but it's possible they were hibernating. We added the extra mile to Skyline Drive - nothing spectacular. Just adds a mile distance each way on the fire road at a slight incline and ends at the upper parking lot. According to the map, you could go an extra 0.6 miles along Skyline Drive to the Little Devils Stairs overlook, but we decided to have lunch instead. There are no picnic tables, so you have to make do with the fallen logs and rocks. Like others have mentioned, the fire road back down is pleasant, but not terribly exciting after the hike up the ravine. If we were in better shape, I think we would have gone back down the ravine. In total, we took four hours to do the 7.5 mile loop with a short lunch. I agree with others that it took some creative minds to set this trail, and it certainly is unique. I hope to return in the next couple of months before it gets too hot.

By: John Trotter Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 29, 2014
Did this hike solo on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Completed the loop in 3 hours and 45 minutes.  There was a dusting of snow on the ground at the start of the trail, and about six inches at the top.  The climb up the ravine was strenuous, and a little more difficult due to the snow and ice on the rocks.  Still, it was well worth the effort.  Spotted a bear from the fire road.  The cemetery was interesting.  I strongly recommend this hike, and will definitely do it again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 1, 2014
I did this as a solo hike the day after halloween, without much research. It was a pretty crappy day, weather wise, but the hike was still wonderful. The opening mile is a mostly uphill scramble back and forth along a stream. It is beautiful, challenging, and a lot of fun. Once you are at the top, it is a long, pleasant stroll down a fire road after that. My only complaint is that the fire road bit is a bit too long, and a bit too easy. The graveyard at the end was pretty cool, especially as I was surprised by it hiking the day after Halloween!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 25, 2014
One of the best hikes in the area. Streams, rock hopping, guaranteed bear spotting (atleast I've seen them all 3 times I've been there). You can park at keyser run inside shenendoah national park and start the hike going down or park down and go up (you save $15 but you'll miss skyline drive). Its fun either way. I like the rock scramble way too much to actually take the fireroad part of it. Although based on other reviews taking the fireroad seems to provide a high probability of bear spotting. Nevertheless, I've seen bears on all my visits even though I've always gone up and down the rock scramble. For people who dont like too much rock hopping, you may see it as strenuous for a small portion - nothing too diffucult. Also, the stream's always beside you when you are doing the rock scramble, so you always feel good :) Dont miss this hike ! Highly recommended.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 17, 2014
Nice hike, especially the first part up the gorge. We easily did it in three hours, even with a bunch of teenagers. What is missing is vistas and nice lunch spots.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 16, 2014
This is an amazing hike for a 5+ mile, 2-1/2 hour loop. The hike up the waterfall is amazingly beautiful and fun. We hike all over the US and central Italy, and for its size, this is one of our favorites. We went on a Saturday - quite a few hikers out. No bear nor tick sightings. As experienced hikers, we found this a strenuous hike (tho' we took only one or two short water breaks on the way up). it's 1500' of net elevation - in about 2 miles. We took the Keyser Fire trail road back - no views this time of year. The cemetery is a nice historical touch. We wished we had gone the extra mile up to Skyline Drive. I honesty don't know how anyone could call it average, or not strenuous. We did take tick precautions (long sleeves and pants, pants tucked in, etc.), tho' no one else on the trail seemed to do so.

By: Baltoro Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 26, 2014
I had a similar experience to Eightythree83's review from above. As I was finishing the hike (on the rock scramble side) -- I was hiking alone -- about 0.25 miles from the parking area I turned a corner where I was no more than 10 feet from a large female black bear and two cubs. They were obviously surprised and the two cubs quickly ran up trees. The mother approached me and did the typical "defensive encounter" actions you read about. I moved slowly then quickly. She followed for a bit up the trail but eventually left me alone. Be careful out there, folks. I didn't come across many other hiking parties on this particular day, so I can understand how the bears could have not known people were around.

Other than that the hike was nice. I was using Little Devils Stairs as a training climb so did the rock scramble section to the top a few times. The scenery was nice and I particularly enjoyed crossing over the streams a few times.

By: Eightythree83 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 13, 2014
Today was my second attempt at Little Devils Stairs. I hiked it this past October and liked it very very much. I tried again today, and unfortunately, did not get very far.

About a quarter of a mile from the parking area, before even reaching the rock scramble, there was a huge rustle ahead to my right and THREE black bears hopped off of a fallen tree about 30-40 feet away, where they stopped to stare at me. It looked to be a grown adult and two cubs. I was by myself and was sufficiently spooked to hightail it back to my car. Thankfully, they didn't give chase. So it was a really short hike for me, but plenty exciting/terrifying, both I feel are good adjectives to describe it. Please be careful!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 4, 2014
This was actually our second attempt to get this hike under our belt. On out first attempt, our GPS took us to the wrong trail-head off Rt. 600, and after realizing our mistake too late, we opted for an unremarkable 6 mile jaunt down the Piney Branch trail.

Finding the correct parking this time, we had an initial debate as to which way to take the stairs, deciding that the prescribed route of climbing up was preferable to climbing down. The stairs were entertaining, and a good workout on the quads, but if you are expecting a little bit of a rock scramble like we were they were a disappointment. Little Devils Stairs is exactly what the name implies, essentially a long staircase up a ravine. The waterfalls and stream crossings were entertaining and pretty, but not the showers we expected. In fact, we made the whole trek reaping only one wet sock at the very end from moment's inattention at the last stream crossing.

That's not to say that the scenery wasn't great. There are some terrific rock walls and cliffs to see. In fact, the main reason it took us so long the get up the ravine was we keep stopping to gawk at the massive rocks that line the route. These are truly the wonders of this hike. I give major kudos to the trail creators who made this path and maintainers who keep it up. It took a great deal of imagination and skill to conceive and create a trail here.

The walk down the fire road was surprisingly pleasant. An exceedingly gradual grade most of the way, coupled with soft gravel made it an excellent jaunt through the woods. We even saw a doe causally cross the trail in front of us. That, coupled with an unseasonably cooler summer day and light breeze made this a very wonderful walk in the woods.

