Explore NEED TO DO HARD - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 day ago

Awesome trail in every aspect. Water level at little Missouri was 3.8 feet and all crossings were manageable, took boots off once really by choice rather than need. Athens-Big fork section...just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Water everywhere! Heavy traffic but everyone was just neat hiker folk. 10/10, would recommend.
Partner and I were not in hiking shape what so ever, we cut the trail at forest road 106, this worked perfect for us as we only had three days to hike. Ran into many other hikers doing the same. Heard that 5th (or 2nd, depending your direction around) is brutal. Cant wait to get up it next time!

Beautiful hike, but signage was awful and nonexistent in some spots. We started from the southern trailhead, and the trail disappears almost immediately over the rocks. Find the easiest way down and you should be able to figure out where the trail picks up from there. The trail forks not long after that with no signage to indicate which way is which (there was a wooden post that may have been a sign at one point) - after some backtracking and head-scratching, we figured out the left fork is the main trail and the right joins back up to the main trail at some point, but is much more strenuous and hard to follow. At this point we came across a dead bison right alongside the trail that smelled like it had been there for a couple days at least. Not long after the main trail comes to another fork with no signs. Not sure where the left fork goes, but we went right and that ended up being the correct way. Very soon after that is another intersection that confused us for a long time. The rightmost trail goes to Post Oak Falls and the main trail continues along the creek, with another third trail branching off between the two that wasn't marked and we didn't explore but seemed to go up the ridge above the creek. The main trail seems to dead-end at a small trickling waterfall that may be confused as Post Oak Falls (we did at first), but you actually have to climb over the waterfall to continue the trail- I can see where this might confuse and turn away some hikers. The trail is a little hard to follow here but just continue along the creek until the trail becomes easier to see. There was another sign in this area that was broken and swinging around on one pole, so we had no idea which way it was supposed to be facing- you should be able to see Crab Eyes from here, just head in that direction into the boulder field. This was the funnest part of the hike, with a lot of small caves to explore. You have to scramble for a bit to continue along the trail, and try to remember where you exited as it's not clear on the way back. The trail after this was easy and well-marked all the way to the Sunset Trailhead.

trail running
2 days ago

Good trail. More challenging than expected.

3 days ago

Great trail--not for the faint of heart! Worth every uphill trek though. Be prepared for some jaw dropping views. Allot plenty of time. Take plenty of water (1 bottle is NOT going to cut it) and snacks for breaks along the way. Great for a long afternoon hike. Did this one with my boyfriend and it was a romantic get away with an adventurous twist!

This is a great trail with many small waterfalls and a very beautiful one at the end. UNFORTUNATELY it has been closed for a year and the owner anticipates it being closed until next year. A bear and her cub have taken up residence in the area. This is 2018 and again it may open in 2019.

Awesome trail. Great fun for the kids. One big natural playground.

6 days ago

Excellent and tough. The lack of switchbacks made me ache. My quads complained on the ascents and my ankles on the descents. Me and my nephew went with our hammocks and had a very pleasant and chilly night. Dropped into the low 30’s, but no complaints here. Everything was crossable. Overall, it was a very nice three days. We’ll be back.

7 days ago

Really nice. My son and I did it in 3.5 hours. He's 14. We definitely enjoyed it, but I could easily see taking a lot longer with the hike and exploring a bit more. It is a solid hike with plenty of elevation gain and loss. Rarely flat, but really pretty. Bee Creek hung us up just a bit with the crossings. Otherwise, very easy trail to follow. We parked and started at Dogwood, but will park at the washed out bridge next time. Of note, the washed out bridge is being rebuilt.

when you start going up the hill there are tons of fossils on the side of the trail in the rock mounds.

9 days ago

Did the Loop 1st week in March 2018 right after a bunch of rain had swamped most of Arkansas. We arrived late Thursday night and decided to hit trail going Counter Clockwise from Little Missouri Falls. We made a quick camp along the river around 2:30 am about a mile from the start. My friend and I both went with Hammock's this trip and got COLD on this short night. We basically just set up our hammocks without tarps or under quilts and we paid the price on this chilly damp night. We got up early and hit the trail towards the Mountains. We stopped at Spirit Rock to take in the view and ran into a couple guys who had camped at top of the Mountain. They said they got cold as well that night. We took our time going up and over each Mountain and rested when it was needed. Our destination for our camp this night was Eagle Rock Mountain. We ran into another group of guys who were going clockwise and warned us about the River crossing around Winding Stairs. They had made it across but said it was kind of iffy. They asked if we were going to cross it today and told them not till tomorrow. We all agreed that we thought we water would be lower the next day, our hope anyway. We stopped for extra water before making our final climb to Eagle Rock. We made it to the top of Eagle Rock around 4:00 pm and set up our camp. It was a beautiful night with a Clear Cold night and a Full Moon out. Had a nice fire to keep us warm and listened to the Coyotes throughout the night. My chocolate Lab had her own little tent which I had packed for her and she paid no mine to the coyotes that only got closer as the night worn on. We all slept much better this night with tarps and quilts added to the Hammocks. Got up, enjoyed a beautiful Sunrise, ate breakfast,and then came off Mountain headed towards Viles Branch. Starting running into a few more folks and all said the River was low enough now for a safe crossing. Made our way through Winding Stairs and then onto Albert Pike Mountain. We detoured to the top to look for Window Rock, which we did not find. Turns out we were right on top of it but never took the trail down to access it. Next time I will find it! Came off Mountain and walked through Albert Pike area and made camp along the Little Missouri River and Long creek intersection. Had another great Warm night in our Hammocks with a million stars out this night as well. Got up early the next morning and hiked the final 6 miles to the truck at LMF. This was my 3rd time to do the Loop. It does not get any easier, suppose age might have something to do with it. But, can't wait to do it again next year. Awesome trail!

