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

Caddo Gap, Arkansas Map
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on Eagle Rock Loop

2 days ago

This is a great hike! I’m no stranger to the Ouachita trail but have never hiked this area. You simply can’t ask for a better 2-3 day hike. Thank you to the person that added orange markers at all the river crossings. The 8 miles over six peaks is very very challenging, but doable. Great water sources, swimming holes and lots of wildlife!

hiking
7 days ago

Just hiked on the the eagle rock loop trail. We had 4 boys with us, from 14 years old down to 7.
We had no intentions of hiking the whole loop, just wanted to let the boys enjoy the swimming holes and scenery as we went.
The boys loved the water. Very clear and clean. We did the hike clockwise from winding stairs trailhead. Made it as far as Eagle Rock Vista.
With the few turn around see he losing the trail at water crossings, it’s about 9 miles.
Absolutely beautiful country. We did see several water snakes, so watch out. They are actually very dosile, one of the boys actually stepped on one.
There is no need to carry much water until you get to the base of a summit since you can drink plenty along the way.
We turned in early at the campsite around 2:00 the last evening just because it was such a awesome campsite with super clear water and a nice swimming hole. The boys played in the water until they were too cold they couldn’t stand it ... they had a blast.
My only complaint would be the trails are marked poorly or not at all at some of the water crossings, and there is more then 1 way to get to the same place. I believe your suppose to stay on the yellow markers, but sometimes we accidentally got on the white ones. None of this was really a issue, just added some time to our trek. I downloaded the map before hand, so I could easily see when we got off the trail. Even with my phone on airplane mode, GPS still worked with the map.
Can’t wait to go back !

on Eagle Rock Loop

backpacking
8 days ago

Great adventure if you are up for it! Recommend hiking counterclockwise from little Missouri falls. 48-56 hrs in-out

backpacking
10 days ago

Did this trail in 2 nights and 3 days. Had a blast. Terrain varies greatly from low lying riverbank to mountain top campsites.

on Winding Stairs Trail

backpacking
11 days ago

One of the best scenic spots on Eagle Rock Loop!

backpacking
17 days ago

Hiked this loop in April, hands down the best loop in Arkansas. Be prepared for a strenuous 2nd day hiking over all of the ridges. Totally worth it, I definitely recommend. The trail is not marked the best so be mindful of where you are--have a map. If you have a GPS device bring it. There was plenty of water available in April. We did the the hike in a weekend, wish we had more time to do it so that we didn't have to rush. Such a scenic trail! We saw lots of wildlife, including rattlesnakes! Be careful

backpacking
18 days 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.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?07360200

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

backpacking
18 days ago

Hiked from Little Missouri Falls trailhead going clockwise over 3 days/2 nights. Covered roughly 11 miles on the first day and found a secluded little spot west of the river, right before the Viles Branch Trail junction. Did around 8 miles on the second day, covering Eagle Rock Vista and Brush Heap Mountain before setting up camp on top of Leader Mountain. Both Eagle Rock and Brush Heap have side trails to overlooks which I highly recommend. Gorgeous views. Started the last day around 9am, covering roughly 10 miles and was back at the Little Missouri Falls trailhead around 3:30pm.

http://www.duprephotography.com/ERL/index.html
Website above is where I got all the information I needed to complete the trail. Very accurate info.

This was a great, challenging hike. My previous experience was one other backpacking trip (Butterfield Hiking Trail) which was only half the distance. I do a lot of day hiking as well (11 miles was my longest before this trip). Going clockwise I would say going up Leader Mountain was the most challenging section. Pretty sure it is not the longest incline but it was UP all the way.

Trekking poles and water shoes are a must here in my opinion!

on Eagle Rock Loop

backpacking
18 days ago

Great trail, some maintenance needed (i.e. better markers). Tough in some spots but fun and views are worth the side trails. We started at Little Missouri Falls and did the loop counter clockwise. Found a few spots where you can end up looping backwards on the trail, no markings for CW or CC.

backpacking
20 days 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!

hiking
21 days ago

Scenic rivers and streams! Neat rock formations and things to explore. Nice length for a half-day trip

backpacking
26 days ago

I’ve done this twice. Took the winding stairs trailhead (nearest Albert Pike) both times moving clockwise. Great camping sites all over the trail for tent and hammock. Although if you’re part of a big party, there may not be enough trees in one campsite if everyone is going hammock. You may have to spread out to areas that haven’t been previously cleared. Plenty of water. Which comes in handy if you sweat a lot, like me. Lots of water crossings. A few of them substantial. Think 60 feet across and up to 25 inches deep. Do yourself a favor and bring water shoes or flip flops. Barefeet on the river bed is a bad idea and nobody makes boots THAT waterproof. Also... trekking poles. They are an enormous help for the ups and downs and maintaining balance in the moving water. Trails can be difficult to pick up at a couple of the bigger water crossings. Both big crossings of the Little Missouri were poorly marked. But get yourself a good map and you’ll be able to quickly figure out where you are and where you’re going.

