Mar 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm #1255937
Hey, I'll be hiking the Eagle Rock Loop in the next few days, and was wondering if anyone here has done that trail recently.Mar 2, 2010 at 9:48 am #1580543
How recently? I hiked it last November.Mar 2, 2010 at 10:44 am #1580583
Do you have any beta on it?
I was planning to make it a 3 night trip. How long did it take you to do, water, parking, etc?Mar 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm #1580656
Easily done as 2 or 3 day trip. I like to start at Albert Pike campground. Lots of water. Check with rangers about Little Missouri river levels which could render it uncrossable if flood stage, more common in spring.
If doing a 3 day, I have hiked counterclockwise and camped at Straight Creek (Athens-Bigfork trail) on first night and Winding Stairs campground (Little Missouri trail) on second night.
If doing a 2 day, I have hiked clockwise. We did not get all the way around to Straight Creek, but there are plenty of campsites along the way to just pick one when you are tired of hiking.Mar 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm #1580895
Is there water all along the trail?Mar 3, 2010 at 3:02 am #1581022
Yes, water all along the trail. Since the Athens-Big Fork trail goes over the mountains, the water will be in each valley.Mar 3, 2010 at 7:14 am #1581049
Brian Keith GunterMember
I just got back last week. Great place. I was only out one night. Left Albert Pike heading south, made it to the west side of Viles Creek junction with the Athens-Big Fork section. Hiked over two ridges and then back on FR106 the next day, about 10 miles each day. Water was flowing pretty well in all the creeks. Nothing over my thighs, pretty cold though. I hiked in a pair of Keen sandals taking my socks off at the crossings. Lots of trails throughout the area, take a good topo if you have one.
I only saw 2 other groups out over a Tuesday-Thursday trip. It had rained so the dead wood was a little wet.Mar 16, 2010 at 10:41 am #1587081
We camped right below the Winding Stairs parking lot the first night, then hiked clockwise all the way to the Big Fork/Little Missouri Trail junction. The next day was a quick 12 or so miles out along the Missouri trail back to the car.
If I had to do it again, I think I would spend a little more time on trail.
I was surprised at how much water there was to be had on the trail.Mar 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm #1591411
plenty of water. We made it in 2 nights w/o problem. 3 nights should be a nice casual hike.Mar 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm #1592287
@demoLocale: Arkansan in Seattle
Great trail, I did it with some close friends about 4 years ago. During the last 2 hours of the entire weekend a thunderstorm of epic proportions came along and dumped so much rain that we couldn't get out. Even with that, one of my favorite trips.
Those 8-9 ridges of the Athens-Big Fork trail can be brutal if you aren't expecting them :)Apr 11, 2012 at 9:35 am #1866130
I plan on doing a three day hike as well this May. I see a bunch of people starting at Albert Pike, is it easy to find? and also aout the camping, are there designated areas you have to set camp or can you a little ways from the trail?Apr 11, 2012 at 10:57 am #1866153
@kiel-sLocale: San Diego
I did it a couple years ago over Thanksgiving just before that flood took out the campground. Albert Pike was super easy to find. There are a lot of road signs on Hwy 369, you'll have to cross a bridge right when you turn onto FR 106 to get to the campground, can't miss it.
I'm pretty sure you can camp where ever outside of the campground and the area around Little Missouri Falls. I camped about a mile south of the falls and then at the Eagle Rock Vista. I only saw 2 people outside of the campground while I was there, both on my last day.
no problems with route finding either…
Someone already linked to this, but it's a great map of the loop in case you missed it.Apr 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm #1866184
Thank you!Apr 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm #1866186
Weird to see the comments a few months before the tragedy of June 2010. You cannot park overnight at Albert Pike for your hike, but just past the campground there is dirt lot parking, one location right over one of the bridges.Apr 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm #1866277
The above gps track has almost every exist campsite with fire ring and stream crossing.
You should camp where others have before to minimize impact. Please dont go trash a new area. Besides, the existing ones are in the flat spots, which are not that common.
Also, check out:
For everything you need to know.
I would suggest parking at the Winding Stairs trailhead (FS106 east) regardless of direction. This trailhead is off the main hwy, but gets a lot of traffic. WS is very popular short-hike destination
If May keeps the pattern so far this yr, it will be HOT and the bugs will be coming out. There is not much shade on the ridges, and they get warm during the day. Its already pushing 90 some days.
Main thing you need to watch is the weather and water level at Little missouri @ langley guage Under 4' and your good. Over 5' and your not getting across (and living to tell about it). A single thunderstorm can spike the river and creeks and strand you, so have a bailout plan for the worst crossings, and plan the direction to go, and where you start and park, with the weather forecast in mind. Once on the trail, you dont have cell service except on top of Eagle rock vista. The advantage of WS trailhead is if its low but might rain, go CW and get deepest crossing out of way first. If its high and going to clear, go CCW and save it for last after river drops some.Apr 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm #1866699
does hiking at ERL cost anything? does parking cost anything?Apr 13, 2012 at 5:22 am #1866789
no cost, its in Ouachita National Forest. No permits required, etc. Just go.
If you park at Albert Pike Campground overnight (closed) you will get a ticket and that will cost $150 I hear.May 11, 2012 at 6:42 am #1876603
@netmonsterLocale: North Texas
My buddy and I are thinking about hiking Eagle Rock the first week of June, can anyone tell me what the weather temperature wise usually is in June? My buddy is thinking it will be really hot, we live in Texas and I can’t imagine that it would be as hot in Arkansas as it is in Texas.
Any info would be appreciated.
KCMay 11, 2012 at 8:00 am #1876627
On June 15, 2011 in Mount Ida (700 ft elevation) it was 97/70 F for a max/min. You can lower that by a few degrees F to be more accurate for ERL elevations of 1500 ft. Expect mosquitoes, ants and ticks.May 11, 2012 at 9:15 am #1876646
@netmonsterLocale: North Texas
Looking at the historical Data, that’s was cooler than my buddy's alternative which is near Austin, TX .Which at the same time last year was 102.9/78. Last year was so hot.
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