Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)

"Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)" photo
Cedar Falls, Petit Jean State Park

In August, I hiked the Cedar Falls Trail at Petit Jean State Park. The .9-mile non-loop trail (1.8-miles total) starts behind the Mather Lodge and then heads downhill for .3 miles or so to Cedar Creek.

The trail then follows Cedar Creek until reaching the gorgeous Cedar Falls cavern.

The climb back up to Mather Lodge is strenuous so don’t be in too big of a hurry on the way back.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)" photo
Cedar Falls Trail, Petit Jean State Park (2011)
"Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)" photo
Cedar Falls Trail (2011)
"Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)" photo
Cedar Falls Trail, Petit Jean State Park
"Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)" photo
Cedar Falls, Petit Jean State Park (panoramic)
"Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)" photo
Approximate elevation profile based on gps data.

Interactive Cedar Falls Trail GPX Map

Click here for large interactive trail map.

 Click here for GPX file download.

"Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail (2 mi)" photo


Trail Name and LocationCedar Falls Trail - Petit Jean State Park
County/StateConway County, Arkansas
Date Hiked08-15-2009
DirectionsTrail starts behind the Mather Lodge.
Length0.9 miles (one way)
Difficulty (1=Easy; 5=Most Difficult)3
ATT Cell Coverage?Partial
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[Last updated: 2012-09-12]


  1. ArkyMark

    This is one of the most popular – and beautiful – hikes in Arkansas. The steep beginning and end does require some care! Make sure you wear good shoes with ankle support, and choose your steps carefully in the rough parts – a walking stick can help. Remember that this is a steep, narrow canyon and it looses light quickly, especially in the Winter months. Plan for at least an hour to get back to the Lodge from the Falls, and give yourself plenty of time. This trail – and the whole area – could be VERY DANGEROUS in the dark!

    And remember that the Falls are fed by Cedar Creek, and subject to wet/dry seasonal changes. During a hot, dry Summer they can dry to a trickle – but all it takes is a day or two of rain to increase their volume ten-fold.

    This spectacular hike is well worth the effort and I hope this helps some of you who may plan to visit – but don’t miss the other great features of the Park, like Rock House, Bear Cave, and if you want a longer hike with more varying features, try the Seven Hollows Trail. (About 4.5 miles.)

  2. Becky Boswell

    My husband and I are in our forties and the knees aren’t quite what they used to be so the trip down at the beginning of the trail was actually harder for us. We did both have hiking poles which help a great deal. We had just come from Devil’s Den and arrived at Petit Jean on a Sunday which apparently is the busiest day of the week for Mather Lodge and Cedar Falls trail. We started around 2:30 or 3:00 and most of the crowd was heading back. It was a great hike and there was plenty of water coming over the falls. A slow, steady pace going back up towards the trailhead should not be too difficult for anyone in descent shape.

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