Hike: “Devil’s Fork Loop Trail is perfect for the true back country enthusiasts who are willing to get their feet wet.” (Source)
After hiking Black Mountain, KY, and having lunch in Big Stone Gap, VA, Joel and I were going to head home–but when planning this trip, I noticed a place on the map southeast of Big Stone Gap called Devil’s Bathtub. After investigating, I knew we needed to stop by!
Goal: Have a blast, hike safely, and get home before the kids’ bedtime!
Gear: It had warmed up, but we still opted for our puffy jackets. I didn’t have a daypack, so I carried no water, only my phone and GoPro. I still had my baselayers on from our Mount Rogers chilly night.
Weather: 40’s and sunny
Pre-Hike: Though we had to take a few backroads, they were all well-marked. I was glad I didn’t park at the “main lot” because it was about a mile from the trailhead! Instead, I followed the guidance of a fellow hiker (who drove a van), from the Alltrails.com site. She said the road was fine and her van had no issues. Well…. the road was NOT fine, and my van had major issues. Namely, spinning out in some gravel. There were huge ruts, and the gravel didn’t help even it out. Somehow, with Joel coaching me, we made it. We didn’t have much choice, since it was a one lane road, with nowhere to turn around. I was a bit stressed, and very glad when we made it to the parking lot with my van and tires intact.
Hike: The yellow blazes made this a relatively easy to follow trail. The trail, however, crosses over the creek MANY times. Thankfully, I knew that going in, so I just made up my mind that I would be getting wet feet.
As you’ll see in the video below, the water was ICE COLD. And I willingly went in, multiple times.
Joel though… he’s taller and apparently more nimble than me, and miraculously managed not to get his feet wet until near the end of this hike.
I summed it all up in a GoPro video:
Recommend: 100% yes. This was a gorgeous place! I would love to see it in spring or fall (and summer would be OK too, but probably hot/buggy and crowded). As mentioned in my video, I would like to go back and swim someday, and hopefully bring the boys.
Maps: My Garmin was dying, so I saved the route when we arrived, and started a new one for the way back. You can see the creek crossings slowed us down 🙂
This hike was awesome, and I hope to go back someday!