I am delighted to welcome you to Beckham Creek Cave Lodge and sincerely hope your stay is relaxing and enjoyable. Should there be anything I can do to make your time more comfortable, please do not hesitate to call me ~ Rayne Davidson, Lodge Manager.
(870) 365-9785 (Rayne's Cell/txt)
(417) 366-4209 (Jason, our caretaker's Cell/txt)
Your family’s safety is the most important thing to us. Please be aware that this area is in fact considered wilderness, with limited resources close at hand. We make every effort to ensure you are well-informed and fully equipped to meet the challenges of the area, however, you must exercise common sense. In summer, this area has poisonous snakes and come prepared for ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, etc. On the following pages, we go into more details about this area to help you make this the best family vacation by making sure everyone has a pleasant and safe adventure here.
In case of Emergency, if it is LIFE-THREATENING, Dial 911. Then, call Rayne and Brandon immediately once you have EMS on their way. We want to ensure we are helping you every step of the way. Note: If you can travel, it may be quickest to drive to the nearest hospital which will be North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison, AR. If it is NON-LIFE THREATENING, There is a first aid kit under the kitchen sink and a Mediquick in Harrison, AR.
Beckham Creek Cave Lodge is a 4BR 4BA 5600 sf lodge with it's very own waterfall in the living room. Located on 256 pristine and remote acres in the Ozark Mountains of NW Arkansas. Includes honeymoon suite, gourmet kitchen, big screen TV with satellite, WIFI, firepit, grill and patio area. Natural cave walls with cool cave features are showcased wherever possible, including in the showers and bedrooms!
On-site hiking safe
Around the corner from the cave, you'll find a cool place to walk to, we call it the Needle Eye Overlook. Also, there are hiking trails on the 256 acres, one of which goes up the mountain to Indian Spring Boulders, a group of house sized boulders and a spring, if you look, you'll find evidence of Indian life there, just ask Brandon how to locate the trail, or just tip him and he'll be your guide.
In the Buffalo National River Park Service and Ozark National Forest, there are so many fantastic trails to explore. Please note that while many of the Buffalo National River trails are well marked and easy to follow, there are many reasons you might get off trail and be unable to find your way back, and there is little to NO CELL RECEPTION in most areas, so adopt the safety procedure we use: always make sure someone knows what trail you have taken, and what time you left. Put a note on the table or send me, Rayne, a quick text saying how many in your party and where you are planning to hike. A little information can go a long way to speeding up any rescue efforts.
Take a back pack with extra water, nutrient rich snacks, a flash light, compass, small first aid kit and a fleece jacket for if you get wet or overnight temperature drops. Wear good sturdy footwear and use insect repellent to protect yourself from the ticks and chiggers that will make you itch! And, a piece of advice, don't hike in light colored clothes and socks as these attract them more. If you happen to get into a bunch of ticks, use duct tape after your hike to pull them off of your clothes or have a change of clothes and isolate the "ticky" ones into a plastic bag till they can be washed. Do shower and change clothes as soon as possible after hiking.
LOW GAP CAFÉ -- LOW GAP, AR
Italian & American food in an unassuming setting as you are crossing the mountains from Ponca to Jasper. Great live music featuring local bands on weekends.
Phone ahead to check hours: 870-861-5848.
OZARK CAFÉ – JASPER, AR
On the Jasper Square across from the court house.
Try the burgers and shakes. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.
BLUE MOUNTAIN BAKERY AND CAFÉ – JASPER, AR
On the Jasper Square, across from the courthouse.
They make everything from scratch, and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
CLIFF HOUSE INN RESTAURANT – JASPER, AR
6 miles south of Jasper on Hwy 7.
Overlooking the Arkansas Grand Canyon, enjoy a spectacular view of the Ozark Mountains while having breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Hiking the Buffalo
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL HIKE:
- Use a guidebook and map to plan your hike. Two good resources we recommend are the Buffalo River Handbook and the National Geographic waterproof map of the Buffalo National River (West half or East half depending on where you want to hike), these can be purchased from local outfitters or at least upload a trail map to your phone from AllTrails.com.
