Pedestal Rocks Trail

  • October 6, 2014

It had been way too long since I was able to get out for walk amongst nature with my camera in hand. Three months maybe? This is my stress reliever, my way of getting away to …. breath. I wanted a place that was new, interesting, and photographic. Pedestal Rocks fit the bill. This was a place that intrigued me and the weather didn’t matter much for photography. The skies were far too clear for decent light and even though we just had 1 to 2 inches of rain, it had been too dry for too long for any waterfalls to be decent. I wasn’t able to get there early enough for the “golden light,” but I think relaxation was more of a priority this trip than photography.

See and download Gaia GPS data for my hike.


Kings Bluff trail is located in the same spot so be sure to check out that blog post as well. Pedestal Rock scenic area is located in north central Arkansas. I took Hwy 7 through Russellville north until I made it to the big city of Pelsor. At Pelsor, turn right on Hwy 16. This entire part of the state is beautiful so enjoy the drive! This spot consists of a parking lot, bathroom, and picnic tables, although no camping is allowed. The sign at the trail head leaves something to be desired, LOL!

Oh, and heed these signs! This is NOT a place I’d take my kids for a hike! Even though it’s an easy hike, the cliffs are high, the terrain a big unpredictable, and a fall could be potentially deadly.

A nice fall cold snap hit before my trip which was great for the temperatures, but I was too early for any real fall colors. Only a few trees were early in showing their pretty new hues.

The entire hike is only 2.6 miles and right at the halfway point is where you see why this is called Pedestal Rock Trail. What a cool rock formation! Technically, these are known as “hoodoos,” although I’ve seen some people say the term only applies to rock formations like this in arid locations. The first view of this rock is from above as you’re on a ledge at the same level as the top of the pedestal. You can climb down to the lower level where I was for a more impressive view. Just be careful as it isn’t easy down or back out. I climbed up midway to pose in this photo (which is about as close as a selfie as I know). It gives you a better sense of scale. Oh, and please note that climbing up wasn’t too bad, but sliding back down was MUCH more challenging!

As I went to climb back up to the trail, I noticed something I had walked right past without even seeing it. There are lots of neat cracks, crevices, and caves along the cliff-side.

This was one of my favorite little carve-outs I found. I had to 3-shot pano this to get enough of the view. Notice on the right that it goes through to the other side. Looks like someone camped out here before as I found a fire pit with leftover charred wood.

One thing I learned on this hike was if you spotted railings that were installed, take notice! They are there to guard you from certain death!

Here is another hoodoo towering up around the tree tops. Just enough color to make it look nice, but at peak time it’ll be spectacular!

Along the way, you’ll have a few really nice scenic overlooks of the mountains.

At this point, I thought the interesting parts of the hike were over. I was picking up my pace in case I felt like continuing on to the Kings Bluff Trail afterwards and I had limited time. I almost missed this cool rock formation! After this, though, the hike becomes a bit “blah” as you go back through the forest toward the trail head. Overall, this was a very enjoyable hike with some unique geology to admire and explore. I highly recommend it but not if you’re taking children along the way. Don’t forget to check out my post about the adjoining Kings Bluff Trail!


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