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Butterfield Hiking Trail

HARD 231 reviews
#3 of 8 trails in

Butterfield Hiking Trail is a 14.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near West Fork, Arkansas that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, horses, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 14.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,925 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

cave

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

over grown

rocky

Note: As of June 2019, users have reported that a section of this route is closed and the ranger service is temporarily re-routing hikers through Holt Rd. The Butterfield Hiking Trail gets its name from the Butterfield Stagecoach. The Butterfield Trail is a looped backpacking trail. It starts at the Devil's Den State Park. Trail maps are available at the Park. A free permit is required. There are many scenic overlooks along the trail and nice rock formations.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
28 days ago

We spread it out over 3 days to enjoy some primitive camping. Was a great time hiking 5 miles each day to camp. I think most people probably just hike it in 1 or 2 days though. It was a very challenging hike!! A lot of up and down hill, and VERY rocky. The last few miles include literal rock climbing on part of the trail! The rockslide last year messed with the trail, so while they wait to see what the land does, they’ve got some detours and missing mile markers. It was hard to see mike 3, 7, 8 and 14 because of various things. Water wasn’t as full as usual we heard but enough to fill up along the way. Other than the extreme challenge even at just 5 miles a day it was a good experience!

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked it alone and would NOT recommend doing it alone again. There’s some definite hazards and some really rough places. I pushed myself and finished it in a little over 5 hours. I wasn’t impressed by any scenery but it was a challenge which was my point in hiking it

2 months ago

Nice trail to hike in and throw a hammock up half way spend a quiet night and finish it up the next day...

hiking
closed
washed out
2 months ago

Flash flooding has part if the trail closed. We still hiked it as far as we could get safely. We saw so many waterfalls. it was beautiful.

hiking
3 months ago

Had a great time and it was beautiful. It was was challenging but fun to conquer.

hiking
3 months ago

if you like a challenge the first 3 miles will test you, the trail is in decent shape but has some trees down to recent storms. overall a very enjoyable trail with some very nice established camp sites!

Great trail! Not a lot of traffic. Lots of choice camping spots. Go clockwise, it’s pretty awesome!

backpacking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

This was a challenging but really fun overnight hike. Around miles 6-8, you’re hiking along a beautiful creek and there’s lots of good camping spots. We found one between 6 and 7 that was perfect. Super close to the water, which had a section that was about 3 ft deep and perfect for swimming after a long hike. It was a little buggy at camp, but having a fire definitely helped. We hiked this clockwise and the 8.5 mile hike out was pretty exhausting. That said there is a really cool waterfall climb right before mile 10 that really made the back half worth it. We went over Memorial Day weekend and it was not at all busy. Saw a few groups but were solo for the the vast majority of the time.

backpacking
4 months ago

Hiked clockwise from pedestrian bridge to mile 11.5 campsite (not shown on maps), made for an easy 3 mile hike out the next morning. Recent heavy rains left standing water nearly everywhere. The countless fallen trees across the trail dam up the trail in many places making the water worse. The two "major" creek crossings were knee to thigh deep but current wasn't too bad. Climbing the waterfall boulders around mile 10 was cool with all the water, had to help our dog up this part. This was our second time doing this trail but first time backpacking it. Its not that difficult but the rocks can make it seem rough. The trail could use some more camp sites in my opinion.

4 months ago

a real life version of the Oregon Trail, this is not for the faint of heart or the beginner. we almost died. the hill is more like 4 miles up a rocky crag, and slippery as owl feces on a rainy hillside. we had to fjord a river that was -10°, the Swift current almost carried my friend away. fortunately he's an accomplished faller. it's amazing at all that we survived. however, today was not the day. devil's den was not able to claim us, we lived to hike another trail. as none of us died from Diptheria, cholera or exposure.

