Explore the most popular trails in Arkansas with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking
15 hours ago

A group of 3 of us completed this trail this past weekend (10/12-10/14).

I knew that Friday’s weather looked decent and there would be rain on Sat & Sun so I called the ranger station to get advice on which trailhead to start at and which direction to travel. I wis told to start at Winding Stairs and travel counterclockwise. That’s what we did.

The first day we hiked a few miles past Little Missouri Falls. That day was not super challenging and the weather mostly cooperated. Light sprinkles that ended by the time we set up camp. Water crossings weren’t too bad. We camped near the river in a nice spot. No fire though due to everything being beyond wet.

Day two we begin with the plan to get past the last peak and find a camp spot. It started raining after about 30 minutes of hiking. I didn’t even bother with rain pants or jacket. The temps were good enough that we were not freezing. It did not take long for my hiking shoes to be completely soaked. At that point, I didn’t even bother removing them when we crossed water. We ended up hiking about 13 miles that day in the rain. It was tolerable and the climbs were not that big of a deal. Camp set up was in the rain and everything was wet. We were a little more than 5 miles from the trailhead by my calcs.

Day three we head out without breakfast. We had been given word that there was a major crossing still ahead of us and we wanted to her there early. We met some guys going the other direction that camped on our side of the river that night. They said when they crossed the day before the water was already thigh high and moving pretty good. This had us very concerned. Our concern was justified when we arrived at the river. It was moving dangerously fast. Two in the group went down river to see if there was a passable route. One even considered swimming across so he could take a rope with him. Somehow I was able to get cell signal when I took my phone off airplane mode. I got on the USGS website and the river was flowing 739cfs @ almost 5 feet. No way we were crossing that without being swept away. It’s a good thing for AllTrails. I was able to pull up the map and determine our only option was to bushwhack our way through the brush to reconnect with the trail further east. This was brutal and really beat us up with yet another climb, thorn filled bushes and slick downhill terrain. We made it through and got back to the truck.

Overall, this is a great trail in close proximity to DFW. I am not in top physical shape and I’m certain I could complete this trail in 2 full days. If you have hiked anything in Colorado or California you will not find this to be a difficult trail. Especially considering it is not done at an elevation that makes you work for each breath. I will definitely be back when there is better weather with a lighter pack and a plan to complete it in two days.

backpacking
20 hours ago

Husband and I drove 4.5 hours to hike the trail this weekend , we intended to do the whole loop but the weather was not cooperating . We Started the trail at Winding stair trailhead (hiked clockwise) on Friday 12:30p.m. camped somewhere on the Viles Branch trail , found a nice campsite and enjoyed the evening next to the fire ...that was a pain in the ass to build cause everything was wet . We only made it to West Blaylock , and got a ride back to our vehicle . We plan on going back when the weather is more enjoyable. We met some pleasant people on the trail and hope that everyone that was out there this weekend made it home safe .

trail running
22 hours ago

Classic Arkansas Ozarks trail. Went up the east and down the west on a moderately cold (45F) wet October morning. 7.4 mi, 1,390 ft in 2:50. East side is more interesting with a couple of small waterfalls. West side is dryer with more scenic views. Saw 3 white tailed deer. No humans. The west is also easier. I was able to run most of it. About half way the loop connects to the Ozark Highlands Trail right at the Spy Rock Trial. On the Spy Rock long pants recommended. There are a couple of fire rings at Spy Rock, which would be a great place for hammock camping.

backpacking
1 day ago

Beautiful trail and very challenging. This is not a trail for beginners. We started on Friday morning at the Winding Stairs trailhead and headed clockwise. We knew there was rain in the forecast for Sunday, so we wanted to be through the climbs by then. The Vile Branch trail (southern part of EGL) is not a terribly challenging trail, but has a lot of water crossings. Don't underestimate the rocks and boulders in the water, they are slick. Bring water shoes and cross the deeper sections the old fashioned way. We saw hiker after hiker try to rock skip only to wind up with their boots under water and their clothes soaked. It's more technical than it looks, but completely passable so long as the water is below about 3.5 feet. Much higher than that and you are going to be fighting a pretty strong current. Be advised, the blazing on this part of the EGL is not always reliable. Having AllTrails running on my phone saved us from miles of off-trail hiking at several junctions.