Maybe it was the weather, but I think the time and on this hike is a little off. My GPS showed us going 5.5 miles, completing the hike in just over 2 1/2 hours. In retrospect, the hike could me extended a couple of miles by turning right at the top of the stairs and venturing to Skyline Drive and the overlooks there (1 mile according to the marker). A difficultly rating of 3 is about right I think. We saw probably 10 people total on the hike, so I would guess that solitude are is 3 or less. This would be a great day hike for a family with smaller children.

By: Noendos Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Late morning hike up the gorge and down the Keyser Run Fire Road. The gorge was beautiful--and hard work. Also, crawling with millipeds, which I thought would freak out the girls, but they were intrigued. It was the butterflies on the fire road that gave them the willies (not sure why). Only acquired a single tick and even then, it was discovered on the car seat, not attached to anyone. Definitely a fun and challenging hike with beautiful scenery, but one to do on dry days as I imagine the rocks in the gorge can get mighty slippery.

By: D&G Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 7, 2014
This is an update on our previous review. where I mentioned the incredible number of ticks we encountered.  It turns out that my husband ended up contracting Lyme disease, even though we checked ourselves thoroughly. Fortunately, he got the classic rash, and is now on antibiotics. So, I would recommend both long pants/sleeves, as well as tick repellent before attempting this hike.

By: D&G Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 7, 2014
We hiked up the gorge, and then took the long way back. I love scrambling up the rocks and crossing the stream numerous times. And, eating our lunch on a rock by the river on the return was most enjoyable.  However, we too experienced a lot of ticks on the descent. Strangely, I must have found about 30 on me (fortunately, none attached), but my husband only had a few. We did the same hike (with the fire road return) in the fall of 2012, and didn't have a tick problem, so I wonder if it's tick season?

By: Kate Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 26, 2014
Was a decently nice hike. However, on the descent, we were covered in ticks. I pulled 15-20 off my boyfriend, and he probably pulled an equal amount off me. The dog, of the other hand, had no fewer than 75 ticks. We've given him two tick baths, and we're still finding them. The hike was nice, but I don't plan on returning, due to the sheer number of creatures prone to feed on you.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 4, 2014
My wife and I did this hike together today and enjoyed it. However, we are wondering if we are just wimps, or if some of you who have evaluated this hike were too proud to admit its difficulty. The first part of the hike was very difficult, and we consider ourselves experienced hikers. The "Stairs" were beautiful, but there were 13 stream crossings, not 4, and most had a decent degree of treacherousness that is not reflected in the rating of this hike or many of the comments. Getting wet is a good possibility. Even if the hike is done later in the season when water levels might be lower, the steepness of the trail, its rockiness, and the footing are challenging enough to make this a very difficult trail, at least in the portion that goes through the gorge/hollow. As I said, we're glad we did the hike. It was exhilarating, but this description did not have us prepared for the trail.

By: moondrunk Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 20, 2014
A fantastic hike on a beautiful spring day. Water levels were just right for the cascades to be gorgeous, and there were numerous wildflowers blooming abundantly all the way up alongside the run. We had no trouble tracking the blazes up the gorge, and many of them looked like they had recently been refreshed. We took the long way back, Pole Bridge to Piney Branch trail, and were very glad we did--the hike along the river was wonderful, and the water was high enough to make the two crossings quite interesting.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Fantastic and challenging hike! My dad was a little uneasy about the difficulty level on this one, but we took our time and had a blast! The only disadvantage to taking a break is that you're instantly swarmed by gnats! Don't expect the sit down to eat lunch. Hiking around and through the water was so beautiful! The trail on the way down was relatively boring, but the forrest is pretty sweet! Make sure you wear sunscreen, as the trees haven't "sprung" yet. I would definitely do this hike again!

By: Paul Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Spectacular Hike!

Staircase after staircase beside cascade after cascade.

The ascent is not too difficult until you get up to the top. Then when the blazes stop, they cross the run. I kept hiking on the wrong side at times, but looking over onto the other side of the gorge I could pick out the blue blazes again.

Once reaching Fourway, I decided to do the longer...scenic route...

Pole Link Trail to Piney Branch Trail.

There was a little flag memorial to a fallen American soldier on the Pole Link Trail.

Then the exquisite descent beside the Piney River.

The Hull School Trail rises unexpectedly, so after several miles of descent, there is a little bit more of a climb. Once arriving at the Bolen Cemetery a fine place for a break and a reflection of past residents.

Finally down the Fire Road in the shadow of many peaks in the North District of the SNP...Compton, North and South Marshall, Little Hogback and Hogback Mountains.

Spectacular Day!

By: Laura S. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 5, 2014
This is one of my favorite hikes in the area, we had not done it since 2012. It was a perfect day, no clouds and the temp was in the low 60s with plenty of sunshine. Also, we are coming off a really wet winter so the falls were gorgeous! You need to have proper footwear for this hike, boots that have waterproofing would be your best bet. Make sure you bring plenty of water, some of the incline section--or the stairs--can get strenuous.The views of the falls on a perfect spring day like we had are worth it, and also the view of the valley from the fire road on the way down is stunning.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 19, 2013
My wife & I did this hike on a cloudy day with the stream fairly full - it had rained about three days earlier in the area.  Stream crossings were a bit slippery in a few places, but nothing a good pair of waterproof boots with good gripping soles couldn't handle.  The trek up the stairs is pretty strenuous, but there are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the view - mostly rocks.  A pole (or pair) definitely helps with the stream crossings.

The foliage was pretty nice (mid-October) and there is one place you can get a nice overlook of the valley from the Keyser Run Fire Road.  Other than that, the views are pretty limited.

I recommend doing the hike up the stairs & down the fire road.  IMO, there is less chance of injury going up the rocky ascent as opposed to down.

