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Eagle Rock Loop is a 28.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Langley, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 28.2 miles Elevation Gain: 4,005 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

Directions from Glenwood area: There are 5 trailheads. (1.) Albert Pike Recreation Area off Highway 369. ( 2.) Little Missouri Falls on Forest Road 25. (3.) 4 miles west of Little Missouri Falls on Forest Road 25. (4. &5.) east of Bard Springs Recreation Area on Forest Road 106.

hiking
blowdown
over grown
rocky
2 days ago

backpacking
flooded
rocky
6 days ago

Started at NW Little Missouri Trailhead and intended to complete the loop counter clockwise. I spent two days there, both were peppered with heavy rain and thunderstorms. I slept near East Saline Creek and, like everyone else that camped at this site, was nearly floating in the sleeping pad by morning. But hey! Better than being up on a summit during a storm. Even if there is no rain in the forecast, use a pack liner. Once I got to the Little Missouri on Viles Branch the river was absolutely uncrossable. Do not attempt to ford the river after it has been raining. I would download the GutHook map and use it with this app for navigation. There are no switchbacks in the mountains so be prepared! Trekking poles are a must. Check the USGS for the Little Missouri and make sure discharge isn't too high. I didn't have signal at any point in the forest. The dirt road is tough with a smaller FWD car but still manageable.

hiking
7 days ago

We hiked 8 miles in and camped for one night. Unfortunately, bad thunderstorms hit so we had to head back the next day. Beautiful rivers and water crossings. Lots of scenery, great campsites passed along the trail. Loved the hike, just wish the weather was more on our side! Would definitely go back to complete the full loop!

hiking
flooded
8 days ago

Good times but ended up not doing the whole loop as planned. Flooding Friday afternoon and again Friday night and all morning Saturday really slowed us down and made for lots of crossings. Still had a blast. Lots of litter though. Please take your trash with you. The trail and the fire pits are not your trash cans.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful and challenging. I sadly was not able to finish as some unforecasted storms blew through. Looking forward to a next time.

blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
9 days ago

My wife and I did the loop May 17th through the 21st. We started at Upper Little Missouri Trailhead and hiked counter clockwise. Parts of the trail were overgrown. It was also muddy but there was heavy rains for days before. There were also a lot of downed trees. Bugs were bad at the campsites, from the large ants to mosquitoes to daddy long legs. At the end of day one, we found a sterling silver ring, looks like a man's ring at one of the creek crossings. If this review finds its owner, post a review and we can figure out how to get it back to you. All in all a great trip had a great time hiking and camping.

backpacking
9 days ago

**Lighterpack**: https://lighterpack.com/r/nnsn71 (the SO carried the tent, I carried the food) **Official Map**: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsm9_039482.pdf **CALTOPO**: https://caltopo.com/m/0HL7 **Little Missouri Gauge Height** https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?07360200 Rather than write a full review with every single detail I will address all the questions I had about this loop that I could not figure out reading other reviews. I'm also throwing out some helpful tips such as the resources I posted above. First of all, the various trailheads can be confusing and I hard time finding much on where is best to start. Athens South is in the lower left corner of the loop and if you go straight north to the upper left corner you will hit Athens North. If you start from Athens South, you have to cross a seventh ridge which may influence your decision. Between the second and third ridge , starting from Athens South, is Baylock West. This is a trailhead that also has a road the goes all the way EAST to Albert Pike Rec Area in case you need to bail out back to the other side of the loop. In the North section there is Little Missouri Falls which has parking, is sort of a tourist trap with families swimming and fishing, but there is no water crossing right there since there's a bridge you can walk over. In the East side there is NS-512 parking area which can hold about 10 cars between the two lots on either side of the Little Missouri. This is where I parked. Albert Pike is closed to parking but if you follow the road just a bit further north you will hit NS-512. Viles Branch apparently has parking too but I don't think it's easily accessed. Which TH you start from is your choice and you can go either clockwise or counter clockwise. In my opinion, water crossings are more treacherous than the ridges so if rain is forecast, get some of the east-side water crossings done first (see my caltopo map). The gauge height is NOT the crossing height, it's simply the level wherever the meter happens to be placed. A height of 4.0 is doable and will probably be up to your knees or slightly higher. I crossed at a height of 5.25 using trekking poles and the water was nearly to my waist. I also had to bushwack up a couple dozen yards from the official crossings in order to avoid rapids. if the gauge is above 5.5 I would not try to cross at all. Always unhook your pack from your body so you can bail from it if you get swept up! There is ONE awesome camp site on the top of the first ridge and one awesome site on the top of the second ridge (going CW). No water so bring it up with you. There is cell service on the top of the 6th ridge if you go to the lookout point. In general: West side is the ridges, it's a lot of work going up and down, best to do a couple of them one day and the others the next day. North Side is twisty turny, much like a rolling forest with a lot of stream hopping. Tons of fun and a great section. East side is much the same but now you have larger water crossings. The north end of the East side is pretty flat, really easy going, good trail conditions. Well maintained. Great way to end if you are parking at NS512. South side is more muddy and overgrown, needs more trail maintenance. Worst section of the trail. Water crossings? Don't switch your shoes. Wear trail runners and Injinji toe socks and march straight through the water and they will dry out as you walk. LOL at people wearing goretex boots and wasting ten minutes multiple times a day switching shoes at the rivers. Caltopo logs 25.42 miles, not sure how the official map can claim 28 miles. I hiked it started at about 11 AM on a Friday and ended about 11 AM on Sunday, hiking 10.5 miles each of the first two days and a quick 4.5 mile walk on the last day. Guthook has the map for this trail available and it lists probably 80% of the campsites. Most campsites have a firepit and hold one to two tents, but on a busy weekend the campsites seem to fill up quick. Might want to stop early if you see a great spot. Don't camp near the river when there is rain in the forecast. Shouldn't have to say this but 1) rivers rise FAST here when there's a good shower, and 2) like everywhere else in the world, at night, cool wet air falls to the low areas while warm air rises. Bodies of water will also dampen the air at night. If you like condensation all over your tent and quilt/bag, then by all means, hang out by the river with the mosquitoes. The rest of us wait to find a better spot a little higher up that will stay dry. Got questions? Glad to help. andy.lien.photo on IG.

