Hike the East Bluff Trail to Devil's Doorway

Devil's Lake State Park

This is a short hike along the 500' quartzite cliffs in a beautiful southern Wisconsin state park with plenty of viewpoints overlooking the lake.

This hike begins at the east end of the North Shore Visitors' area. The hike starts relatively level before turning to the right and leading you up steps. The spectacular views come quickly on this hike as immediately after you reach the top steps you will be treated to your first glimpse of the lake from the bluffs. The trail continues to climb through the oak forest with many stopping points overlooking the lake along the way. If you have a hammock make sure to bring it as there are numerous spots to hang it, relax, and enjoy the sprawling views. At 1.1 miles the trail breaks and a short 0.1 mile hike will take you to the iconic Devil's Doorway. This is one of the most popular features in the park so expect company, but people come and go so frequently that if you wait it out you may catch a few moments of solitude. After you leave Devil's Doorway follow the trail back the way you came to meet back up with the main trail again.

From here you have a few options. First, you can turn back and return the way you came. Second, you can opt to descend to the south shore of the lake via the Balanced Rock Trail and then follow the railroad tracks back to the north shore. Finally, if you are feeling extra adventurous you can choose to follow the Balanced Rock Trail to the south shore and then hike the West Bluff Trail back and enjoy the views from the opposite side!

Pack List

  • $8 for a resident day pass, $11 for a non-resident day pass
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hammock
  • Water and snacks
  • Camera
Show More
RT Distance 2.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 500 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

It Was Awesome

Vacationing at the Dells and wanted to explore for landscape photography. It was perfect. I got there early and it was beautiful. I would also recommend heading to the beach area before starting on the trail. I got some great early fog shots.

In Love With Devil's Lake

What more can I say? I am in absolute love with Devil's Lake State Park. From a photographer's perspective, it doesn't get much better than this. The scenery is incredible and the views are outstanding. The hike is easily worth it and is so much fun. I want to come back here many more times to continue experiencing the beauty it has to offer.

Great Midwest Hike

This hike surpassed my expectations. Being from the Midwest most hikes don't have much besides trees to see. This was beautiful! My small lazy dog even joined. We had to carry her in a carrier most the time but it was a great beginner hike. The trails are well maintained and pretty busy even on a cloudy day. It had rained most the weekend so it was a little slick and muddy but well worth it. I will definitely go back to explore more.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Perimeter of Devil's Lake

97 Saves

Bouldering at Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin

362 Saves

Camp at Devils Lake State Park

206 Saves