Nine photos of our hike starting here:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 5, 2013
Led a group of 13 up Little Devil stairs continued on up to Hogback Mountain and Rattlesnake Overlooks for a 11.4 mile loop on a warm but beautiful fall day. SNP is officially closed, but a number of hikers were also disregarding the signs posted at the trailhead.  Parking lot was full, but parking along Keyser Run Road was available.  Not a whole lot of water flowing down Little Devils Stairs, but still a nice prep hike for Old Rag Mountain.

By: Matti Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Beautiful Memorial Day weekend hike!

We were a little concerned that we started at around 12:30 p.m.--not knowing whether we would hit bottlenecks, as one would at Old Rag starting at that time. But we encountered only about 20 other hikers total, which felt like the right amount: large enough not to feel lonesome but small enough to keep the trail romantic and private.

Although it's obvious from the trail map that the ascent is short and steep and the descent long and level, we were still surprised by just how stark the difference was. Next time we'll probably come down through the gully to avoid what we felt was a boring (if beautiful) fire road return trip.

Our total hiking time (with stops for photos and snacks) was 2:50, and we're a relatively fit couple ages 37 and 40. An older couple we encountered at the parking lot said they'd done it in 2:30, and a family told us the web site "lied" where it said it should take 4 hours.

By: ExFed Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 20, 2013
I got an early start and was on the trail just as the sun was coming up. It was unseasonably warm, the trail was damp in many spots and Keyser Run was running higher than usual. Taking the walking sticks and putting a little extra waterproofing on the boots turned out to be a very good idea as many of the stream crossings were challenging. In several places the stream had taken over the steeper parts of the trail and freezing temperatures would have otherwise made those ares very troublesome. I saw only 4 single hikers or groups, which was surprising for such a sunny weekend day. This is a great hike for views, particularly in the winter months when the leaves are off the trees.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 18, 2012
We hiked Little Devil's Stairs (as a tune-up to Old Rag) one day prior to hiking Old Rag at the suggestion of the park ranger at Shenandoah National Park's Visitor Center near the North entrance to the park. We hiked in a circuit starting at Skyline Drive (parking lot right after mile marker 19) and followed a fire road down for several miles before turning and starting up the Little Devils Stairs trail. There is an old cemetery at the bottom of the fire road with several grave sites and a marker commemorating the occupants of the "hollow" who lived in the valley prior to being relocated when the park was first established. The uphill was fairly challenging-we covered a fair amount of vertical in a short length of trail-but the views were first-rate. We hiked through a canyon-we were surrounded by sheer rock walls to our right and boulder fields to our left as we worked our way up the stairs. The stairs were steep and there were a few times I found myself using my hands to steady myself among the rocks. Once we got through the stairs, the remainder of the trail was not bad at all. There were a few switchbacks, but at that point it was not steep-just a gradual, gentle uphill. It was definitely a fun hike! I was using a GPS and it clocked us at 7.3 miles in about 3 hours. Make sure you are wearing sturdy hiking shoes and take plenty of water!

By: norm Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 5, 2012
Bear encountered on the fire road on the way down.

By: Kili Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 14, 2012
This is the second time doing this hike w/in the month. One of my favorites partly because it is a challenging short hike and can get to the trail head in about 1 hour 15 minutes from DC. It is very scenic, not much traffic, and provides for a nice challenging uphill early in the hike and then a nice several mile cooldown. Can be done in a couple hours and back to DC by noon :)

By: WeHikedIt Dave Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 10, 2012
My wife and I hiked this backward, and starting at Skyline Drive, so I call it the Little Devils Lollipop.  We began at the Keyser Run Fire Road trailhead at mile 10.4 on Skyline Drive and hiked to the northern end of the Little Devil Stairs Trail, then down the trail to the boundary parking area and returned up the fire road to Skyline Drive.  This made the hike about 8 miles in all.  The Little Devil Stairs Canyon is a beautiful place with sheer rock walls and the cascading water of Keyser Run.  Going down the trail was a real quad burner, and by coming up the fire road we had over four miles of a constant, steady uphill hike.  We saw several groups of hikers on the trail.  You can read the full trip report on our website

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 21, 2012
I am a newcomer to hiking and this is was my 3rd hike and it definitely was the toughest of the 3.  But I am definitely glad I did this hike...It was a great climb up with some nice streams and scenary.  I could not see doing this hike in the dead of summer, as I was pouring sweat a half a mile into this hike.  Trekking poles and waterproof shoes are definitely a plus.  It  took my friend and I about 41/2 hours to complete this trail, but I am not in tip top shape and pretty new to hiking.  My friend who is has been hiking for years had to do a lot of stopping and waiting for me.  Would definitely do this hike again in the fall.

Although the last 3 miles aren't as exciting, it is relaxing after a tough 2 miles up the stairs, especially if you have someone to chat with on the way down.

By: Geoffrey Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 18, 2012
I hiked this alone, hitting the trailhead at around 7:30 am, and it was truly one of the most enchanting hikes I've been on. It was still twilight when I started and there was a medium dense fog at the outset, which really created an amazing atmosphere. I didn't see anyone the entire way up, which took about 90 minutes, stopping to take numerous photos along the way. As the sun came up, it hit the tree line and the crags up on the western side of the ravine.

I took the advice that most people gave, to hike back down the stairs, rather than take the fire road down, and that was a great choice. When I turned around after hiking UP the fire road a bit, a really dense cloud started to roll into the ravine. Going back down the stream was still very novel, since many of the views I missed on the way up.

Despite the lack of any great overlook at the top, which was definitely a letdown, it still ranks among one of my favorite hikes.

By: b1gazn Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 4, 2012
A couple of my friends and I hiked this trail last weekend with our dogs. The parking lot was overcrowded as there were more than 30 cars in a parking lot for 20 but we hardly encountered anybody on the trail. Finding the parking lot was difficult as the street signs were non-existent and it kinda feels like you are trespassing to get to the parking lot.

