Indian Creek Trail

HARD 101 reviews
#2 of 16 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
761 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

canoeing

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

off trail

no dogs

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
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
4 days ago

Great Hike!! Challenging but worth it!! Not a ton of water, but still a few swimming holes for the kids to swim in!

hiking
10 days ago

We just hiked up the indian creek trail last Friday. Man it was awesome!!!! we went the high road on the way there and then walked the river side on the way back. We were told there wouldn't be any water there at this time of the year, but we went anyways. there was water in many spots flowing. still was an absolute blast to go see. we climbed the bluff and went through the cave and up to the eye of the needle. it was awesome. definitely a trail you do not want to miss. we did catch a couple snakes along the way so be careful, they were copperheads.

22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

My favorite trail in Arkansas so far. Definitely could be dangerous if you go while the creek is up. I recommend taking the bench trail on the bluff when you can. The eye of the needle, the amphitheater, and the cave waterfall are all amazing. The view from the top of the eye is fantastic as well.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail, very serene. Took us about 3 hours to make it to the eye of the needle but it was totally worth it. Things along the trail included the King's bathtub, the waterfalls, the amphitheater, and last the Eye of the Needle. It is a hard hike, i would not recommend it for small children. Also wear appropriate shoes for hiking.

backpacking
1 month ago

This trail was an absolute blast. It seems to be it's own unique valley, where bugs are more prevalent but temperatures are lower. There are almost no campsites between the beginning and end of the trail, so we had to improvise and hammock on some of the thicker trees. It looks like the legendary "eye of the needle" rock formation crumbled recently :( vey much worth the hike

backpacking
1 month ago

Excellent. First time in.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

We took the Creek ledge the entire way... couldn't find a way anywhere. Got a little hairy in the rain. So fun.

2 months ago

Amazing and quick. Loved the "jungle" feel.

Tops Richland Creek as the best in AR. loved every minute of it. Made it to the eye, definitely sketchy and you need upper body strength.

warning ....Last rope up to the bluffs, the yellow one is starting to come apart at the top...do not trust it fully.

hiking
2 months ago

ZOMG SRSLY WOW!!!! The scenery on this trail will reduce you to gibbering. Every time you see something awesome, know that an even better site is just around the bend. You will cross back and forth across the creek a lot, and there's no single trail, so you can cross (or not) where and if it seems like a good idea. It's pretty easy to make your way there - there are signs pointing you to Indian Creek on the trail from Kyle's landing. After a bit, you're in an "unmaintained" area, but following the creek will get you where you're going. It's all beautiful, just take your time and enjoy it.

I don't know if the danger and difficulty of this hike merits all the hyperbole. It's a REAL hike. Parts of it are hard. You should not do this in flip-flops. You should bring water, and a first-aid kit, and maybe a snack. These things should be in a pack so your hands are free. You should not bring your small child/ren or YOUR DOG (they are not allowed and would make this much harder). That said, I am glad I decided to bring a buddy for this one. It *would* be easy to slip and injure yourself, possibly to the point of not being able to walk back out under your own steam, and cell service is non-existent. And yes, grabbing those ropes and scrambling up to the bluff might be beyond what you feel is safe. In which case, you would end your hike there, no big deal.

In that spirit, while I did scramble up and through the bluff to continue on to the Eye of the Needle, I chose not to go any further than that. According to the Ernst book, there's lots more to see if you keep going, but it did not seem remotely worth it.

Hiking back, we took the trail that goes up to the top of the bluff, and the views are amazing. If heights aren't your thing, stick to the creek, as the trail goes right along the edge in parts.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Difficult yes. But so worth it. It's a place known for accidents so pay attention- it's hard getting out if you get injured.

hiking
2 months ago

Difficult is an understatement. Death is a possibility. Scenery is movie quality.


We read that this trail caused the most injuries of any in Arkansas, and it is very clear why. Be prepared to pull back your trekking enthusiasm and make wise decisions to stay safe. If something looks too hard or dangerous, walk back and look for another way around. There are usually at least two paths to choose from. The trail splits about a mile before the end; take the straight/left path through the river or take a right and go up and over a bluff. Going up and over the bluff is off the standard difficulty scale and enters whatever scale it is where if you inadvertently slip you could fall hundreds of feet to your death. It is not impossibly difficult, just very high risk as there are several stretches of trail just inches away from very steep drop offs. We went this way in, and decided we’d rather swim sections of the creek if we had to in order to avoid it on the way back out.


It was not clear in our research that “Indian Creek Trail” was not an official marked trail… it is an unmarked social trail. So, if you are looking for the trail, just look at a map and make your way to the actual Indian Creek. We started at Kyle’s Landing trailhead, which was at the far left after you drive into Kyle’s landing. It’s about a mile hike to get to Indian Creek and it isn’t really marked. The first marker you’ll see points to the left and says “Steel Creek” (I think). I think there’s another left after that, but just consult your map and no matter what you’ll run into Indian Creek at some point if you keep taking lefts. This trail has inspired us to order a GPS unit so we can enter trail data ahead of time.


We’ve only done this trail once, but we think we caught it at a really good time. It was Sunday, March 27, 2017 and it had just stormed the Friday night before and drizzled most of Saturday. For the payoff to be worth the risk and rugged terrain, we believe your hike should be planned in spring after a rain. It was about a 4 hour round trip and we stopped for lunch for about 20 minutes and stopped to take in the sights several times. We think we’re faster on the trails than most, so you may want to plan for 5-6 hours. Plan to get wet, too. You must cross the creek several times, and in some places it was unavoidable to keep water from getting in our boots. Trekking poles were a lifesaver, especially on some of the slick uphill sections and creek crossings.


At the very end of the trail there are two waterfalls with cliffs on both sides. It is so cool, shady, misty and beautiful. It felt like we were in another world. Seeing the Eye of the Needle is what drew us to this trail, but we did not try to make the final climb to see it. It was slippery and wet on this day, and looked VERY dangerous. A couple before us were coming down from the Eye when we arrived and they said the view wasn’t really worth the risk. The risk may be lower when the rocks are not wet. Overall, the experience was worth it. The entire second half of the hike seemed like movie quality scenery; waterfalls, rapids, chutes, and cliffs. We went in thinking we’d only be on the trail a couple hours… but it took us a couple hours TO the Eye of the Needle, thus our motivation to procure a GPS unit.

3 months ago