Redding/Spy Rock Loop Trail

HARD 65 reviews
#10 of 36 trails in

Redding/Spy Rock Loop Trail is a 8.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Ozark, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.3 miles
1181 feet

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly






nature trips

paddle sports








Trailhead is located on the NE corner of the Redding campground.

1 month ago

Absolutely LOVE this trail! I've taken my kids many times for a quick day hike. Such a beautiful trail and the lookout is so amazing! My go-to place when needing some mountain therapy!!

2 months ago

Quiet, secluded, and beautiful. Very well marked and maintained in the Winter. Don't miss the detour to the view at Spy Rock, one of the prettiest around. If you're going to park near the trailhead be sure to bring $3 and a pen to fill out your day use tag and envelope.

2 months ago

My girlfriend and I backpacked this trail in October and we both enjoyed it thoroughly. The leaves were only beginning to change colors but still, much to see. Our goal was to camp on top of Spy Rock so we reached the top after only a few hours of hiking. We crossed several dry creeks and found nowhere to replenish our water. However, we prepared for this and packed plenty of water as most of Arkansas is dry during that time of year. The trail is moderately inclined going to the top of the mountain. I would not say it was difficult. Once at the top we found a few great primitive campsites. The view was beautiful. A must see. We enjoyed plenty of time to relax at the top (bring a hammock) before cooking supper and turning in for the night. Sunrise from the top was spectacular and we broke camp after saying goodbye to another backpacker who also camped at the top. I can't remember if we hiked this loop clockwise or counterclockwise but we did see a few trickling waterfalls on our hike out. This was a short overnight trip but left us plenty of time to get done with Sunday chores once we were back home. I certainly recommend this hike.

3 months ago

Did this yesterday. Great trail.

The trailhead has been moved from the Redding campground to a little parking area 1/4 mile further down the highway. All the signage at the new trailhead is missing so it was a total guess where to go but we got it right. From the parking lot, follow the trail that starts out the back of the parking lot and turns right toward Redding campground. It will take you to the intersection of the old trail beginning and the west and east loops, We met another hiker on the trail that said the old trailhead at Redding was just across from the restrooms.

The trail spends a good amount of miles along bluffs, teasing you with views of the valley through bare trees. Sometimes the trail is narrow and the bluff drop off very severe, but nothing too scary. The trail meanders through both deciduous and pine forest but stays primarily in the woods. At this time of year, the leaves are deep enough to obscure ankle rolling rocks, so be careful and you might want to opt for ankle high boots for support. The creeks were all dry but some rock formations on the east loop surely make some awesome waterfalls after a rain.

Spy Rock is a nice view for a lunch break. Plenty of big rocks to sit on while you enjoy the view. Looks like enough space for 2 campsites at Spy Rock, would make a great side trail for someone backpacking the OHT.

4 months ago

It was a decent outing. All the trees were still changing colors so it was pretty. However, some people were camping up on Spy Rock which just made that part non-enjoyable and quick. I would like to come back in the raining season and see the waterfall.

5 months ago

New trail head is located NE of the parking lot of the trail head. Do not take the trail head located in the new trail head parking lot

11 months ago

Good early season hike to get back into backpacking shape! It should be only be rated moderate, with some elevation gain and rocky stretches. Blue blazes on the trail could use some repairs, but the trail was always easy to find with good signage. Water was abundant all along the trail except for the Spy Rock section. Spring was just starting to hit the higher elevations, with some dogwood flowering and the trees just leafing out. It seems like they recently did a prescribed burn here, as the understory vegetation was very sparse.

I paid $3 and parked in the Redding campsite overnight, although I'm sure parking in the Spy Rock parking area would have been fine. Even though the Redding campsite looked full, I saw no one else on the trail both days. I took the east loop and camped at the second waterfall. There was very little flat ground, but it worked. Be warned, there is a lot of ATV noise along the east loop at night.

I went up to Spy Rock the next day, which was less elevation gain than I expected. I found a smoldering fire at the top--shame on the campers who stayed there the night before! I put it out with the extra water I brought with me. The view from the top was well worth the hike!

The west loop was all downhill and very easy but not very interesting.

Monday, March 13, 2017

This was my second visit, this time with the dog. We are now both big fans of this trail. The views are incredible, and both waterfalls were flowing a little. This trial is easy to find and follow, and, while it's rated "hard," it's really somewhere between "easy" and "moderate."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

lots of rocks on the east loop

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Pretty hike the whole time! We did the west loop first and it was pretty easy. On the east loop there were two waterfalls that would've been flowing really well after a good rain. We backpacked it and stayed the night at spy rock. Absolutely gorgeous view!! You could definitely make it a day trip, but I would recommend camping and exploring at spy rock!