As others have already said, the best part of the hike is the first 2 miles. The hand over hand climbing is a little exaggerated. There are a few spots where you'll need your hands to climb but that's only because the water makes the rocks slippery. The trail has some fallen trees on the path, so hikers need to plan their path. Along the way there are some small creek crossings. Here is where some people might get their feet wet.

After the some what steep climb, the rest of the trail is more than boring. The fire trail on the back 3 miles of the loop is uneventful and the scenery is dull. I perfer the water and streams so the first 2 miles were superb.

Overall the hike was fun and challenging for the first 2 miles. The rest of the loop wasn't worth walking in my opinion. Our dogs, including a Pug, had an easy time navigating this trail.

By: Robbie Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, February 20, 2012
Super fun hike, really nice with the cool weather and the falls. A bit challenging in spots but definitely worth the time! Far more novel than Big Devil Stairs too.

By: Swandiggitty Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 30, 2011
This was our first time hiking this trail.  First off make sure you wear waterproof shoes or you will get wet!  The uphill hike was beautiful.  Steep in parts and you have to cross the streams a few times, but the views are magnificent.  The fire trail down on the other hand is steep and BORING!  If you go up/down the steps I think you will have a great hike.  Also, make sure you do this when it is cool outside.  We did it in 40 degrees and we were sweating buckets!

By: The Tick Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, December 26, 2011
I did the Little Devils Stairs hike on a 45 degree December day so it was perfect weather more or less for the hike. I was very surpised there were 7 other cars in the lot when I arrived at 11AM on a Monday morning. The stairs part of the hike was as great as I remember it. It got the lungs working at several points. The constant flow of water made some of the rocks slippery but thankfully I did not fall. I surprised myself by getting to the top of the gorge in 1 hour from the car and completing the hike in 2 hours. It was nice to get back outside and not have my family get too upset I hiked the whole day. One of my top hikes in VA.

By: Roger LaPlante Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 11, 2011
Today there was a lot of water in the steam, the fallen trees were cleared from the trail and the blue blazes were freshly repainted.  I would give this trail a rating of at least 3 for views instead of the current 1 during months when there are no leaves on the trees. There are impressive rock cliffs that loom above you as you traverse the gorge and there are some beautiful vistas from Keyser Run fire road.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 16, 2011
8 hikers did a longer version (11-13 mi) of this hike.  I've been on LDS many time but this is the first time the waters created quite a challenge.  It was the perfect fall day.  At Keyser some of us turned Right heading towards the AT.  A left onto the AT took them to Piney Branch where we then picked up Hull School.  Great day

By: anna kim Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I love this hike. Did it today with my three boys 9,8,5  I guess we did the short loop, up the stairs and down the road. A few fallen trees from the storm. Water was not very high. We are avid hikers and I was shocked my little guy did so well, there's so much to see. Smelled a few bears but didn't see any which was a good thing. Took us about 3.5 hours with two really nice breaks to rest.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 3, 2011
Great hike but extremely challenging for new hikers.  The ascent up the staircase is not for the faint of heart.  Deserves a 4 on the difficulty rating metrix.  Bring as much water as you can practically carry with you!    Beautiful scenery and lack of fellow hiker traffic were nice. 

By: WV Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
This one earned its name, pretty steep though the gorge but nice rock walls. Saw a bear just after the gorge by the start of the switchbacks. This was my first time out after Irene, I wasn't in the area when she came though but I could tell a bit of limbs have fallen on the trail. Took a quick stop at the cemetary, there is an interesting poem there about the NP and the original residents on the land.

By: jewelweed Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Started at 10:30am. Three cars in lot, but only passed one set of hikers-opposite direction.  Streams are low - nonexistant right now due to low water table - some small dribbles/pools.  Saw a cub bear paw print in mud near uppermost pool.  On way back down the fire road near the cemetery saw a nice size black bear about 100 yards off trail.  Will return in the Autumn when water table is back up.  Bonus - spotted a golden eagle on ride home along 211.

By: Forrest Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 15, 2011
Hiked this "backwards" starting at the top and was quite an adventure! Descended this with 25+ pound backpacks on for a weekend in the back country. Would Definantly not do this again with a large pack. Sections are VERY steep. I can only imagine what it's like going up! Sections of the trail are poorly marked and you find yourself using the natural landscape to guide you most of the time during the rock scramble. Overall a great time not to mention it is one of the lesser traveled trails in the park, only saw two other people.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 30, 2011
This is a stiff steep climb up a densely forested gorge with soaring rocky crags on either side of a small rushing stream.  This was a really cool hike, and a great workout.  Couch potatoes and heavy smokers will probably want to avoid this one.   Follow the blue blazes, and don't try to climb sideways out of the gorge, and you pretty much can't get lost.   The climb up took me about an hour and a half and I sweated most of the way.  But well worth it.  And the long, meandering stroll back to the car, down the Keyser fire road, was real pleasant too.   On a thursday in late June I saw one car in the parking lot and not one soul on the trail.  Awesome day.

By: tom Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 15, 2011
Wonderful climb up the ravine with the stream, very steep in places and tricky to cross with the stream full. The climb up is challenging (more than a '3') and worth it. Lots of spring ephemeral flowers in bloom. Some of the blue blazed trees are down or damaged and it sometimes took a second look to find trail again.

By: Andrew in DC Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 30, 2010
This hike lives up to it's billing. The trail is scenic and well marked. The "Little Devil's Stair" part of the hike is spectacular, with the trial crisscrossing the stream and the trail turning into a rock stairway as the canyon narrows toward the top. Despite it being Memorial Day weekend, we had the trail mostly to ourselves, with other hikers appearing now and then. (Although we scored the last parking spot when we arrived at 9:15 am). We took the Kyser Fire road back to the parking lot and it was a nice, gradual descent through some pretty shady glens. If you like the Old Rag hike, you will definitely like this one, although on this hike the steepest part in the first mile or two. Either way, we are very glad we checked it out. Next time we will do the pole brach trial instead of returning on the fire road.

