Inspiration Point and Sunrise Rock Loop

Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas

Trip Date: Saturday, March 24th, 2018
Last Updated: Thursday, September 6th, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★★★(5/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.8 miles roundtrip
Time 30 minutes
Terrain A few hills
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

Inspiration Point and Sunrise Rock are two easily reached overlooks in Mount Magazine State Park. With a minimal amount of downhill then uphill hiking, you can see long-stretching views of Bear Hollow and the valley below. During the fall, this is one of the best places to view the fiery display of color.

From the north end of the parking lot, follow the trail until you reach a junction. You can choose to go either right or left since you'll be doing a loop that ends back at this exact spot -- I'll be describing the trail as you turn left first to do the loop clockwise. Navigation in this area can be a little confusing since so many trails intersect in a small area, so pay close attention to my directions!

After a short distance, the trail will split and you need to stay right towards the Bear Hollow Trail. This portion of the trail goes through forest and doesn't offer much in the way of scenery. Don't worry though, the best is yet to come. Turn right at the intersection ahead, following the trail downhill towards the first overlook, Inspiration Point. Here you'll be treated to views of rocky cliffs lining Bear Hollow as shown in the picture below.

The rocky cliffs lining Bear Hollow as seen from Inspiration Point

The rocky cliffs lining Bear Hollow as seen from Inspiration Point

Resume the trail, and you'll be hiking the most scenic part of your trip with glimpses of Bear Hollow on your left. The trail can be rocky and has steps in some places, but overall it is a pretty comfortable hike. Soon on your left, you'll reach Sunrise Rock. This overlook has the best views on this hike, see the picture below. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be here during peak fall color! The view extends from Bear Hollow across the valley floor with the flat top of Mt. Nebo and another plateau in the distance.
The impressive view from Sunrise Rock

The impressive view from Sunrise Rock

After enjoying the view, it's time to head uphill. Stay right as the trail merges with the Bear Hollow Trail, and soon you will reach the point where the loop started. Head back the way you came from there. I hope you had fun on this quick hike. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram after your trip!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. The hike is short and family friendly, just be mindful of your children near the edges at the overlooks. I visited pretty late on a Saturday afternoon and saw a handful of people, but I would expect this to be a popular hike later in the spring once the trees have their leaves and during fall color season. You can hike this trail all year round, and the shortness of the trail combined with the cooler higher altitude temperatures would make this doable during the hot summer.

Directions

From Little Rock, take Interstate 40 west. Exit for Arkansas Highway 247 in Pottsville and turn left. Turn left again at Arkansas Highway 27 and continue straight until the T intersection with Arkansas Highway 10. Turn right and continue straight until Havana. Turn right on Arkansas Highway 309. Continue on the highway as it winds up the mountain. You'll pass the Petit Jean Valley Overlook on the left (stop for a great view!). Shortly after, look for signs for the Benefield Picnic Area, then turn right to enter the parking area.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There are restrooms and a picnic area near the lot.

External Links

Nearby Hikes

Mount Magazine (Arkansas State Highpoint)

Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas
★★★☆☆(3/5)

Pinnacle Mountain Loop

Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Arkansas
★★★★★(5/5)

Comments