4 months ago

A good trail. The begining is not very well marked.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

You can do this in one day in the spring or fall. It would be tough going in the heat for a day hike. Bring hiking poles (both of them!). With the detours and whatnot, I clocked it at close to 16 miles on my GPS. The "waterfall climb" can be treacherous if there's water. Very challenging, very rewarding hike. https://www.mapmyfitness.com/workout/3499063633/

hiking
4 months ago

This was our first overnight hike. We picked an excellent, but very challenging trail. This trail has everything from walks along the river's edge to waterfall climbs. No that is not a type-o. If you choose to take on this trail and go clockwise just before mile 10 there is a very steep climb. To make it more challenging, if you are hiking after rains, this is a waterfall. We experienced a little bit of everything. The views were amazing. The climbs we're tough. Sometimes the desert was worse than the climb. We felt like we need more of a challenge, so we way over packed!!!!!!! Rookie mistake for sure. There are two water crossings, one at the beginning and one at the end. Flow will depend on season and rainfall. Currently the fist is shallow. The biggest challenge here is the cold water. The second.... This is a different story. The water is cold, it is murky, deeper than expected, and full of big rocks that are slick and smooth. I am a taller person and the water was well above knee in spots. Poles would be a help here for stability. As much as we wanted to just be home towards the end, We both found this trail fun and felt accomplished once complete. I give this trail all five stars. We will definitely be back, but with a lot less gear.

5 months ago

Great trail, took our time and camped two nights. We only saw a handful of people

hiking
5 months ago

Had a good time on the trail. Had recent rains so the trail was pretty wet. Trail was also rocky and had some trees down on it. Some good views but should’ve waited a couple more weeks for it to green up some more. Red buds were in full bloom but no leaves on the trees yet.

backpacking
muddy
5 months ago

Great little overnight trail. Did this in late March; plenty of water sources, some decent elevation changes but nothing brutal at all. Plenty of campsites along the trail. A recent landslide knocked out part of the trail near mile marker 14 but that section has been reblazed and is fairly easy to navigate. The rangers give you the option of crossing the stream near the trailhead of going around it, I went through the stream. The water is fairly murky so it's tough to judge the depth, I'm 6'0'' and the water came up to my thighs. Trekking poles helped but even without them it wouldn't have been an especially treacherous stream crossing.

hiking
5 months ago

great trail, we really enjoyed it, my son and I intended to camp on the trail but just kept going and going. So we did the loop in a day. Afterwards we both agreed we should have just camped just for the added experience. We found the loop to be easy overall nothing real difficult. Do to landslide section be closed had to cross the cold river into a campground back to main trail head.

backpacking
blowdown
muddy
5 months ago

What a great time! There are three campsites listed on their maps, but many other unlisted sites on the trail. I took pictures of several. Not much green right now. Some Service Berry were blooming. It rained so the falls are running. Not too bad (see pics). There is a landslide that blocked the very end of the trail. They have routed the trail across the creek but it was only knee high after the rain. We did not take the alternate route suggested because it would shorten the trail and require some shuttling. Hells half mile is tough on knees but not too technical. If you’re out of shape, you’ll feel it. There were very few ticks out but we did get some. My guess it that as it warms up, they can be a problem. In warmer weather, I think I would stay at established campsites. I will backpack this again! Side note... this path is about 2.5 miles longer than the trail because I hiked a sick group member back down to the visitors center...

hiking
6 months ago

Overall a really nice trail with some challanging sections but nothing to difficult. The trail was a little wet but not bad for the amount of rain they have had. Routed out on Holt road to bypass the active landslide per advice from ranger station.

6 months ago

great fun hike. 10m first day, 5m the second day. rough up hill sections, but it was worth it.

recorded Butterfield Hiking Trail

7 months ago

Make sure to keep your eyes open for the blue diamonds! Great camping areas on the trail!

backpacking
7 months ago

2nd time on trail this year. Took different route. Started on Holt Road. Camped at junction camp 1st night. Blackburn creek camp site second night. Walked up draw back to Holt Road.

8 months ago

Be mindful of the landslide that occurred in the counter-clockwise direction (mile 15 and 14) as of January 7th, 2019. But other than that, the trail was clearly marked and offered beautiful scenery. I like to recommend this trail to people that are just getting into backpacking, but even if you aren’t a beginner, you will love this small section of the Ozarks that Northwest Arkansas has to offer.

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