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1 day ago

Just hiked on the the eagle rock loop trail. We had 4 boys with us, from 14 years old down to 7.
We had no intentions of hiking the whole loop, just wanted to let the boys enjoy the swimming holes and scenery as we went.
The boys loved the water. Very clear and clean. We did the hike clockwise from winding stairs trailhead. Made it as far as Eagle Rock Vista.
With the few turn around see he losing the trail at water crossings, it’s about 9 miles.
Absolutely beautiful country. We did see several water snakes, so watch out. They are actually very dosile, one of the boys actually stepped on one.
There is no need to carry much water until you get to the base of a summit since you can drink plenty along the way.
We turned in early at the campsite around 2:00 the last evening just because it was such a awesome campsite with super clear water and a nice swimming hole. The boys played in the water until they were too cold they couldn’t stand it ... they had a blast.
My only complaint would be the trails are marked poorly or not at all at some of the water crossings, and there is more then 1 way to get to the same place. I believe your suppose to stay on the yellow markers, but sometimes we accidentally got on the white ones. None of this was really a issue, just added some time to our trek. I downloaded the map before hand, so I could easily see when we got off the trail. Even with my phone on airplane mode, GPS still worked with the map.
Can’t wait to go back !

2 days ago

The hike was nice being right next to the creek the whole way, was soothing hearing the mini rapids. The falls was like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, well in a sense. :)

It was my first hike but I was with experienced guys and it now has me hooked on hiking. It was difficult but well worth it.

on Eagle Rock Loop

3 days ago

Great adventure if you are up for it! Recommend hiking counterclockwise from little Missouri falls. 48-56 hrs in-out

The bolder field with test you. Best to wear boots. The climb out of the gulf is steep. Be ready.
I love this trail and the complete Fiery Gizzard Gulf.
Pack water.
The view from Ravins Point is something you will remember!
Don't forget to stop by Warner's Overlook on the Dog Hole Trail.
Thi is part of the top 25 trails in the US and it's easy to see why. If you agree please donate to the parks to help keep it alive. And pick up any trash you find. I did find some to carry back myself.
I will be back!

5 days ago

Did this trail in 2 nights and 3 days. Had a blast. Terrain varies greatly from low lying riverbank to mountain top campsites.

this trail is TOUGH. My dad and I went hiked the Gizzard trail up to the point where you can go back down the Dog Hole trail. 75% of the trail going up is straight rocks so be sure to wear shoes with A LOT of ankle support because every 30 seconds your ankles are going to be tested by nature. It is a very challenging, long hike so if you plan to make the whole loop so just prepare yourself. The trail itself is beautiful but because of how difficult it was, i’m not sure if i’d ever do it again. It took us 7 hours to make the whole thing and we only stopped 2 or 3 times to rest. Also, having a walking stick is big help going up those rocks. We just cut our own sticks from inside the woods so don’t waste your money buying one. Good luck!!

7 days ago

Hiking this trail was an amazing experience. We went with a clockwise three night plan. Camped at upper paradise, middle Rae, and junction meadow. All three were great camps. You will travel through thick shady woods, grassy open meadows, and rocky alpine trails, all surrounded by gorgeous peaks. We saw a bear .5 mile past upper paradise, a family of deer at Rae, a marmot, a snake (not rattler), fish, chipmunks. The nights are much colder past 10,000ft elev. There is lots of water along the trail, but from Rae over glen pass to lake Charlotte, there isn’t much. You do get swarmed with gnats in the lower miles to start and finish the loop. Luckily, I brought my mosquito head net. The crossing was only lower shin deep. The suspension bridge was awesome. Had to walk across a second time just for fun. Also, a good time chatting with the JMT hikers from woods creek crossing to over glen pass. A friendly trail crew were blasting rock above vidette meadow, so we got held up for about 20 minutes, but it was nice talking to them and cool to hear the explosion. I definitely recommend this adventure.

9 days ago

Camped at the Sentinel campground the night before our permit date for Rae Lakes. Was able to secure a counter-clockwise loop. To get an early morning start, got to the Road's End permit station around 8AM. There were a couple of people ahead of us. Fro being outside the peak season, the trail was still quite busy.

IMPORTANT: bring a bug net, mosquitoes are in full force the first 3-5 miles in either direction.

Saw 1 bear near the Road's end station and 1 rattler about 1/4 before the first bridge (Bailey?).

Really enjoyed the CCW direction. You work hard the first 2 days and the 3rd/4th day should be a breeze. Camped at Vidette Meadow Day 1, and Middle/Upper Rae Day 2...near bear box 3. Planned on camping at Lower Paradise for Day 4, but had the energy and daylight to finish on Day 3.(big miles but mostly downhill).

on Bear Creek Trail

10 days ago

A must see! I did not realize that we had trees that big in Georgia.

