Mount Nebo Trails – Part 2

You really should start with Part 1

…Lunch was good and soon we were ready for round 2. Our plan was to head down the Rim Trail again but at Gum Springs we would head down to the Bench Trail, playing it by ear from there.

The trailhead for the Gum Springs Trail is very close to our cabin. Another Civilian Conservation Corps trail, it heads down some wonderful switchbacks and under a seasonal waterfall. Lucky for us, the waterfall was in season. I really enjoyed taking pictures here from all angles.

Gum Springs Waterfall. Notice the trail going behind the falls.

Gum Springs Waterfall. Notice the trail going behind the falls.

Be careful if you’re hiking in this area when the water is running. The rocks are very slippery. We continued down to the Bench Trail and again headed clockwise. Once we came to Fern Lake we decided to get back to the Summit Park Trail. We stayed on the lower end of this wonderful trail to see some areas we missed earlier in the day. In several places on the CCC trails at Mount Nebo we saw trail signs etched into rocks. This one was along the Summit Park Trail near Darling Springs. The sign with the “1” is for the self-guided tour.

I like the older style sign better than the new one pointing it out.

I like the older style sign better than the new one pointing it out.

We were soon back on the Rim Trail at Sunset Point. This is a great spot to watch the sunset during the summer.

Lisa taking in Sunset Point.

Lisa taking in Sunset Point.

Just past Sunset Point there is a maintenance road that we took down to the Bench Trail. It is all gravel and not fun to walk on but we were down soon enough. We wanted to check out some of the hike-in campsites. The park has 10 of these complete with tent pads, picnic tables, lantern hangers and fire rings. Many of them had two fire rings. The new modern fire rings and some had the original CCC built rings. We decided that we would come back in the spring or fall and stay in one of these sites. They are spread out and offer the kind of camping privacy we enjoy.

Original Civilian Conservation Corps fire ring.

Original Civilian Conservation Corps fire ring.

We hiked along the Bench Trail all the way to Hwy 155 past the Nebo Steps Trail and Nebo Springs. A short walk down the road got us back on the Bench Trail and we soon arrived at the Varnall Springs Trail. We knew we wanted to go up to search for the bit of the Rim Trail we had missed earlier in the day. But first we decided to head down to Varnall Springs. This spring was once the water supply for the town of Dardanelle down in the valley. We soon found the spring which had some old rock work around it but we also noticed a nice little waterfall on the other side of the trail on the way down. I couldn’t help myself and was soon bushwhacking down through the wet leaves and mud to get a photo.

Bonus Waterfall

Bonus Waterfall

We then took the steep hike back up the Varnall Springs Trail until we found the missing section of the Rim Trail. Our hike back around to the cabin was quick but beautiful. I had to stop to get a panoramic shot from just below Sunrise Point.

Panoramic from the Rim Trail.

Panoramic from the Rim Trail.

10 miles and two laps of the mountain later we were back at the cabin again. We decided to head into town (Russellville) for dinner but first we enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the cabin.

Sunsets and sunrises are beautiful at Mount Nebo State Park.

Sunsets and sunrises are beautiful at Mount Nebo State Park.

What a great way to enjoy and experience a special place in Arkansas. A cabin-to-cabin hike using only one cabin. More photos are available on our Flickr Page.

Comments

  1. Michael Witt says:

    My son and I love to run all of these trails. The Rim Trail is our favorite. Our family thinks Mt Nebo is one of the best places in the State. Thanks for the article.

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