Indian Creek Trail

HARD 136 reviews
#2 of 24 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

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
24 days 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

Great trail! Tough but worth it.

hiking
2 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
2 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
3 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

Awesomeness!

hiking
5 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
5 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.

5 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
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 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
5 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.

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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
6 months ago

Great, hard and dangerous

backpacking
6 months ago

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.

7 months ago

My favorite trail in Arkansas.

hiking
8 months ago

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
8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

Awesome!!

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
10 months 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 months 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.

hiking
10 months 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
10 months 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
11 months 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
11 months ago

Excellent. First time in.

11 months ago

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

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