Butterfield Hiking Trail

MODERATE 101 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

backpacking
1 day ago

Hiked this trail at the beginning of August to help prepare for an elk hunt. It was HOT! I asked the park ranger about the water situation before heading out, they said not to count on water at any of the creeks. Carried a total of 7 liters. Got to Rock Hole Camp and there was enough water to swim in. Stormed late that night and some of the morning and the creek didn't seem to rise much. The waterfall was flowing which made climbing it with a 50lb pack rather interesting. Overall its an awesome trail. Only thing I can really complain about is that everything says this is a 14.5 mile trail, a brand new Garmin 64ST (bought it 3 days before the trip) showed that the mileage was 16.8. Not sure what to believe on mileage.

We took this trail on starting at the trailhead and working clockwise. The first 3 miles are intense, but going clockwise is the best/easiest way. The overlook recommended after mile 13 is NOT worth the extra side hike. We did the entire trail in 8 hours. There were a ton of spiders so either plow through or grab a stick. If you don't have time to hike all of it, I highly recommend parking at the Holt Road trailhead and going into mile 6 (would be a total of only 6 miles round trip). This will let you see the beautiful overview around mile 4 and Quail Valley. Be warned that returning from this small excursion is pretty much uphill. Great hiking trail!!! Make sure you get a permit even if you're not doing the entire trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

We did this trail as our first overnight backpacking adventure. I would say that it is slightly more difficult than moderate, due to the terrain. It was very rocky, and constant elevation changes kept things very interesting! Junction Camp was beautiful, and a great place to spend a night. I wouldn't recommend going in mid-July, it was incredibly hot and humid, with most water sources dried up. I do have to mention how wonderful the staff and park rangers were at the visitor's center, they made check-in very easy, and drove us to our vehicle that we left parked at the Holt Road trailhead. All in all it was a really fun and challenging trail that I plan to do again in early October!

backpacking
1 month ago

I would consider this trail harder than moderate. The terrain was pretty rough, lots of uphills and loose rocks. The trail was in need of some TLC. Lots of downed trees covering the trail and overgrown vegetation making it a little more difficult. At times, it felt like we were walking through a jungle with machetes (sticks we acquired to wave in front of us just to remove the insane amount of spiderwebs in our path). Overall, I would consider this trail a good challenge and very rewarding. Probably won't ever do it again, once was definitely enough. I would not recommend going in July either, it was crazy hot and humid. It might have been a little more enjoyable without the heat.

backpacking
1 month ago

Trail need some maintenance. Lots of down trees across the trail and some areas that need some TLC.

backpacking
1 month ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months 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
3 months 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
4 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!

4 months ago

backpacking
4 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.