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Absolutely, my favorite hike in the area. Six Ridge Crossing’s on the north side of the loop are quite taxing. But the scenery and the beautiful forests make it all worthwhile. I plan on doing it again this fall just to experience the different colors.

hiking
1 day ago

It’s a strenuous one, but it’s beautiful! I do wish that they had the trails marked a little more… Sometimes it gets confusing. There are many incredible things to see on this trail though, So I think you’ll be pretty happy no matter what.

hiking
10 days ago

Went with two buddies. Added some extra stuff to make a total of 38 miles in 1.5 days. Was definitely a mental test. Numerous water crossings. Beautiful views. Very rocky terrain. If you aren’t experienced and/or want to enjoy it then take 2-3 days to do. Plenty of options for water refill/filtration. Bring water crossing shoes. Great weekend hike!!

backpacking
10 days ago

One of the best loop trails in the country. Close to thirty miles and very challenging. I only suggest this trail for experienced backpackers. If you are up for it, you will be rewarded with beautiful Arkansas scenery, wildlife, and experiences for a lifetime. Numerous creek crossings, very cold in the winter. Spot your trail across the creek before crossing. Pack river crossing shoes. Most creeks are wet year round. Pack maps with accurate narratives. Tim Ernst's narrative is spot on. The Athens Big Fork section is one of the toughest trails in Arkansas. You will scale 6 mountains. Girlfriend and I hiked this trail in March in three days and set aside an entire day for the ABF section. Took us about an hour per mountain and we are in shape. Plenty of campsites along the trail. I do not suggest camping in low spots near the creeks because these creeks are prone to flooding and are known to claim lives in the process. If you are up for the challenge and prepared, you will have the time of your life!

backpacking
15 days ago

Great trail, well marked and kept. Rained all weekend but did not detract from our enjoyment. The climbs are no joke, and there is a lot of water crossings, so be prepared

hiking
15 days ago

Did this trail on 04/07/2018. The weather was perfect. Only a little chilly at night. There is a small stream at the beginning of the trail but the rest of the trail was dry. Beautiful and well kept trail! Several flat spots for camping along the way. Going back this summer for sure!

backpacking
17 days ago

So fun! Went when it was rainy and 65 degrees. Watch out for poison oak on the trails though. We went along the Little Missouri Falls trails.

24 days ago

Easter weekend ‘18. Suggest doing the west portion first to get the mountains out of the way, as I much regret not doing. Started Fri 10am, finished Sat 2pm. Take the short 3 minute walk side trail at the top of the mountain closest to the NW corner of the loop, amazing views on the huge boulders. The ERL makes me want to move to Ark.

backpacking
24 days ago

Backpacked this loop over the past two days. Started around noon on Friday, hiked 8 miles. Hiked 12 miles yesterday. And another 8 this morning, finished around noon. Really enjoyable and challenging trip. Would 100% recommend starting at the trail head on the app but going in the opposite direction so you can do the bigger climbs sooner.

hiking
25 days ago

Great trail. Two friends and I decided to challenge ourselves and we completed it in a day and a half. Definitely was a test of the mind and body. Very rocky terrain with great views! Will definitely go back one day.

backpacking
1 month ago

Well marked trail with abundant water even in August. Great views and plenty of campsites to choose from. Perfect hike for a weekend if your ready for two good days of hiking.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed last weekend. Clockwise from Trinity Falls
Weather was great. There are many large campsites. Active springs lots of water. Lots of hikers on the north end. Very enjoyable.

Great trail. I used the fork trail to train for Mt. Rainier.

My wife and I just completed this Trail 2 days ago and we loved it! We are relatively newbies when it comes to hiking alone so we bought a map and a suunto m3 compass, which both definitely came in handy several times throughout the hike. Watched a couple YouTube videos on orienteering and we were good to go. Although the trail is marked really well with white blazes, the south end of the trail requires you to follow the yellow blazes, which is marked on the map. Also, there were several times where the trail forked without blazes and we weren't sure which way to go and the compass helped a lot with that. We started off at around 11 a.m. at the Little Missouri trailhead on the northwest corner of the trail. We hiked counter-clockwise like several on here recommended and I am so happy we did because the six mountains will wear you out quick and it's better to get them out of the way first when you have all the energy. We stop on top of the last Mountain and set up tent at Eagle Rock Vista and enjoyed the view to ourselves all night long. I would definitely recommend camping here if possible. On the second day we made it past Albert Pike campsite and called in the woods about 5 miles away from our car. Overall, we couldn't have asked for better weather or a better Trail. We also saw one deer and two snakes. There are plenty of water sources along the way so bring your Sawyer water filter to fill up. One more important thing, bring water shoes to cross at a few below the knee river crossings and if you think you can Riverstone hop, just switch to River shoes and don't chance it. I made that mistake and cut my shin open on a rock and embraced wet boots the rest of my hike. My shin is still extremely swollen and cut open, so again, just switch to water shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail for Arkansas. Not for beginners. We clocked in a little over 31 miles over 3 days at a leisurely pace. I would recommend travelling clockwise on the loop however. The south sides of the ridges were far more forgiving that the steed, straight north side trails. All in all a great hike.

hiking
1 month 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!

backpacking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month 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!

