Indian Creek Trail

HARD 157 reviews
#3 of 29 trails in

Indian Creek Trail is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jasper, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
659 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

off trail

no dogs

Please note that this is not an official trail, is unmaintained, and can be very dangerous. Proceed with caution. Indian Creek trail is known for the most accidents in the Buffalo River trail system. To reach the falls you must scramble through a rocky creek, at times wading through water or you must travel on the sheer edge of a high bluff, or a combination of the above. The reward is in the scenery.

hiking
20 hours ago

This trail is pretty awesome and difficult in the sense that you have to pay attention to where you're stepping all the time. Some parts were a bit difficult to maneuver and I didn't even attempt climbing the rope at the end ,but my boyfriend made it up to the top. We went on a Tuesday in September and we were the only ones on the trail the whole time. Keeping that in mind, there are a lot of spider webs when you're the only one on the trail. We will be returning to this trail as it was very interesting.

25 days ago

I hiked this trail and completed back in 2008 I didn’t remember it being as rough as it is. The group I was with had 4 adults and 11 children ranging from 1-14 YO. It is probably be most beautiful trail I have hiked in Arkansas. We were unable to complete it as we came to a point that we felt was just too risky attempt with the children. I personally feel like we lost the trail. I hope to get attempt this again with my children so they can enjoy the scenic views at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Me and my boyfriend completed this hike on 8/17. The area had heavy rainfall for 3 or 4 days prior so the falls were gorgeous! It is definitely one of the most challenging hikes we have done but it was well worth it. As previous reviews have mentioned, I don’t recommend bringing your kids or dogs, everything was extremely slick (may have been from all of the rain) and the paths were narrow and primitive. There are several little falls along the river but the eye of the needle is at the very end with a large fall coming out of the cave. The ropes up to the eye are well maintained but it’s still pretty steep and not for the faint of heart. Just be very cautious if you choose to go. Looking forward to hiking it again in the fall!

3 months ago

This is not a easy trail at all so please don't bring kids and/or pets on this trail! If you walk across the creek it can be slippery on the rocks and can easily hurt yourself as well. There is a trail along the creek but it can be dangerous as it's not wide and at times is close to a 100ft drop. When you do get to the Eye of the Needle there are ropes to climb to help climb up and do use them because if you lose your balance it's not good. Other than the dangers this is a hike that's worth it! Hiked with a friend and we enjoyed all the views that the trail offers!

3 months ago

Made this hike solo on 6/30/18. The most recent rain was 3-4 days prior so the creek bed was fairly dry and it was possible to stay on it without getting too wet. Make no mistake, this is a strenuous hike. Even in the peak of summer there are pools of water that leave the rocks slippery and there are sections that require mild acrobatics to climb. There are some beautiful views and wildlife on the creek bed path. At the end of the creek bed there is a cave which is easy enough to climb up to but I did not enter - there is a sign posted about the bats suffering from White Nose. Close to it there are two ropes that can be used to climb further on to the Eye of the Needle. I did not do so as I did not think it would be worth the risk of injury, and I would definitely recommend taking a partner if you plan on scaling the rope climbs - the nearest help could be 1.5-2 mi of rough terrain away. Took me about 4.5 hrs with multiple stops just to sit and observe the surroundings on the way. Overall, this is a great hike. The physical challenge just adds to the feeling of accomplishment at the end.

hiking
4 months ago

Wowsers! Hiked this trail on 05/19/2018 and LOVED it! The water level was WAAAY down, so crossing the creek back and forth to keep on the trail wasn’t an issue. However, that’s not to say the hike was “easy” - This is an incredibly challenging trail - There are extremely slick rocks, ledges the width of your foot that if you slipped, you’d fall down several feet into those extremely slick rocks, boulder scrambling and then of course, the steep rope-aided climb at the end. We planned for 2 hours for this 4.7 mile hike, but it ended up taking us 3 hours and 15 minutes, (keep in mind we went crazy fast on the way back) - You should easily anticipate for 4 hours. For those afraid of heights, or those who aren’t sure-footed, DON’T attempt this hike - If you don’t have any of those issues and you’re at a reasonable fitness level and like challenges, then you’ll love this trail. Do note: the last rope is fraying quite a bit - While the other ropes and anchor-types were great, the last rope’s integrity is seeming sketchy - Would definitely recommend a qualified person looking at replacing in the near future. Also note: I picked up a lone star tick on this trail, so prepare accordingly.

