On the next morning of our Arkansas trip, we woke up in Kyles Landing to temps in the 20’s and lots of frost. Very chilly but felt great.
When the morning sun came out it filled the canyon with a beautiful glow.
After breakfast we headed over to the trail head. Today the plan was to attack the Indian Creek trail. It’s not an official trail, but it’s well known to hikers and there’s lot of information to be found on it. It follows Indian Creek down about 2 1/2 miles to a spectacular feature called The Eye of the Needle. There’s also a bit more beyond it that goes to a waterfall, but we didn’t do this portion.
The beginning of the trail, starts off on the Buffalo River Trail.
Jared was itching to find caves…he wanted to inspect every hole he saw.
Where’s Waldo…do you see him?
I looked like a darn gypsy with all my layers hanging off my pack. I don’t have good lightweight winter gear yet. I had way too many layers, learned a lesson.
Gorgeous views of the rock features along the way.
One of the many obstacles. No going through it, so must go around it.
Areas like this one below don’t seem tricky, but they are. The rock has a layer of algae slime that’s thick and slippery as heck. I know…Which is one of the many warnings given about the danger of this trail. Slips, twisted ankles, and falls.
Not much of a trail as you can see…just follow the creek.
A couple of hikers caught up to us and luckily for us they’ve done this before a few times. I was starting to think we were never going to get there ( hush Jared…I know it aggravates you when I say that.)
When we got near the area going up to the Eye of the Needle there is a cave called the Arkansas Cave. It’s been closed due to the threat of white nose syndrome in the endangered Ozark big-eared bats and Indiana bats that are in there.
So instead of going into the cave and up and around, hikers have to traverse a rope up the cliff side and hike up into the Eye area. It’s extremely dangerous and you have to take your time and use caution. Do not attempt the hike alone! Excuse my butt shots…but I was glad hubs got pics of me getting up there. I was so nervous.
A shot of the Arkansas Cave
To get to this cutout opening took some doing. It would have been cool to get shots of me doing it, but Jared was too busy trying to keep an eye on me to make sure I made it over there ok. It’s basically a narrow rock ledge with a cut out drop off in it. You grip on to a couple of rocks in the side wall and walk your feet over to the next ledge. Then into this cut out and onto the other side.
A look back at the opening. There were a couple of young guys there before us and they were setting up camp up there.
Not done yet…but almost.
The Eye! Well…you can kinda see it.
Close up. I think there’s normally water flowing through it, but there’s been a drought the past year and half I was told. So most all the waterfalls are dry or running very slow.
After basking in our accomplishment we turned around and hiked back out 2 1/2 miles back to the camp ground. Then drove on to get our cabin for the next two nights. It felt good treating ourselves to a hot shower and cozy cabin after the hike. Even though it was a tough hike, I’m definitely looking forward to going back and doing it again. Maybe even make it further to the waterfall that is supposed to be beyond the Eye.