Lost Valley Part One

This is where I took my grandson yesterday and we had a blast. I have been here many times with my kids and hubby, but this was the first time for my grandson. This post is about Lost Valley State Park, I will have another post about Lost Valley later on with al the pictures I took of Kaden and me, and some of the things we seen.

The trail begins at the Lost Valley State Park and terminates in a cave 1 1/2 miles up the valley. Features include waterfalls, a cascading creek, towering cliffs, a large bluff shelter, a natural bridge, spring wildflowers and a hardwood forest containing American beech. The cave itself is a tight squeeze for approximately 200 feet ending in a large room with a 35-foot-tall waterfall. Clark Creek, like most tributaries to the Buffalo River, tends to dry up or go underground during the late summer and early fall of most years. The first mile to Eden Falls is level and easy going. The trail then climbs steeply to the mouth of the cave. You will need reliable lights if you plan to explore the cave.

Eden Falls … Photo Provided at: http://blog.gregdisch.com/2009/05/06/lost-valley-eden-falls-buffalo-national-river/

More pictures of Lost Valley … Photo Provided at: http://www.nightoutfayetteville.com

As you approach the Cave …Photo provided at: http://www.taylorlenz.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

As you enter the large Chamber … Photo provided at: http://www.taylorlenz.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

More inside the Cave …Photo provided at http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/hiking-the-ozarks-lost-valley.aspx#axzz357JFm6P1

The Cliffside … Photo provided at: http://www.taylorlenz.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

What Lost Valley looks like from afar … Photo provided at: http://www.taylorlenz.com/2010_10_01_archive.html


~Water Knows No Gravity~

On one our our (my husband and I) hiking trips we did her in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas was over at the Compton Trailhead called “Sneeds Creek.” This is NOT a trail I recommend unless you are in great physical shape. The trail winds 1400 feet down the mountain to the creek, and I do mean STRAIGHT DOWN! So naturally you will have to walk STRAIGHT back up the 1400 foot climb back up that mountain to go home.

We did not know that it was 1400 foot down to the creek, so we walked down to the creek. However I knew there was many trails here at Compton Trailhead that met up with each other and several spots, and I was hoping that we would meet back up with one to take a different (easier) route back up to our vehicle. How was I to know that the Sneeds Creek trail NEVER crossed paths with any of the other trails. So needless to say my husband and I are dieting and working on getting back in shape, BUT we where not in shape enough to really do this trail. But as I said before we did not know this until we were at the bottom of the trail.

It took us  almost four hours to climb back up that mountain and back to our vehicle. We stop many times to rest and drink water. The trail was beautiful going down and Sneeds Creek was breathe taking, but the climb back up was HELL! For the next 5-7 days my husband and I suffered from major leg pains because we actually tore and stretched a lot of our leg muscles while climbing back up the 1400 foot mountain.

Oh and by the way, this creek has loads of small water falls!

In the picture above does that not look like a dead Gold fish to you??

Put as you can see below it was just a leaf…LOL!

~A Wonder to See~

I always enjoy a trail that leads to something rewarding, like a viewpoint or waterfall. But instead of just one attraction, the trail into Clark Creek Hollow, also called “Lost Valley”, offers up several worthwhile destinations, including a natural bridge, a waterfall, and a cave.

The trail begins at a footbridge, that crosses Clark Creek. The first big attraction on the trail is the natural bridge. It doesn’t look like what I expected, instead, this natural bridge looks more like a creek flowing out of the middle of a rock. In order to emerge here, Clark Creek had to carve its way through 50 feet of limestone. From the natural bridge, the trail climbs up some rocky steps.

Further up the trail, the path splits, and you can go downhill to Eden Falls, or continue on the high road towards Eden Falls Cave.

We went on up to the falls where the 40-foot-tall Eden Falls makes a lovely descent into a small hollow. It’s a beautiful, quiet and relaxing spot, where you can sit on a rock and enjoy the solitude.

Once you return to the main trail, you can turn left to return to the trail head, or you can turn right to continue on to the cave. If you do decide to go the cave make sure to bring a flashlight. There is another beautiful waterfall inside the cave, but you have to travel into the cave and at times crawl through low spots to get to the waterfall that is beyond the point where sunlight can reach. My husband and I did not do the cave this time due to my back issues, but we have been before ( I did not have a camera then) and we are planning to go back this fall and go inside the cave so I can get some pictures of that wonderful waterfall!

Also on the drive to “Lost Valley” you will probably get to see our Elk…they are everywhere up here, but especially in Boxley, Arkansas!

To get to “Lost Valley State Park” it is located near Ponca, Arkansas, just south of the intersection where Routes 43 joins Route 74. So if you ever come through Arkansas you must come to the Ozark Mountains and visit our many wonderful trials, parks, caves, and national forests!

~Just Click Below to See Pictures~

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook

~Sam’s Throne~

Sam’s Throne is a hard sandstone rock climbing area in the Boston Mountains of north central Arkansas, located in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest.

The surrounding area contains over one hundred named climbing routes of various difficulty and is serviced by a paved Forest Service road.

According to Flatliners Southeast Climbing at http://www.southeastclimbing.com/climbing_areas/arkansas/sams_throne.htm a surprising amount of climbing is found in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. The flat topped mountains are capped by high quality atoka sandstone that is described as similar in quality to that found in the Red River and New River Gorges to the east. This highly featured solid rock is found in exposed cliff lines along the tops of the mesas cut by numerous streams and rivers.

Sam’s Throne is the oldest of several climbing areas found on along the broad flat mountain tops of the Ozark area. The Atoka sandstone Caprock that forms the cliffs at Sam’s Throne encircles about a three mile area. Major cliffs include East and West Main Bluff, The Outback with its big overhanging cracks, shady Northern Exposure, and the 90 foot walls of Hero Maker and Valley of the Blind and Deliverance. There are several other areas nearby including the sport climbing area at Cave Creek, Horseshoe Canyon Guest Ranch, Cherokee Crags, and many more!

The climbs range from short bouldering to 60′ – 75′ pitches, most ideal for top roping. The Atoka sandstone is laced with solution pockets and knobs as well as with numerous crack systems. Because of the highly featured rock which takes protective gear well, the first bolt did not appear at Sam’s Throne until 1987. A strong traditional climbing ethic persists.

These large number of features makes Sam’s Throne and the surrounding areas an excellent place for beginners. Most routes are in the 5.7 to 5.10 range and are easily top roped.

To get to “Sam’s Throne,” you head through the small town of Mt. Judea (pronounced Judy) and turn south on Arkansas State Highway 123.

Hwy 123 is very steep and have many switchbacks…you the curves, the ones where you “can turn around and kiss you ass!”

Just click below to see a wonderful slide show of Sam’s Throne. My husband and I went hiking all over Sam’s Throne last year and it was wonderful. We only live about 8 miles from it. I am very lucky to live where I do in the beautiful Ozark Mountains!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow