This Meetup is cancelled

Eagle Rock Loop Backpacking trip 27 mile loop

  • Little Missouri Falls Trailhead

    AR-369, Langley, AR (map)

    34.299488 -93.821152

  • From Albert Pike campground follow signs to Little Missouri Falls
  • Easter weekend is a three day weekend for some, so a good time to do ERL, while it’s still cool.

    The trip is two nights over  2 days of hiking, 27 miles over a lot of ridges and wet creek/river crossings. It's about 5 hours from dfw

    You should have prior overnight backpacking experience and know how to pack for a trip this length. (You should keep your total pack weight around or under 30 lbs) There is plenty of water to filter on the trail, so you don’t Have to carry a lot. I have a filter. You should bring purification tablets, since filters can fail, freeze or you lose the connection.  Some people have done this as their first trip and enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you bring too much, not enough or you can’t handle the physical aspects, you may be miserable.  And no one wants that.

     I prefer we hike as a group or groups and stay together. The trail is well marked, but there are forks and you can take the wrong fork.  Hiking together prevents anyone from getting lost alone or injured and left behind.

     I copied Scott’s trip from last March and there is a link for the maps of the area. I’d recommend you print and bring with. I cut and pasted them into one map and then had it laminated at an office store for about $6.

     No pets. The trail is rocky, which is known to cut paws and  there are  river crossings.

     As it mentions below LOCKING trekking poles are highly recommend. As well as water shoes for the wet crossings.

     Please do not sign up unless you are serious and intent on going. If there is a wait list it’s not fair to others if you are not serious and people usually want to carpool there.

     I may send out an email for you to confirm a week or two prior, so please please take a look at the following from Meetup:

     double check the mail settings in your email handler to see if it's somehow blocking Meetup email. First, check out the email controls to see if Meetup email is being blocked. Definitely make sure to add info @ meetup.com (without the spaces) to your Address book.

     Scott's Post:(Thanks Scott. Great Trip)

    OK trekkers here's the trip. Arrive Friday and hit the trail by 1pm hike (3 hours) over the 1st mountain and make camp. Saturday hike over the remaining 5 mountains and make our way to the Winding Stairs campground. Sunday hike the remaining 10 miles back to Little Missouri fall's (5 hours). This is a backpack trip you will need to carry everything with you. Trekking poles are a good idea on this loop.

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5160782.pdf

    This is an excellent weekend loop hike that has a good combination of easy, moderate, and difficult trails. There are many trail access points but I like to start at the Little Missouri Falls. The loop combines the Little Missouri Trail, Viles Branch Trail, and the Athens-Big Fork Trail.
      Very easy deep woods hiking but be prepared for some wet crossings of the creek.
    The Athens-Big Fork Trail is the one that makes this hike a challenge. It follows an old mail route and is very, very steep. The trail climbs up and over 6 different mountains in its 8 miles of the loop. These climbs and descents are very brutal and the summer heat and humidity could be very dangerous for those not in good shape. If you can make the climbs there are some spectacular views for you.
    All of the trails have plenty of access to water if you can filter it yourself.

    OK here's my disclaimer: By signing up for this trip you are taking full responsibility for your own actions and will hold harmless event organizer for any injury or death. This event is covering very uneven and loose ground with many hazards along the way. You also realize that dangerous and deadly flash flooding have been know to happen in this area. Wildlife is unpredictable so don't pet the snakes and don't hook up with Bigfoot. 

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  • Jeff

    Sorry, but regretfully have to cancel this trip.

    The forecast is for a LOT of rain Friday and Saturday in Central AR. That will cause the river to rise to levels that would not allow us to complete the trip. The forestry service advised against it. Can't see hiking the OK trail either as it's supposed to rain heavily there as well.

    March 27, 2013

  • Tiffany S

    My family is doing an Eagle Rock "U" on Saturday if my kids don't rebel after the Caney/Buckeye mountain trail on Friday.

    If anyone is still planning on spending Saturday night at Winding Stairs on Saturday night?. We are hoping to walk from the Blaylock Trail head, to Vile Branch Trail, and then over to Winding Stairs to camp Saturday night if it isn't impassable.

