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

A friend and I backpacked this 11/9-10, starting at the Holt Rd trailhead and going clockwise. This is a nice hike with great camping spots along the way.
This direction was hard on my knees, especially the final downhill into Lee Creek.
I hiked this again 11/17 starting from the main trailhead and going counterclockwise. I did the whole trail in just under 7 hours and going cc was much better on my knees as I am stronger uphill hiking. The trail is well blazed and has many interesting sights along the way.

Great trail. Panoramic views from lookout points. Remote location was good for getting away from the city.

Hiked this trail in mid November when it was about 40 degrees out. Definitely had trouble finding the entrance to the trail, and there appears to be a smaller trail that has been created right at the parking area that leads off in the complete wrong direction. The actual trail is just a jeep trail that is not marked. Definitely recommend downloading a track ahead of time. Luckily we had LTE on the wrong trail and I was able to download a recording and find the correct trail. Someone had marked the trail down to the cave with an orange tag on a tree so we were able to find our way down. The cave/structure itself is pretty neat and the hike back up was pretty grueling, especially after doing two other trails earlier in the day. Overall a great short hike, just be prepared for going back up.

8 days ago

Butterfield Hiking Trail 10-11 Nov 2018

Hiked the BHT clockwise doing an overnight. Weather was great with lows in the high 20s and highs in the mid 40s. No bugs, snakes or ticks. Foliage was about a week or two past peak.
Prep: No specific prep for this hike.
Hike: This hike is could be moderate or could be strenuous depending on how you hike and your experience level. The trail is generally easy to follow with sufficient blazes. Follow the natural line of drift and you shouldn't go too far off the trail. The only potential issue is where you may end up on another trail that crosses the BHT. If that's the case and you stop seeing the blazes retrace your steps and you'll be fine. There are mile markers, but while useful for landmarks, I would not take the actual distance as gospel. You will go 35 minutes to cover a mile while and with similar terrain and pace the next mile will be 15 minutes. There are some places where the trail is rocky, not as in you climb up rocks but a bunch of brick sized rocks littering the ground. Throw in the leaves covering the trail and this could be tough if you have knees or ankles that susceptible to being tweaked. I didn't use poles but some in my party really needed them to avoid bodily damage.

You need to stop by the visitor center and they will log you in and give you a parking pass for your car if you are overnighting. They will give you a copy of a sketch map and talk through any nonintuitive areas of the trail (get to the start, and the finish). With the map and a simple compass you are set as the trail is fundamentally a box bounded by two creeks. Once you start there is a some incline as you head up the ridgeline until about mile 2.5. You run the highground for a while and then by about mile 5 you are back by the creek. Once you pass mile 7 the trail becomes covered with the brick sized rocks. I edged up to the west (up the slope a bit) to see if conditions improved but they didn't. Around mile 9.5 the trail goes up and there is one chute of about 20m where you need to use your hands (about mile 10) but I wouldn't really call it a scramble. Then the trail rides the ridgeline. A little past mile 13 you have a downslope that gets you down the ridge and then you are at the creek. There is caution tape where the trail is closed by slide. Go about 50m left (as you face the creek) and there are some rocks where you can cross. If the water level is higher I could see getting your feet wet. After that another .5 mile and you are back at the parking lot.

Camping Sites: The great thing about this park is that there are primitive camp sites sprinkled throughout. Some are set along the creeks and some are in the higher ground. There are good concentrations about mile 5 and mile 9.5 (Junction Creek). We stayed at Junction Creek. It sits about 400m off of the main trail and the intersection to the trail that leads to it is marked. Previous campers have made 7-8 fire circles, stone furniture etc and there was plenty of deadfall to make a nice fire. About 5 groups ended up camping in the area. If you are looking for complete privacy JC isn't the place for you (at least on a weekend).

Gear: Standard overnight gear. Some reviews reported water resupply was an issue but you are near creeks for a lot of the route and the water levels looked good at this time of year. I used about 3l including camp stuff and rehydrating meals.

