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Indian Rock House Self-guided Nature Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(222)
Buffalo National River

Indian Rock House Self-guided Nature Trail is a 3.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yellville, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 3.3 mi Elevation gain 485 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Cave

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (7)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

The Indian Rock House is a loop trail that winds across hillsides and along a beautiful stream to the spectacular Indian Rockhouse Cave, which once sheltered prehistoric bluff-dwelling Native Americans (there are no "ruins" at the site). It then returns to the trail head passing the CCC rock quarry, used to build the park buildings.

full service national park service campground with all the amenities. Camping fees apply. Parking at the trail head.

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, One Capitol Mall , Little Rock, AR, 72201, Phone: 501-682-7777

Directions from Yellville: Travel south on Hwy. #14 for 14 miles, then three miles east on Hwy. #268.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (222)
Photos (439)
Recordings (104)
Completed (434)
Shell B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 30 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

Half the trail to the waterfall and the zinc mining cave was wonderful but when we continued on, it was majorly overgrown and we were COVERED in ticks... EVERY kind of ticks! That dirt all on your socks and ankles... look again! Seed ticks! dog ticks, deer ticks..all kinds....

melanie pasqua
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail with multiple things to see along the way. The waterfall was beautiful, and the cave was amazing with an underground river at the back. Bring headlamps or flashlights to explore the cave.

Erin Willis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingRocky

This has been our favorite trail so far. It’s well maintained and beautiful. There are so many great things to see along the way. Took a dip in the icy water of the natural bathtub. Pace yourself on the last half of the trail on the way out. We had to stop and rest a few times with all the uphill climbing. Totally worth it.

Michael Perry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

Nice trail. The water level was very low. But certain times of the year you would have to traverse water in the trail.

View Michael's Recording
Holly Noel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail. The exit is all up hill so pace yourself. Worth every step of the way.

Kathy M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 20 2020
Hiking

Loved the Indian Rock Home — much bigger than I expected . Trail was easy to follow with signs when you needed them. Some tough elevation changes for my old knees but I’m glad I chose this one

Jason Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 14 2020
HikingGreat!

For a full video review please visit our YouTube channel Small Talk Arkansas https://youtu.be/DRsx-139RDo This trail is amazing. Beautiful in every way. Plenty of shade keeping it a little cooler which is nice. Trail's waterfalls and caves did not disappoint. We ended up covering almost 5 miles in about 4 hours but I assume you could hike the trail in less than 3. We covered a quite a bit of extra! Saw a few snakes (none on the trail). The Indian Rock House Cave is a PERFECT place to cool off and eat a snack or lunch. The caves are nice and cool and we spent ample time in them cooling off from the near 100 degree heat index. DON'T LEAVE YOUR TRASH BEHIND. Take a trash bag and come back with more than you carried in! For reviews of other campgrounds, rivers, and hiking trails subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Small Talk Arkansas https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzT-gkQ4pGQv9mfJ-XE4Rlg?sub_confirmation=1

Kathy Maberry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 11 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Loved this trail. Tough on these 47 year old knees with the rocks but totally worth it. A few muddy spots due to recent rains. Many areas to cool off in the crystal-clear water, including a beautiful waterfall and the spring-fed flowing water. The trailhead is across the street from the parking area. CCC campground and cabins for rent at the trailhead. The Indian rock house is easily the size of a football field and absolutely amazing; photos can’t do it justice. Only two other families on the trail with me, so I mostly had it all to myself. A beautiful, challenging hike.

View Kathy's Recording
Chris Fine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 06 2020
Hiking

Hiked 6/4, trail was pretty decent, nothing to hard. There's a few spots that run through the creek if the water was up, so just keep in mind the water level when picking what shoes to wear. Very pretty hike and the cave was amazing!

William F.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 06 2020
Hiking

Moderate due to distance. Well maintained trail with wet weather water falls. Considering Arkansas the descents and elevations were not that difficult IMO. 67 yo with a 12 yo who fizzled toward the end. We hiked in June at 80 degrees and recent rains.

Amanda Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 01 2020
Hiking

This trail is about 1.5 mile to the rock house and 1.5 mile back. It's a decline on the way there and will be mostly uphill on the way back. Theres so much to see and explore that you wont ever be bored! The trail is mostly shaded. Waterfall at the beginning and waterholes, caves, and beautiful nature throughout. It took us about 6 hrs to finish because we played around a lot. We did see a copperhead snake so watch your step. The trail is great though. It's marked along the way and well maintained.

Sheila Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020

Fantastic hike!

