This would be our last big stop before making the trek back to Indiana. It did not disappoint. In fact it was one of my favorites and we just left a beautiful lakeside spot.
Sam’s Throne is on a ridgetop on the northeastern side of the Ozark National Forest. It is beautiful! The drive in is curvy and uphill. A word of caution for those wishing to visit in an RV, come from the southside. Coming from the northside is a completely different experience with numerous switchbacks and steep inclines. Lucky for us we were coming from the south.
Upon arrival and after some evaluation we weren’t sure we would be able to stay here. The campsites are nice and spread out from each other, however they are tucked in amongst trees. The ones with more space required driving down a road with hilly bumps almost like berms (best way I can describe it). High siding our rig is a real concern here.
After much evaluation we decided on a spot closer to the entrance but away from the main road. It proved to be our toughest spot to get into but somehow we managed to squeeze Ralphie in amongst the trees. Have I mentioned Shane is a pro at parking this thing?
The trouble it took to get Ralphie parked was worth it. After a day of traveling it was time to explore the trail nearby and the views did not disappoint.
After returning to our campsite I found a small trail leading down from our site to the cliffside. Turns out there is a trail running along the backside of all of the campsites on the right hand side.
Each afternoon we set out for a different hike along the cliffs. Both along the top and below the cliffs. To have such great hiking in our “backyard” made this girl a VERY happy camper.
One hiking day it was foggy and we were unable to see very far. The fog made the landscape seem mysterious.
On another cliffside hike the views opened up to the valley below and the ridgetops across.
Another day we explored below the cliffs and this was just as fascinating to me as being on top of the cliffs. I enjoyed being away from the high up edges. My fear of heights tends to put me on edge while on an edge.
I loved how the rocks came together, sometimes leaving a small sliver of an opening and other times the beginnings of a cave. Exploring and climbing over rocks was good for the body, mind, and soul. Josie was in paradise as she loves to explore alongside us.
After consulting the trail map on AllTrails we set out for Sam’s Throne. Turned out it was easy to find and worth the hike out. We found the one way up to the top that did not require rock climbing equipment. The views from up top were breathtaking. We spent some time soaking it all in.
Climbing up the rocks to get to the top was the easy part. We gave Josie a boost from behind and up she went. Getting back down on the other hand proved to be a bit more challenging. Shane had to rig up her leash and use it like a harness around her chest and belly to lower her down. She didn’t like it but we managed to get her down. (I wish I had a video of lowering her down – paws all splayed out). The third photo below shows our route to the top.
With a limited amount of time in Arkansas we managed to cross off our “want to go” places of Lake Ouachita and The Ozarks. Now we had one last thing to complete before heading back to Indiana. To kayak a portion of the Buffalo National River.
We chose the section between Dillard’s Ferry and Rush Landing, about a nine mile stretch. With the water levels up it was more of a float in the kayaks than a paddle. The only paddling we had to do was to steer.
We went between floating and time on the gravel bars along the way. Lunch among the huge rocks in the side of the hills. Time spent sitting in the water in our swimsuits and feeling the little fish nibble at our legs. At our last stop for the day the water was really shallow along the gravel bar. I reclined back and laid my head in the water. Lying there feeling the water flow over my head and body brought a sense of peace and oneness with the river.
This was the best way to spend our last day in Arkansas. We will be back for another float down this beautiful river.
Upon return our car was safely parked and awaiting us. Wild Bill’s Outfitters moved our car from our put in spot (for a fee of course). But it was worth having it there when we were done and not having a time frame to get back.
On our way out we found the ghost town of Rushville.
Spending our last day in Arkansas on the Buffalo River was such a treat. It was relaxing and peaceful. I could have stayed there forever. But alas it was time to make the trek back to Indiana for a visit with family and friends after 5.5 months away.
Arkansas we will be back!