backpacking
rocky
13 days ago

Did this loop for my first backpacking trip. Started at the Blaylock Creek trailhead and went counterclockwise. Lots of steep ups and steep downs. There are several water crossings with the highest being up to mid thigh (I’m 5’11” and there were heavy storms last week). Lots of downed trees to climb over or go around. We did 9.5 miles the first day, 16 the second and the final 3-4 on the Thursday day. Lots of water sources available throughout and a good amount of campsites. Great experience, but it is a challenging trail.

hiking
16 days ago

Great loop with flat wooded sections combined with some difficult steep ascend/descends. We hiked in from Big Fork Athens trailhead and connected with the loop on the northwest corner. We hiked east for some easy hiking leaving all of the difficult ascends/descends for the last 8 miles out. Difficult navigating at mile 1.2 on this map. Great camping options along the way. Plenty of water options on the entire trail. Trail is mostly in the shade and has numerous creek crossings that can be rock hopped. Water shoes for larger river crossings were needed 5 times. Over all this is a great loop.

backpacking
blowdown
over grown
17 days ago

Started at FR 106 trailhead and hiked the loop clockwise over 2 nights and three days. Other reviews suggest this is extremely difficult but I found it to be moderately difficult. parts of the trail are overgrown and there are some blowdowns scattered throughout the trail. steep climbs are short and challenging but the views they bring are well worth it!

backpacking
18 days ago

Started from the trailhead near Putman Cemetary, taking 2 nights on the trail (9/11.5/7.7), however, the entire loop is easily doable with only one night on the trail if you live within easy driving distance -- our first day consisted of driving 8 hours to the site and then hiking 9 miles in. The trail is decently maintained and there were only a few times we got turned around -- typically at river crossings (of which there are about 4 where you'll need to take off your boots unless you want to get wet). There are plenty of campsites along the trail at every place you'd want to camp at. We saw only a few others on the trail itself, "heavily trafficked" is a misnomer. Discarded gear, including sleeping bags and tents, are present at a few campsites. Overall, a beautiful trail with good views of the surrounding rivers and mountains. There is one, roughly 8 mile leg that crosses 6 mountains that is both the most scenic and challenging part of the loop. If you camp at the top of one of the peaks, bring rain gear, since there tends to be light drizzle and extremely heavy winds at the top. Beware of flash flooding -- floods at the Albert Pike Rec Area killed 20 in 2010.

hiking
blowdown
19 days ago

We started out our hike going counter clock wise from the west trailhead. We planned on doing the whole loop and got stuck by rain an entire day at winding stairs. Great place to hunker down for two nights and let the weather pass. We ended up doing some rappelling,scrambling and fishing. We made a push back to the west trailhead the third morning. Total each-way was around eight and a half miles with quick trips to the look out and brush mountain. Lots of discarded camping gear left on trail, please take out what you bring with you. The area is amazing, the winding stairs is on par with areas of British Columbia in Canada I’ve been to. Great hike for someone with mid level experience.

hiking
21 days ago

This trail is amazing! I live about 30 minutes from the trail head and it’s part of my life lol. It’s challenging in several ways ( navigation, -mostly at water crossings, grade) but it’s nothing anyone who has a mind to can’t do. Don’t over pack, don’t carry a ton of water. On this trip water filtration will be all you need. Go, please. Enjoy!

backpacking
22 days ago

I went this past weekend and hiked this over two days & it was a blast! There were a ton of water crossing, so make sure you bring shoes for that. I would recommend doing the hike over 3 days. It would've saved my feet, but you can definitely do it in two. The trail isn't marked great in certain places, so definitely download the map!

hiking
bugs
28 days ago

It’s a beautiful hike! Super fun for sure needs to have some trail blazes put up again! Also lots of spider webs, I single handily destroyed 114 spider homes! For sure go to the eagle rock vista!

backpacking
28 days ago

Great 2-night trip if driving from Dallas. I think the other reviews probably sum it up well. The Little Missouri trailhead (NW corner) parking is open during COVID. I went clockwise. A few surprises for me were: If it looks like it could be a wet crossing, it is a wet crossing. Don't try in boots. There are a fair bit of day trippers playing loud music and drinking beer between Little Missouri Falls and Albert Pike. Athens Big Fork is a very tough section to finish last, but doable.

hiking
29 days ago

Perfect weather and the water crossings were all easily manageable. Plenty of water throughout. One of our favorite trails!