10 days ago

A fun and somewhat difficult trail. My husband and I enjoyed the hike much more than the others in our group (6 people total) only because they were not prepared for the distance or the difficulty level. Took us about 7-8 hours to finish. Lot of up/down elevation changes, which can be brutal on the legs, but a great hike nonetheless!! Will definitely do it again!

This is a road, not a trail. It's the main dirt road that takes you to the trail head for Hawksbill.

An amazing hike! I enjoyed the day immensely. Thank you to Steve Singleton and NWA Hiking Group for leading us.

Great hike today! With all the rain this week the waterfalls were flowing. Made the creek crossings more adventurous but was a great hike! One of the harder hikes I’ve been on in the area offering some steeper inclines/declines. Beautiful hike and will be back!

My husband and I did this trail carrying our 15 month old in a pack and absolutely loved it! We did however skip the bouldering section as it was too risky with the little one. I would also highly recommend treking poles if you are carrying a little one. While the water level was low and we had no issue of crossing, I found it very helpful using the poles for extra balance throughout the trail with our daughter on my back. One thing that would make it a bit easier would be more clear signage (maybe cairns). There are several forks in the path and although we did get to our final destination just fine, having clear signs could limit damage to the habitat. We loved the views and will definitely return to this trail soon.

South side of this loop was super quiet and beautiful. Lots of water throughout the whole trail. I went slow and alone. Spent 4 days on this trail. Well worth it.

25 days ago

Me and a buddy arrived on a cold Sunday night at about nine after being unable to find each other's cars. We parked in a very secluded part of Albert pike where by some miracle there were no "no parking" signs. Through light snow flurries we hiked for about four hours the first night. Sticking to the white blazes is a major key, and be sure to spot the white blaze on the other side of the water crossing before traversing....because there are a lot of crossings. We finished in about 50 hours powering through, but I suggest taking more time to enjoy this beautiful stretch. Keep an eye out for a hot spring bubbling alongside the trail :)

Great trail and the boulder climbs were awesome. I recommend gloves if you're going to enjoy the boulders.

We hiked the Eagle Rock Loop last year...It Is an incredible hike. Surrounded by mountains and cold, clear, rushing water the Eagle Rock is both very challenging and breathtakingly beautiful.
We finished the Loop in 3 1/2 days last year and are going again this year.

This isn’t a well maintained trail. In fact, most of the way down to the creek is via dirt road. A foot path does split from the road about mid way down (blue tape) but I didn’t want to bushwhack. The inconvenience of getting there and having to work a bit at finding your way, however, is rewarded with scenic beauty. If you like a sense of solitude, minus a few beer cans strewn about, this adventure is for you. If you want an organized outing that is a bit more manicured and easy-to-follow, visit another trail. Truthfully, there are segments on the OHT and OT that are just as captivating without the hassle.

So if you stop at the visitor center, they can point out Narrows Trail. However, it is likely they will not point out Boulder Mountain. Leaving the Visitor Center, turn right. Once you get to the stop sign, turn right again. Head on that road until you see the sign for Lost Lake and follow that road. None of the trails are labeled. On the left side of the road, you will see Boulder Picnic Area (it was gated when we went). The sign outside will say reservation only. You can’t park there, but if you drive like .1 miles, there is an area that you can park on the side of the road. Anyways, you will see the Boulder Shelter (for us, behind the gate), and the trail starts right behind it. Everywhere I looked said different lengths for the trails. Some said about a mile round trip, up to 1.5 miles round trip. Don’t underestimate this. Only probably .2 of the trail is a trail, the rest is Boulder climbing. When you start the trail, take the first right. If it forks again, stay right. Cross over the creek. Once you get to the other side, follow the river until you see a trail breaking off to the right. After that, you will see the Boulders that you are going to climb. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail while we were up there, so it is known for solitude. Once you make your way up the boulders, you will be able to see pretty far out. You will get to see a small river, as well as land for a few miles. It was an awesome hike. Definitely wear hiking boots, long pants, and long sleeved shirts. Otherwise, you will get torn to pieces by thorn bushes. Warning: Coming back down is much harder than coming back up. Try to remember the route you took up. (We didn’t). It took us about 2 hours to complete, but we stopped a lot and enjoyed the area.

We got lost while on the top so we ended up coming down this trail on our way back and it was fantastic. Definitely would recommend this to anyone who wants a good workout.

Great trail with great views it was marked somewhat well but definitely do the west loop and come down the east side. It's a nice loop but make sure you start early we started at 9 and got back at 5:15 and wish I would have had a little more time.

1 month ago

We took Mountain Trail which is fairly well marked most of the way but once you pass all the bluffs and begin to descend down toward the lake it gets horribly confusing. There are tons of unmarked trail signs out there that are horse trails. Don’t use the trail maps provided by the State Park they are in no way accurate with the trails. However, the views are wonderful and there are plenty of restrooms about the trail head and along the service road.

Great hike, wasn’t hard to follow until we got to the rocks but if you keep going the trail is easy to pick up again, highly recommend this hike

Good hike, I couldn’t have stayed on the trail if I hadn’t had the app, best trail yet

Easy to follow once you’re in. Once you get to the rocky portion HARD to follow just kinda made our own way around. Very beautiful scenery.

1 month ago

More for horses I think but it was super nice!!

Some of the prettiest landscapes in the Refuge. Boulder hopping kinda hard in the knees but well worth it.

1 month ago

Fantastic trail with great water crossings. The western part of the loop has some really great climbs that can get the heart rate up.

Load More