Mountain Parks

Experience the mountain parks of Arkansas.

Mountains cover half of Arkansas. Two unique regions—the rugged plateaus of the Ozarks in the north, and the rolling peaks and valleys of the Ouachitas in the south—tell stories of wildlife, forests, and rivers. Eons of time have shaped these uplifted, rugged forms into beautiful scenery, where landscapes include peaceful valleys, dramatic scenic overlooks, clear mountain streams, and backcountry roads.

Take to heart the timeless words of naturalist John Muir, "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees." If you're looking for a mountaintop where you can see for miles, where you can get a natural high, where nature's peace may flow into you, then explore and experience the mountain state parks of Arkansas.

Arkansas State Parks encourages the practice of the 7 Leave No Trace principles.

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Devil's Den State Park
Deep in the Lee Creek Valley of the Ozark Mountains, a special place is tucked away, waiting for you to discover it. With its deep crevices, caves, and striking bluff overlooks, Devil's Den State Park is ideal
for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking and camping in Arkansas. Several of the park's backcountry hiking trails lead into the adjacent Ozark National Forest. Whether you're looking for a special getaway to relax or experience outdoor adventure, Devil's Den is a place to connect to the ancient, scenic hills known as the Ozarks. Cabins are spaced along hillsides throughout the park. Devil's Den was established as one of Arkansas's first state parks. Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the park's cabins and other facilities were crafted with native stone and timber to mirror the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. While preserved in their original style, they have also been renovated to modern standards. Camping sites are also available in several areas of the park.
Read more
Mount Magazine State Park
Through partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Mount Magazine State Park is situated atop the state's tallest mountain, which is at 2,753 feet above sea level. Diverse and abundant wildlife, spectacular
scenery, sightseeing opportunities, and interesting history make this a destination to visit in every season. It could take a lifetime to explore this mountain, but a visit here can provide a lifetime of treasured memories.The park's magnificent 60-room Lodge at Mount Magazine and 13 park cabins opened in May 2006. Featuring breathtaking views from every room and cabin of the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake, these first-class facilities include the Skycrest restaurant, an indoor pool and state of the art meeting and banquet areas. The new Lodge carries on the mountain's lodging tradition that has been a part of the recreational legacy of Mount Magazine since 1900, one most recently carried forward by the U.S. Forest Service lodge that operated on the mountain, at the same site, from the 1940s until it was destroyed by fire in 1971.An impressive sight from any direction, Mount Magazine looms over surrounding landscapes. Magnificent vistas of broad river valleys, deep canyons, and distant mountains welcome lovers of beautiful scenery and outdoor adventure. To the north are the Arkansas River Valley and the Ozark Plateau. To the south are the Petit Jean River Valley and Ouachita Mountains. Altitude, geography, and climate, on top of the plateau-like summit, combine to create unique habitats for rare plant and animals. Also, the elevation makes it a cool place to be during hot summer days with temperatures averaging 10 degrees cooler than surrounding lowlands.Mount Magazine State Park offers a variety of activities for outdoor adventure, including rock climbing and hang gliding. Trails provide hours of enjoyable hiking and opportunities for wildflower and wildlife photography, bird watching, and the annual international butterfly festival held in June. New roads, complete with bike lanes, lead travelers to all park facilities including 18 campsites, a bathhouse, a pavilion and picnic area with restrooms, and the visitor center.Arkansas State Parks and the USDA Forest Service are working in partnership to protect and manage the unique habitats that make Mount Magazine a special place. To discover more about Mount Magazine State Park, go to: MountMagazineStatePark.com
Read more
Mount Nebo State Park
Rising 1,850 feet above sea level, Mount Nebo is one of a series of mountain peaks in the Arkansas River Valley region. When skies are clear, you can see Petit Jean Mountain in the east and Mount Magazine to
the west. Arkansas travelers have long journeyed to Mount Nebo, to relax in the cool mountain temperatures, to retrieve water from the many natural springs, and to take in the scenic beauty for miles around. Mount Nebo, one of Arkansas's first state parks, offers cabins, camping and hiking trails with sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley. Native stone and logs were used by the Civilian Conservation Corps to construct many of the park's bridges, trails, cabins and pavilions. The park offers 35 campsites, 14 fully-equipped mountaintop cabins with kitchens, miles of trails, hang gliding launch sites, and opportunities to enjoy beautiful sunsets and star gazing.
Read more
Ozark Folk Center State Park
Nestled in Mountain View, Arkansas, a town dubbed Folk Music Capital of the World, is the Ozark Folk Center State Park. An American cultural treasure, this is the only park dedicated to the perpetuation and
