Hiking Arkansas: Yellow Rock Trail in Devil’s Den State Park

This weekend we celebrated Valentine’s Day with candy, flowers, a nice dinner, and an adventurous family hike in Devil’s Den State Park. The park is located in West Fork, Arkansas which is a 30 to 40 minute drive from our new hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

This was our second visit to Devil’s Den. On our first trip, we enjoyed the Devil’s Den Self Guided trail. This time we decided to try the Yellow Rock trail.

Family hike in Devil's Den State Park
The sun was out and the temperature was in the mid-40’s when we began our winter hike.

We recently purchased a helpful guidebook, Arkansas Dayhikes for Kids & Families – 105 Easy Trails in the “Natural State”. The book points out that there are a couple options where you can start on the Yellow Rock trail. You can start in Camp Area A, or at the CCC overlook. Following the advice of author Pam Ernst, we chose to start at the CCC overlook shelter.

CCC Overlook in Devil's Den State Park
CCC Overlook in Devil’s Den State Park

The Civilian Conservation Corps built this impressive rock structure in 1934. From this spot, we enjoyed expansive views of the Lee Creek Valley below.

Great views of Ozark Mountains
Views from shelter area

The Yellow Rock trail is marked with white diamonds.

Yellow Rock Trail

On our trip, there were several spots along the trail that were wet and muddy.

Yellow Rock trail with kids
Yellow Rock Trail. Arkansas State Park
Crossing over a wooden bridge
Hiking in Arkansas
Climbing uphill
Winter hiking in Arkansas
Stepping on stones over water
Hiking with kids in Northwest Arkansas
Taking it nice and slow on a steep downhill section of the hike
Winter hiking in Devil's Den State Park
Icicles glistening in the winter sunshine

The views from the Yellow Rock overlook were impressive.

Best Views. Yellow Rock. Arkansas

Yellow Rock Trail is designated as a National Recreation Trail.

Ozark Mountain views. Yellow Rock. Arkansas. Devil's Den
Views of Lee Creek Valley

The drop offs are very steep from the top of Yellow Rock, so it was important to be extra cautious, but I was happy to find that there was enough space for the girls to safely eat a snack and rest.

Ozark Mountain views. Yellow Rock. Arkansas. Devil's Den
Snack on Yellow Rock trail overlook

Although the overlook was the clear highlight of the hike, the rest of the trail is filled with gorgeous scenery from glimpses into the valley to little waterfalls spilling down rugged bluffs.

Small waterfall and pretty pool
Yellow Rock trail in Devil's Den State Park. Northwest Arkansas hiking
Looking back at Yellow Rock

Further along the trail, we could look back and see people enjoying the views on the Yellow Rock overlook. This was a popular spot. We saw some big groups hiking together, a couple young families like ours, and several people with their dogs.

Yellow Rock overlook
Trail signage points to overlook and trailhead

We took a right, heading back up towards our car instead of following the trail to the main trailhead that the signage points to.

Family hiking Devils Den State Park
Cedar trees

After our climb uphill, we enjoyed a nice flat section of the hike where large cedars towered on both sides of the trail. I would buy a candle that smelled like this.

My husband mapped our hike with his Garmin watch. According to GPS, we hiked a total of 2.3 miles.

Devil's Den State Park

Our girls did great on the hike walking uphills, getting muddy, feeling a little cold, and altogether staying tough. We encouraged them with snacks waiting for them when we reached the overlook and also back at the car.

They also did a good job listening. There were definitely sections that we held on tight to their hands to help them across slippery wet rocks or to ensure they staid far away from steep drop-offs. Our three-year-old needed us to give her rest and so she was carried for big sections. I feel comfortable recommending this hike for young families, but just want to point out that the trail is rated as moderate and it’s not one where kids can run ahead of you on their own.

Family hiking devil's den state park
We made it! Happy little hiker

Devil’s Den Self-Guided Trail in Northwest Arkansas

Given our obvious love for Rocky Mountain National Park, many of our friends and family members were a bit surprised that we moved a couple hours further away. This winter we relocated from Kansas City, Missouri to Fayetteville, Arkansas for my husband’s job. During our ‘research trips’ we got really excited about all of the outdoor activities and attractions that Northwest Arkansas has to offer.

Views of Boston Mountains, Devil's Den State Park
Lookout over Boston Mountains

Devil’s Den State Park

Back in July we decided to spend a weekend in Fayetteville, AR to explore the area. One of the highlights of our trip was hiking in Devil’s Den State Park which is a half hour drive from Fayetteville. Devil’s Den Road, which leads into the park, is one of the most scenic and curvy roads I’ve ever been on. We stopped into the ranger station for information about the park’s trail system and decided to do the self-guided tour.

Family hiking in Northwest Arkansas

The trail is 1.5 miles and rated as moderate with several steep uphill and downhill stretches.

Caves in Devil's Den State Park
‘Do bats live in there?’

We enjoyed mountain views and were intrigued by caves and unique rock formations.

Unique rock formations in Devil's Den State Park

I was very proud of our preschooler for walking the entire trail by herself. There were some steep drop-offs, so we held her hand and kept a close eye on her.

Crossing over a wooden bridge on Self Guided Tour in Devil's Den State Park

Both girls did a great job and rocked their first hike in Arkansas. We can’t wait to explore Devil’s Den State Park again soon.

Little hikers in Northwest Arkansas
You could say they are naturals? (haha, because Arkansas is the Natural State)

Have you hiked in Northwest Arkansas? We would LOVE to get hike suggestions.