hiking
5 months ago

This adventure will be at the top of your list once you conquer it. You'll want to make it an annual journey that can't be missed. The trail is difficult, the water is crisp and the views are spectacular. It is a great trek whether it is wet or dry. Water is always present as it appears from the rocks out of, seemingly, nowhere. Try it, you'll like it.

hiking
5 months ago

My favorite trail in Arkansas. It’s not for the faint of heart though.

hiking
5 months ago

I completed this today. I wished for an adventurous trail and believe you me I freakin got it. Some parts of the trail were a bit dangerous and scary. For the most part it was a good time. My favorite part was the rope climb up to the eye. I would do it again just for the climbing ropes!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! I went last year after a week of heavy rain. I went with my Grandpa who has had both knees replaced, we were also with a family friend who had been to the eye before. It was in the 50° with the creek moving so fast in some places that we had to go off the trail. We had no problem finding the trail until we tried to come back a different way. there is a trail that is very steep and can take you up to the top of the eye without going through it, and it keeps going up to the Buffalo River Trail. The BRT was overgrown and we could not find the trail. We made it back to the parking lot at dusk, we saw a black bear with her two cubs, they stayed in the woods and we walked slowly away. None of us had any problems wading the water, I'm 5'4 and the water was up to my mid thigh, the ropes and the cliffs didn't bother us. We knew what we were getting into, but we also knew that we had done all of it before. All of us had been caving before, in some farly difficult caves, that had more challenges than Indian Creek. Would deffently recommend going after a heavy rain to catch water flowing through the eye, but be careful the rocks will be slicker, the water higher, and faster. If you make a wrong step it is possible to end up in the Buffalo River. This is only if the creek is flooded. If there hasn't been a heavy rain. then there probably won't be any water coming out of the eye, but it is still a wonderful hike.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a breathtaking hike with beautiful overlooks, waterfalls, and lots of wildflowers. If you have the option, take a vehicle with four wheel drive as the drive down to kyles landing is gravel and quite steep. You’ll start the trek at the edge of kyles landing campground to take the BRT trail. You’ll come to a split, but take a left to go on BRT Steele Creek, then you’ll come to another fork in the road for BRT and ORT and you’ll want to take a left for BRT. Finally, you’ll come to the last fork and you’ll want to go on the primitive trail (should also have a white marker on the sign for Indian Creek trail), which you will stay on for the remainder of the hike. Throughout the rest of the trail there will usually be a dirt trail alongside the rock bed creek and at times the creek itself is easier to stay on and follow as the dirt trail can get very steep and narrow. Once you get to the falls, you have the option to climb up with the help of ropes to get up to the eye of the needle. It is an incredible view and worth the climb, but not for the faint of heart. I’d be careful to go during a time with lots of recent rain as even during dry seasons it can be quite muddy and slick. Overall a great hike with incredibly beautiful views all along the way!

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail! Tough but worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

The hike can be moderate to difficult depending on which path you take. There’s no grand view but worth the hike. We went when the water was low /none. Super easy to lose the trail your on, but follow the creek and you’ll find your way.

hiking
8 months ago

Best place around the Ponca area I’ve seen so far. Challenging, crazy at times, and worth every bit. Lots of bouldering, scrambling, spidermanning through and over rocks along the creek. The water was pretty low but still enough to make waterfallls and swimming holes. We got up to the eye and it was super slick and wet all along the way. Made it a little more fun and challenging. The rope parts up to the cave and lookout are key and thankful for whoever put them up! We will go back and tool around more after a good rain

hiking
9 months ago

I hiked this trail today and it was incredible! Getting to the Eye of the Needle was a challenge but I took my time and held on to the ropes that help guide you up and down the side of the cliff. Also I’m glad I became Pro on this All Trails App because it guided me along with GPS and got me where I needed to be because the trail is not marked.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this trail on 12/29. What an amazing trail!

hiking
9 months ago

Awesomeness!

hiking
11 months ago

This is spectacular. I broke my arm... it was when we were all the way in to the eye of the needle. An accident can happen in a parking lot  and the hike back out was torture with a broken arm. But my review stays the same—-spectacular. Just use caution because it’s rated HARD for a reason.

camping
11 months ago

We went out and went camping on the trail and had a blast. You definitely are isolated and there's lots of animals down there at night but its incredibly relaxing. The hike can be taxing but if you make sure you watch where you're stepping and take breaks if you need to you'll be fine.