The Athens-Big Fork trail (western part) is no joke. You don't want to do it in the rain, so plan your progress accordingly. It's not exaggeration to say there are no switchbacks on this section of trail, and there are 6 peaks to climb and descend. The ascents range from 300 feet to about 800 feet ... straight up a 45 degree incline. You want to plan your pack well too, because you don't want 40 pounds on your back as you make those ascents and descents. There is another ~300 foot ascent/descent in the winding stairs area as you close out the loop from that trailhead. Eagle Rock Vista (first summit on the clockwise path) is definitely worth the climb and definitely worth taking a long break to enjoy. It's a truly impressive view.

The Little Missouri trail is probably the easiest and most scenic part of the loop. It's beautiful and easy to crank out big miles there. Just be aware, at the end of that part of the trail, as you return to the winding stairs trailhead, you have one more climb to finish ... and it's pretty brutal after a long day on the trail.

We did the trail in 3 days, but I could easily see spending 4 days out there if you wanted to really enjoy the trail and break it up more. Coming from DFW, this is definitely the hardest trail within a 10 hour drive. It's definitely one to check off the bucket list.

Super easy & short trail. You can throw a rock (but don't cause that's not safe!) to the waterfall from where you park. The creek was low, but there was still a waterfall & the color of the water was beautiful.

backpacking
1 day ago

This is very much a fair weather trail. we just got back from a weekend on the trail and it was raining from friday morning to Sunday morning.

The mountainous section is difficult on it's own, but gets exponentially more difficult with water. there are no switchbacks, only straight ascents up the mountains that turn into small streams with rain.

The main thing however is the river. several crossings of the Little Missouri turned from knee-high to belly-high crossings real quick. Any more rain and the river could have become impassable immediately, leaving us stuck waiting on the water to recede. even the easy rock hopping streams became ankle to knee high.

The trail is decently blazed for the most part, but it can be easy to get off the trail. A particular intersection leads to a white blazed trail (same as the rest of the trail) that dead ends in private property.

This trail would be much better in clear weather but the troubles with the trail itself would remain.

All-in-all this is a difficult trail, a good test of your backpacking skill, and would be worth a hike once in clear weather.

Yes it is a climb up but it isn’t as hard as a lot of people have said. Bring water and some snacks. There are a few places to stop on the way to take a break if needed. The waterfall was only a trickle but that meant we didn’t get wet crossing the streams. Truly a sight to see!

great trail after a big rain, don’t skip the grotto it’s an extra .25 off the main trail

some big slick rocks but all in all a pretty easy trail if you take your time, I stopped several times and still finished right under 4 hours and I’m pretty slow

After leaving Haw Creek Falls we headed north/northeast on 123 to try to find Pam's Grotto. Thanks to the tips from M. Cannon's review & a few minutes of searching, we were able to find the trailhead. The word "locate" is spray painted on the road on the same side as the trail right at the beginning. The trail is fairly steep for the first ¼ mile then it levels off as you walk alongside the base of the rock bluff. It looked like the trail split (to the right over a downed tree or up & to the left). From some of the earlier descriptions, we chose to go left. A lot of the trail looked familiar thanks to the pics, but we didn't find where the "grotto" was located. We went about ½ mile & decided to turn around, thinking it might have been the other direction, plus we were running out of time. We saw some beautiful scenery so we didn't feel like we left completely empty handed. The leaves had barely started changing colors & the creeks were pretty low, but still very lovely. I'm going to try to find a better trail map & account for a little more exploring time, & come back. Also keep in mind that there isn't cell service so plan ahead.

Good hike. I agree that the signs and trails are unclear. Our trip was in fog so we didn’t experience the vistas much.

On the loop trail between the beginning and the plane crash site is a diversion off the trail to a couple of small cave up above. Nice unexpected addition.

Simple hike to the falls. Nothing like the sound of water and the spray.

