Trail Map of Devil's Bathtub (Devil's Fork Loop Trail)

Hike through a deep Appalachian gorge to a unique series of rock formations and swimming holes in southwest Virginia

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Overview
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Devil's Bathtub (Devil's Fork Loop Trail)
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Difficult: 1.6 miles, Half day
 
Overview: Scenic, 3-mile out-and-back hike to the Devil's Bathtub, a scoured rock formation within Devil's Fork Creek. Hike follows the creek closely along its entire course, crossing the creek multiple times and passing several scenic swimming holes, rock formations, and waterfalls. An optional trip continues beyond the Devil's Bathtub, climbing the mountain and returning to the original trailhead, for 7 total miles. Beyond the Bathtub, however, the trail is much less maintained and may be difficult to follow in some seasons.

In recent months (as of fall 2014), several instances of lost hikers have occurred along the trail to the Devil's Bathtub, some involving rescue operations. Please be aware that, while short, this hike requires some skill at route-finding near creek crossings and is likely best undertaken by those with some experience hiking in backcountry situations. It is definitely not a smart choice for those picking their first true, backcountry hike. Hike at your own risk, and consider water levels, the amount of remaining daylight, and local weather conditions when planning a hike to the Bathtub. The "Tips" section of this guide includes more information.

Tips: - The main parking area is reached via a rutted road that may be muddy and impassible by vehicles without high clearance and four-wheel drive in poor weather conditions. Alternative pull-out parking may be found within the first few hundred yards of the roadbed.

- While often easily navigated, the multiple stream crossings on this trail may require significant wading at high water and may even become treacherous during extremely high creekflow. Even at low water levels, some creek crossings are technical and cannot be made dry-shod. Use caution and good judgment before attempting any creek crossings in wet weather.

- Steep terrain and heavy forest cover along this trail may prevent adequate wireless internet access and/or reduce accuracy of smartphones' GPS while on the trail. Your location on the map may therefore not be precisely accurate if tracking your progress directly on the trail. As with all online guides, the information contained herein should only be used for educational purposes and not for use in backcountry navigation or as a substitute for a trail map, planning, and good judgment.
Trailhead and Parking Area
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Stream Crossing #1
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Trail Junction
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Stream Crossing #2
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Stream Crossing #3
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Stream Crossing #4
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Riparian Zones
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Stream Crossing #5
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Stream Crossing #6
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Stream Crossing #7
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Riparian Corridors
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Stream Crossing #8
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Stream Crossing #9
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Stream Crossing #10
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Cliff and Bluff Habitat
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Swimming Hole and Waterfall
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Devil's Bathtub
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Continuation of Loop Trail
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