- Be sure to closely monitor the weather. The day can change without obvious warning.
- Carry a small lightweight pack filled with necessities. First aid, water, nutrient dense snacks, and a small flashlight are a good idea. Don’t overload yourself, but do prepare for the worst case scenarios.
- Layer your clothing. It is easy to adjust your temperature by adding or removing light layers. A fleece jacket is a must during cooler weather.
- Always use sunblock. You unfortunately will not realize you have burned until it is too late.
- Carry your cellphone. You won’t always have service, so turn it off to preserve battery life. You want to have it in case of emergency. Always let someone know where you are hiking, how many in your party, and what time you are hiking.
- Always obey trail markers and rules. Help us preserve this incredible natural resource for all to enjoy! Cardinal rule is to leave nothing and take nothing. Note that no glass containers are allowed around the River area.
OUR FAVORITE HIKES:
Without a doubt, a person could hike a lifetime and not get the chance to fully explore the trails available. But, there are some favorites that we love to introduce every newcomer to. If you want more information or recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask. We love sharing our area with you!
Be careful when crossing or walking in river and creeks - the rocks are slick. Also, when pine needles are present on the top of the bluffs, be very careful, they'll slide you off the bluff before you realize what's happening.
AREA HIKING TRAILS
(from upper to middle Buffalo River)
Distance: 1.1 miles round trip
Features a natural bridge, a bluff line, two caves, and seasonal waterfall, and rock shelter
Directions: 50 min (36.4 miles) via AR-21 S and AR-16 E about 6 miles on south side of road.
GPS: 35.86041, -93.2292
GLORY HOLE FALLS
Distance: 2 miles round trip
Features one of the most famous waterfalls in Arkansas
Directions: 33 min (24.4 miles) via AR-43 S and AR-21 S
GPS: 35.82595, -93.39737
HAWK’S BILL CRAG
Distance: 2.7 miles round trip
Features a rock formation that juts out from the bluff’s face and overlooks a huge valley.
Directions: 40 min (18.9 miles) via AR-43 S and Co Rd 5
GPS: 35.8982, -93.45796
SMITH CREEK PRESERVE
Distance: 5.7 miles round trip
Features a beautiful creek, boulders, and a waterfall.
Directions: 20 min (14.1 miles) via AR-43 S and AR-21 S
GPS: 35.935067, -93.386583
LUALLEN SPRING at BOXLEY VALLEY
Features a spring that many locals drink from. The water is regularly tested and safe to drink. Take a water bottle to fill up. At the parking lot, walk towards the old barn to get to the spring. You'll see the black pipe that you'll unhook to get your water, be sure to hang it back up when you're done.
Directions: 18 min (12.9 miles) via AR-43 S
GPS: 35.9444, -93.3994
Distance: 2.3 miles round trip
Features the most popular hiking trail in the upper Buffalo River area. Barrier free stretch, suitable for families. Eden Falls, Native American shelter, waterfall in cave, outstanding spring wildflowers.
Directions: 11 min (7.2 miles) via AR-43 S
GPS: 36.00787, -93.36625
PONCA TO STEEL CREEK
Distance: 4 miles round trip
Features small waterfalls, views of the river, and rock columns
Directions: 11 min (6.5 miles) via AR-43 S
GPS: 36.021727, -93.354261
STEEL CREEK OVERLOOK
Distance: 3 miles round trip
Features a big sweeping view of Roark Bluff.
Directions: 15 min (8.5 miles) via AR-43 S
GPS: 36.040595, -93.341553
BIG BLUFF/ GOAT TRAIL
Distance: 6 miles round trip
Features a big view of the Buffalo River combined with a world-class geologic experience. It takes 4 to 5 hours to complete the round-trip hike. It's basically uphill all the way back (2.5 miles). This is another trail on which you'll want to have plenty of water and a hearty snack along, as well as possess a reasonably good physical fitness level in order to enjoy.
Directions: 4 min (2.4 miles) via AR-103 and AR-43 S
GPS: 36.064023, -93.360244
Distance: 6.1 miles round trip
Features a 250 ft. waterfall, the tallest between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The hike back out is a 2.5-mile uphill climb.
