Winding Stairs Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews
#3 of 33 trails in

Winding Stairs Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Caddo Gap, AR that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.8 miles 592 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

The trails has nice rock formations, cascades, and swimming holes. Primitive camping is allowed along the trail. Be careful, you do have to cross the river, make sure is not to high to cross safely.

Beautiful trail, but what the heck the trails are so poorly marked. When you get to the end and think there's no where to go- cross the river. It took us forever to find the right area. But very beautiful great swim once we got to the peace sign rock!

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

wonderful trail! the first time we def didn't take enough water and it seemed strenuous but then I did it 3 more times and it got easier each time! you've gotta cross the river twice but it's not that bad.... amazing scenery!

2 months ago

Was a great trail. Not marked well though. Relied on others at the beginning to show us where to cross the water to start. Walk along the path until you see the two markings on the tree with a log in the water. That's the first crossing.
When you come to the island in the water and the trail looks like it dumps right into the water and where you can see stair like rock formations, that's the second water crossing. Overall it was a gorgeous day to be outside and the hike was perfect.

hiking
4 months ago

The hike was great but difficult to find the trail head and definitely bring water shoes. You have to cross the river to start the trail and then again about 2.5 miles in. To find the trail head from the parking lot follow the trail down to the river and then look across the river for a tree with a blue marker and another with a white marker and that's where you want to cross.

5 months ago

Great hike! There are a few great stops in the river! Not to hard, not to long...great day hike!!!

7 months ago

As Ryan said the trail head is a bit off. Finding the trail can be a little difficult at times, we walked the river the first few miles and caught up to the trail after the first big bend. Definitely need water shoes, a must cuz bare feet on these rocks are brutal.

We talked to a few hikers that know the trail well, it is a part of a 27 mile trail that is a loop. I might be off on the miles, as I heard 25 as well. we spent the night about 3.5 miles in, and it was incredible. camp sites are plentiful and accessible. many right on the water the first 5 miles or so.

leaving we hiked up the mountain and left the river to the right, it's a steep clip at some points but is worth the time, the views are incredible.

we will be back on this one. And for some, there is some idiot that kept writing his initials all over the trail "JP" is NOT me.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome trail. If you want to continue going after the first 3.5 miles or so (which I highly recommend... that part of the Eagle Rock Loop trail is beautiful), make sure to bring sandals to cross the river!

The trail head was down about another .5 miles from where its listed on AllTrails. After you park, walk past the sign, turn left at the intersection, then in a couple hundred feet turn right and walk across the fallen trees/rocks to get to the other side of the river. The trail doesn't seem to be clearly marked in the beginning...

hiking
8 months ago

Gorgeous trail! The beginning of the trail was terribly marked when I went, but it was well worth the time to pick the trail up. Beautiful scenery, with plenty of awesome deep swimming holes all along the way. There is a great place to camp for hammock campers against a bluff just off of a huge swimming hole. Has decent cover, close to water, place for a fire when permitted, and wonderful views. Make sure to take dry bags for anything you don't want wet. We crossed the river 4 times and one crossing was chest high for about 20 feet. Had a wonderful time on this trail, I definitely suggest backpacking this trail for a few days if you can!

hiking
9 months ago

A great day hiking.

1 year ago

This trail was hit by high winds and a possible tornado on Memorial day. There are multiple trees down. The forest service and volunteers will hopefully start working on getting things cleaned up soon.

hiking
1 year ago

Please note that this trail is not open. We drove all the way out to it (a pretty good stretch of dirt roads) and it is not available. It looks like much of the area has not been taken care of since the flood.

walking
1 year ago

i did this trail several times in my youth, and it is a great place for a group or single outing

hiking
2 years ago

hiking
3 years ago

Moderately strenuous day hike with a great place for swimming, exploring, and relaxing at the end. Have done this trail 3-4 times a year for nearly 20 years.

hiking
3 years ago

We actually arrived at Winding Stairs from the south end of the Little Missouri Trail. Great day hike. A couple of primitive camping spots (there are more up and down the river). Lots of exploring to do, but I'll have to leave that for another day. Will definitely be back to that spot soon!

hiking
3 years ago

Great piece of the Eagle Rock Loop. Great if you only have 1 day and can't complete the entire Loop.

hiking
3 years ago

Good starter trail for day hikers

hiking
5 years ago

This was a decent little trail. Their is a nice little camping spot snuggled right up next to the little Missouri river. U would have to veer off the trail a little bit but u will see it if you're looking for a camping spot. There are no bridges. Got my feet wet at the beginning of the trail (I slipped). Bring extra socks just in case. Albert pike park looks like a zombie camp but if u turn into the camping area, cross the bridge, and stay right on 106. The trail head is about 2mi on the left.

hiking
5 years ago

Winding Stairs trail is a great short trail. It takes you along the Little Missouri river to a great series cascades, swimming holes, and nice rock formations. Primitive camping is allowed on the trail. Trout fishing close to the trail head at Albert Pike Rec. area, along with fee camping from tent to RV with all the amenities expected a full service campground. Well worth the trip.