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The Best Backpacking in Arkansas

Looking for the best backpacking in Arkansas? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Arkansas. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Arkansas

  • Hagarville, Arkansas

    Backpack to the Natural Bridge

    8 mi
    After you drive across the one-lane bridge and take the dirt road immediately after it, follow that dirt road until it begins to bend to the left. Park your vehicle in the turnoff on the right, and be sure to lock it and take (or hide) any valuables in it. Even though it’s relatively remote, rand...
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  • Compton, Arkansas

    Camp on Big Bluff

    4.8
    6 mi
    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 expl...
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  • Mount Judea, Arkansas

    Hike Sam's Throne

    5.0
    0.5 mi
    This hike starts at the Sam's Throne Campground parking area. Once you walk to the end of the campground there is a fence with three different entrances that all lead to different trails. Take the middle trial for the shortest and easiest hike to the bluffs. This hike is very easy and only tak...
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  • Jasper, Arkansas

    Camp along the Buffalo National River

    5.0
    2 mi
    This is a night of camping that is one for the books. Head to the Steele Creek area on the Buffalo River. Once you are in the Steel Creek area simply follow the gravel road to the right and park anywhere in the grass along the river. Camping is permitted anywhere along the Buffalo River as lon...
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  • Compton, Arkansas

    Hemmed In Hollow Falls via Hemmed In Hollow Trail

    5.0
    5.78 mi / 1572 ft gain
    After parking at the Hemmed In Hollow Falls Trailhead, follow the path down as it descends into the valley. As you approach one of the vistas, you’ll be able to spot the emerald green waters of the Buffalo River, as well as the bluffs to your east where the waterfall hides. After reaching the va...
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  • Harrison, Arkansas

    Backpacking Cecil Creek

    5.0
    8 mi
    From Tulsa, head out east along US-412 until you reach HWY 103. Take a right (south) on HWY 103 and follow it toward Compton, Arkansas. Shortly before reaching Compton, take the dirt road on the right (before the road starts to head north), and follow the road south. Keep on it as it bends to the...
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  • Compton, Arkansas

    Backpacking Along the Buffalo River

    5.0
    12 mi
    Park at the Centerpoint Trailhead and follow the Centerpoint trail as it heads about 3 miles downhill towards Big Bluff. You’ll know you’ve reached the trail junction for Big Bluff when you come to a clearing that has a large firepit in the middle and a small unmaintained trail heading off to the...
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  • Compton, Arkansas

    Hike to Scenic Big Bluff

    5.0
    6 mi
    The hike starts at the Centerpoint Trailhead and follows a clearly defined trail for 3 miles (approximately one hour) with mostly downhill or flat terrain and views through the trees of the rolling Ozark landscape. When you are almost to Big Bluff, the trail opens up into a large round area with ...
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  • Witts Springs, Arkansas

    Backpack to the Sandstone Castles

    5.0
    8 mi / 1000 ft gain
    From the Richland Creek campground, Twin Falls is an approximate 3 mile hike followed by another mile (give or take) to the "Castles". Directly above a small camping area on top of Twin Falls there begins a more primitive trail up the center on the ridge that will take you straight to the enormou...
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  • Kingston, Arkansas

    Backpack Along Whitaker Creek

    5 mi
    After arriving at the Whitaker Point/Hawksbill Crag trailhead, start going down the path for about 1/8th of a mile. You’ll cross a small stream, and here is where you’ll turn off the trail. Using Whitaker Creek as your guide, follow it like a handrail as it descends down into the confluence with ...
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  • Mulberry, Arkansas

    Backpack along Hurricane Creek

    6 mi
    After arriving at the trailhead near the Shores Lake Campground (there is a $3 parking fee, so bring cash), head along the path and go west at the T-junction. Continue going west/northwest and you’ll cross over a forest road. Stay on the trail as it gradually descends, then veer off-trail to the ...
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  • Caddo Gap, Arkansas

    Backpack the Eagle Rock Loop

    5.0
    26 mi
    Located in Ouachita National Forest, Eagle Rock Loop is Arkansas' longest loop, perfect for a 3-4 day backpack. There are multiple places to begin this trip, as there are 4 trailheads along the route; (1) Albert Pike Recreation Area, (2) Little Missouri Falls on Forest Road 25, (3) 4 miles west o...
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  • Jasper, Arkansas

    Indian Creek to The Eye Of The Needle

    5.0
    5 mi / 700 ft gain
    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 ....
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  • Dardanelle Township, Arkansas

    Backpack the Rim Trail and Bench Trail

    7.6 mi / 626 ft gain
    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 ...
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  • Compton, Arkansas

    Centerpoint to Goat Trail

    5.82 mi / 1001 ft gain
    Centerpoint to Goat Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near Ponca, Arkansas.
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  • Yellville, Arkansas

    Buffalo River Trail: Dillards Ferry to Spring Creek Road

    11.38 mi / 1959 ft gain
    Buffalo River Trail: Dillards Ferry to Spring Creek Road is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Harriet, Arkansas.
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