Little Missouri Trail

MODERATE 53 reviews
#3 of 26 trails in

Little Missouri Trail is a 11.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Caddo Gap, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.7 miles
905 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




mountain biking

nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers



The trail is the northeastern segment of the longer Eagle Rock loop trail. The trail passes through the Little Missouri Falls Recreation Area which displays the scenic Little Missouri Falls. It is actually a series of cascades. Their is nothing little about it. Absolutely breathtaking.from here the hiker faces a hill of steps in the trail which lead along large cliffs high above the river. The trail provides a view of the area above the falls on the left and a rock formation on the right. This part of the trail is a historic wagon trail. From here the hike largely follows the Little Missouri River, crossing it several times. It ends at the Albert Pike Recreational area.

1 month ago

Easy hike for experienced hikers. We started at the falls and went south. Due to a storm that went through the day before, the falls were roaring with run-off. This made the first river crossing about 1.6 miles down impassable. We ran into a solo though hiker that back tracked about 0.25 miles and found a spot to cross. The water went up to his knees. Our group had younger children so we decided not to cross.

3 months ago

Day hike in and out from the Missouri Falls Trailhead on a Sunday. 5 mile drive on narrow gravel road to get to the rec area. The falls are at the start of the trail and several groups were gathered in the falls area. The trail follows the river with several areas to explore in and near the water. The river alternates from rushing over rocks to clear pools of water. One trail crossing through the water was a bit precarious. I did bring extra shoes to cross through the water but with very slippery mossy wet rocks I took a small tumble and fell in! I saw another hiker do the same a few minutes before. It was all in good fun and I would do it again! Beautiful scenery with fall colors throughout the hike. Many places for camping and areas to wade or swim in warmer weather.

4 months ago

Scenic hike. There were a few light water crossings and two bigger water crossings (we didn’t have water shoes so we took off our hiking shoes and went through the water..12” in spots). A lot of camp sites and ran into a fare amount of people along the way. The trail runs along water which makes it very tranquil.

5 months ago

Did this trail as part of the Eagle Rock Loop trail. Hiked from Little Missouri Falls trailhead going clockwise over 3 days/2 nights.

This was a beautiful hike. Lots of water crossings on this section so bring water shoes and watch the river gage height because under certain conditions, it is not passable.

Highly trafficked trail as well. Ran into lots of families on this section.

5 months ago

secluded, river crossings, challenging to navigate. good place to backpack alone or with friends or family. my wife and kids loved it. just beautiful. highly recommend if your tired of car camping and loud, busy campsites. this is what you've been looking for. don't hesitate. Just pack up the kids and go. you'll be glad you did!

6 months ago

great trail went from north end to the falls and back, took dog with us , plenty of water and camping spots

6 months ago

One of my favorites to hike. I start at the Little Missouri Falls rec area parking lot, and walk down to the falls. The falls tends to be busy on the weekends, and differs on appearance depending on whether the water is up or not. Either way, it's gorgeous scenery. You basically follow the river from there. Its easy to moderate, and great for beginners or people who want to do a light trek in the forest. Highly recommend!

8 months ago

Gorgeous location. Not much of a hike. Just creek walking!

8 months ago

Fun FIRST trail for my friends and I. We've been wanting to get our feet wet and this trail was perfect! It challenged our conditioning a bit and yet we still were able to enjoy the trail and scenic views. I would definitely recommend this trail/National Park to everyone! Can't wait to get back in October!! We saw several water moccasin snakes however as long as you respect them, keep your distance and go about your business all should be good. Happy Trails!

9 months ago

Beautiful trail! From the Albert Pike Recreation Area, we drove about 6 miles of gravel roads to get to the Little Missouri Falls. We started at the Falls, backpacked for one night and came back out. The trail was fairly easy with some ups and downs. There were a few stream crossings, but the water was not super high in mid May. There was plenty of water for filtering, but not too high to make crossing difficult. This was our first time backpacking with our two large breed dogs, and it was the perfect trail. There were several great campsites along the trail that were easily accessible. Would highly recommend!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Started at the Little Missouri Falls Parking Area and hiked to the Athens Big Fork Parking Area, which is actually the start of the the Little Missouri Trail. And I made it a loop be backtracking back to the Falls Parking lot. It was nice to see so many people out enjoying the trail! Most were actually backpacking along the trail and spending 1+ nights along the trail. I was the only dayhiker I noticed. There are several campsites clearly established along the trail of you want to stay overnight. The river didn’t have a lot of water, but there we still still plenty of small falls and water holes to see. Most of the fall colors have changed to brown, but there was still some spots of a little color. The trail is well marked with white rectangles. Overall, it was a great hike!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A warning about how to get there at the end of this review.
This was a wonderful trail. We started at the Athens Big Fork and Little Missouri trailhead, which is down a dirt road and not where Alltrails picks it up. It's a nice wooded hike for about 4 miles to the beautiful (if busy) Little Missouri Falls. From there, the trail follows the river off and on for as far as we went. The sections away from the river never lasted too long and were nice on their own, but following the the river was great. There are numerous campsites along the water, most of them very nice looking, and the trail is nice and level (if a bit rocky at times). When we did this (with pretty low water levels), all the stream crossings were easy, but I can see how it might be difficult if the water level rises.

