Indian Creek to The Eye Of The Needle

Buffalo River Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Chris Davenport

The Eye Of The Needle hike is one of the most scenic and diverse hikes in the Ozarks. This hike includes waterfalls, caves, rock formations, and a beautiful overlook. Anyone from a beginner to an avid hiker can find something to enjoy on this hike.

Starting at approx. 900' in elevation, this 5 mile out and back hike ascends 700' in elevation to 1,400 at the highest point- The Eye of The Needle.

The trail head is located next to the Buffalo River sign at Kyles Landing on the West side of the campground. You will follow the trail less than .25 miles before splitting off to the left. Almost immediately after starting at the trail head you will see a trail that splits off to the left, but stay on the main trail. You will want to follow the second split off which is a few hundred yards down the path. You will take that split and it will lead you to Indian Creek. Once to Indian Creek following the trail is simply heading up stream. There is a small trail you can follow in the spring during the rainy season when the creek is flowing, however if you go in the late summer, fall, or winter, the creek will be mostly dry and you can just hike in the creek bed. As you hike along the creek bed you come across numerous waterfalls, both in the creek and from run offs on either side. Use caution as some sections require you to walk along narrow paths which can be slippery. You will pass several attractions on the way up including Devil's Bathtub  (pictured above). Once you hit Arkansas Cave, which will be overhead on the left side in a bluff (this may or may not have a waterfall coming out of it depending on the time of year you go) soon after passing the cave the creek will end at a water fall. On the right there are ropes, which are helpful in scaling the small rock wall. You will continue scrambling up the side of the bluff using the ropes until you reach The Shelter. This is a great spot to stop and rest and enjoy the view. Looking out you can see the creek bed and Kyle's Landing in the distance which is where you have hiked from. There is a small cave to explore here as well.

When ready you will climb along the thin ledge and through crawl through the hole in the bluff. Follow the trail a few hundred yards to The Eye of The Needle. If you're lucky there will be a waterfall flowing through The Eye. I went late fall when the creek was dried up, however this hike was still very beautiful and had a lot of pretty sites.

Once you are finished taking pictures retrace your steps on the trail back to your vehicle, being careful when going back down the bluff, using the ropes as support. Be cautious of kicking rocks as they can start sliding and be dangerous for anyone below you.

This is a very fun hike with so many different types of landscape and views! It can be extremely enjoyable when done safely. Just respect wet ledges and the scale up the wall. Would not recommend to do this hike alone. I did not mark that this trail was good for dogs because of the small wall that you must scale. However, myself and a buddy got both of our dogs up and back on this trail without any problems.

Distance

5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

700 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Rock Climbing, Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Eureka Springs KOA

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Branson KOA

Branson, Missouri

Springfield / Route 66 KOA

Springfield, Missouri

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

A gem!

Definitely not a beginner hike. Not kid-friendly or dog-friendly. There are cliffs, slick spots, and a fixed-roped section that is washed out. It is remote and route-finding can be confusing, esp. near the beginning. That being said, this is one of Arkansas' best hikes. Yes kids and dogs have made it up to the Eye, but be aware this is rated Class III. It is never recommended to use a rope that was set by somebody on a previous date because you don't know the condition of the rope or the experience of the setter (but most people do use the rope that is set up).

No Dogs Allowed

I just wanted to note that dogs are not allowed on this trail, and are not allowed on most trails in the Buffalo National River. Please leave your pups at home.

Great hike with so much to see

This hike was awesome. There are so many really cool things to see along the way. It gets a little sketchy at a couple spots, but totally worth it. It’s probably best in the spring when the water is running, but very rarely is there a waterfall coming out of the eye itself.

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