Very solid and well maintained trail. I'd recommend using Guthook's Guide as well as AllTrails app since you are walking the AT for most of this loop. It'll help with planning your water stops. Finished the trail in 2 days, but I'd recommend 3 if you want to have a more casual time. The shelters and sites are spaced pretty well if you'd rather average 8-9 miles a day.

I headed counter-clockwise down the Kimsey Creek trail first. It was bit overgrown and there were several blowdowns for the first half mile or so, but as long as you are paying attention you shouldn't have any issues. This portion follows and cuts across streams almost constantly so you will have no problem with water. I'd suggest filling up before heading up to Standing Indian mountain though, just in case.

After Carter Gap shelter, it's pretty much smooth sailing until a couple miles before the Long Branch junction. On my trip, there was a massive blowdown fully blocking the trail. I climbed over the tree, but I would 100% recommend that you try to squeeze under it or maybe hike up the mountain a bit to walk around it. It had rained earlier that day and everything was slippery.

If you are heading NOBO, the hike up Albert Mountain is pretty intense. It's half stairs, half rock climbing. There is a bypass you can use which follows a forestry service road for a bit and reconnects on the other side. It took me roughly 30 mins to climb the 0.3 mi from the base to the fire tower. I hiked this part after it rained, and the rocks were pretty slippery. You can always do the bypass then just hike SOBO up to the tower.

12 days ago

Hiked this loop in April, hands down the best loop in Arkansas. Be prepared for a strenuous 2nd day hiking over all of the ridges. Totally worth it, I definitely recommend. The trail is not marked the best so be mindful of where you are--have a map. If you have a GPS device bring it. There was plenty of water available in April. We did the the hike in a weekend, wish we had more time to do it so that we didn't have to rush. Such a scenic trail! We saw lots of wildlife, including rattlesnakes! Be careful

We went Labor Day weekend 2018 and just did the short loop with all the smaller falls... we took kids ages 6-10 and they had a great time jumping in the water and hiking. Safety first: my husband got in the water first and made sure what the depth was before the kids jumped!
Beautiful trail! So peaceful and was fun for the kids as well! We just did a shorter loop 4miles or so...

12 days ago

Hiked from Little Missouri Falls trailhead going clockwise over 3 days/2 nights. Covered roughly 11 miles on the first day and found a secluded little spot west of the river, right before the Viles Branch Trail junction. Did around 8 miles on the second day, covering Eagle Rock Vista and Brush Heap Mountain before setting up camp on top of Leader Mountain. Both Eagle Rock and Brush Heap have side trails to overlooks which I highly recommend. Gorgeous views. Started the last day around 9am, covering roughly 10 miles and was back at the Little Missouri Falls trailhead around 3:30pm.

Website above is where I got all the information I needed to complete the trail. Very accurate info.

This was a great, challenging hike. My previous experience was one other backpacking trip (Butterfield Hiking Trail) which was only half the distance. I do a lot of day hiking as well (11 miles was my longest before this trip). Going clockwise I would say going up Leader Mountain was the most challenging section. Pretty sure it is not the longest incline but it was UP all the way.

Trekking poles and water shoes are a must here in my opinion!

My favorite loop in NC so far. A humbling experience, lost the trail a couple of times but it made for quite the adventure. River crossings were a challenge but a lot of fun. A lot of great options for campsites and great views.

on Eagle Rock Loop

13 days ago

Great trail, some maintenance needed (i.e. better markers). Tough in some spots but fun and views are worth the side trails. We started at Little Missouri Falls and did the loop counter clockwise. Found a few spots where you can end up looping backwards on the trail, no markings for CW or CC.

Scenic all along the trail. As a hiker who backpacks approximately twice a year, it was difficult but the views were 100% worth it.

15 days ago

awesome hike! lots of spots to camp. some difficulties but just take it slow and practice safety you will be fine. most of the trail is an easy walk. enjoy!

It was a short hike from the parking area to the suspension bridge. Once there it was very scenic with lots of open forest with a fire ring or two. It was easy access to the Taccoa River where dogs can get a drink and swim. After crossing the bridge we the hiked up to the mountain top. There are no views up there but it was a nice work out with beautiful summer foliage.

16 days ago

My second time here. Definitely worth the drive from Orlando.
What I like about this trail is that you are hiking along the water.