A word of caution getting there... Google took us down NF-512 through Albert Pyke, and the road was closed due to flooding (looked like it had been closed awhile), so we backtracked to Polk Road 602... That definitely ended before Google said it did. So just take Albert Pyke to Mill Creek Road and ignore Google.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

This is my favorite trail to hike! It's surrounded by beautiful scenery and is an achievable trail!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Wish I had more time. Went too late in the day but the views I took in were special.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Pretty easy hike with good views. Tons of good camping spots.

Monday, November 07, 2016

We started at the falls and did the out and back. Easy trail with a few river crossings. Well marked.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Wife, son, and myself visited this little gem twice. Consecutive days. Used the river itself for the path more than the trail I think. Beautiful and peaceful in early April, 2016.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Was beautiful. Not well marked at times. Follow white blazes. We did about 3 miles out and back as this is part of a larger trail.

It's actually about 6 miles from here to the Albert pike campgrounds, which is what most hikers were doing.

Falls were crowded as it was a holiday weekend. Very pretty places to stop and enjoy the water away from the crowds as well. Plan to cross water but there are many rocks we were able to use to avoid getting completely wet. Will do it again.

Monday, October 05, 2015

4 of us hiked part of this trail the beginning of Oct. We started at the Athens-Big Fork North trail head, hiked Fri. evening over the ridge to the Little Missouri trailhead and camped about a mile east (clockwise) along the Little Missouri river. Saturday we hiked to the Little Missouri Falls, then turned around and hiked back past the Little Missouri trail head and onto the Athens Big Fork trail to see the view from Spirit Rock. came back down and camped near the Little Missouri trailhead and hiked back to the North Trailhead on Sunday. An enjoyable trip.

A few comments if you're planning a trip:
- the Athens-Big Fork Junction with the Little Missouri trail is not labeled, though both trails are marked with white blazes. From the little missouri trailhead heading south onto the trail, take a right turn onto the Athens Big Fork trail, immediately after crossing a small Creek within 20 yards of the parking lot. The trail that seems to go straight away from the parking lot is actually the Little Missouri trail. this wasn't clear to me from the park map I downloaded.
- there are 2 well defined campsites about a mile in from the little missouri / Athens big fork trail head, and a couple more after about another mile, heading clockwise along the trail. not much other place besides these, due to the rocky hilly terrain.
- there is also a campsite about 100 yards up the hill from the parking area.
- not any good place to camp heading south on the Athens big fork trail, except for one or two small sites at spirit rock. no water up at spirit rock, and limited firewood, so make sure to bring water if you plan to camp there.
- the little missouri waterfall is a few hundred yards from the Little Missouri Falls trailhead. This should have been obvious to me but wasn't, so we were looking for the falls between the trailheads and had to hike the entire 4+ miles to reach the falls from the Athens big fork junction.

Hope this helps plan your trip, the trail was great and the river crossings were all dry crossings for us, though the river gauge at Langley(?) was reading less than 4ft, which is lower than average.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Me and my 4yr old son, backpacked it in 2 days. We went during the fall after some rain. There is some sketchy water crossings after good rain. One of the most beautiful places to spend time at, camping along river makes for amazing sounds and scenery! We will do this every year maybe twice a year , its that nice!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

08-14-15 My boyfriend and I hiked from the Upper Little Missouri trailhead to Spirit Rock. We camped the night so he could photograph the Milky Way and hiked back down a little after sunrise on the 15th. There is a small flat area to set up a tent, or possibly two, and an existing firepit well lined with rocks. this area to set up camp is very exposed to the sun and wind, come prepared with cord to tie down your items. Most of this area is covered by boulders so you can feel like an explorer and a mountain goat.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Beautiful country and well marked trails.

Monday, May 18, 2015

My son and I hiked in 2.68 miles on 5/16/2015 and set up camp along the Little Missouri. Beautiful creek and falls. We caught many bream, trout, and smallmouth bass with enough for a great campfire dinner. Large thunderstorms rolled in during the night and swelled the Little Missouri to almost 9 ft by morning. We had planned to hike the rest the next day but we were now trapped by high water on Crooked Creek and the Little Missouri. We decided to bushwhack north to Albert Pike road and made our way back to our truck. You need to be aware of quickly changing weather conditions and be prepared to say an extra night or two until the water goes down or bushwhack out. With no cell service and no radio reception you are on your own. This is a beautiful place just be aware of location and ways to get out if the weather changes.

Friday, April 24, 2015

we had a cabin at camp albert pike for about 50 years and did the all the trails in the area as kids, what a great memory

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Great hike and beautiful :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beautiful camping by the falls. Great way to finish up a 3rd day hiking the Eagle Rock Loop.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beautiful easy hike. Good swimming by falls.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Great trail. Very well kept. We parked at the end and drove up to the step off point. Hiked 4 miles first day. Set up camp at first bridge. Great sources for water. Next day hiked 10 miles through Albert Pike and over the ridge to the big river crossing and set up camp. Soaked our feet in the nice cool water. Finished the next day. It was a good thing we had marked our truck with our GPS. it would have been hard to find without. Lots of great campsites along the trail.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Great trail, fantastic falls and sites. Bring a picnic and spend the day hiking and exploring the area.

Friday, November 26, 2010

This trail passes through the Little Missouri Falls. Very Scenic. Crossed the water 7 times. The water was up, Alot of creeks were flowing. Great year round, best in spring or fall for the falls. absolutely gorgeous. Hiked it in one day. Next time I will slow down and camp on the trail.

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