Page Tools

Skip Navigation LinksHome » Outdoors » Hiking » Trail Detail Trip Planner

Mount Nebo State Park - Day Hike Trails

Bench Trail (D-3)

Park/Rec Area: Mount Nebo State Park
Region: River Valley
Length: 4 miles
Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Brochure: Available at visitor center

Location: From I-40, take Scenic. Ark. 7 south through Russellville to Dardanelle; turn right onto Ark. 22 west, then left on Ark. 155 west up the mountain.

Description: Begins at the overlook shelter visible in the drive up the mountain to the park. There is a narrow shelf called a bench that encircles the entire mountain. In the early 1900s, this bench featured a road. Today the bench is a trail route through a woodland that teems with large trees and wildlife. Fern Lake, remnants of historic springs, and steps that were a part of an early resort development are still visible. The trail is level in most places and offers views from the mountain, especially during seasons from late fall through early spring.

For Information: Park Superintendent, 16728 West State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR, 72834, (479) 229-3655 mountnebo@arkansas.com

Nebo Springs/Nebo Steps Trail (D-4)

Park/Rec Area: Mount Nebo State Park
Region: River Valley
Length: 0.75 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous

Description: A delightful hike to moss-covered Nebo Springs begins behind the visitor center on the Rim Trail. Turn right onto the Rim Trail then down Nebo Steps to the Bench Road Trail. Turn right on the bench and follow until you get to the sign for Nebo Springs. The climb back up Nebo Springs Trail, then right onto the Rim Trail, completes a rectangular “circle.” Highly recommended for the historical significance and natural beauty, this loop is, however, strenuous. The stone enclosure of Nebo Springs, located directly below the bench, dates back to the 1800’s. Children were often sent to the spring with buckets to fetch water for meals.

For Information: Park Superintendent, 16728 West State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR, 72834, (479) 229-3655 mountnebo@arkansas.com

Rim Trail (D-3)

Park/Rec Area: Mount Nebo State Park
Region: River Valley
Length: 3.5 miles
Time: 2 to 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Description: The 3.5-mile Rim Trail circles the mountain top and provides access to all of the park's 14 miles of trail. Originally blazed in the 1890s, the trail was fully developed by the CCC in the 1930s with the addition of stone steps and retaining walls. Spectacular views spread over 100 miles of the Arkansas River Valley before you, including the 1830s water route of the Trail of Tears and 34,000 acre Lake Dardanelle. Accessibility:at the visitor center and other locations around the mountain Blaze color: yellow

For Information: Park Superintendent, 16728 West State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR, 72834, (479) 229-3655 mountnebo@arkansas.com

Summit Park Trail (D-3) (National Recreation Trail)

Park/Rec Area: Mount Nebo State Park
Region: River Valley
Length: 1.6 miles
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate - Strenuous
Brochure: Available at visitor center

Location: 7 miles west of Dardanelle on Hwy. 155

Description: This loop trail begins at a point on the northwest side of the mountaintop. Named for the Summit Park Hotel, built near the trailhead in 1889, it meanders down to Fern Lake along the same path that it has taken since it was first used by guests of the famous hotel. The Civilian Conservation Corps improved the trail with beautiful native rock work in the 1930s. This trail intersects with the park's Bench Trail near Fern Lake. A self-guided trail brochure can be obtained at the park visitor center.

For Information: Park Superintendent, 16728 West State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR, 72834, (479) 229-3655 mountnebo@arkansas.com

Varnall Springs Trail (D-4)

Park/Rec Area: Mount Nebo State Park
Region: River Valley
Length: 0.50 miles
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous

Description: The Varnall Springs Trail winds through natural features. A diverse forest, and many wildflowers. The spring was once the water supply for the town of Dardanelle. Some of the old water pipes remain visible.

For Information: Park Superintendent, 16728 West State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR, 72834, (479) 229-3655 mountnebo@arkansas.com

Waterfall/Gum Springs Trail (D-4)

Park/Rec Area: Mount Nebo State Park
Region: River Valley
Length: 0.25
Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Strenuous

Description: Developed by the CCC in the 1930’s using only hand labor and mules, this trail passes the seasonal waterfall enroute from the Waterfall Overlook to Gum Springs. The trail is very steep, with many switchbacks and huge rock steps, some weighing 500 pounds.

For Information: Park Superintendent, 16728 West State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR, 72834, (479) 229-3655 mountnebo@arkansas.com