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.

backpacking
2 months 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 :)

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Only went in 3.7 miles. The steepest portion of the trail is the first 1.5 miles. It’s rather rocky as compared to the PNW. There were patches of snow but easily done in trail runners. Some slick mud in spots. Saw a beautiful bull elk at about 2.5 to 3 miles in. The trail stays in the trees the whole time and I’m guessing this would be a great hike in the warmer months.

Over 3 days , dave Boclair and I hiked 33 miles from hwy 7 to hwy 9. Slept in oak mountain shelter and brown creek shelter. Shelters were fantastic. Especially in rain. I really did not have to carry or set up tent. So much elevation change. Nothing is flat. Some water especially in low areas. Saw deer turkey and squirrels. Trail was well marked and logical.

backpacking
2 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful. Plenty of water access. Really good hills. Loved it.

backpacking
3 months ago

Amazing trail! Definitely a challenge. My fiance and I did it in about two and a half days but we took several breaks to play in the river. Lots of good campsites near water. There are several river crossings so bring river shoes!

Amazing and tough!! definitely bring poles and watch the river levels!

4 months ago

it’s difficult but it’s exciting and beautiful!

Saturday October 14, 2017 1:00 pm Gayle and I finally reached the Little Missouri Trailhead, our starting point for our 3 night 4 day hike on the Eagle Rock Loop. There are already several cars parked there. We shoulder our packs and check the temp. It's 90 degrees! We head south on Anthens-Big Fork trail. Our plan is to get over Hurricane Knob and Mtn McKinley before setting up camp. We are making good time but sweating profusely and draining our water bottles to stay hydrated. We had no choice but to stop and filter water replenishing at Long Creek. At this time we decide to go ahead and climb Brier Creek Mtn and Leader Mtn. Around 5 pm we reach Blaylock Creek. Gayle starts filtering water while I go and scout out a camp site. We pitch our tent on a ridge overlooking the creek. It's getting dark now so after supper we climb in our little 2 person tent. We know there is a storm brewing and heading our way. Gayle nods off to sleep after a short time. I'm thinking I should keep one eye open for bears and such. Well I guess I had both open all night. Didn't fall alsleep until early morning while Gayle sawed logs all night.

October 15th We awoke at our usual time around 5 am and no storm yet. It's too dark to be shuffling around so as we lay there trying to go back to sleep! The first wave of the storm hits at 6 am. We think oh no we may be here for a while. Around 7 am with the pounding rain starting to seep in out little tent, low and behold, It stopped suddenly. We jump out and start slamming and cramming all the gear into our packs. I hand Gayle a energy bar she hands me a hot cup of instant Starbucks coffee. We ate and drank frantically, shouldered our packs and threw on our frog tog ponchos. Just in time! The heavens open up. We are in a storm and start up Brush Heep Mountain. The climb is steep and slick. I look back at Gayle, she's being pelted by big rain drops, her head is down and stabbing the ground with her trekking poles pushing hard. We are both soaked and chilled to the bone!

We haven't had signal on our phones since we started so we're hoping by the time we reach the top we can send a message to our kids letting them know we are ok. Luck has it! We reach the Summit and we have just enough bars to send. Our family is relieved to hear that we are okay.

After going down Brush Heep Mtn we had to make one more climb before decending down where Anthens Big Fork connects with Viles Branch Trail and turn east. The storm has moved over by then and the temperature has dropped to 55 degree. We exchange our ponchos for our mid-layer jackets. We need energy so we stop to eat some jerky and nuts knowing we have over 13 water crossing ahead of us. By 12:30 we arrive at the Little Missouri River. Did I mention how beautiful the scenery is! The sun is breaking through the clouds warming us. We shed our jackets as we head back north on the Little Missouri trail. Our first stop is at Winding Stairs camping area. Gorgeous place! The clear water running over the smooth stone rocks is just too inviting. We unbuckle our packs put on our bathing suits and shiver as we creep into the frigid rapids. How refreshing was that! We both lathered up with some soap before jumping out. Dang we smell better! Dried off we shoulder our packs and head out. We are starting to wear down and it's mid-afternoon so we start looking for a camp spot. The trail winds with the river and we make one more river crossing before we come to a nice area. We pitch out tent, filter water, fire up the jetboil stove and have a delicious dinner. It's dusk by now so we settle into the tent for the night.

Oct 16. Forgot to mention yesterday we were making our way around this rock ledge coming into Winding Stairs when right smack dab in the middle of the trail is fresh Bear Scat. Needless to say, I was on Bear watch again with both eyes open most of the night, while you guessed it, Gayle sawed logs. We arouse up to a chilly morning around 5:45 am. It's pitch dark so we lay contently in the tent listening to the soothing sounds of water rushing down the Little Missouri. Ready to start the day, I put on my jacket, headlamp and crawl out of our warm cozy quarters. I'm heading down to get our food which I hung up high in a tree last night. Didn't want them bears eating our goodies. Gayle stays in the tent and starts rolling up our sleeping pads and getting our gear organized. It's still dark but thanks to our headlamps we managed to fire up the jetboil and make coffee. We have one cup and some instant oatmeal. We make another hot steaming cup of coffee and head down to the river to enjoy the early morning dawning. It's around 8 am before we break camp. Our packs seem lighter today, everything is dry now from the soaking we got yesterday. We head northward towards Albert Pike Recreation area. It's a steady climb up and down, mostly up, for the next 2.8 miles. We arrive at Albert Pike Overlook around 9:30. Wanting to soak up

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