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Little Devil Stairs Loop

Difficult

Trail

5.5 mile 8.9 kilometer loop
78% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

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

Grade

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

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

Joe Danz

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Waterfall

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

Overview

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

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

Need to Know

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

Description

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

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

History & Background

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

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 13 votes

#852

Overall
  4.5 from 13 votes
5 Star
46%
4 Star
54%
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Run Rankings

#27

in Virginia

#852

Overall
252 Views Last Month
1,759 Since Nov 27, 2018
Difficult

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92%
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Photos

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

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