• P.O. Box 28, Round Hill, VA 20142

Hike Big Devils Stairs in Shenandoah National Park

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Date(s) - October 5, 2019
9:00 am - 1:30 pm

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We’ll hike to Big Devils Stairs in Shenandoah National Park. This is a pleasant 5.5 mile out and back hike, on the easy side of moderate, and we won’t be in a hurry. In the last half mile before we reach the gorge and overlooks, we’ll pass through an especially lovely landscape of mountain laurel, hemlock, pines, and boulders. Close to the gorge, the trail becomes steep in places, requiring attention to your footing, and you may find walking sticks handy.

The gorge and valley overlooks are dramatic yet peaceful and feel far removed from the bustle of the park.

Pack adequate snacks, water, and extra layers, including rain gear, so that nothing interferes with your comfort and enjoyment of the day. Insulated sitting pads will be provided at the trailhead.

For more details about the hike, visit https://www.hikingupward.com/snp/bigdevilsstairs/.


After you turn onto Skyline Drive from Rt. 340, you’ll see a paved parking area on the right, then a short, flat bridge with stone walls, then another paved parking area on the right. Cathy and I plan to arrive at 8:45 am and park in that 2nd paved area on the right, after the stone bridge. Look for a beige Toyota Prius. Cathy will be wearing a bright orange jacket.

All grassy shoulders in the area that have not been blocked off with cones are legitimate parking areas.

We’ll arrange ourselves into carpools, hoping to have a parks pass in each car. At 9:15, we’ll proceed to the very small Gravel Springs Gap parking lot, milepost (MP) 17.5, on the east side of Skyline Drive. Estimated arrival time at Gravel Springs is 9:45 am. Estimated return time to Front Royal is 1:30 pm.

Restrooms and water are available at Dickey Ridge (MP 5) and Elkwallow Wayside (MP 24.1).

Cost: The park entrance fee for a private vehicle is $25.

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