Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) – 2 mi

Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Kings Bluff Falls, Ozark National Forest

The Kings Bluff Loop Trail is a 1.8-mile trail in the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area (Ozark National Forest, northern Pope County). The elevation change on the trail is only about 350 feet. It is a pretty easy hike. There is parking and a vault toilet there at the scenic area. It is on highway 16, a few miles east of the intersection (at Pelsor) of Highway 7 and Highway 123.

Of course, the highlight of the trail is Kings Bluff Falls. At 114 feet, Kings Bluff Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Arkansas. It is beautiful. Like many waterfalls in Arkansas, your best chances to see it in action are probably during leaf-off months and after a recent rain.

Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Kings Bluff Loop Trail, Ozark National Forest

A few weeks ago, I headed to the Kings Bluff Loop Trail in the Ozark National Forest, about 45 miles northeast of Clarksville. I didn’t get there until around 2:30 p.m. I figured I should have enough time before dark to hike the Kings Bluff Loop Trail and the adjacent Pedestal Rocks Loop Trail. Neither is a long trail.

It turned out that I didn’t have time to do both. I ended up spending over an hour at Kings Bluff Falls because it’s just so awesome.

Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Approximate elevation profile based on gps data.

Even though there is a railing near the waterfall, you should be very careful in the falls and bluff areas. It can be dangerous. 

 Kings Bluff Loop Trail Map

Click here for full-screen trail map.

Unfortunately, there is not an official trail to the prettiest view of the falls — the lower area. There is an established (unofficial) path that heads down to that area though. (Most of the photos I took are from the lower area of the waterfall.)

Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Kings Bluff Falls from the upper area.
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Panoramic photo of Kings Bluff Falls
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Kings Bluff Falls from underneath the waterfall.
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
King’s Bluff Falls.
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Kings Bluff Loop Trail
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
The Kings Bluff Falls viewing area.

Also there are some really cool bluffs and geologic formations that run for a half-mile or so past the waterfall area.

Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Some of the great crevices and geologic formations on the Kings Bluff Loop Trail.
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
More cool bluffs along Kings Bluff Loop Trail
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Kings Bluff Loop Trail

As usual, I have posted some of my photos and a gpx map made from my gps data. You can click the photos for a larger view.

Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) – Contour Map (click to enlarge)
Kings Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Click here for the official U.S. Forest Service trail map (pdf).

 

Click here for gpx file download.

King's Bluff Loop Trail (Ozark Forest)

LocationPope County, Arkansas
Hike Length/Type1.8 miles, loop
DifficultyModerate (3 of 5)
Official DirectionsTake Arkansas 7 to Pelsor, turn east on Arkansas 16 and go 6 miles. The scenic area is located on the south side of the highway.
Other Permitted UsageNone
ATT Cell Coverage?40%
Official Info - Phone/Links(479) 754-2864 Recreation area website.
Weather/ConditionsUpper 40's, chilly, sunny.
Date Hiked1-28-2012

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