Awesome...We know why it is one of the USAs top hikes

18 days ago

Can't say we completed the entire loop unfortunately. We entered at Roads End on 8/24/18 where we prepared for the clockwise loop starting on the woods creek trail. We were told about a "small" fire at Bubbs Creek and told not to report it as it was less than 1/2 an acre and the park crew were fully aware. We were told it wouldn't impede us and it was "insignificant". Unfortunately we got turned around at the Bubbs Creek Trail/JMT-PCT junction and had to back track and exit over Kearsarge pass into Onion Valley because the fire had spread and the trail was closed.
The trail up to Bubbs Creek was very well maintained and the scenery breath taking. We ran into a trail crew along the JMT/PCT and thanked them for their upkeep of the trail. They really do a stellar job at keeping the trail well maintained.
Upper Paradise Valley and Rae Lakes are both very busy for camping areas so plan to get there early to ensure a good spot. There were a lot of bugs until we reached Upper Paradise; they weren't a bother at all after that point. We had heard they were a nuisance at Arrowhead and Rae Lakes but we had no issue in late August.
Our planned itinerary:
Day 1 - Ranger Station to Upper Paradise
Day 2 - Upper Paradise to Arrowhead Lake
Day 3 - Arrowhead Lake to Rae Lakes (short day to ensure time at Rae Lakes)
Day 4 - Rae Lakes to Sphinx Junction. This ended up being Rae Lakes to Bubbs Creek, back to Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley
Day 5 - Sphinx to Ranger station

You definitely need to be in shape for this one! We kept going after the first waterfall which led to another waterfall. I thought it was a moderate hike but it was too much for my husband. I had 2 liters of water and he had 3, and we both ran out about a mile from the trailhead, making the last bit very difficult. I would recommend this trail in the cooler months; July was too hot and there were a lot of wasps

20 days ago

I will say I liked this trail, but there are some things that people should be aware of. 1. Wear hiking boots/shoes. There are lots of roots and wet spots, you'll want a little grip. 2. carry 2 bottles of water per person. If you do this during the summer you'll definitely want it, if not a 3rd. 3. I took my mom. She's not a hiker and It was a trail I had never been on before. This trail was very difficult for her. She didn't get all the way to the end as she was worn out. 4. The last part of the trail is harder and more steep, just be prepared for it. It also has downed grab fences because of trees in that area. It's a very pretty waterfall and a good workout. I will be going back and enjoying nature there again. Happy trails all.

Live very close to Panther Creek. I have done the trail at all times of the year. It is always beautiful.

20 days ago

I’ve done this twice. Took the winding stairs trailhead (nearest Albert Pike) both times moving clockwise. Great camping sites all over the trail for tent and hammock. Although if you’re part of a big party, there may not be enough trees in one campsite if everyone is going hammock. You may have to spread out to areas that haven’t been previously cleared. Plenty of water. Which comes in handy if you sweat a lot, like me. Lots of water crossings. A few of them substantial. Think 60 feet across and up to 25 inches deep. Do yourself a favor and bring water shoes or flip flops. Barefeet on the river bed is a bad idea and nobody makes boots THAT waterproof. Also... trekking poles. They are an enormous help for the ups and downs and maintaining balance in the moving water. Trails can be difficult to pick up at a couple of the bigger water crossings. Both big crossings of the Little Missouri were poorly marked. But get yourself a good map and you’ll be able to quickly figure out where you are and where you’re going.

You’ll read vastly different descriptions here of how difficult this trail is. To some, it’s a piece of cake. To others, it’s a real challenge. It all depends on the individual. Although I think the people who breeze through this are definitely the minority. Ask yourself some basic questions about your weight, fitness level, health, heat tolerance, etc. For instance, the first time I did it, it was difficult. I wasn’t in very good shape. The second time, I was in better shape, but it was even more difficult because it was 25 degrees hotter. There is A LOT of up and down. Some of it quite steep. Which aside from making it strenuous, can also really hurt if you’ve got bad knees and ankles. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from trying this trail. But, if you’re being honest with yourself, and you’re not in the best of shape, spend a month or two prepping your physical fitness and getting your joints healthy. You’ll be glad you did. Some people do this in two days. Others in three. If you’re not certain of your physical abilities to complete it in two days, go ahead and plan on three. It might ruin your plan for a Saturday/Sunday hike. But it’ll be more enjoyable if you’re not having to kill yourself to finish it.

This is a challenge that is totally worth it. I’ll be going back sometime soon.

Walked the Randolf-Sipsey-Rippey trails loop (202-209-201) this past weekend, Aug 25. As there was no recent rainfall I can only assume the drip, drip, drip I heard coming down the cliffs at the end of Randolf trail was Feather Hawk Falls. Even the Sipsey was barely moving. I crossed from 202 where the stones were placed across the river, got lucky as this IS the trail crossing. Used the same thought process when crossing from 209 to 201. I have a map that calls this crossing trail 205 but did not see that in the field. Fell into some great company at this point and walked out with them. Aside from the spider webs, and no waterfall, a real nice hike. 6 hours to make the loop including trail finding time and 8-10 rest stops.

Most scenic and peaceful trail I've ever hiked.

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