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“Great Hike”
Review of Hawksbill Crag

Hawksbill Crag
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Ponca
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed March 10, 2014

My parents took me on a group hike to see Hawksbill Crag, the most photographed spot in Arkansas. The hike itself was moderate for the experienced hiker and the day we went the weather was beautiful and got warmer as we hiked. We were in a rather large group and stopped and few times to let the group catch up. About midway through, we saw a small waterfall and from that point on walked along a ridge where there were numerous rock formations. I highly recommend this hike as once you get to the crag (or just before), the views are beautiful. Warning: Please be careful on the crag and don't get too close to the edge as at least a couple people die each year falling off the edge.

1  Thank jehenson81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"dirt road"
in 22 reviews
"whitaker point"
in 16 reviews
"cave mountain"
in 8 reviews
"nice hike"
in 9 reviews
"mile drive"
in 6 reviews
"buffalo river"
in 13 reviews
"fall colors"
in 5 reviews
"be careful"
in 8 reviews
"parking area"
in 8 reviews
"county road"
in 5 reviews
"bring your camera"
in 5 reviews
"round trip"
in 4 reviews
"take your time"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful view"
in 4 reviews
"easy hike"
in 10 reviews
"rock formations"
in 7 reviews
"parking is limited"
in 3 reviews

124 - 128 of 150 reviews

Reviewed January 20, 2014

I made the drive to this location from Austin, TX on my way to Kansas City, MO. It was worth it for a trail I badly wanted to hike and, obviously, for the view! I thought that I had the route to the trailhead figured out, but after arriving and leaving, hindsight suggests I would have made a stop at the Buffalo Outdoor Center. Their staff are very knowledgeable and they have maps at the desk that they use to point you in the right direction. Additionally, this is a great stopping off point to load up on supplies - drinks, snacks, souvenirs, etc. - before or after outdoor activities.

As for the hike itself, I have to say that for such a well known point in Arkansas, I am astounded that there is NO signage to get to the trailhead or road that leads there. I found it only from prior research and using Google Earth so I knew what to look for landmark-wise. I'm attaching a picture of the road to take - known only by its number. A word to the leery, you do have to travel six miles (I literally set my odometer) to get to the trailhead on a poorly maintained dirt/gravel road. I have an AWD Subaru, and didn't have problems. But, a lower riding car may have issues. Don't let the distance to the trailhead scare you away, however. Be respectful of those that live locally. There are areas of the road that are tricky for two cars to pass at the same time. If you see an approaching car, find a suitable place to pull over if you see one and allow the other car to pass. Once at the trailhead, it is marked with a large bulletin board sign on your right, parking is limited to maybe 4-6 cars. You can park on the road, taking care to leave space for passing cars. The trail is on the opposite side of the road and marked by a boulder - see photos.

The trail is approximately three miles round-trip. It begins with a moderate decent. Those with sensitive knees may benefit from hiking/trekking poles. The remainder of the trail gently rolls up and down. Keep your eye on the tree flags to keep your route if you are not adept at route finding. There are some online publications that state it is a loop trail. The trail sign, on the trail, says otherwise and I hiked this as an out-and-back. For me, moving at a pretty good clip, I hiked this in 1.5 hours with time spent at the crag. Others may want to budget 2-3 hrs. if extra time is spent sightseeing or traveling with slower companions/children. I found the trail to be safe and not veer too close to the drop-offs or cliffs. Beware of the side trails that others have blazed. Those do get close to the edge and I did venture to a few for photographs.

For anyone going to see the fall foliage, I arrived too early (Oct. 23rd) and while there was the start of color, another couple of weeks would have made a huge difference. Again, you could probably call the BOC for suggestions. Very good trip overall and I thoroughly enjoyed my lengthy drive to get there that morning (2-3 hrs. from the Branson, MO area where I was staying.) Perhaps a given, there is no water at the trailhead or nearby - carry your own. Also, no restroom facilities except the great outdoors. Lastly, there is no cell service in the area. Be sure to let others know where you are going and when you expect to return. Safety first, people!

Helpful website I found: http://www.buffaloriver.com/whitaker-point-trail-hawksbill-crag/

11  Thank bckpkr1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Beautiful hike especially at the end where you're rewarded with spectacular views. The trail is mostly downhill on the way in and though there are a few loose rocks it's pretty easy. You'll spend a little more energy getting out but it's worth it. Expect a long drive up a dirt road on the way in and set your odometer so you'll know when to look for the trail head. I've been a number of times and always enjoy this one. Have fun.

2  Thank Luke B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Also called Whitaker Point on many maps, this is worth going out of your way to experience. Ideal for photos near sunrise or sunset, and water and snacks help, especially in summer.

The six mile drive on a packed dirt road to the trail head was easy in a mini van because it was dry. Plenty of parking at the trail head, but the trail map didn't have much detail and the trail was across the street next to a large stone monument.

The 1.5 miles started out easy and mostly downhill, but watch for poison ivy along the trail....it's everywhere. The path is uneven with jutting tree roots & rocks, so walking sticks help if you have them. You'll cross a creek, which was dry when we were there and as you get closer to the rim (caution-steep drop-offs if you leave the trail) the grade increases somewhat as you get closer to the rim.

Voila! You see the open rock point and experience fabulous views and the exhilaration of the journey. Take photos, eat snacks drink water and savor the moment.

The hike back to the car is mostly uphill, so it takes a bit longer.

Note: Access Off Hwy 21- via Cave Mountain Rd., the unpaved road is #9560 and it's immediately on the North side of the Buffalo River and not easily visible if you're coming from the South. It's just past Boxley Baptist Church if you're coming from the North.

3  Thank Bchgrl9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 3, 2013

This is a rough , undeveloped area, but worth the experience even for a group of eight women.
It took us longer then the younger generation, however we stayed, had our picnic and enjoyed
the lovely scenery. Definitely need hiking shoes and a walking stick. A first aid kit came in
handy. Some of the women were in their 80's , and in good shape or it would have been too

3  Thank Kathleen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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