Explore close to home - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

short trips near me

close to home Map
VIEW FULL MAP

A friend and I backpacked this 11/9-10, starting at the Holt Rd trailhead and going clockwise. This is a nice hike with great camping spots along the way.
This direction was hard on my knees, especially the final downhill into Lee Creek.
I hiked this again 11/17 starting from the main trailhead and going counterclockwise. I did the whole trail in just under 7 hours and going cc was much better on my knees as I am stronger uphill hiking. The trail is well blazed and has many interesting sights along the way.

The hike in and out isn’t too spectacular, going in you have a nice vista of the surrounding mountains but they quickly disappear. Personally I found this trail more annoying to descend, it’s very rocky and rutted up by horses (which, I’m not sure this is the best trail for horses...) if it’s wet at all it becomes very marshy and muddy. The payoff is more than worth it and I definitely plan to hike this trail again and spend time in the backcountry. There is much to see and enjoy. The hike out was not bad and the ascent is spread out. I only remember one difficult hill that’s about 2/3 of the way back, the rest is easily manageable. Also I only logged 640ft of elevation gain and I was back and forth on some of the trail multiple times so I think the 1000 some feet of elevation gain isn’t quite right. It’s definitely not that severe.

backpacking
8 days ago

Butterfield Hiking Trail 10-11 Nov 2018

Hiked the BHT clockwise doing an overnight. Weather was great with lows in the high 20s and highs in the mid 40s. No bugs, snakes or ticks. Foliage was about a week or two past peak.
Prep: No specific prep for this hike.
Hike: This hike is could be moderate or could be strenuous depending on how you hike and your experience level. The trail is generally easy to follow with sufficient blazes. Follow the natural line of drift and you shouldn't go too far off the trail. The only potential issue is where you may end up on another trail that crosses the BHT. If that's the case and you stop seeing the blazes retrace your steps and you'll be fine. There are mile markers, but while useful for landmarks, I would not take the actual distance as gospel. You will go 35 minutes to cover a mile while and with similar terrain and pace the next mile will be 15 minutes. There are some places where the trail is rocky, not as in you climb up rocks but a bunch of brick sized rocks littering the ground. Throw in the leaves covering the trail and this could be tough if you have knees or ankles that susceptible to being tweaked. I didn't use poles but some in my party really needed them to avoid bodily damage.

You need to stop by the visitor center and they will log you in and give you a parking pass for your car if you are overnighting. They will give you a copy of a sketch map and talk through any nonintuitive areas of the trail (get to the start, and the finish). With the map and a simple compass you are set as the trail is fundamentally a box bounded by two creeks. Once you start there is a some incline as you head up the ridgeline until about mile 2.5. You run the highground for a while and then by about mile 5 you are back by the creek. Once you pass mile 7 the trail becomes covered with the brick sized rocks. I edged up to the west (up the slope a bit) to see if conditions improved but they didn't. Around mile 9.5 the trail goes up and there is one chute of about 20m where you need to use your hands (about mile 10) but I wouldn't really call it a scramble. Then the trail rides the ridgeline. A little past mile 13 you have a downslope that gets you down the ridge and then you are at the creek. There is caution tape where the trail is closed by slide. Go about 50m left (as you face the creek) and there are some rocks where you can cross. If the water level is higher I could see getting your feet wet. After that another .5 mile and you are back at the parking lot.

Camping Sites: The great thing about this park is that there are primitive camp sites sprinkled throughout. Some are set along the creeks and some are in the higher ground. There are good concentrations about mile 5 and mile 9.5 (Junction Creek). We stayed at Junction Creek. It sits about 400m off of the main trail and the intersection to the trail that leads to it is marked. Previous campers have made 7-8 fire circles, stone furniture etc and there was plenty of deadfall to make a nice fire. About 5 groups ended up camping in the area. If you are looking for complete privacy JC isn't the place for you (at least on a weekend).

Gear: Standard overnight gear. Some reviews reported water resupply was an issue but you are near creeks for a lot of the route and the water levels looked good at this time of year. I used about 3l including camp stuff and rehydrating meals.

Additional notes: Check and see when hunting season is. We found out it was going on when we checked in. The visitor center will give you a flourescent vest to throw on your pack but the savvy folks brought a blaze hat or something similar. A lot of the trail in in the Forest where hunting is permitted and not the park . While we did not see any hunters you can hear them shooting fairly often so you know they are there.

There are some caves in the park but currently they are closed due to some disease that the bats are getting. If caving is your thing call the park for updates.

