Indian Rockhouse Hike
The Indian Rockhouse trail is located near the Buffalo Point Ranger Station and the Lower Buffalo wilderness area; it’s about a 2-1/2 hour drive from Fayetteville, Arkansas. According the National Park Service, the Indian Rockhouse trail is “one of the two most heavily used hiking trails in the entire (Buffalo River) park”. Nearby are cabins, a restaurant, visitor center, campgrounds, picnic areas, and river access.
The red circled areas in the picture indicate people…this place is HUGE! The panorama was created from multiple shots using Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE), at full resolution it was over 80 Megapixels!
When I stopped in at the Ranger station for a map, the Ranger told me that the hike is a little easier if you do it in reverse of how the brochure & map shows. She explained that hiking it in reverse, the steeper part is in the beginning and down hill, and the end is a more gradual slope. Following her advice, I can’t say that the difference was huge, but it did seem to make a slight difference. If you want to hike it according to the map, the trailhead is right across from the parking area. If you want to hike it in reverse, then walk towards the ranger station from the parking lot, you’ll see the trailhead on the right side of the road a few hundred feet from the parking lot.
I would recommend hiking it in reverse for a couple of reasons; one- it is slightly easier, two- you’ll be passing almost everyone you meet on the trail going in the opposite direction instead of the same direction. Since this is one of the two most traveled trails in the park, you won’t find yourself needing to speed up or slow down in order to pass or not pass other hikers.
This was a nice hike, very pretty. It reminded me a little of Indian Creek near Kyle’s Landing in the Upper Buffalo.
“The Indian Rockhouse is an example of a bluff shelter used by prehistoric Native Americans since at
least as early as 7,000 BC. Coming to the attention of the Carnegie Institute, excavations were carried out in
the 1930s, revealing an array of stone tools, basketry, and food remains. The site has been protected from
all excavation and collection since becoming part of Buffalo National River ‘in 1972-so that what remains of
this unique site can be preserved for future generations.”
-excerpt from one of the National Park Service brochures for the Indian Rockhouse trail
Below are a few snapshots with descriptions, which are followed by summary information and resources.
Above: “Natural Bathtub”, Panther Creek
Above: Waterfall (just a trickle), Small Cave/Overhang
Above: Old Zinc Mine, trail stairs
Above: The trail is well marked
Trail Summary & Resources
Parking Coordinates: 36.081414, -92.568946
Trailhead Coordinates: 36.081350, -92.569717
Download my GPX file from this hike: HERE
Explore this Hike Virtually with Google Earth! Download the KMZ file: HERE
Download a PDF Trail-Pak below. This printable Trail-Pak includes two Park Service brochures, coordinates, facilities information, maps, and more! >>CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TRAIL-PAK<<
Until next time, have fun out there!
Last Updated: July 3, 2013
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