Directions: 11 min (6.5 miles) via AR-43 N
GPS: 36.081208, -93.303235
Distance: 2 miles round trip
Features one of the prettiest waterfall areas in Buffalo River. The fall is easily 37 feet tall with the surrounding bluff line.
Directions: 19 min (8.9 miles) via AR-43 N and Co Rd 19
GPS: 36.073017, -93.265046
Distance: 4.7 miles round trip
Features a waterfall and is one of the most strenuous and ruggedly beautiful day hikes in the Buffalo River area.
Directions: 37 min (18.1 miles) via AR-43 S and AR-74 E
GPS: 36.054918, -93.281638
TWIN FALLS / TRIPLE FALLS
Distance: 0.3 miles round trip
Features a beautiful Twin Falls, which runs with THREE waterfalls after a heavy rain!
Directions: 39 min (18.2 miles) via AR-43 S and AR-74 E
GPS: 36.056562, -93.257717
CECIL LOOP COVE
Distance: 6.7-mile loop trail
Features a river, bluffs, historic homesteads, an old cemetery, and several hidden waterfalls.
Directions: 52 min (29.7 miles) via AR-43 N
GPS: 36.083934, -93.233100
Perhaps the most popular animal of all to visitors is the majestic elk, which was reintroduced to the area beginning in 1981. Elk were native to the Ozark hardwood forest, but were hunted into extinction back in the mid-1800's. Fortunately, through a successful management effort of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, over 800 elk now roam the Buffalo National River. In fact, the elk have thrived and reproduced so well that an annual elk hunt is now coordinated by the commission.
A large heard of elk can frequently be seen in the fields of the Boxley Valley (Hwy 43 South from Ponca), especially in the fall, winter, and spring of the year. Field grasses offer them ample food during those seasons, however, once warmer weather and tree leaves appear, elk tend to move into the forest for shade and to feed on the tender foliage.
PONCA ELK EDUCATION CENTER -- PONCA, AR
HILARY JONES WILDLIFE MUSEUM AND ELK INFORMATION CENTER – JASPER, AR
Location: 7 Byway, eight miles south of Harrison
Location: 6386 Hwy. 21 North, Berryville, AR 72616
HURRICANE RIVER CAVE
Location: 15 miles south of Harrison on Hwy. 65
Float the River
BUFFALO OUTDOOR CENTER -- PONCA, AR (NOTE: Also provides zip-lining)
LOST VALLEY CANOE -- PONCA, AR
BUFFALO RIVER CANOES -- MT. SHERMAN, AR
Guided Raft: $55pp/day (minimum of 4)
Fishing Guide Services
The Buffalo National River is wholly unique in that it is one of the last remaining pristine watersheds in the United States. As the nation’s first designated National River, the Buffalo stands alone as an exceptional place. Anglers can find plentiful bass, perch, and catfish along the length of the river. All fishing on Arkansas waterways requires a fishing license, which helps to support conservation efforts. You may buy your license at any of the official outfitters, or directly from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
If trout are more your desired fish, the White River is world-renowned for trophy trout. Located in the next county over, about 60 miles from Mountain Springs Cabins.
WHITE BUFFALO RESORT -- BUFFALO CITY, AR
Directions: At the confluence of the White and Buffalo River.
WILD BILL’S OUTFITTER -- YELLVILLE, AR
Directions: On Hwy 14, just 1 mile off the Buffalo River.
TIPS TO REDUCE IMPACT
- Don’t tie horses directly to trees. Use picket lines
- Tie them at least 100 feet away from any water course and off trail.
- Pack your feed and don’t allow them to graze.
- Stay on established trail so you don’t widen it or even create new paths.
- Remove or scatter manure from camp areas, trailheads, and loading areas.
RIMROCK COVE RANCH – PONCA, AR
Trail rides: $35/hour/person, $50 minimum/group
Hay rides: $20/hour/person
BUFFALO RIVER OUTFITTERS – ST. JOE, AR
Trail rides: $50/person
HORSEBACK RIDING TRAILS