Little Missouri Trail is a 2.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Caddo Gap, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The trail is the northeastern segment of the longer Eagle Rock loop trail. The trail passes through the Little Missouri Falls Recreation Area which displays the scenic Little Missouri Falls. It is actually a series of cascades. Their is nothing little about it. Absolutely breathtaking.from here the hiker faces a hill of steps in the trail which lead along large cliffs high above the river. The trail provides a view of the area above the falls on the left and a rock formation on the right. This part of the trail is a historic wagon trail. From here the hike largely follows the Little Missouri River, crossing it several times. It ends at the Albert Pike Recreational area.
Pretty easy hike with good views. Tons of good camping spots.
We started at the falls and did the out and back. Easy trail with a few river crossings. Well marked.
Wife, son, and myself visited this little gem twice. Consecutive days. Used the river itself for the path more than the trail I think. Beautiful and peaceful in early April, 2016.
Was beautiful. Not well marked at times. Follow white blazes. We did about 3 miles out and back as this is part of a larger trail.
It's actually about 6 miles from here to the Albert pike campgrounds, which is what most hikers were doing.
Falls were crowded as it was a holiday weekend. Very pretty places to stop and enjoy the water away from the crowds as well. Plan to cross water but there are many rocks we were able to use to avoid getting completely wet. Will do it again.
4 of us hiked part of this trail the beginning of Oct. We started at the Athens-Big Fork North trail head, hiked Fri. evening over the ridge to the Little Missouri trailhead and camped about a mile east (clockwise) along the Little Missouri river. Saturday we hiked to the Little Missouri Falls, then turned around and hiked back past the Little Missouri trail head and onto the Athens Big Fork trail to see the view from Spirit Rock. came back down and camped near the Little Missouri trailhead and hiked back to the North Trailhead on Sunday. An enjoyable trip.
A few comments if you're planning a trip:
- the Athens-Big Fork Junction with the Little Missouri trail is not labeled, though both trails are marked with white blazes. From the little missouri trailhead heading south onto the trail, take a right turn onto the Athens Big Fork trail, immediately after crossing a small Creek within 20 yards of the parking lot. The trail that seems to go straight away from the parking lot is actually the Little Missouri trail. this wasn't clear to me from the park map I downloaded.
- there are 2 well defined campsites about a mile in from the little missouri / Athens big fork trail head, and a couple more after about another mile, heading clockwise along the trail. not much other place besides these, due to the rocky hilly terrain.
- there is also a campsite about 100 yards up the hill from the parking area.
- not any good place to camp heading south on the Athens big fork trail, except for one or two small sites at spirit rock. no water up at spirit rock, and limited firewood, so make sure to bring water if you plan to camp there.
- the little missouri waterfall is a few hundred yards from the Little Missouri Falls trailhead. This should have been obvious to me but wasn't, so we were looking for the falls between the trailheads and had to hike the entire 4+ miles to reach the falls from the Athens big fork junction.
Hope this helps plan your trip, the trail was great and the river crossings were all dry crossings for us, though the river gauge at Langley(?) was reading less than 4ft, which is lower than average.
Me and my 4yr old son, backpacked it in 2 days. We went during the fall after some rain. There is some sketchy water crossings after good rain. One of the most beautiful places to spend time at, camping along river makes for amazing sounds and scenery! We will do this every year maybe twice a year , its that nice!!!
08-14-15 My boyfriend and I hiked from the Upper Little Missouri trailhead to Spirit Rock. We camped the night so he could photograph the Milky Way and hiked back down a little after sunrise on the 15th. There is a small flat area to set up a tent, or possibly two, and an existing firepit well lined with rocks. this area to set up camp is very exposed to the sun and wind, come prepared with cord to tie down your items. Most of this area is covered by boulders so you can feel like an explorer and a mountain goat.
Beautiful country and well marked trails.
My son and I hiked in 2.68 miles on 5/16/2015 and set up camp along the Little Missouri. Beautiful creek and falls. We caught many bream, trout, and smallmouth bass with enough for a great campfire dinner. Large thunderstorms rolled in during the night and swelled the Little Missouri to almost 9 ft by morning. We had planned to hike the rest the next day but we were now trapped by high water on Crooked Creek and the Little Missouri. We decided to bushwhack north to Albert Pike road and made our way back to our truck. You need to be aware of quickly changing weather conditions and be prepared to say an extra night or two until the water goes down or bushwhack out. With no cell service and no radio reception you are on your own. This is a beautiful place just be aware of location and ways to get out if the weather changes.
we had a cabin at camp albert pike for about 50 years and did the all the trails in the area as kids, what a great memory
Great hike and beautiful :)
Beautiful camping by the falls. Great way to finish up a 3rd day hiking the Eagle Rock Loop.
Beautiful easy hike. Good swimming by falls.
Great trail. Very well kept. We parked at the end and drove up to the step off point. Hiked 4 miles first day. Set up camp at first bridge. Great sources for water. Next day hiked 10 miles through Albert Pike and over the ridge to the big river crossing and set up camp. Soaked our feet in the nice cool water. Finished the next day. It was a good thing we had marked our truck with our GPS. it would have been hard to find without. Lots of great campsites along the trail.
Great trail, fantastic falls and sites. Bring a picnic and spend the day hiking and exploring the area.