You’ll read vastly different descriptions here of how difficult this trail is. To some, it’s a piece of cake. To others, it’s a real challenge. It all depends on the individual. Although I think the people who breeze through this are definitely the minority. Ask yourself some basic questions about your weight, fitness level, health, heat tolerance, etc. For instance, the first time I did it, it was difficult. I wasn’t in very good shape. The second time, I was in better shape, but it was even more difficult because it was 25 degrees hotter. There is A LOT of up and down. Some of it quite steep. Which aside from making it strenuous, can also really hurt if you’ve got bad knees and ankles. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from trying this trail. But, if you’re being honest with yourself, and you’re not in the best of shape, spend a month or two prepping your physical fitness and getting your joints healthy. You’ll be glad you did. Some people do this in two days. Others in three. If you’re not certain of your physical abilities to complete it in two days, go ahead and plan on three. It might ruin your plan for a Saturday/Sunday hike. But it’ll be more enjoyable if you’re not having to kill yourself to finish it.

This is a challenge that is totally worth it. I’ll be going back sometime soon.

hiking
26 days ago

First time in this area, went with a buddy of mine whose family has hiked Eagle Rock Loop as a whole, so he was very aware of what area we were going to, what was available (water, campsites for hammocking...) It was absolutely beautiful! Mostly covered trails, so the sun wasn’t an issue, and the water was up enough to swim for a little while before heading back. We took a water bottle each, a filter, and we were set for the entire day! Will definitely be coming back to visit for an overnight hike soon!

Hiked the trail from Blaylock trailhead (106) clockwise with my Goldendoodle. Set up camp at winding stairs trailhead (18 miles) under hot and humid conditions the first day. Trail was overgrown in some spots and got some poison ivy from the knees down due to lack of hikers this time of year. Will remember to consume more electro lights on the next visit because of the heat and excessive sweating. Finished the following day before noon. Additionally, treat your water as I didn't this time and got a bit of giardia after returning home. This hasn't been a problem in the past:)

Beautiful, great swim hole!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this clockwise from winding stairs last week with my brother and his son. What we loved about the trail: there was a lovely stream along the trail at almost every point along the way, the campsites were plentiful and well-maintained, there were beautiful wildflowers blooming, and for the most part the All Trails app was incredibly helpful. Some downsides: the trail is pretty poorly marked, the peaks are below tree line (so no rewarding views after the pretty challenging climbs), the footing is tricky in multiple areas due to small sharp loose rocks. It was a great workout and we had a great time. We chose it after scratching our plans to hike in NC due to less chance of rain. None of us had cell signal for the three days we were on the trail, but that is a plus to me. We hiked Sunday to Tuesday, only seeing three people early Sunday, and no one else the rest of our hike. Loved getting to cool off in the stream at the end of each day, and grateful for the - very basic but functional - showers in the bathrooms at the entrance to Alber Pike Park.

hiking
1 month ago

The first place to cross the river is close to the parking lot. Watch for red stripes hanging from the trees. Also, there is a tree with double white marking. Look on the opposite side of the river to see the trees with blue and white markings. After the first crossing follow the white markings. In difficult places like camping sites look for red stripes. The second river crossing is marked by red stripes and tree with double white markings.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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!

My husband and I hiked this loop in two days. We got the summits knocked out the first day. The 5th summit is by far the hardest depending on which direction you start. If you have the time you should camp out on top of one of the mountains. They each have a campsite set up and the views are amazing (and the only part of the entire loop where you get some cell service). We hiked the first part of August and there was always a great breeze....never too hot. The Little Missouri trail had some areas we got turned around and was not marked very well but beautiful views. You definitely need water shoes!! Make sure you have great shoes...the majority of the trail is over rocks so your feet will be sore! Beautiful hike and highly recommend

Beautiful sights, however the ranger maps are very misleading and lack detail. The rangers themselves weren’t very knowledgeable about the trails. Got a little lost at first on the hike. The first Creek you come upon is Blaylock Creek. We mistook it for the little Missouri. Also, I’d recommend hiking early in the summer. That 95 degree sunny day had us melting. Not literally. Anyway, we weren’t able to finish the trail because once you cross Blaylock Creek it’s a pretty steep and rough hike uphill for a good while. Just keep going and it will eventually wind down to the Little Missouri River. Follow the white marks on the trees. They are old markings, but they are the correct ones. Pack plenty of water! It is very beautiful. Next time we will be prepared and it will be a memorable hike!

Overall this is a great trail for a day hike. We did come across one large group and two smaller groups that were camping. It is a little challenging in places, but the views and water make it worth while. Heading out we did lose the trail after we crossed the stream. It took some wandering and All Trails to get us back on course. The odd thing is that we were able to follow the trail all the way back to the stream with no difficulties.

