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  1. #1

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    Eagle Rock Loop Arkansas

    Been wanting to hike this three trail loop for a few years now finally put it on the schedule next month.

    Best trailhead to park?

    Clockwise or CC?

    Is it the Little Missouri River crossing that I have to watch for?

  2. #2
    ObdewlaX's Avatar
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    There are a couple of different lots to park when doing the ERL. On Google maps, the parking area I like is called, NFW106 SW Parking and I prefer to hike the loop counter-clockwise. This way, you can wind up at Winding Stairs for an overnight stay & then a day or afternoon of swimming, fishing or just being lazy, if you have the time. From there, it's only a 2 mile hike back to the car. You'll need the good part of a day doing the Athens Big Fork trail.... up & over 6 ridges and it's a ball buster. Be sure to take time to hike out to the Eagle Rock Vista for some great views & a snack or lunch break. If you have the energy, you can climb to the top of Brush Heap Mtn. for a sort of 'top of the world' view.

    I have several ERL trail reports & videos posted in the Trip Report forum. Here's my latest from 2 weekends ago...
    Back To Eagle Rock Loop

  3. #3
    rhjanes's Avatar
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    I try and park in the NW corner, on "Mine Creek Road". Get the Guthook app for free. Then in "Arkansas Hiker" is the ERL, which is $4.99. Well worth it. Shows all the established camp areas, water (tons, don't need to carry much). I park at NW corner and hit the ABF (Athens-Big Fork) trail first going CCW. That way, the mountains are first. Yes, food load but I only camp 2 nights so that's not too bad. Fresh legs for the ABF. I don't get there after the drive, until 1-2 PM so I hike until dark and set up. That is usually after 3 or 4 of the mountains. There is a very large parking place at the Little Missouri Falls Day Use area. Don't park IN the area, just outside it on your right as you drive in is a large grass lot. The trail walks thru the lot. But if you are there, and go CCW you are several miles to the mountains. That area and the Winding Stairs and the Albert Pike Day use area, are the heaviest used areas. So there are two places you don't want/shouldn't park: Inside the Little Mo Day Use area (NE corner), and Albert Pike Day Use area (Near winding stairs).
    People check the USGS water gage for Langley Arkansas. The Rule of Thumb is that if it's at 4.5 feet, it won't be safe to cross the river at Winding Stairs. There are two deep crossings there, both just south of the Winding Stairs parking area. So if rain is due in 24 hours, then perhaps park at Winding Stairs, go CW so you hit those crossings first (before the rain). I've done that once when we had a day of rain forecast for our long day. We parked at WS, hiked CW, got the crossings done and were way down the Viles Branch trail before it started raining.
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  4. #4

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    https://goo.gl/maps/usfFSkNS3h5HcD1K6 is this the Winding Stairs trailhead? having trouble locating on Google Maps.

    I like the idea of doing that area last but will keep an eye on the rain.

  5. #5
    rhjanes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    https://goo.gl/maps/usfFSkNS3h5HcD1K6 is this the Winding Stairs trailhead? having trouble locating on Google Maps.

    I like the idea of doing that area last but will keep an eye on the rain.
    No, that is the Little Mo Day use area.

    Try this address for the "Winding Stairs" lot. 3421'58. 9354'07., AR-8, Umpire, AR 71971

    To get there is a bit of a trick. You follow the directions to Albert Pike Day Use area. You drive across a low water crossing (this COULD be a problem in rain and this is why the Albert Pike is now Day Use and NO overnight), and once across it, almost immediately turn left, up and over a mountain and then you will find the lot on your left. You actually drive over a part of the ERL trail. Once in the lot there is a pit toilet. However, if you do pull into the Albert Pike area, there is a building there and if open, has flush toilets and even showers (I've used them both).
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  6. #6

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    https://goo.gl/maps/p6YMKBiYiBSAy5HR6 this must be it.

    Thanks ya'll. That gives us a few options weather dependent.

  7. #7
    rhjanes's Avatar
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    ^^ Yes, that is what people call "Winding Stairs Parking area". If you park there, be very aware while hiking towards the actual ERL trail. That parking area has a lot of people using it so there are trails to the SE of there going everywhere, plus camping sites. But last time I was there, the signs to the ERL were much improved.
    Call me Junior

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    "For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away" Bryan Adams....
    "Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes." - sargevining on HF

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