By: KCT Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 30, 2010
The reviews of this hike were very helpful in preparing. Hiked it with a group of kids ages 6 to 12 and dogs in preparation for Inca Trail. Our group took 5 hours to finish it w. a few breaks along the way. This group has been hiking year round for 4 years and had good equipment (hiking shoes etc.). Bring lots of water. Great place at top of incline climb to break for snacks. Downhill is a breeze. My family returned home with 77 tics. Though we had long pants and hats and sprayed deet, all humans and our two dogs had tics. Thankfully most were on the dogs and were dead b/c of the treatment we give them. For a week, however, we continued to find dead tics on the floor. All types of tics too - like a museum display. Be careful, prepare for tics and wear hats. Our one son who did not wear a hat had 5 on his head. One of our hikers had a gps which was very helpful in letting us know how far up we'd climbed and how much further it was to the top. It was a little difficult finding the hike via our directions, and our cell phone had no signals, but it worked out!

By: Alexandria Jim Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 15, 2010
Hiked this one today as a circuit using Pole Branch Trail, AT, Piney Ridge Trail, Piney Branch Trail, Hull School Trail and the Keyser Run Fire Road. A clear, warm, summery day. The Stairs are gorgeous this time of year!-- but listen closely and beware, we came across a timber rattlesnake (amazing to see!) and spoke to a couple folks who saw two more. Don't let this scare you though -- just pay attention to your path and listen for a rattle to ensure you don't blunder into an unfortunate situation. Piney Branch Trail was in good shape but Piney Ridge Trail is looking pretty wild -- ran into a trail maintenance team on the way down who were just getting started though (thanks for the effort guys!). Last bit of advice: lots of poison ivy everywhere this time of year, so just keep an eye out if you go. This is one of my favorite hikes and I highly recommend it.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 23, 2010
We hiked up #18 Little Devil Stairs and down #19 Piney Branch (reverse directions). It's about a 9 mile hike 4 hours for us. 1.5 hours up icy LDS was not overly difficult to navigate because it was thawing. The fun part was Piney Branch trail at the beginning. No one had hiked it since the snowstorm of a couple weeks ago.   It was fun crunching along the trail and finally got a chance to try out my yak trax although I really didn't need them.  As Tony's pictures show, it was definitely challenging to cross the streams along Piney Branch today. We couldn't at the trail but with some creativity were able to stay dry.  It was not all that strenuous (last weekend's up #39 Cedar Run down White Oak Canyon was much more challenging) but this was definitely enjoyable.  Rae's in Sperryville VA is closing anyone know of other good restaurants in the area or on the way back to DC?

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wow! This hike was awesome! The stream that you follow was extremely active because of all the rain we have been getting, and I eventually stopped trying to keep my shoes dry since it was pointless! I did slip on one of the rocks during one of the many stream crossings, but it wasnt a bad fall. The uphill section following the stream was steep at times, with a couple of spots that were hand over hand, but there wasn't a ton of that, and my dog got up it just fine. Once we got onto the fire road we actually saw a young black bear up in a tree. Unfortunately, he was so eager to get away from us that he fell about 15 feet out of the tree! That was all a little scary, but he ran out of sight and seemed okay.

If you are going anytime soon, take shoes that you don't mind getting wet, and just walk across the stream crossings, it's much safer that way, and parts of the trail are actually in the middle of the stream so you'll get wet anyways. It took us just under three hours to do this hike, with a 15 min lunch break.

By: Robert Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 24, 2009

I have heard a lot about Little Devils' Stairs and was eager to finally get the chance to hike it. As soon as we pulled up the sky opened and the rain fell like a blanket on top of us. Not being undone by the rain we ventured up the trail. The trail itself is amazing with plenty of little waterfalls (of which the rain made much more viewable) and amazing views of natural beauty. About a quarter mile in the rocks begin to gradually climb and about a mile or so you will do a little hand over hand climbing of the rocks. After about close to two miles in the trail evens out with no more big rocks to climb over, however the trail becomes more steep as you walk the flat trail between high grass.

Once you get to the four way junction of Keyser Fire Road, you turn left down the gravel road and this is where the excitement of Little Devil's Stairs gradually disappears. There is only stop where you can really rest and get a view of the valleys below. Other than that, it is a long boring 3.4 mile walk back to the parking lot. You do pass an old cemetery that is worth visiting but other than that I could of done without the walk back on a gravel road. I would suggest going back down Little Devil's Stairs or going across the trail and hooking up with Piney Branch Trail whihch will loop you back about .06 miles from the parking lot.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 25, 2009
A great hike for a cold winter day- we really enjoyed the ice, it was beautiful on the rock faces!  The ice did not make this hike any more dangerous than usual.  We returned via the Keyser Fire Road- which was very peaceful.  No wildlife sightings other than plenty of birds and squirrel.  We parked at the top and started from there, but did notice there was some vandalism to the "honor" pay for parking in the parking lot at the bottom- which is sad to see.  The good news is that it looked like the payment box was still intact (vandals were not able to get to the money). 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 24, 2009

Did this hike yesterday , it was a good time. Was a little short but the beginning climb was great fun. If you enjoy climbing/bouldering you might want to bring your gear with you. I was kicking myself for not having any with me. There are some great faces out there. The creek was frozen really solid in most places which made for some really pretty ice structures. I think when it warms up ill head out there agian and this time with some climbing gear.

