Outbound Collective logo

Backpack the Rim Trail and Bench Trail

Dardanelle Township, Arkansas



7.6 miles

Elevation Gain

626 ft

Route Type



Added by Tricia Treece

Staying at one of the hike-in sites and hiking the Rim Trail (3 miles) + Bench Trail (4 miles) are great practice for backpacking if you are by yourself. You have cell signal the whole time in case of emergency (good when you are backpacking alone).

I did two loop trails (Rim Trail and Bench Trail). Mileage reflects combination of both trails plus the distance hiking between the two near sunset point. Cost to camp in a hike-in site is ~$13/night. You can't reserve a hike-in spot in advance, but they are very under utilized.  I'm pretty sure I was the only person in one of the 10 hike-in spots on a Friday night in September.

Hike in spots have a fire pit. There was plenty of wood just around the campsite, so no need to buy firewood. The only downside is that the flow of the springs (at least when I went) is not enough to practice water purification.  You can go get your water refilled at the bathhouse near the drive-in campground.

The Rim Trail has some strenuous areas where you will need to scramble over rocks and/or hike pretty close to the edge of a large drop off.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Backpack the Rim Trail and Bench Trail Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Camp at Mount Nebo SP

Hike the Rim Trail at Mount Nebo SP

Hike the Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean SP

Cedar Falls

Camp at Petit Jean SP

Mount Magazine Scenic Byway