Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Canyon Trail and Bear Cave

Wednesday May 11, 2011
Petit Jean State Park
Site #109
Near Hot Springs, Arkansas

This morning I ran the entire Hike/Bike trail all the way to Mather Lodge.
We did a few chores and house keeping tasks after breakfast,
 which was delicious as usual,

and then headed out to do about a 5 mile loop
that David had put together ,
starting with the Canyon Trail
and then connecting up with
a section of the Boy Scout Trail
which would then get us to the Bear Cave Trail.

So armed with walking sticks, full camelbacks,
lunch, cameras and binoculars,
we set out on the Canyon Trail.

The trail had many rock slab
bridges and water crossings
which we particularly liked.

 This lovely wildflower
anyone know its name?

It runs along a different section of Cedar Creek

And on it we found another perfect
toes in the water snack spot.

Nice view for nice toes huh?

Notice the hard day
at the office
these two folks
are having!

  Back on the trail, after our respite,
this made me start singing
"You really got a hold on me"
This tree, like us all,
was holding on as tightly as she can.

At the end of the Canyon Trail
was Blue Hole.

I assume that what's so special about
the Blue Hole area
is its swimming potential on a hot Arkansas day.

But I really liked its crossing.
Check out the "bridge".

From this point, which is the
end of the Canyon trial, we
hiked onto what is known
as The Boy Scout Trail.
Not sure about this signage.

And although there were some
wildflowers along this trail, it was
long and dry and I can't
say that I'd recommend it as
the best way to access the
Bear Cave.
Seemed like a very long couple of miles.

Its other HUGE drawback
was poison ivy everywhere (or oak I think they call it here).
Or is poison ivy the ivy on the ground and poison oak
is the tree version which grows up on a trunk over your head?

After hiking for what
seemed like forever after the
short trip on the Canyon Tail, we
finally came to the Bear Cave Trail.

Don't you love it!
Pink trail blazes

The path to  Bear Cave
went around numerous boulders.

through Great passageways

under Overhangs

and through slots

Here is some perspective
on how big this really is.

Bear Cave is just after the passage
under this rock.
David says this isn't clear.
The cave isn't under the rock it is after the passage
which is under the rock.
Anyway I'm glad it
didn't decide to tip over
while I was walking under it.

Under the overhanging rock

Here we are at Bear Cave 

Actually, a better picture.

This was taken of the underside of  the entrance.
Really beautiful I thought.

Inside Bear Cave.
Hope you can see it.
If you can't, and you want to,
click the picture
to make it larger.

We headed on down the pink blazed path

And then I found myself
hiking with Sir David Hillary

Who made it to the top

View from the top

I managed to get up there too

 Eventuallly we headed down and back to the car.

A final set of great steps

If I were scoring, I'd give the Canyon Trail  an 8.
The Boy Scout Trail gets a 2 boring, don’t do.
But the Bear Cave Trail and the
Whip-poor-will I heard singing his heart out after dark
both get a resounding 10.


  1. Sherry,
    I am so enjoying your blog!


  2. What a gorgeous park!! The hikes are fantastic and we have put this SP way up on our "TODOS" list.

    Wish we were there!!

  3. I do not think I could keep up with you guys but I'm going to come for breakfast one of these days! :) Yum!

    Great photos, as usual. I'm impressed you remember each one so well. Do you take notes while you're running and snapping pictures?

  4. I love the way you take us with you on the trail. It looks like another beautiful place to check out. Safe travels.

  5. You hike to the neatest places. With all the pictures, I felt I was right there with you...and I didn't even break a sweat! ;c)


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