    March 27, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    Hello from Eagle Rock Vista. I left the Winding Stair trailhead at 7:30 am at 27degrees. Sunny and almost 60 now. River levels low, most creeks have water. Hope to cross all the ridges today and camp along the Lil Miz river tonight and finish hike tomorrow. Happy Trails. Larry the Hiler Guy

    March 27, 2013

  • Kevin

    I have been watching the weather and nursing a bad blister from new soccer shoes. Otherwise I would have committed earlier. Under the current circumstances I am very doubtful. Rivers, mud and blister are problematic.

    March 27, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    Looks like rain and I don't want to cross the Lil Miz when it's raining so I'm going to do a one night solo on the 27th instead to beat the rain. Perhaps next time!

    March 26, 2013

  • Jeff

    I Emailed everyone on the list info about the trip. Please confirm directly to me your intentions to attend.

    Larry is correct, currently the forecast is for rain. I don’t mind rain. It’s nicer without, but the real problem is if it rains a lot and the Little Missouri River becomes hazardous of impossible to cross.

    I am planning on calling the ranger station Wednesday or so about the river levels and Rain forecast. If the levels or rain is too high, I would need to cancel the trip.

    If I have to Cancel, I ‘m planning on instead going to the Military Loop, which is in Eastern OK. A similar 2 night trip. NTO did this a couple of years ago. The link to that trip is below. I have not done it before.

    http://www.meetup.com/North-Texas-Outdoors/events/17001469/

    March 25, 2013

    • D

      Jeff, I think I will plan not to go...

      March 25, 2013

    • Stanley

      Jeff, I will go if not canceled, and I will be interested in military loop.

      March 25, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    Rain forecast still trending downward from[masked]% for the 3 days to[masked]%. Hope it keeps trending downward.

    March 25, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    I am leaving tomorrow (Tues) for Albert Pike. If it rains I’ll fish and if you cancel I’ll hike solo if I can from whatever trailhead is best depending on the forecast and conditions. If it’s raining with forecast for less, I’ll start from the Athens/Lil Miz junction counterclockwise. If it’s not raining with forecast for rain, I’ll start at Winding Stair clockwise. Both should allow me to cross the Lil Miz downstream at the deepest section when the water level is lowest.

    If you don’t cancel, I’ll meet you wherever you decide. I will drive to Langley Thurs eve to check messages then I’ll be out of touch until Monday.

    Happy trails!

    Larry the Hiker Guy

    March 25, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    Rain probability is trending downward from 60% to 40% for the weekend. Lets hope it keeps going down.

    1 · March 24, 2013

  • Tiffany S

    Those of you who have been there... The Southern portion of the Athens Big Fork Trail from West Blaylock TrailHead @ FR 106 to Eagle Rock Vista is 3.2 miles long. Is that part as bad or worse than the Northern section of the Athens Big Fork Trail?

    March 20, 2013

    • Tiffany S

      My family and I had already planned a trip to Arkansas for Easter Weekend to hike the Buckeye-Caney Trail. We are too slow to go with the group so I'm just picking y'all's brains to find small trips we can make after we finish the Buckeye. Trying to work it so we end up at Winding Stairs on Saturday evening to say howdy.

      Doesn't look like a lot of flat ground right there at the Winding Stair pool...Do you camp in that bend just north or do you camp way back at the Winding Stair Trailhead?

      March 21, 2013

    • Larry the Hiker G.

      We camp just across the river from Winding Stair outcroppings

      1 · March 24, 2013

  • Jeff

    For those of you that are not aware, parts of the Little Missouri River on the trail are prone to flooding so we have to watch the weather and river levels next week. It is possible that we would have to cancel the trip if the river levels are high or there is forecast of significant rain. Langley, AR is the closest weather station. There is still enough time, that you can order any gear that you need online prior to the trip. If you are an REI member, their annual dividends come out Friday with a 20% off on 1 item coupon. I called yesterday and they allowed me to use my coupon early as a courtesy. As I mentioned prior, Sunnysports.com has $35 Black Diamond Poles.

    March 19, 2013

    • Larry the Hiker G.

      If any of you are considering a new quality sleeping bag then you may want to look at the new water resistant down bags. The feathers are individually treated so the bag keeps you warm even if wet

      March 20, 2013

  • David

    unfortunately can't get that day off

    March 13, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    A MUST bring is an item often left off lists..a whistle! Remember how one saved Kate Winslet's character in Titanic...it could do the same for you...