1 month ago

I hike this trail at least once a month and it has to be one of the best trails around. It takes about 3 days and two nights to complete if you take your time. Water crossing are manageable this time of year, just bring a good pair of water shoes. Thank you AR for making this trail great and up keeping it.

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

I hiked this loop with 3 of my best girlfriends and it was absolutely amazing!! We started at the Athens Big Fork trail head and went clockwise, hitting the first 2 major water crossings on day 2, last 2 major water crossings on day 3, then giant hill climb after hill climb on day 4. It’s a tough trail for sure, not for the inexperienced. We came across a campsite that looked like a bear came through... tents were trashed, food scattered everywhere, clothes, sleeping bags, air mattress, they left EVERYTHING. We suspect the campers kept food in their tents and when a bear came to investigate they had to run. So BE SURE to string up your food in a bear bag/canister in a tree at least 300’ from your tent area. The 2nd big river crossing was up to our chest after a heavy rain the night before. Hiking poles are a must for big crossings like this. We lined our packs with trash bags and stuffed everything valuable inside (sleeping bag, clothes, electronics, anything that can’t get wet). We just wore our packs on our back rather than lifting overhead. Everything managed to survive. Water shoes are also a must. I highly recommend printing the actual trail map from the Eagle Rock Loop website and referencing it for your mileage & destination points. We relied on electronics to track our mileage and made the mistake of having to finish day four with 9+ miles rather than the originally planned 3-4 miles. Overall it was an incredible experience and I will definitely come back!!!

Great trail. Trail along the river running the southern part of the loop is really nice. Be prepared for rain and multiple river crossings, especially along the southern part

hiking
1 month ago

I am 50 and this was my first backpacking hike so I knew it was going to be a challenge. Went with two friends and we have a lot of outdoor experience hunting, day hiking, etc but never overnight hiking. Started 10am Saturday at Little Mo Falls Trail Head and completed counter-clockwise loop at 6:30pm on Monday. We weren't trying to hike fast, stopped and enjoyed the views, took pictures and sat down for lunches. With that mindset we spent about 21 hours on the trail which was more than I expected due to big climbs and a lot of shoe changes for water crossings. With our starting point and direction we did the big crossings on Little MO late Day 2 and on Day 3 and the water level was only about 3' on deepest crossings. Taking shoes off and on gets to be a pain but you get the process down and goes faster, better than hiking with wet shoes IMO. There were tons of great places to camp and there seemed to be only 5-6 other multi-day hiking groups so finding a great spot was easy. As others have said the Guthook app is a must. Download the map to your phone for $4.99 because you will have almost no phone reception on the trail. We were able to get off a couple texts from the peaks on Day 1 and early Day 2 but after that zero phone coverage. There are trees down across the trail in several places but I didn't think that was a huge deal. Overall I thought the trail maintenance was pretty good. White blazes are easy to follow 95% of the time and having the Guthook map will keep you on track in the few tricky places, mostly around water crossings. Anyone hiking here should be checking water levels at the government water website. Just google Little Missouri River at Langley Gauge and should find it. Water level should be under 4.5' at the gauge for safe crossings. Also you can look at historic data on rainfall and gauge levels. Goes up fast after a good rain but typically comes down fast too. Highly recommend having trekking poles for water crossings on the Little MO, the others are just creeks and typically only ankle/calf deep and depending on water levels many you can find rocks to get across without changing shoes. Final Conclusion - GREAT HIKE. absolutely beautiful scenery, very challenging but not so technical that it can't be done by a wide range of hikers. Can't wait for our second hike!

hiking
blowdown
rocky
1 month ago

This trail kicked my ass! The easy ins and outs from the peak make you think it won’t be that bad, but the mountains are brutal! At least 20 water crossings of “find stones to skip across” or higher, so be prepared to spend a ton of time changing shoes, or just embrace it and get your feet wet. No need to worry about water access either, unless you’re on a peak you’re always a hop and a jump away from a branch or river to refill. So many good camp sites I couldn’t even count! Very good trail, but not for the faint of heart. Trekking poles are worth their weight here, especially for the water crossings, though they were also huge to help out with the climbs. I did counter clockwise and regretted it, sets you up for a brutal climb on one of the peaks. I’ll definitely be back, and go clockwise next time.

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