interpretation of the heritage of the Ozark region. Here in Mountain View, the Ozark Folk Center connects you to the music, dance, crafts, and lore that have been passed from generation to generation since settlers first made these rugged, scenic hills home. Hear live performances of traditional Southern mountain music by talented musicians--the pure unplugged sounds of the fiddle, banjo, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, autoharp, and acoustic guitar. Watch dancers, or join them, on stage. See artisans demonstrate over 20 homestead skills and pioneer crafts. As you stroll through the Craft Grounds, talk with gifted artisans as they demonstrate pioneer crafts and homestead skills — like organic herb gardening — that were essential to early American settlers of these ancient hills. Enjoy Ozark mountain music throughout the day and night as musicians play traditional folk tunes on traditional instruments. Stay overnight at one of the park's Cabins at Dry Creek, and register for one of the Folk Center's many workshops. Offered throughout the regular operating season, these workshops afford you personal instruction in musical instruments, Ozark heritage crafts, and organic gardening. Or, immerse yourself in the annual week-long Ozark Folk School, during which you can specialize in one traditional Ozark craft or music style, at an affordable cost. Hear live music by mountain musicians, watch artisans at work, and join workshops to learn these skills yourself. Experience this unique park preserving the Ozark heritage. To learn more, go to www.OzarkFolkCenter.com.
Read more
Petit Jean State Park
When portions of Petit Jean Mountain were set aside as public land in 1923, it set the precedent for the establishment of state parks in Arkansas. The natural beauty of this mountain, which rises 1,207 feet
above sea level, is evident whether you view it from the Arkansas River Valley below, or look down on the Arkansas River from the east brow at Stout's Point. Atop legendary Petit Jean Mountain, Petit Jean State Park is a special place rich in natural beauty where you can likewise experience the craftsmenship and conservation legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Native log and stone facilities built by these men in the 1930s mirror the surrounding rugged beauty. Preserved throughout the park as National Register of Historic Places districts, these facilities and other works include the park's mountain lodge, cabins, pavilions, visitor center, trails, an arched bridge spanning Cedar Creek, and other historic treasures. The diversity of geological formations on Petit Jean Mountain is fascinating. Hiking trails will lead you through forests, canyons, bluffs, caves — some with American Indian pictographs to explore — streams, meadows, and mountainsides. Overlooking Cedar Creek Canyon is the park's historic Mather Lodge, featuring 24 guest rooms, a main dining room with large windows framing the westward view of the canyon, a cozy smaller dining room, meeting room, and swimming pool. The park's 33 cabins are nearby. Some cabins are on the canyon bluff, while others are nestled in a wooded area. Park campsites are a short drive away near Lake Bailey, 100 acres for fishing, canoeing, and pedal boating. Park interpreters offer a variety of programs and special events throughout the year highlighting the natural and historic resources of this unforgettable state park. A must-see experience in the park is Cedar Falls, the park's spectacular waterfall that cascades 95 feet into scenic Cedar Creek Canyon. Overlooks above, and a trail below, offer many different viewpoints for enjoying the seasonal natural beauty of Cedar Creek Canyon. Through time, Petit Jean Mountain has been a place of opportunity, for explorers, for settlers, and for travelers like you. Petit Jean State Park is a place where all elements work in harmony--the natural beauty of the mountain and its windswept views of the Arkansas River Valley, the warmth of the CCC/Rustic-style architecture, and the diversity of geological formations and wildlife habitats. To discover more about Arkansas's original state park, go to: www.PetitJeanStatePark.com.
Read more
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Pinnacle Mountain, rising 1,011 feet above the Arkansas River, has been a natural landmark for centuries. Pinnacle Mountain is one of seven peaks of the Ouachita Mountain Range within this 2,356-acre park, but
these represent only a portion of the diverse habitat protected here. Situated just west of Little Rock, this day-use park is known for its popular hiking trails and panoramic views. Scenic vistas overlooking the Arkansas River are easily accessible near the visitor center. Those seeking a more adventurous experience can hike one or more trails, which vary from one to five miles in length. Hikers can also access the 223-mile Ouachita National Recreation Trail at the park. Pinnacle Mountain State Park is dedicated to environmental education, recreation, and natural resource preservation. To learn more, go to: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain.
Read more
Queen Wilhelmina State Park
Situated atop Rich Mountain, the states's second highest peak, Queen Wilhelmina State Park overlooks the folded ridges and valleys of the Ouachita Mountains. Rich Mountain, which rises 2,681 feet above sea
level, is noted for an abundance of Arkansas wildflowers, and migrations of birds, bears and butterflies. One of the special things about this park is getting here via the beautiful Talimena Scenic Byway. The centerpiece of the park is the historic lodge that has been completely updated. This is a place for relaxing and sightseeing amidst breathtaking panoramic scenery.   The park also offers 41 campsites, picnic areas, hiking trails, a miniature train, mini-golf course, and interpretive programs. These programs highlight Rich Mountain's fauna and unique flora, and will connect you to the fascinating history of the three inns that have graced this mountaintop site. To learn more about Queen Wilhelmina State Park, go to: www.QueenWilhelmina.com.
Read more