By: Ryan Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 3, 2009
Pretty good hike took us about 3 hours so it isn't as long as other hikes i have been on.  There are also alot of rocks that you have to climb on the way up but it's not hard climbing.  On the way down on the fire road there is a small fresh water spring.  The way down is also a little steep.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hiked this trail with Snappers and Steve on Sunday: Weather was great, we only passed 3 other hikers on the trail the whole day.  The first 2 miles of the trail are slightly challenging as you do have to use your arms to get up some tight spots, but nothing the average person can't do. This is a great hike for dogs, plenty of streams and rocks for them to play around on. You do have to cross the steam quite a bit so make sure you bring extra socks just in case. After you reach the fire road it is kind of a boring 3 mile hike back so make sure you have someone you like to talk to. We saw a black bear about 200 yards before the cemetery on the right side of the trail keep your eyes open. Overall a very nice hike for the 2 miles up but rather long and mundane for the 3 miles back.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 28, 2008
A friend and I, along with my two dogs, hiked this great trail in the early afternoon the day after Thanksgiving. We did it in about three hours, but that was with the dogs setting the pace up the gorge & some jogging in the flatter sections of the fire trail. It was a perfect day for a hike - mid 50s, sunny, and the trail was dry.

Hiking up was great fun and a good challenge for both the humans and the dogs. I would not recommend hiking this trail with a pup unless he is in good shape and comfortable with both (relatively easy) water crossings and (relatively tough) rock scrambles. I have large dogs - an Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd mix - and there were a few spots where they had to plant their front paws and pull/jump to get over some steep rocks. In another part of the trail I had to remove the malamute's backpack due to a tight path between two rocks. Depending on your dog's dimensions, you should be ready to seek out an alternative path (tough, in a narrow gorge) or potentially lift/push the dog up a few feet. Both of the dogs absolutely loved the trail, though, and this was the first time I saw my 1-yr-old GSD mix both slow down due to the incline AND need stop in a few spots to figure out the best way forward. 

The fire trail was a bit boring, but relaxing after the hike up. It was nice to ramble along the trail, chatting with my friend and enjoying the occasional view, though. The incline is not at all steep, and you can easily jog it in most areas if so desired. I would recommend following the route given here - footing could be tricky going down the gorge, and hiking up the fire trail wouldn't be much fun.

Overall, I highly recommend this trail, especially in the winter (when dry), when there isn't as much foliage to block the view & the temps aren't too high.

By: Steve Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 9, 2008
My wife and I hiked this trail this past weekend, with 6 kids ages 15, 14, 13, 11, 10, and 8.  They all LOVED it.  Only saw a few other people during our hike.  We parked just off of skyline drive and started the hike down the Keyser Run fire road, and not the parking lot shown on the map.  The park ranger recommended we do this, and that we also do the trail counter-clock wise, saving the best part of the trail until last.  I'm so glad we listened!  The first 2/3 of the trail was just ok, as you're just walking along the gravel road in the woods (although seeing the Bolen grave yard in the middle of woods was nice).  The climb up the keyer run, however, was excellent, and if not for the fire road portion of the trail I would definitely give this trail 5 stars.  The trail up the keyser run is rocky, and crisscrosses the stream/little waterfalls as you climb.  Absolutely beautiful.  This was our first hike, so our legs were burning as we approached the top, but it was so worth it.  Surprisingly, our 8 year old was the first to the top.  Even with a few short resting stops, we completed the hike in 3 hrs and 45 mins.

By: Iris M. Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My friend and I loved this hike! It was a bit more challenging on the way up. There was a lot of climbing and crossing streams involved (for about 2 miles), but that just made it more fun! Make sure your hiking boots are waterproof because there are many streams to cross, and I slipped on a rock and stepped into the water. And make sure you stop at the top of the mountain for some photos - we did not expect such impressive views!

The way down was a breeze (about 3 miles), since we walked on a gravel road most of the time. It was nice to pass by the beautiful "Bolen" cemetery, I recommend stopping and reading the blue plaque inbetween the headstones.

It took us 4.5 hours to finish this hike (30 minutes for lunch and photo stops). I would not recommend this hike for small children, because of the hike up and all the climbing we had to do. However, you could try to hike up to Bolen cemetery on Keyser Rud road (trail starts on the left side, gravel road) which is about 1 mile there and 1 mile back. I did this today (November 2) with my 7-year-old daughter, and she did very well (we also did a scavenger hunt which made it more interesting).

I highly recommend this hike.

By: Michael Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 18, 2008
An absolute wonderful hike!  The weather was perfect - low 60s and sunny.  Unlike most, my wife and I started from the Keyser Run Fire Road within SNP and descended to Little Devils Stairs.  Climbing the 'stairs' at the end was definitely worth it (I couldn't imagine trying to descend them).  I must say the fire road down was a bit bland, but the surroundings near the cemetary were pretty sweet.  We will definitely return.  Start early as the trail rapidly fills up later in the day.  Enjoy....

By: Jen Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 14, 2008
Went into this blind...a friend took me. We parked at the top of the fire road on skyline and descended down little devils stairs. Evidently it had rained the night before, things were very wet. We also recently had a LARGE amount of rain earlier in the week. This made for wet rocks and washed out muddy portions of the trail. The way down was absolutely treacherous. It's hard to balance on wet mossy rocks at such a steep descent. None of us had walking poles. MANY of the hikers going up had walking poles. We were the only idiots on the trail that were going down... I picked up a stick as a pole or I wouldn't have made it out. This would be a GREAT hike in non wet conditions. We decided to go back up little devil stairs rather than going twice the distance on the fire road. It was MUCH easier hiking up because you were already scrambling up...less distance to fall if you slipped. I am slightly out of shape but found this VERY challenging..I have bad knees and it was not a good mix. I am ashamed to say it took us 6 hours to go down and up the stairs..4.8 miles. If it was not wet I would hope it would take half the time. I will go up the stairs again...but probably never down them..

By: Mike H. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 23, 2008
My girlfriend and I both enjoyed this hike, although the second half of it on the fire road is somewhat boring.  However, the climb up the Little Devil's Stairs trail was definitely pretty intense and enjoyable.  Took us exactly four hours although we're not in great shape and we took plenty of breaks.  I would highly recommend doing this hike after a rainfall, as we've not had much rain lately, and the stream and waterfalls suffered because of it.

