Pinnacle Mountain: Summit Trail Loop – 3 mi

Pinnacle Mountain: Summit Trail Loop - 3 mi photo
Pinnacle Mountain, Pinnacle Mountain State Park

This 2.6-mile loop at Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Pulaski County near west Little Rock) takes you to the summit of Pinnacle Mountain. It includes the West Summit Trail, East Summit Trail, and the north half of the Base Trail (connecting the two summit trails).

The summit of Pinnacle Mountain is one of Arkansas’s must-see hiking destinations. It is challenging, but it is a scenic and interesting hike with amazing views.

The Pinnacle Mountain summit trails are not the hardest trails in Arkansas since they are short, but they are definitely among the steepest. (Check out Mike’s elevation profile below.) In fact, guidebook writer Tim Ernst says that the East Summit Trail is the steepest trail in the state.

The elevation change from the base to the summit of Pinnacle Mountain is about 725 feet.

There is a trailhead at the base of the west side (West Summit Trail) and one at the east side (East Summit Trail). They both have parking.

The Base Trail makes a relatively level loop around the bottom of the mountain going through both trailheads.

When I recently hiked this loop, I began at the West Summit Trail trailhead and turned left onto the Base Trail. From there I hiked around the base of the mountain to the East Summit Trail. I then climbed East Summit Trail (not easily!) to the summit, and I hiked down back to my car via the West Summit Trail.

Pinnacle Mountain: Summit Trail Loop - 3 mi photo
West-facing view looking toward Lake Maumelle from the Pinnacle Mountain summit.

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Mount Nebo: Summit Park Trail Pics

Mount Nebo: Summit Park Trail Pics photo
Cool stone staircase on the uphill climb on the south part of the loop.

The Summit Park Trail at Mount Nebo State Park (Yell County, near Russellville) is one of the two coolest trails at the park. (The Rim Trail is the other.)

The trail is named for the former Summit Park Hotel (1889-1918).

This wonderfully scenic loop trail along the west side of Mount Nebo is just 1.6 miles long, but it is a vigorous walk. It involves about 500 feet of elevation gain.

About 1/3 of it is shared with the Rim Trail. It also gets very close to the Bench Road Trail in two places.

Mount Nebo: Summit Park Trail Pics photo
Scenic area between Darling Spring and Fern Lake, Summit Park Trail.

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Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Cave on the Indian Rockhouse Trail, Buffalo Point Campground, Buffalo National River

This beautiful 3-mile loop at Buffalo Point Campground in the Buffalo National River near Yellville (Marion County, Ark.) is a must-see trail.

It is wonderfully scenic with many great points of interest including sculpted bedrock, a waterfall, a former zinc mine, and the Indian Rockhouse Cave.

It is a vigorous hike with about 400 feet of elevation change, but it is well worth it.

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Trail running along Panther Creek

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Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Trail – 4 mi

Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Trail – 4 mi photo
Natural Bridge, Seven Hollows Trail, Petit Jean State Park

Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean State Park (Conway County near Morrilton) is a first-rate hike that features a natural bridge, a grotto waterfall, an a lot of unique views with diverse plant life ranging from ferns to cacti.

The trail takes its name from the seven small streams that run through the area, all of which have carved their own hollows.

The official trail length is 4.5 miles. (Mike’s gps calculation puts it closer to 4.1 miles.) The short spur to the grotto (with seasonal waterfall) adds .2 miles.

It is a loop trail that follows through four of the seven hollows and along ridges between the hollows. Bluff lines, tumbling water (in spring), and interesting plant life are abundant.

It is a vigorous hike with an elevation change of about 360 feet. Most of the climbing is on the second half of the loop.

This is a great hike with a lot to observe, and every part of the hike is scenic.

Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Trail – 4 mi photo
Seven Hollows Trail along the rock bluff

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