Dead Chief Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.7 miles Elevation Gain: 387 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

Directions from Hot Springs: Start from behind the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center at the Grand Promenade.

recorded Dead Chief Trail

hiking
bugs
16 days ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I rate it five because for some reason it’s my kids’ favorite trail. I think because it is challenging for them and they enjoy the challenge. It does get steep in some places, so bring your hiking stick. We hike it with kids aged 9, 6, and 2. We usually put the 2yo in a backpack carrier for this one. There is nothing particularly great to see until you get to the mountain overlook. But it’s a fun like challenging hike accessible from bathhouse row.

hiking
2 months ago

awesome fun trail. went further than original trail down to the gorge. it's is steep in places but our 4 year old did a great job keeping up with 2 teenagers and an 8 year old.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

The trail was a bit hilly and rocky so bring your walking sticks. Not exactly as mapped. Many trails leading through this area. This trail does lead into Hot Springs. It was a beautiful trek.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

More hilly than expected! Beginners definitely need walking sticks!

hiking
8 months ago

great for dogs

hiking
10 months ago

Good work out. Lot of variety. Elevation Changes, rocky some spots gravel other spots

Tue May 14 2019

We hiked with our 7,6,3,3 aged kids. we all loved it and spent some time at the gift shop at the top.

hiking
Fri Mar 15 2019

Good walk, nothing exciting, but nice

hiking
Sat Dec 15 2018

Great trail! Very well marked, wear stable shoes to prevent ankle rolls.

Sun Nov 25 2018

Very steep hike from downtown but there are some nice views on the way to Gulpha Gorge.

hiking
Sun Nov 25 2018

Nice hike from Gulpha Gorge Campground. Connects to a few other trails. It is not called Dead Chief on the signs.

Mon Sep 17 2018

This trail brings you back into downtown after completing the sunset trail.

hiking
Fri Sep 07 2018

I liked this trail, lots of curving around to follow the mountain. I picked it up at where the short cut trail meets it about .3 mile up from the bathhouse row. Nice trail.

hiking
Thu Oct 19 2017

Great start beautiful Arkansas. Ends in town so last part car noises etc. Great hike!

Sat Apr 29 2017

Nice trail in the city.

Sun Apr 09 2017

nice trail. we just finished it with our kids of 6 and 8.

hiking
Thu Oct 13 2016

Prescribed burns going on have closed the dead chief trail and what I think is the peak trail(?). Other trails are likely closed too for a few day. Even if you could access these trails the air quality is not good. This town is rich in history and sights but I was really here for the hiking.

hiking
Sat Sep 10 2016

If you start at the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center it is a rather steep climb up to where the Short Cut Trail ties into the Dead Chief Trail. From there, the Dead Chief is a nice easy hike to the Gulpha Gorge Trail. At that point you can either go down to the Gulpha Gorge Campground, up to the Mountain Top Trail, or turn around and head back to the visitor center. Nice hike on a well marked and up kept trail.

hiking
Sat Sep 10 2016

This trail is rather steep, but it's really short and works well as a shortcut up to the observation tower at the peak. I'd use it again.

hiking
Thu Jul 28 2016

Trail was good, thought it would be a little more difficult. We're some very nice views from some ridges.

walking
Sun May 08 2016

Great!

hiking
Tue Oct 07 2014

Ok, but not labeled well.

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

walking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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