By: Scott W Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 17, 2008
Pretty good hike.  We went down the LDS trail and back up the fire road.  All SNP hikes I've done are like that, down and back up.  Probably a little better if you go down the fire road, but this way was nice enough.  The only negative is that going up the fire road (it's steep) takes a long time and could be dull.  (We had great butterflies and deer sightings to busy us so, not dull today.)  Not technical; my ol' lady isn't really a hiker and she did it in sneakers, as did most of the people we saw today.  It'll be nice when the leaves turn!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 9, 2008

Good hike. The first two miles is a climb, last three along the fire road.

Stumbled across a big black bear about 500 yards from the parking lot. I surprised him, he surprised me, We both walked away slowly

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 19, 2008
The uphill first out of the car definately gets your heart pounding. The canyon is pretty cool. The temp was 92 with 85% humidity so it was VERY greuling for the first mile or so. The waterfalls and rock formations are pretty cool. I would probably recommend you do this hike in the fall when less foliage is on the trees. Plenty of water along this trail.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 19, 2008
This was a great hike. The beginning is pretty tough, but easy to follow and walking up along the Keyser Run is beautiful. We decided that we wanted to make this hike longer than the 5.5 miles, so we added a bit and made it about an 11 mile hike. After climbing the Little Devil Stairs and getting to the intersection of the Keyser Run Road, we took a right uphill. Following this yellow-blazed road for 1.0 miles bring you to a parking lot on Skyline Drive. Continue through the parking lot and across the street and in 100 yards you will get to the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (AT). Take the AT South towards Range View Cabin. You will be on this section (steady uphill, but not too tough) for about 2.0 miles, passing few overlooks and great views. Eventually you will cross Skyline Drive. Although this hike continues after crossing Skyline Drive, you may want to walk up Skyline Drive .1 miles to the Hogback Overlook. It gives you a great view of about 10 different ridge lines and the Shenandoah below. After crossing Skyline Drive, in about 25 yards you will come to Sugarloaf Trail, where you will turn left downhill. This you will follow for 1.4 miles (blue-blazes) until the Pole Bridge Link Trail. Take another left onto the blue-blazed Pole Bridge Link Trail and follow it .5 miles back to the original intersection after the first climb up Little Devil Stairs. To get back to where you parked your car, continue downhill on the yellow-blazed Keyser Run Road. The added views and distance really made this hike worthwhile. Enjoy!

By: Nicole Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 21, 2008
I loved this hike... Even the drive down 29, 211, and 163 are lovely.  Then right out of the parking lot, we were grabbed by the lush beauty of the trail and it never let up. (Note: double your hike time if you are a photographer as there will be plenty of temptation to stop and capture the views.) The trip up is steep and strenuous but really enjoyable, especially with a patient hiking companion reminding one to stop and breathe!  I was happy to have taken the route from the bottom first, up the stairs, and back down the fire road.  We passed folks who had seen a bear and we saw fresh bear tracks on the fire road, but thankfully no close encounters.  Enjoy!

By: Carlos and Shawn Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 25, 2008

The day was absolutly perfect. We did not quite expect the difficuilty of the climb through the ravine. This climb does cross Keyser run many times and does require hand over hand climbing at points. It is very steep at points.

Over all the climb was very good and the old cemetary is intresting.

Highly recomend just make sure you are ready and in reasonably good shape.

By: char Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 24, 2008
The weather was absolutely perfect for our hike at Little Devils Stairs.  I was surprised that most of the hike was fairly shady but the landscape was nevertheless beautiful and diverse.  We crossed the creek countless times and a walking stick came in handy more than once.  Overall enjoyable and I hope to return again.

By: clind Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 12, 2007

I hiked Old Rag in the morning, ate some lunch and started this hike in the early afternoon.  Parked at the bottom at the end of SR 614.  I have done this hike a few times and always enjoy the views of the gorge, the sheer walls and the small waterfalls (which provide a nice breeze).  I think that this hike is most scenic in the winter when the trees have shed their leaves and you can better see the rock walls.  This time I decided to go up Little Devil Stairs and go past fourway on to Piney Branch Trail.  I enjoyed this route more than the shorter loop.  This way you get some extra stream crossings and are only on the fire road for about a mile.  Very enjoyable!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 1, 2007

It hurts to say but, I am an over weight (20-30lbs) 41 year old male, who quit running about two years ago. (So you get some idea of fitness level).  My wife, a daughter (12), and I hiked Little Devils Stairs today.  We arrived at 1100: there were 7 cars in the lot.  We made the trip up around and back down the fire road in just less than three hours.  There were still 7 cars but several had changed shape and color.  We didn't stop to eat lunch however; several rest breaks were needed during the ascent.  We made the entire decent without stopping.  The walk down the fire road peaceful and the air was full of scents.  We could smell wild flowers near the top and as we enter the area with pine trees we could definitely smell them.  The water levels allowed for the nice babbling of water during the ascent. The decent was nearly silent, except for an airline that passed over. ***One thing we missed until the trail head notice was the entry fee requirement. We filled out the form and paid for the annual fee. The thirty dollars covers four family members for a year.

By: tawlk Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 30, 2007

We got to the parking lot around 10:30 on a Saturday and there were 4 other cars in the lot.  When we left there were about 8...not too bad for a holiday weekend.  I liked the hike better in the winter; you could see more of the rock formations and cascades as you ascend the trail.  We ended up finishing the loop in about 3-hours.  As I mentioned in my previous review, I highly suggest following the loop as posted on this site.  Going up the falls and down the fireroad makes a lot more sense than the other way around.  The only notable event on this hike was the nice size bear tracks we saw on the fireroad, man I wish we could have seen him! 

