TRAIL REVIEW: The Devil’s Den hidden gem

Panorama of the Yellow Rock overlook.

Photos by Caroline Bauman

Note: This is the second in a seven-part series of Northwest Arkansas trail reviews. Read more here. ×

Trail: Yellow Rock Trail
Duration: 3.1 miles
Activities: Hiking
Map: (PDF)

Rising 300 feet in elevation, Yellow Rock Trail in Devil’s Den State Park offers several of the best views in Arkansas.

This moderate trail, a little over three miles, has been featured in Shape Magazine and Hike the as a hike that every adventurer should try.

Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the 1930s, this trail also features the park’s first structure, the Yellow Rock Overlook pavilion. Located just 45 minutes south of Fayetteville, Yellow Rock Trail (and state park in general) is perfect for family traditions or just a Saturday whim.

Though the trail boasts beautiful cedar glades and is stunning in autumn, one of the best times to hike the trail is winter, when it is full of unobstructed views. A great route to take is starting at the main entrance and heading right at the fork in the trail, which comes shortly after a steep incline uphill. This will take you on a semi-loop to Yellow Rock, an amazing overlook of the Lee Creek Valley. The overlook is a perfect place to stop, catch your breath and even break for a picnic.

After Yellow Rock, you can follow the loop back to the original trail and continue heading west to the Yellow Rock Overlook pavilion. The pavilion is accessible by car, and if you have kids with you, a great option is to drop a car off here and drive back into the park. Though after you stop and enjoy the views from the pavilion, the trail is downhill, an easy conclusion to the best trail in the park. If you are planning on tackling Yellow Rock within the next few weeks, however, I recommend starting your trek here, as there is construction around the main entrance to the trail.

Be it winter, autumn, summer or spring, it’s hard to find a prettier trail in Northwest Arkansas to visit. Reserve an afternoon this week, pack some sandwiches and go have a picnic with a view at this hidden gem at Devil’s Den State Park.

More photos

The path leading up to the Yellow Rock Overlook pavilion.

Photos by Caroline Bauman

Yellow Rock at a distance.

Yellow Rock overlooks the Lee Creek Valley.

Several wooden bridges are featured along the way.

The oldest structure in the park, the Yellow Rock Overlook pavilion was constructed in 1934.

The view from the pavilion.

Yellow Rock trail reaches 300 feet of elevation over the Lee Creek Valley.