Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
View from inside the Indian Rockhouse cave

I love it when I’m hiking and see something really special that I was not expecting. That’s what happened for me when I first hiked the Indian Rockhouse Trial at the Buffalo Point campground (Buffalo National River).

I knew there were several points of interest along the trail including a waterfall, a closed mine entrance, a “Natural Bathtub,” and something called an “Indian Rockhouse.” But I did not realize until I got to it that the Indian Rockhouse was a huge overhang cave.

This is a cool trail.

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
The Natural Bathtub on the Indian Rockhouse Trail, Buffalo National River

 

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Trail, Buffalo National River

The Indian Rockhouse Trail is a 3-mile loop that starts across the road from the main Buffalo Point trailhead, about a quarter-mile east of the ranger station. Among the trail highlights are the Indian Rockhouse, a Natural Bathtub, sculptured rock, a waterfall, and an abandoned mine entrance. And there are very scenic stretches of the trail that run along Panther Creek.

Incidentally, Buffalo Point is the most developed campground in the Buffalo National River. Prior to being acquired by the National Park Service, it was Buffalo River State Park.

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
These bluffs are in the vicinity of the seasonal waterfall.

Most of the trail is not very difficult, but there is some significant climbing toward the end. There is about a 400-foot elevation change in the descent down to (and ascent back from) Panther Creek.

As with many of the Buffalo National River Trails, there are just enough blazes to ensure you can follow the trail. And there are some helpful signs pointing to some of the trail’s highlights (e.g., the Natural Bathtub, the Indian Rockhouse).

The photos here are some I took when I first hiked the trail in September 2012. Unfortunately, there was only a trickle of water on the waterfall, so I don’t have any pictures of it here.

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse entrance
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
View from inside the Indian Rockhouse
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Another view inside the Indian Rockhouse
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Trail, Buffalo National River
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Trail along Panther Creek
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Sculptured rock on the Indian Rockhouse Trail
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Sculptured rock
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Trail, Buffalo National River
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Trail, Buffalo National River
Maps
Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Buffalo Point – Indian Rockhouse Trail Contour Map (Click to Enlarge).

[Interactive trail map – click here.]

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail - 3 mi photo
Approximate elevation profile based on gps data.

Indian Rockhouse Trail (Buffalo River)

LocationBuffalo Point Campground, Marion County, Arkansas
DirectionsThe trailhead (with parking) is on Highway 268 (the main road) about 200 yards past the ranger station. The trail starts across the road from the parking.
Hike Length/Type3 mile loop
Other Permitted UsageNone
Difficulty

Moderate (3 of 5)
ATT Cell Coverage?10% or less.
Official Info - Phone/Links(870) 439-2502 Website. Official Trail Brochure.
Weather/ConditionsSunny, mid-60's
Date Hiked9-22-2012

Click here for gpx file download.

Check out this post with more photos I took of the Indian Rockhouse.

Here are links to the NPS official Indian Rockhouse Trail brochure pdf and a pdf map of the Buffalo Point campground.

Enter your location to get Google directions to the Indian Rockhouse Trail at Buffalo Point campground:

5 thoughts on “Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi”

  1. I agree. This trail is awesome. We went on it the weekend before last. It was our second time, and the Rockhouse still amazes. I took some neat pics of the formations that have come from the water dripping from the ceiling of the Rockhouse. The first time we went was in the fall and less poison ivy, but this time we got to see thousands of tadpoles in the stream near the sculptured rock and lots more water was falling from the waterfall on the first section of the trail. Also found some tiny snails sitting in another area stream. Seems like a good trail to visit in any season. Even in the summer heat, most of the trail is under the trees and the Rockhouse is cool.

  2. Thank you for details and beautiful photos. I was a park naturalist there at Buffalo River State Park just before it became Buffalo National River and these places are still dear to me. I am looking forward to walking this trail again in a few weeks.

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