Monday, January 30, 2017

My wife and I hiked the trail today. Parked at the campground and paid to park $3 day use honor system. Ate at the Oark Cafe first. Awesome breakfast to start the day off right. Just FYI here if you plan on going over to spy rock, the loop including spy rock is a total of 9 miles. Lots of rocks in the trail waiting to twist you ankle so be sure footed. Trecking poles are awesome to help with this. Have a great time.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

If you follow Ernst's suggestion, and start your hike from the campground, know three things: 1. There is a $3 day-use fee (I had to pay in charge from my car's cup holder!) it's on the honor system; 2. The trailhead is directly across from the restrooms. If I'd not stopped to ask the ranger where the trail started, I would have found it that way, but 3. you can also walk out on the road you came in on, cross the highway, and start the hike there (West Loop), which was his suggestion, and the way I went.

Beautiful trail, and certainly not difficult. At this time of year, the path is often obscured by a thick carpet of leaves, but the frequent blue blazes will keep you on track. There's signage at all major points, and you shouldn't have any trouble getting out and back. The view from Spy Rock was incredible today, and there will be more amazing views during the winter. Both waterfalls were dry, but judging by other blogs and the pics here, they are worth making a trip back for.

Take the quick-ish drive to the Oark General Store in Ozone! It's the longest continually operating store around, and they serve a very nice BLT, as well as an array of gorgeous house-made pies. The staff makes you feel welcome; it's a great place to fuel up after your hike.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Great trail. This is not a hard trail! Easy to moderate at best. High point was waking up to the view off spy rock!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fun hike, with amazing views. Would love to go back and camp.

Monday, May 30, 2016

I did the loop, spent at least an hour at spy rock and never saw another person.

off road driving
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It is nice camping site. Has one power camp site and others has none. $10 fee. Whoever has access pass can get $5 each day. Nice showers. I came there for shower, i camp east of Oark. Also i go off road driving in mountain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I love this loop but it's not hard, should be moderate. You'll be alone for most of the trail but people can drive almost all the way to Spy Rock so you'll probably have a little company there.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A long loop with few people done in the the winter. Might be best to start off the highway and go counter clockwise.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Good hike through the woods. Wet weather would provide a couple of water falls. Agree with earlier comment moderate level when hiking the west loop.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Great trail for a half day hike. I would not agree that it is rated as hard. I would consider it moderate, at least in the clock wise direction

Sunday, November 08, 2015

This is a nice loop (probably my favorite) with modest elevation changes that isn't to strenuous (I consider it Moderate). The trail is well marked with blue blazes and offers a nice view from Spy Rock.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

whoever took those pictures sucks donkey balls. no one wants to see you bitch!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I wasn't overly impressed with the view from Spy Rock. Nice enough valley view, but I was probably a week or two early for really nice fall colors. Overall the hike is nice, but for the length, a more grand ending would have been nice.

Monday, September 29, 2014

If your going to pay for camping. There are private camp grounds who really love you business !
The government has enuf money

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Went here with my girlfriend for Valentine's day this year. It was amazing! We were the only two up there and you can see for miles and if you catch a good sunset your going to fall in love with the trail. The hike was long, but totally worth it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beautiful waterfalls and many streams after the rain this past weekend. The pine forest rivals any around. Add the views from the bluffs and this makes one amazing hike. Strongly recommend.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

On the loop trail we came across a 4' timber rattlesnake using the trail as well. So while you are enjoying the views keep your eyes on path.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Redding Loop to Spy Rock is a glorious hike! Ironically though, I suspect the the real treasures of this trail are as easily overlooked at the Spanish treasure that legend holds is buried here.

To begin with, you'd be missing out if you skipped the Redding Loop and simply drove to Spy Rock. From start to finish, it's a beautiful trail with pretty views that winds through pine forests and past several waterfalls. You'll find the trailhead marked in blue across the street from Redding Road that leads to the campground.

Once at Spy Rock, you'd be mistaken to think the main attraction is the overlook. Nope! The view from below is even more dramatic. Climb down and you'll find a cool rock shelter. Further down and you'll see that the face of Spy Rock is brightly colored with yellow, orange and red stains. Gorgeous! Shutterbugs, there's more than a few good shots for you down below! The scramble back to the top along the boulders is akin to an adult jungle gym and the geology is really unique. Fun!

8 miles from start to finish and even more if you explore past the overlook, there's more than enough here to make for a full day's adventure. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

This is a great small for fee NF campground. At the time of this review the fee was $10. It is a nice forest setting. Great location to canoe, hike, fish. A good location to stage numerous hikes from. I do a lot of waterfall hunting in the spring. This makes it a great location to stage out of.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The view from Spy Rock is fantastic. Lots of color on the trees when I hiked it. I took the lower trail in and there were a fair amount of ofthers on the trail. I made the mistake of going out during hunting season and had to be aware of the camps and hunters burning up time by shooting randomly in hillsides. You cross a highway at the trailhead and then another dirt road on the loop back which had several ATV's running on it.

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