Your Guide to Devil’s Courthouse Hike on The Blue Ridge Parkway
Short and steep hike to long-range mountain vistas
If you’re looking for a quick (but steep!) hike to a spectacular long-range mountain view, look no further than Devil’s Courthouse. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway southwest of Asheville, this hike is easily accessible with a breathtaking drive along the way.
Devil’s Courthouse Quick Facts
Trailhead location: Blue Ridge Parkway Mile 418.8
Trail length: 0.8 miles out and back
Elevation change: 258 feet all uphill from the parking lot to the peak
Distance from downtown Asheville: 39 miles
Drive time from downtown Asheville: 60 minutes
Trail Condition: The beginning of the trail is paved followed by a rocky dirt path.
Getting to Devil’s Courthouse Trailhead
The Devil’s Courthouse trailhead is located at the overlook of the same name on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s at Milepost 422.4. You’ll find the overlook just past the Devil’s Courthouse tunnel if traveling from Asheville.
The drive from Asheville takes about 1 hour and is full of other stops and sights along the way, so be sure to plan ample time. Other great hikes you’ll pass by on the way to Devil’s Courthouse include Graveyard Fields and Black Balsam Knob.
The trail begins on a paved sidewalk along the side of the parkway. You can admire the view of the mountain from the overlook before embarking on your journey to the top.
Devil’s Courthouse Parking
Parking is available at the Devil’s Courthouse overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
From the overlook, you will see the peak that you are about to climb to the top of off to the left. If you aren’t up for the hike, the view from the overlook is actually quite magnificent.
The trailhead is just down the paved path to the left of the overlook.
There are no restroom facilities located at the parking lot.
About Devil’s Courthouse
You may be wondering where Devil’s Courthouse gets its ominous name. Well, it isn’t from its peak but actually from what’s underneath. In Cherokee lore, the mountain is home to a cave where the devil holds court.
The peak is a rocky outcropping surrounded by rock cliffs. The terrain with its high altitude and rock faces creates a biodiverse landscape.
Not only is it home to delicate and rare high-altitude plants but its rock faces are also home to peregrine falcon nesting sites. Speaking of, watch out!
The hike and view are true wonders to behold and are a good reminder of how beautiful yet delicate nature is.
Hiking The Devil’s Courthouse Trail
The hike to the summit of Devil’s Courthouse is short, steep and rewarding.
After walking a few minutes along the Blue Ridge Parkway from the overlook parking lot, you’ll take a sharp right turn onto a heavily wooded trail. Kids especially love the feeling of entering an enchanted feeling forest full of spruce and fir trees.
The trail is paved for the first section until it meets the Mountain to Sea Trail. At this point, you will follow the trail to the right and are about 0.1 miles from the summit. It’s a pretty quick hike and we always spot several kids on the trail, so even though it’s steep, it’s short enough to be a kid-friendly hike.
You’ll eventually emerge at the peak onto a lookout area surrounded by short stone walls along the rocky cliff edges. From the summit, you have long-range views to the south, east and west. On a clear day, you are able to see four states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
After enjoying the views you’ll be delighted with your downhill hike back to the trailhead. Take it slow, though!