Sams Throne Trail (Ozark Forest)

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Sams Throne Trail (Ozark Forest) photo
Overlook from the bluff

Sams Throne in the Ozark National Forest is one of those places you hear about quite a bit because it is a very popular destination for rock climbers. However, seldom do you hear about it being a great hiking trail, but it indeed is one of the great hiking destinations in the Ozarks.

The trail here offers some great hiking and spectacular scenery. The area has a few really good primitive campsites as well.

Sams Throne Trail (Ozark Forest) photo
Sam’s Throne

Getting to the Sams Throne Trail

To get to Sams Throne from the north, take Highway 7 south out of Jasper. Five miles south of Jasper, go east on Highway 374. Follow it for seven miles, then turn south on Highway 123. Follow Highway 123 through Mt. Judea, and then go five more miles to the entrance to the Sams Throne Recreation Area. Watch for the sign on your right.

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Mount Nebo: Rim Trail 09-02-2012

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Mount Nebo: Rim Trail 09 02 2012 photo
Mt. Nebo Rim Trail – Starting from behind the Visitor’s Center

Arkansas has earned the reputation as “The Natural State” because of the beautiful natural sites around the state. And as a part of this reputation, Arkansas has established an outstanding state park system that is diverse in the natural beauty they provide.

Mount Nebo State Park

One of the crown jewels of the state park system is Mount Nebo State Park. The park was established in 1935. Many of the trails and cabins date were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” during the Great Depression.

The park is located seven miles west of Dardanelle on Highway 155. You can get there by taking Highway 7 south, through Russellville and Dardanelle, making a brief right onto Highway 22, and then turning left on Highway 155. (Follow the signs to the park.)

Highway 155 up Mount Nebo is very steep and very curvy. (Don’t bring a long trailer.)

Mount Nebo: Rim Trail 09 02 2012 photo
Mt. Nebo Rim Trail

At the top of the mountain, there are campsites, cabins that can be rented, private residences, a pool, tennis courts, playground equipment, a basketball court, and a great little visitor center with several snakes on hand, so you can learn about the native species.

You may also catch the sight of hang gliders from the visitor center as it is a frequent launch point.

The park also offers 360-degree views of the countryside which also means fantastic views of the sunrise and sunset (at sites aptly named “Sunrise Point” and “Sunset Point”).

Mount Nebo Hiking Trails

The park boasts over 14 miles of hiking trails, all of which connect in ways that can make for a wide variety of routes, distances, and difficulty levels.

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Petit Jean: Bear Cave Trail

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Petit Jean: Bear Cave Trail photo
Large rocks near the end of the trail. If you continue on from here, you’ll be on the Boy Scout Trail and not Bear Cave Trail.

The Bear Cave Trail at Petit Jean State Park is a very short trail — only about a quarter-mile long. In fact, it really is not so much a trail as it is a spectacular place to walk around and explore. There is a lot to see in this small area.

Petit Jean: Bear Cave Trail photo
The Eye of the Needle

The Bear Cave Trail trailhead is on Highway 154, one mile west of Mather Lodge. The trail starts at the back of the parking area.

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Petit Jean: Video of Seven Hollows Grotto Waterfall 3-30-2014

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The Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean State Park (near Morrilton) is an awesome trail that features many bluffs, hollows, and valleys. It is about 4 miles long, and is very scenic through most of the hike.

I had a great hike there on Sunday. I had been on the trail once before in the summer. It was nice to be there when the streams are flowing and there is water at the waterfall in the Grotto area. The Grotto is a small box canyon with a cave overhang at about the trail’s halfway point.

Alternate video link: here.

These are some cell videos I took of the waterfall in the Grotto on Sunday. 

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