Additional notes: Check and see when hunting season is. We found out it was going on when we checked in. The visitor center will give you a flourescent vest to throw on your pack but the savvy folks brought a blaze hat or something similar. A lot of the trail in in the Forest where hunting is permitted and not the park . While we did not see any hunters you can hear them shooting fairly often so you know they are there.

There are some caves in the park but currently they are closed due to some disease that the bats are getting. If caving is your thing call the park for updates.

Overall a good hike with great camping opportunities.

very enjoyable and great overnight trail.

great views of the trees at the vistas. the kids loved it. highly recommended.

we did it in the rain. it was a great trail. loved the stacked rocks area by the river. there is no other trail like it in the state. will definately do it again.

Beautiful trail and views. Devils den has an amazing camping area as well. They have multiple trails in the area that will easily keep you busy all weekend.

Beautiful trail and many views. I saw in a previous comment that the trail was not well marked and I have to disagree, it was marked very well with colored diamonds on trees every so often and the path is well worn. Devils den has an amazing camping area as well. They have multiple trails in the area that will easily keep you busy all weekend.

18 days ago

Beautiful trail and views. Devils den has an amazing camping area as well. They have multiple trails in the area that will easily keep you busy all weekend.

Very nice hike. Heavily trafficked.


28 days ago

A nice walk in the woods. Some nice elevation changes that will get your heart pumping. The highlight of this trail are the fantastic camping spots by the creek. Several have pre-made chairs made from rocks with good back support. The trail has nice rock formations with moss and lichen: typical Ozarks.

1 month ago

Always a great hike. Always a ton of people. But you can’t beat the view.

1 month ago

Not a bad trail that has some nice overlooks and rock formations, but it was crowded and not well marked in areas, we had to turn around a couple of times. Also, beware of snakes, we saw a black snake(no biggie) and a copperhead right on the trail. Definitely worth a look, but nothing mind blowing.

P.s. go during the week if you can, too many people kinda put a damper on this for us tbh.

A really nice hike. Many great views, the water level is high as a result of the recent rain, but the trail has held up pretty well, waterproof hiking boots helped

1 month ago

Absolutely love this trail & so does my pup! Just know that the trail is very thin & you will be running into people, going around people, walking past other dogs, etc. This is a very busy trail, but a beautiful one! Yellow Rock Overlook is gorgeous!!

The moonshiner cave was awesome. A neat experience to go and explore. One thing I have to say is the trail was crap. There were no markers.

Fun over nighter!

mountain biking
1 month ago

This trail was poorly marked. We spent more time pushing our mountain bike then riding them. The rocks were very loose and there were alot. Not kid friendly for bike riding. They need to do more maintenance on it.

This was my first ever over night. It was a fantastic 2 days on the trail. beautiful scenery and a great trail to test your skills! Can't wait to do it again.

There was a very nice overview in the middle of the trail.

This trail had some cool rock formations along the way. I wish we could have gone into the bat caves!

Lots of uphill with rocky steps up and down

2 months ago

Great hike for all ages, we saw kids as young as 3 walking the trail! Some more challenging portions with some good inclines, but no scrambling. Lots of features to look at including large crevasses next to the trail. Side note: all caves closed to protect bats from White Fungus Disease.

2 months ago

Great hiking for the family. Some drop offs but with proper guidance from parent child should be fine. Great views, no waterfall as it hasn't rained much recently, but still a really great hike. It was a quick trail but enough challenge for our kids (8 year olds) to be tired on the drive home.

2 months ago

this trail is SO fun, super gorgeous scenery. September is so perfect to go. the overlook took my breath away.

2 months ago

My wife and I hiked this trail and it was awesome. There was great scenery and a lot to see. We even saw 3 deer ran past us.

Incredible views! Best in the state. An decent, doable hike for all ages and highly recommend. Do not recommend the upper outlook above Yellow Rock on the same trail. Adds an extra 60 minutes, and is not nearly as good a view as Yellow Rock since it’s obstructed by trees. That and you can drive to the upper outlook.

Awesome rock formations, caves, and ice box.

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