If you want to make it challenging, climb the slippery bank to get the view from on top.

backpacking
1 day ago

Hard but very pretty. We did this in two days but it wasn’t a walk in the park. So if your looking to take your time I would recommended 3 days. We hiked clockwise starting at winding stairs which made the first day hard and the second day easy. But was told that counter clockwise and starting at little Missouri would give you the same results. We brought hydration bladders, but there are plenty of streams to use filter bottles if you wish to save weight.

Trekking poles help a lot, and for the dog owners, the rocks on this trail can hurt their pads. So only bring dogs with tougher pads.

Great hike

not open anymore

Beautiful waterfall..when you finally get to it. Once we crossed the creek we drove the 5.8 miles as instructed and saw no turn off. Finally turned around and found the 1113 maker turned halfway over and covered by brush. Instructions say 5.8 miles, was more like 4 from bridge. The trail head was clearly marked with the 1140 that a previous hiker mentioned. Trail down was nice and wide, pretty clear. The falls were beautiful and worth the drive.

It rained during the entire hike but was pleasantly surprised how well the trees over the trail kept most of the rain from getting on us. Great trail for kids and adults, just wish the dirt road to the trail weren’t so bumpy/rocky and long!

backpacking
3 days ago

Amazing views that are well worth it. Bring lots of water! I logged 14 miles the first day just doing this trail and bouncing around various river trails. Save some energy and water for the hike back!!!! It’s all uphill and seems to never end. Loved this trail.

Rewarding views around every turn! I started on the southern loop on day 2 but it was an exhausting series of switchbacks so I went back and explored the northern section again. Has everything! Towering bluffs, gurgling creek, plenty of camping spots, 200’ cliff/waterfall (if running). Even a creepy old cabin. Lots of hikers and horses on the northern section but it didn’t feel crowded. Peaceful, serene. I’d go every weekend if I could. Trail was poorly marked in several crucial areas. Expect to cross the river several times.

Great hike with wonderful views. Lots of little trails to go on and get great pictures. Not a strenuous hike. Watch your step once out on the rocks. There are cracks and holes one could fall in. Wouldn’t recommend bringing the kids. I would recommend doing King’s Bluff while there.

fishing
3 days ago

Hello twins. ;)

Stunning stunning stunning! The views are worth it! Not kid friendly near the point. Little streams along the way that had some water flowing. A great hike!

Even after the rains, the water was just trickling but it is still worth the hike to see.

hiking
3 days ago

We hiked up to the top of Eden Falls and ventured into cave! If you want to crawl into the cave, bring a head lamp. There wasn’t much water flowing out which kept us dry. There is a spot where you have to crawl/get very low. If you are able, do it! The cave and hike to it, are not kid friendly. The hike to Eden Falls is kid friendly. The trail has been washed out in some spots but still very easily accessible.

only hiked the Yellow TRAIL today and if you don't know the area you will think that this is just an in and out TRAIL, if you start at the SPILLWAY TRAIL HEAD then it will dump you out at the lower MOUNTAIN TRAIL HEAD at this point you have to walk up channel RD for about 200-300 yards and find the sign that reenters the MOUNTAIN for the second half of the TRAIL THAT will take you back to the SPILLWAY, this is a good challenging TRAIL, HIKING or biking

Great trail, even before you get to the stunning views. Rocky and moderately taxing, but nothing crazy.

hiking
4 days ago

This hike offers a great view of the White River below! The Big Bluff is the main attraction, however, the moss covered trail can be just as picturesque depending upon the time of year!

We liked this trail. Use bug spray and take hiking sticks. At the trail loop we went left, at top trails we went right and then took the west trail around to the north trail bluff. North trail bluff has a great vista. The west trail had good vistas but both would be amazing as leaves turn.

We liked this trail better than Lost Valley trail.

Did the trail this past weekend, Saturday afternoon to Monday morning. The trail was well blazed for the most part, had to look out for the orange markers in a couple of spots and ended up backtracking on some spurs. It was a blast anyways though, but the humidity was rough on me and my dog.

backpacking
6 days ago

Just spent 3 days in the area. Trail is moderate to the Bluffs. However, from the top of the Goat trail, Centerpoint trail becomes difficult heading down to ORT. Bluffs are beautiful. There’s even a cave big enough for a small tent in the Bluff.

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