Butterfield Hiking Trail

MODERATE 93 reviews
#3 of 7 trails in

Butterfield Hiking Trail is a 14.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near West Fork, Arkansas that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
14.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2237 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

cave

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

The Butterfield Hiking Trail gets its name from the Butterfield Stagecoach . The Butterfield Trail is a 15 mile looped backpacking trail. It starts at the Devil's Den State Park. Trail maps are available at the Park. A free permit is required. many scenic overlooks along the trail and nice rock formations

I attempted this trail with my border collie, she loved it but the rocky trail tore up her feet a little. I did this trail in the middle of the summer so water became hard to find at times, so make sure you filter as much as you can when it's available. The Butterfield kicked my butt at times, it asked a lot of me and I even got lost at one point! So read your map carefully guys! This trail requires you to check in at the visitor's center and get a backcountry permit before you do it. This way if you go missing on the trail there will be a designated search party that deploys 6 or so hours after you fail to report back. Overall a beautiful and challenging trail. There's even a swimming hole halfway on the trail!

hiking
12 days ago

This was an awesome trail! Unfortunately I thought I was going to the moonshiner cave trail and ended up on butterfield.. less than a quarter mile from another on the road. I would definitely suggest attempting this trail in early spring or even later fall before the bugs get hectic, it's quite rugged terrain at the moment with many spots that need some help to the path. Overall this trail was challenging with absolutely beautiful views. Considering I packed for a 5 mile hike.. I was in for a little surprise when it came to butterfield. I certainly want to go back for a backpacking trip and stay the night out there!

backpacking
14 days ago

Awesome 15 mile loop. We went clockwise and hiked 10 miles to Junction Camp... well worth it. When you get to the southern most tip of the BHT, follow the JC arrow to the primitive campsites by the water. Some have rock chairs and fire rings. So beautiful and peaceful... could have spent a day just hanging out there. Hike back 5miles the next day to Devils Den, and it was a nice hike along a ridge with Lee Creek below. I like the conditions on the back 5 better. First 10 were damp and kinda dark with lots of ups and downs. Big accomplishment to do the whole loop! But the miles 5 out and back to Junction Camp would make a great trip all on its own. Will definitely do again!

camping
18 days ago

It's hard. Like pretty hard. 14.8 miles in the rain (mostly uphill), this trail kicked my butt a little. Definitely rewarding though.

backpacking
23 days ago

1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Great views. Lots of down trees and some trail markers down. Water was plentiful throughout the trail. Take note: there is a waterfall you cross...when I say "cross" I mean scale. I am 5'2 and had to have my husband help me reach the rocks. All in all, it was a fun trip!

backpacking
1 month ago

We had a great time on the trail, but felt the park could be more accommodating to hikers. Many small campsites in addition to the 3 they list on the map. Beautiful waterfalls, great terrain, with just the right amount of difficulty for those of us who only hike a few times a year!
A few nice campsites could be established on top the mountain near mile marker 4. Otherwise plenty of places to find water for us on this trip.

backpacking
2 months ago

Loved this trail, easy in places moderate in others. We stayed at the Junction camp at 9.5 mi, we never saw anyone on the trail but the campsite was full by nighttime. Never saw anyone again once we camped out the next day. Very well marked and lots of views! Great trail if you are first time backpacking!

2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

First overnight backpacking trip, I hear the trail is lightly trafficked, but it wasn't the weekend I went. I started at the dam and went clockwise. The trail is well marked and numbered clockwise. Between the 1st and 2nd mile marker, you have to cross over what is usually a slow moving creek. After heavy rainfall, however, it is not slow moving. I had to backtrack and cross over a bridge on the main road. With that being said, the trail is beautiful with several different points of interests and diverse landscapes. Go after a heavy rain, and you'll see more waterfalls. The water in the creek is a beautiful shade of blue. I'd highly recommend this trail for anyone who backpacks Arkansas. The only thing that kept me from marking 5 stars was the high traffic on the trail, though I don't think that's the norm.

hiking
2 months ago

My friend and I hiked this trail on 3/25/17 after the big storm that blew through. The trails were very muddy. Wear water proof, ankle high hiking boots like a did. We hiked it in 12 hours and hiked at night. The trail is densely marked which is much appreciated especially when hiking at night. You need to pay attention to the signs because there is also a horse trail that runs through the hiking trail. If you don't pay close attention you might end up on the horse trail which takes you and extra long rocky way.

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

I solo the Butterfield and had a great time. Only saw one small group that was heading home.
For me it was a trail with several hard sections but also several flat sections to relax on.
Junction Camp was very pretty with both creeks flowing well.
A thunderstorm and 35 degree was my five mike hike out .
I was worried about climbing the 'Falls' but it was really easy even with the rain.
The last five miles (CW) where a lot of up and down. Even after Hells' Half Mile the elevation changes where enough to make this 54 year old a bit tired at the end of the trail.
Am I glad I did it, heck yea.
Would I do it again, no. There are too many other hike waiting for me.

backpacking
4 months ago

Awesome awesome backpacking trail. We did this trail over the weekend and finished it in two days. 4 hours the first day to mile 7. 6 hours the next day to the end. The views are spectacular! Bring enough water as the river might not be flowing, but it was flowing for us, A lot actually. The river is between mile 6-8 and then towards mile 13 and 14 there are some little pools that form, but you might as well just finish the trail then. If you are not a hiker then this trail will be strenuous for you and you will take many stops during the inclines. If you're a frequent hiker then this trail will be moderate for you. There are perfect camp sites that are made at miles 6 1/2 through 8. Although it was a burn ban this weekend we stayed warm in our hammocks with our sleeping bags. Make sure you pick accordingly! Burn ban might be in effect when you go.

hiking
4 months ago

Boyfriend and I hiked the trail a few days ago. The trail is very clearly marked but yes like other reviews say it is longer than stated. If you're a beginner ~definitely~ camp overnight halfway through. But if you're a frequent hiker you could probably do it in one day. We started around 9 or 10 and barely finished by sunset at 6. I would not rate it moderate as another review stated they wouldn't, it's quite a good workout. Most gorgeous views of bright blue creeks and white rock formations are at the end, but our phones were dead.

hiking
4 months ago

Great 1 day or 2 day hike with several beautiful look out points along the trail. Moderate/Hard difficulty in some sections and the trail is marked fairly well. Camp between mile markers 7 and 9 along the river!
Definitely recommend for those wanting a long 1 day hike or easy 2 day hike.