    1 · March 6, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    For those buying trekking poles... Walmart has some locking (NOT the twist type) for about $15 each. That's one of the poles I use...the other is a bamboo flute hiking stick with a compass. But don't worry, I only play it when I'm hiking solo...I like to keep the freinds I've made on the trail...;-)

    1 · February 26, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    I will be carrying my SPOT and will be posting our coordinates regularly on my Facebook page so your family and friends can follow along. Go ahead and look me up. Larry Lyon...I'm playing a guitar. They don't even have to FB friend me as it will be a public posting. My SPOT is also capable of sending out an emergency signal should any rescue be required (I hope not). It takes the search out of search and rescue. I never hit the trail without it. Creature comforts item: 4X toilet paper than you use in 3 days, baby wipes in a ziplock baggie (ZLB), a ZLB with GOLD BOND powder, painkillers (aspirin, Tylenol, etc), earplugs (if your tent is too close to mine at night), moleskin for foot blisters (near the Dr. Scholls...he'll be in my boots too), a dishtowel to dry off with if need be, a wash clothe, liquid soap (hands & dishes). Hiking/biking/workout gloves (hand blisters). A 1 liter Platypus bladder or plastic soda bottle (not water bottle, they don't seal tight) for adult beverages.

    1 · February 25, 2013

    • Larry the Hiker G.

      Thanks Stanley. Actually, I keep a couple of Platypus bladders handy around the house for those bottles of wine I don't care to drink alone in one sitting. Just squeeze out all the air (loosen the cap and squeeze until a drop or two come out) and the wine will stay fresh for a week or so. Better than one of those pumps because no matter how much you pump, some air still stays in the bottle.

      February 26, 2013

    • Larry the Hiker G.

      Oh yeah....Platypus sales a "wine" bladder for a few bucks more than their regular bladder, but in reality, all you get for your extra $$$ is a pretty picture of a glass of wine on the bladder.

      February 26, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    When you get back home, call the ranger station in Glenwood and they will send you, free, an ERL patch just like the one in my posted photos.

    February 25, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    Jeff is a great guy, friendly, reliable, lotsa common sense; I'd share the trail, and ERL, with him any time. For anyone who hasn't hiked the ERL before, you will for sure have two guys along who have. I've hiked it 4 times before so we both know the trail well and will help make sure you have a blast on this hike. It's one of the best hikes in the area, but it's not an easy hike, at least along the Athens trail. But as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you'll do just fine. I'm willing to hike along with the slowest hiker to help make sure you have a good time finishing the hike. I hiked ERL solo in one day a couple years back so I have no need to get in a rush anymore, plus I'm pushing 60 so I really don't mind taking my time. So RSVP if you know for sure you can make it. Feel free to ask any questions. We're gonna have a great hike. And I will be bringing my uke...4 song limit each night...that's all I know...after that it's Kumbaya ;-)

    February 24, 2013

    • Larry the Hiker G.

      Assuming you have your lightweight sleep system (tent, bag, pad), cooking gear, etc about the only thing I would STRONGLY recommend are some trekking poles and to keep a set of dry clothes in a waterproof bag in case you fall in the river. If you bring a filter, also bring either purification tablets, or if you're limiting your iodine intake, a real Visine bottle (not a cheap one) filled with plain, non-scented CLorox, AND RELABELED XXXBLEACHXXX. You don't want someone to put bleach in their eyes. 2 drops per liter, wait 30 min per CDC. Of course a liter of vino and some dark chocolate would be greatly appreciated and make you my very best friend ;-)

      February 24, 2013

    • Jeff

      I bought water shoes at Academy, I think $5-$10 and only weight 1lb. a lot of people like Crocks for water shoes and camp shoes, but hey cost more and I think are heavier.

      I think Academy now sells locking Trekking Poles.

      I’ve bought my Black Diamond poles from http://www.sunnysport...­. They start at $35+shipping. If the Black Diamond aren’t much more than the ones at Academy. I would by them. They are sturdy and last. You can buy a lot more expensive and lighter.

      You should also bring some towels to dry your feet. I also like to bring a empty 1 gallon milk jug. It weighs zilch and is very convenient for storing filtered water when you camp.

      February 24, 2013

  • Larry the Hiker G.

    The Dallas Backpacker hike has been cancelled by the organizer (????) so I'm joining this one!!!!

    February 24, 2013

Cancelled

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