11 months ago

Very hard trail to hike if you’re not in shape. Beautiful scenery throughout. Can be tough to navigate but if you stay on the creek you’ll be fine.

hiking
11 months ago

My favorite buffalo River trail! Gorgeous, once you start climbing it's one beautiful spot after another!

hiking
11 months ago

There are a lot of amazing hikes at the Buffalo National River area but this one is the best. That’s why it gets 5 stars.
This trail is amazing, hard, challenging, can be dangerous but it’s worth it. Expect to climb over rocks, jump over water in the creek and climb 100 feet of rope up an incline to get to the Eye Of The Needle. This is my all time favorite hike.
If you’re in the area, this is a must hike. You won’t regret it.

hiking
11 months ago

My boyfriend and I did this trail a couple weeks ago. The road down into Kyle's Landing is rough; four wheel drive is highly recommended, if not required. Despite intimidating reviews, we found the trail moderate to easy and fairly safe if you extend a sensible amount of caution. There are indeed high ridges, and the rocks along the creek are slippery, but nothing too bad! Plus the ropes near the end are in great shape. The Eye was breathtaking. I can't wait to visit again! It was a truly beautiful hike.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

hiking
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cons:
Poorly marked
No grand views

Pros:
Very physically demanding
Poorly marked (also a pro because I like a challenge)
Unique scenery (rock formations and boulders mostly) Feeling of complete isolation
Low traffic

Don’t drive a car to get to it. I drove my miata (survived) and am still shaking gravel out of places. Apple maps will lead you right to it though. Kyles Landing provides great camping as well beside the trail head for $6, self-pay. Restrooms as well.
The trail itself as I stated is poorly marked and some trees have fallen blocking certain paths. When in doubt or feeling lost, follow the creek bed and you’ll reach the cave at the end (which is inaccessible due to the prevention of white nose disease for bats). If it’s dry, it’s not a huge problem navigating upstream. Didn’t get my feet wet once in October. Definitely dangerous in some places, but that’s part of the fun! Took me nearly 3 hours to complete the trail, and I stopped and took plenty of photos and plenty of meanderings. Only ran into 2 other people along the way. Would rate this 9.7/10, just wishing the camping was free.

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Great, hard and dangerous

backpacking
Monday, October 09, 2017

Fun hike but so much elevation gain! Was in fairly good shape when I went and found myself and my partner winded on these climbs. Very worth it, camped on the river and was able to go back through about 7 river crossings. Be sure to bring shoes that can get wet or you're able to be fairly stable in the river for when you might have to cross.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My favorite trail in Arkansas.

hiking
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

If you're trying to get really injured or die do this hike! seriously this was the most dangerous and treacherous hike I've ever done. To say that this is not a well marked hike is an understatement. There are NO signs indicating the trail goes to eye of the needle or Indian creek which had us circling the campgrounds and ultimately driving back to somewhere with service to phone a friend and confirm that the buffalo river trail / kyles landing sign was the right place to start. And as if this wasn't already a treacherous "hike" there's a million and one spiderwebs for you to walk face first into (going during summer not advised at all go in fall or spring although I wouldn't go in general). Rocks are extremely slippery. We are in our 20s athletic and in good shape and we still are very much in pain.
I really wish I could say the end made it all worth it but it didn't Bc a) a hiker on his way back said to not go through the eye as it was really slippery and he had injured himself hence why he was high tailing it out so he could stitch up his hand b) the cave and waterfall you could see were anticlimactic. All in all just look up a picture of this place on google it's not worth dying for.

hiking
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Seriously one of the Best trails I've been on. If you're looking for adventure, you've found it here! Note towards the end of the trail there are 4 rope lines you must use to get up to the bluff. Once you reach the bluff, you will scale the side to the left. There is a little hole you must pass under then climb just a little more before reaching the Eye of the Needle. There is also a cool little cave just off to the right.

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