This trail is extremely well shaded which was very nice for a summer hike. There are plenty of camp sites along the way. If you want to swim, wait until after you cross the Little Missouri River and go several hundred yards further. There are some really nice swimming holes.

Since it was summer and the temperature was in the mid 90sF, we carried a lot of water. We did not need to do that. You will be fine with just one bottle and a good filter.

In addition to the white rectangular blazes, there are a few places that have pink plastic markers hanging from the trees. These were helpful at the river crossing.

beautiful and challenging. well worth the trip.

hiking
2 months ago

There were numerous spots where we had to cross streams. At one point near the end, we were staring across a river at the spot where the trail continued... on the other side.

We had a blast on this hike! SO much to do... Always love going down here for the day. I also made a short blog about some diving we did! Please be sure to check it out

https://youtu.be/vVWvDsBg3NM

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful shaded trail along the river with great swim and fishing areas along the way. INCREDIBLE watering hole at the end! Absolutely wonderful! Crystal clear water with little waterfalls/slides. Not very well marked though. You will want to wear shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting wet (chacos and a swimsuit to change into or wear under clothes)

This is the way we went. Follow road according to the driving directions on All Trails. There is a parking/day camping area at the bottom before you go up, you loose cell signal soon after, but you will see a small sign for hiking trails pointing towards a fairly washed out road going up the hill. Take that road and go 2 miles (turns to gravel and is narrow but safe to drive cars). At the top there is a parking area on the left with a small bathroom. Signs will point to Eagle Loop (a 25 mile loop that is also on All Trails) follow the path and take a left at the fork, trail will follow the river (white blazes on trees). The path goes down to the river and you have to cross. There is a large boulder in the river with some steps leading up and a blue blaze on a nearby tree. Cross and follow the white blazes for the rest of the path. It is fairly well marked for the remainder of the trail.

About a mile and a half down the path there isn’t a good marking, but the trail again leads to the river (there’s a creek coming off the hill to the right, you turn left to cross the river) cross the river and continue following white blazes. We went to the large swimming area (we decided to name it “Bird Bath” Swimming Hole), had a great time, and turned around there and came back the same way.

hiking
3 months ago

This trails is very feature packed. Being interested in forest ecology and old growth, I have revisited this area a few times over the past 4 years. I have documented cut trees and radial growth estimates well over 150 years of age on the rugged edges of this trail. In particular, the Shortleaf pine trees on the ridge, before you drop to the creek, are doppled with a few gnarly trees well into maturity and oaks along the steep slopes appear to be about 120 years old at the oldest. With all that said this forest is a sight to behold. It represents a wonderful mixture of stream-edge hardwoods and xeric Shortleaf pine/ Bluestem. The Little Missouri is lined with Sycamores and Wild Hydrangeas that add a tasteful reflection to the waters below. My better-half enjoyed leisurely swimming here, in the heat of the day. I suggest taking this trail as an escape from the devilish summer heat. When you've finished counting growth rings on the stumps cleared for maintenance, head over to Brushheap mountain for a beautiful climb and some stunted oaks. Best of luck!

backpacking
3 months ago

A beautiful loop plenty of water great camping spots! If it your first time dont underestimate this trail it’s a tough one. I am definitely doing it again!!

backpacking
3 months ago

The reviews of this trail range wildly. But if you go no further than these two sentences the take home is that it’s not that difficult and the stream crossing are easy.

I went at the beginning of June and while it got warm in the afternoon most of the hike is shaded anyway so it didn’t matter much. I started at the trail head Little Missouri/Athens Fork junction at 8:00am. I hiked counter clockwise so I did the ridges first. While they weren’t easy the only one that’s challenging is Brush Heap.

First night I camped alongside the creek on the eastern portion (about 11.6 Miles from my start) of the Viles Branch Horse Trail. Arrived around 3:00pm.

I was going to camp a second night but the remaining sections of the trail were very straightforward and easy. I did lose the trail a couple of times at two of the stream crossings but found it quickly. I ended up hiking through this last day. Started at 9am and was back at the Missouri/Athens Fork trail head around 4:00pm.

backpacking
3 months ago

The reviews of this trail range wildly. But if you go no further than these two sentences the take home is that it’s not that difficult and the stream crossing are easy.

I went at the beginning of June and while it got warm in the afternoon most of the hike is shaded anyway so it didn’t matter much. I started at the trail head Little Missouri/Athens Fork junction at 8:00am. I hiked counter clockwise so I did the ridges first. While they weren’t easy the only one that’s challenging is Brush Heap.

First night I camped alongside the creek on the eastern portion (about 11.6 Miles from my start) of the Viles Branch Horse Trail. Arrived around 3:00pm.

I was going to camp a second night but the remaining sections of the trail were very straightforward and easy. I did lose the trail a couple of times at two of the stream crossings but found it quickly. I ended up hiking through this last day. Started at 9am and was back at the Missouri/Athens Fork trail head around 4:00pm.

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