Matthew Kull
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 30 2020
Hiking

If you haven’t ever hiked this trail, you need to! It is now on my list of favorite hikes and I can hardly wait to go back in the Fall. You can get directions easily from the internet. The trail is labeled as Moderate to Strenuous. There are some steep portions of the trail, particularly at the beginning, which is a long descent into the canyon and then at the end as you must come back up about 400 feet. Take plenty of water and pace yourself. It is about 3 and ½ miles. The trailhead is on the opposite side of the road from the parking area and has a sign. There are several picnic tables next to the parking area and it is a great place for a picnic lunch. Along the trail you will see so much! First you come to a Sinkhole/Icebox. It is deep! You will then come to a waterfall that is about 35 to 40 feet tall. The trail takes you right to the base of this waterfall. Next you come to an abandoned zinc mine. The trail meanders along Panther Creek for a good ways and it is beautiful! There are a number of small cascades along the way that are photo worthy. The trail is basically a loop; however, there is a spur trail that is out and back from the loop to the Rockhouse (cave). Along this trail are some amazing views, in particular was a “V Slot” waterfall to the left. The Rockhouse is amazing! It is huge, too large to photograph in the allowable space. As you approach the Rockhouse, long before you see it, you will hear roaring water. What is odd, is that you won’t see any water, that is, until you enter the cave. There is an underground river rushing through the cave, and then going back underground. Take a nice bright flashlight with you, there is a magnificent cascade inside the cave to your left. Along the “Return Trail” is the Natural Bathtub. Both above and below the “Bathtub” are some beautiful little waterfalls. You will eventually pass by the rock quarry used by the CCC for construction of areas around the park. Again, the hike back up is steep. Take your time.

Patricia Rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 29 2020
HikingMuddy

It was a great hike. Awesome views and stops along the trail. The hike out is more strenuous, but doable!

View Patricia's Recording
Di van
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 19 2020
MuddyRocky

good day for hike. a lot of flowing water after major rain. great photo ops. parts of trail very muddy. recommend taking upper trail "return trail" into indian rock house at the loop. lower trail into the rock was pretty muddy. slick spots. watch your step. have done this hike several times. this was probably our favorite trip in because of all the flowing water. steep in places. if you have knee problems consider using a walking stick.

Jonathan Glover
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 23 2020
Hiking

One of the best hikes I have been on in a while. Beautiful scenery the entire way. Could get a bit muddy with heavy rainfall due to being right next to a creek. Some slick rocks along the trail, so be sure to wear hiking boots/shoes. Very easy to navigate the trail. Make sure you go all the way to the indian rockhouse. It is completely worth the extra mile.

View Jonathan's Recording
Rick Rick Tracy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020

Absolutely a fantastic hike! Go during the rainy seasons late winter or late fall would be the best because they're so many trees you might not see everything you want. The big bluff at the end has an underground river and a little natural bridge and is big enough to drive a dump truck through totally worth the hike.

Christy Bryant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Mar 19 2020
Hiking

Loved this trail. It will be different each time you go depending on the rainfall. Going back is a little challenging but worth it. Marked well and a lot of history.

Wade Brabits
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Mar 17 2020
Hiking

Indian Rock House 2.5 miles in. great trail and easy enough for non-hikers.

View Wade's Recording
Chelsea Harrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 15 2020
HikingRocky
View Chelsea's Recording
Micah Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 08 2020
Hiking

One of the best hikes we’ve been on as a family. Plan for about 3 hours. So many cool things to see. The rock house is phenomenal! The hike out is all up hill, but overall pretty user-friendly.

View Micah's Recording
Keith Turney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 08 2020
HikingRocky
View Keith's Recording
Elizabeth Ozbun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jan 03 2020

The pictures of this area don't do it justice. Today most of the creek beds were dry, as it hasn't rained recently and Panther Creek is low. Great winter hike. Plenty to climb around and explore. No dogs or horses allowed. Moderate hike, not for the very young or the very well aged.

Lori Zakas Allred
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 23 2019
Horseback riding

Are horses allowed on the trail? Looks amazing

Jacob Mincy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 18 2019
Hiking

Drove 2 hours to see the Indian Rock House & it was worth every mile.. awesome trail.. Due take note that we took an ATV vehicle trail on the way out & not the initial walking trail... when we left the rock house we went back down the trail in which we came in on & took a right beside the creek where the sign reads "Indian Rock House .6" .. The ATV trail was straight up the entire way & "strenuous" is an understatement.. Felt like we were never going to get back to the vehicle. But all in all a very enjoyable hike. Highly recommend the Indian Rock House.

Kim Meadows
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 04 2019
Hiking

My husband and I did the Indian Rockhouse during the first week of August (I don’t recommend this time of year because it is so hot). The hike back up and out is brutal, but the Rockhouse and the creek running through it are worth it. The trail is steep in places and I wouldn’t go alone. It takes about 3 hours and that’s not wasting any time sitting around either. It’s a pretty tough trail compared to others that we have done, but well worth it to see at least once. We would probably do this trail again when it is much cooler. We just returned from spending the night at Buffalo Point last week (we have never been there this late in the year) and noticed that there are NO park rangers on duty (the park ranger’s house was empty as well). This is one reason why we chose not to do this trail last week because if one of us would have had an emergency on the trail (you never know what could happen and we are in our mid 40’s) it appeared that no one would be there to help us. It was also sleeting on Thursday (and raining and freezing cold the day before), so yet another reason why we didn’t attempt the trail. Maybe next time.

Matthew Steliga
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 04 2019
Hiking

We did the trail loop clockwise, so the tall waterfall would be on the way out. It was a very good trail for families. A group of 13 of us (3 families) did it. Kids who were 5-6 yrs old could do it. Great trail. We did go the wrong way at the old mine site, followed an old mine or logging road, so check the map.

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