Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area

The Basics

Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area
AR State Hwy 16
Pelsor, AR

Phone: (479) 284-3150 (Big Piney District Office)

Brochure: Pedestal Rocks  (courtesy USFS)

Closest Towns: Dover, Jasper, Pelsor

Directions: The turnoff for Pedestal Rocks is located off of Scenic Hwy 7 on Hwy 16, just East of Pelsor/Sand Gap. This intersection is located approx. 28 miles north of Dover (near Russellville) and approx. 28 miles south of Jasper on Scenic Hwy 7. Turn East onto Hwy 16, and go approx. 5.9 miles to the entrance on your right.

About Pedestal Rocks/Kings Bluff

This is a great place to explore, and offers two wonderful loop trails, each leading to its own scenic area. This is a day-use only area, and offers hiking trails, a picnic site, and a vault toilet. The parking area offers plenty of room for several vehicles.

Beginning from the parking area, the trail heads into the woods and immediately splits. The trail to the right starts the Kings Bluff Loop, while straight ahead the trail forms the Pedestal Rocks Loop.

The Kings Bluff Loop is 1.7 miles long, and is best hiked in a counter-clockwise direction. After about a mile, the trail leads out to the top of a huge flat bluff, overlooking a deep valley about 100' below. During wet weather, there is an impressive waterfall at the north end of the bluffline. At 114' tall, Kings Bluff Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Ozarks. Be sure to enjoy the views, and explore around a while, but be VERY CAREFUL along the edge of the 100'+ tall bluff. A railing has been added for safety. From the main bluff and watferfall, the trail continues on around to the left, quickly passing over a smaller waterfall (during wet weather), and soon travels along the edge of the bluffline, which at this point is not quite as tall, but offers some of the most unique and beautiful rocks formations in Arkansas. Numerous columns, cracks, caves, rock shelters and other formations can be seen along the bluffline for approx. the next ½ mile as the trail works its way back around to the east. After a while, the trail eventually leaves the bluffline and heads back up and out towards the beginning.

After about 1.6 miles you will come to a 3-way trail intersection. From here, if you turn to the left, it is just 0.1 miles back to the trailhead and parking area. If you keep going straight, this is the return portion of the Pedestal Rocks Loop. Turn right to start down the Pedestal Rocks Loop in the intended direction, although you can hike it either way you like.

The Pedestal Rocks Loop is 2.2 miles long, and visits the main attraction of this area; Pedestal Rocks. These unique rock formations were formed over eons from water and wind erosion, sculpting these unique "mushroom" shaped columns, as well as the numerous small caves and rock shelters in the sides of the bluff. This is a great area to learn about and study Arkansas's unique geologic history firsthand. If you hiked the Kings Bluff Loop first, turn right at the 3-way intersection. If you are coming from the parking area, keep straight at the first intersection at the trailhead, then continue another 0.1 mile to the 3-way intersection. Continue straight; the trail on your left is where you will hike out at the end of the loop.

The trail stays mostly level for about the first mile, following a ridge top most of the way. You will soon come to an area where the trail starts to descend a little, and goes through a switchback. You are getting close to the bluffline when you reach this area. The trail first emerges from the woods at the bluff with an amazing view of the valley down below. The trail then continues on around to your left, following close to the bliffline. After about a 0.1 mile or so, you come to the Pedestal Rocks, uniquely weathered columns with a smaller, narrower base than their tops. The trail continues along this bluffline for approx. ½ mile or so, offering more rock formations and spectacular views. From the bluffline, the trail eventually starts climbing its way out and back to the 3-way intersection. Turn right to get back to the trailhead and parking area.

This scenic area is best explored in the spring and fall, offering wonderful waterfalls and beautiful fall colors.

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