By: crunchy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 16, 2007
awesome awesome weather for a good summer hike! When I got to the parking area around noon, there were only 2 other cars and a motorcycle!  Pretty easy hike overall. They have a low scenic rating for it, but I think thats subjective. Sounds like the ratings are only based on vista views, because I thought alot of the waterfalls and rock scenery was awesome. The hike description also mentioned "hand over hand climbing" in some spots, which I'm not sure what they mean, but never once did I have to put my hand on a rock to climb up. Only saw a couple other people on the trail when I was there which was nice also. I didn't time my hike, but it couldn't have been more than 2.5 hours which included a little lunch break.  If you are new to hiking, this might be a good precursor hike to Old Rag. (altho I don't think old rag is too difficult)

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
It was a sunny, hot and humid day with very little wind. Little Devil Stairs was a harder hike than I expected but very enjoyable. Originally I'd planned on returning via the Piney Branch trail but decided to return via the Keyser Run Fire Road. I found with careful route selection and liberal use of trekking poles, that there were only a very few places that I needed to do hand over hand climbing. The one problem that I see with this hike is that after climbing little devil stairs I would liked to have been rewarded with a nice view. There were some spot that you could see through the trees on the fire road. Maybe in the early spring the views would be better.

By: Stephanie Robbins Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This was my favorite hikes as of date.  It was bright and sunny, although the trees provided great shade, and a wonderful breeze ran through occassionally.  The first mile was on a dirt road, but pay attention not to miss the little marker pointing you down the little devil stairs (watch out I spotted some poison IV early into the hike)....after the second mile....the streams and waterfall started appearing....this was when the fun began...bring good shoes and a walking stick...there is lots of water crossing and rocks are close attention to the trail markers, there were time, where the dog had to find our way. she loved it by the way....about 3 1/2 miles into the hike we spotted a big rock configuration and it was amazing ---natures AC--- the rocks were giving off the coldest air i've ever pay's the coolest thing ever....we finally make it too the trail border took a little while to soak our feet in the gorgeous stream (spotted some frogs and catfish) and headed back up...that's when the trail truley takes it's name "little devil stairs"...the hike back requires lots of climbing and strenous stretches.

Bring lots of water and a camera the waterfalls and crossings are amazing.  If you're up for a challenge this one is the one to take (we saw no one in 6 hours---the best part)

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 12, 2007
April and May would be an opportune time to hike this trail due to the increased water in the stream making the hike more enjoyable.  A short hike but fun and we did not run into many other hikers.  Taking the fireroad back down was not as much fun as hiking the trail back which I would do the next time.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, February 7, 2007
We did only 1.2 mile up and return due to time constraints.  However, it was very nice with snow on the ground in the late afternoon sunlight and most of the creek frozen.  In fact, some of the minor falls were frozen.

If there is snow, we highly recommend at least one hiking pole - a big asset at creek crossings & when slippery.

Parking area at the end of Rt 614 is at: N38.73060 W78.25827

By: tawlk Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 6, 2007
There couldn’t have been a better day to do this hike…I mean, what more can you ask than a clear, sunny day in January.  Oh, I guess the temperature at 68-degrees and rain the day before made this a perfect day. The river was perfect - just the right amount of water to make crossing it easy, while still having enough water to make the falls and rapids picturesque.

I highly recommend following the directions given on this page. Climbing up the rocks along the stream was much easier than it would have been to climb down. After that the rest of the trip is downhill; I felt sorry for other groups that were hiking up the service road, most looked out of breath and wore out. Besides the physical advantages to doing the circuit this way, by hiking up the river you are always facing the river and able to take advantage of the scenery. This is also true when headed downhill to view the vistas through the trees. Without the leaves, I would rate these views at least 2 stars.

Overall, this was one of my favorite hikes. By the amount of people we saw, it looks like I’m not the only one with this opinion. By the time we left in the afternoon, the parking lot had overflowed and people were lined up along the road.  Note that this probably isn’t typical for this hike…remember, sunny and 68-degrees in January!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 10, 2006
This was my third time on Little Devil Stairs, but I'd never had the stream be such a rushing torrent before, and it made it much more beautiful (little waterfuls) and fun (the stream crossings), especially for the kids.  They kept track of the number of stream crossings (I can't remember if the total was 16, or 17? something like that) -- some were just tricky jumping far to get to the next rock, but one or two involved actually climbing up the trail through the falling water (I didn't actually get wet but some of the kids' feet were soaked). I must have been here before in summer when the water was low; I'm not sure why it's so high now, but it's great!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I am definately a novice at hiking, but i can assure you that you could classify this one as a hike/climb. Killer workout! I found Little Devils Stairs very easy from the directions and arrived there around 9:00a.m. It was very overcast because of all the rain we have been having in the past week. The climb kept going steeper and steeper and when you thought you've seen it all, you have to start to scale boulders! The trail then continues to twist and turn back across the stream as you keep ascending. I was somewhere scaling up the rocks when all of a sudden it starts pouring! So that was an added challange. Very surreal climbing in those conditions. I had a good slip or two i can tell you that. By the time i made it to the top, i was soaked from head to toe and loving the whole thing! After you summit, the rest is all down a long somewhat wide fire road. I got back to the car,took it all in and ate the lunch i packed. Great experience! Can't wait to go back!

By: HikerMom Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 5, 2005
This hike is a lot of fun. I picked a dry day to go. The water was low and the rocks were dry. Which was a good thing because there was a lot of rocks -- big ones, little ones, flat ones, pointy ones, jumpy ones, tricky ones, looks-sturdy-but-will-slip-on-you ones. The directions were (as always) perfect, especially the tip about watching out for the blazes. There was a short section near the top where I had to put away the hiking staff and use both hands for better leverage. The view of the rock face near the top is gorgeous but short-lived. After you get to the top, the rest is switchbacks and fire roads, so it does get a bit monotonous.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 11, 2005
I left the kids (ages eight and five ) in bed and footed this one alone. I went down and back with one hour each way; for two hours total time. I had some companionship with flies, spiders and their webs the whole way down. I imagine the stream is beautiful in the spring, but it wasn't much in August. I enjoy the most challenging hikes and the name was the big draw. Uphill was a challenge. The parks people did a great job with the stairs, I don't remember ever using my hands to climb( other reviews say this was necessary, maybe due to higher-water level? ) Over all a fun hike. I'm glad I've done the little devil stairs- I want to see them in the spring.

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