Overall a good hike with great camping opportunities.

hiking
12 days ago

The trail is OK at the best. We got there on Nov 7 and it was 2-3 weeks too late. Leaves are mostly down and it made very rocky trail even less pleasant. But if leaves would be still there - the view has nothing unique or breathtaking about it. If you are going to walk it make sure to give yourself plenty of time especially now, when at 5 pm it is already very dusky and at 6 pm is very dark! If you'll walk it clockwise, decent is very rough and rocky. Makes very unhappy ankles. Very short distance after beginning of decent trail crosses a road. Walk it down till you get to a point of re-entry to the trail. Your ankles and your back will thank you.
Keep in mind that there is no phone/internet service at the trailhead and on most of the trail. LTE was at the top and in a few places on the east side of the trail.

Found myself lost and confused a lot on this trail. I had no idea where I was! I enjoyed it but I don’t really know how to read the map I think

very enjoyable and great overnight trail.

Beautiful views

Absolutely Beautiful! Some of the prettiest country I have ever seen.

Very well marked. Hope to do an overnight soon and visit the entire trail.

It was a difficult trail for me to complete, but I loved it.

Nice 5 mile out and back, within an hour’s drive of east Tulsa. Leaves were just starting to turn in late October. This seems like the only hiking trail open right now, so prepare to share the trail with other hikers. Would definitely go back in spring, or when the longer portion of the trail isn’t closed for hunting.

great trail. It was great for a family. I had a 12 and 15 year old with me. They enjoyed it. It had a lot of rocks and a few hills.

Great trail, well marked for the most part. I don't recommend coming during hunting season as a good chunk of the trail is closed. Overall a great trail to get your hiking legs.

We loved this hike, it was challenging!

Easy down not so easy up. Lunch with the view was worth it.

very fun hike. started at white rock abbs went down to shores lake. lots of steep narrow ridges. it's a tough hike but my 6 year old boy made it.

backpacking
28 days ago

A good trail with rewarding views at the top. You must put forth an effort to see the views, but that’s why we hike, right? Once you’re at the top make sure to check out the rim trail with great views all around. Rocks here are covered with beautiful, vibrant moss a lichen. There is also a water spigot at the top with clean water if you want to fill up. Do not camp at the top if you are backpacking.

backpacking
28 days ago

A nice walk in the woods. Some nice elevation changes that will get your heart pumping. The highlight of this trail are the fantastic camping spots by the creek. Several have pre-made chairs made from rocks with good back support. The trail has nice rock formations with moss and lichen: typical Ozarks.

Day hike in and out from the Missouri Falls Trailhead on a Sunday. 5 mile drive on narrow gravel road to get to the rec area. The falls are at the start of the trail and several groups were gathered in the falls area. The trail follows the river with several areas to explore in and near the water. The river alternates from rushing over rocks to clear pools of water. One trail crossing through the water was a bit precarious. I did bring extra shoes to cross through the water but with very slippery mossy wet rocks I took a small tumble and fell in! I saw another hiker do the same a few minutes before. It was all in good fun and I would do it again! Beautiful scenery with fall colors throughout the hike. Many places for camping and areas to wade or swim in warmer weather.

hiking
29 days ago

The Big Bluff is very cool with Amazing scenery. I would definitely rate higher than Whitaker Point.

Great view. May get a little boring on the way out.

Amazing views of the buffalo river valley well worth the hike.

Scenic hike. There were a few light water crossings and two bigger water crossings (we didn’t have water shoes so we took off our hiking shoes and went through the water..12” in spots). A lot of camp sites and ran into a fare amount of people along the way. The trail runs along water which makes it very tranquil.

A really nice hike. Many great views, the water level is high as a result of the recent rain, but the trail has held up pretty well, waterproof hiking boots helped

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing views that are well worth it. Bring lots of water! I logged 14 miles the first day just doing this trail and bouncing around various river trails. Save some energy and water for the hike back!!!! It’s all uphill and seems to never end. Loved this trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

Just spent 3 days in the area. Trail is moderate to the Bluffs. However, from the top of the Goat trail, Centerpoint trail becomes difficult heading down to ORT. Bluffs are beautiful. There’s even a cave big enough for a small tent in the Bluff.

Absolutely amazing view. 350’ above the Buffalo National River.

Fun over nighter!

Perfect place to run. First experience ran the loop, it's a little under 7 miles. Switched the shoes and went horse trail running and found a cool fox hole near the top of round mountain (see photos). The horse trails were well cut, a few overgrown weeds but nothing unmanageable. I didn't use any bug spray no ticks or chiggers. only downfall is that horse trail was unclear going up round mountain but overall a great experience.

backpacking
1 month ago

Absolutely stunning views from the top of Big Bluff. I stayed in a cave off the side of the cliff. Had to take my pack off a few times, but the trail continues on where it looks like it stops. There are several caves to camp out in. The hike back was uphill almost the entire way. Well worth it though. One of my favorite trips, hands down.

Load More