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Big Bluff via the Centerpoint Trailhead

Compton, Arkansas

based on 10 reviews



6.21 miles

Elevation Gain

991 ft

Route Type



Added by Parker Dodson

Hike to stunning Big Bluff and if you want to camp out spend the night under the stars along the Centerpoint Trail in the Ponca Wildnerness.

This adventure begins at the Counterpoint Trailhead just north of Ponca, AR. Follow the trail downhill for about 2.7 miles until you reach a split in the trail. Take the trail off to the right and follow it for another .5 miles until you reach the Big Bluff area. There is a lot of area to explore along the edge of the bluff with several natural shelter areas. This area deserves your respect!

The Big Bluff, otherwise known as the Goat Trail, sits 550' above the Buffalo National River and the trail is only about 4 feet wide. As you hike along the trail in the Ponca Wilderness, keep an eye out for camp spots if you'd like to make it an overnight. NOTE: Camping is not permitted on Big Bluff (source: NPS.gov).

The bluff faces to the west, so it is absolutely perfect for catching an amazing sunset. This is also one of the best star-gazing spots around! Be sure to get a good night's rest because the hike out is a tough one! The trek back down at dusk or night can be very dangerous if you're not careful. Make sure you let people know you're heading up and and don't forget to bring a headlamp for the way back

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Big Bluff via the Centerpoint Trailhead Reviews

The hike to Big Bluff is almost all downhill so it goes fairly fast. The views on the bluff are unlike anything I have ever seen. You can see for miles. Make sure to be safe because it is a very tall bluff. The hike out is mostly uphill so be prepared

Amazing views, but saying it was a strenuous hike would be an understatement. Ledges of bluffs are narrow, so take your time and watch your step. Definitely my favorite hike in Arkansas.

Love this hike, love the site, but the National Park Service, who manages the bluff, explicitly prohibits camping on the bluff: https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/hike-to-big-bluff.htm

Beginner hike from the trailhead to the Goat trail. Once on the Goat Trail (about a mile on the edge of the bluff) it is more of intermediate to moderate hike simply because of the steep drop off. The hike offers incredible views of the Buffalo River and surrounding foothills of the Ozarks. If you're thinking about getting started into backpacking and wilderness adventures, this will get you hooked. One of the coolest things we did was hike down to the river after a night of camping. Recommend 10/10 must hike and camp for adventurers of all skill level!

The natural shelter “nook” provided an amazing place to camp!!!

You do have to pack gear in and out, but this is a fantastic overnight trip. Natural shelter offers protection from the elements, and the view of the river and forest is fantastic from the bluff.

Leave No Trace

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


Centerpoint to Goat Trail

Backpacking Along the Buffalo River

Hike to Scenic Big Bluff

Camp along the Buffalo National River via Steel Creek

Hike to Steel Creek Overlook

Camp along the Buffalo National River