Devil’s Den State Park: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go


Nestled in the scenic Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, Devil’s Den State Park is a haven for adventurers and nature lovers alike. Established in 1933 and spanning over 2,500 acres, this park is renowned for its rich history, stunning geological formations, and a plethora of outdoor activities. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a family looking for a camping adventure, or a photographer in pursuit of natural beauty, Devil’s Den offers an unparalleled outdoor experience.

Location and Accessibility

Devil’s Den State Park is located in the Lee Creek Valley in the Boston Mountains, which are part of the larger Ozarks. The park is approximately 25 miles south of Fayetteville, making it easily accessible for a weekend getaway. To reach the park, take Exit 53 off I-49 toward West Fork, and follow AR-170 for about 17 miles straight into the park. The route is well-marked and offers a beautiful drive through lush landscapes.

The park features ample parking near the visitor center, with additional spots throughout the area close to major trailheads and picnic spots. Facilities are designed to be accessible to visitors of all abilities, including paved paths to the visitor center and around the camping areas.

History of Devil’s Den State Park

Devil’s Den State Park is steeped in a rich historical tapestry that dates back to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) era of the 1930s. Established during the Great Depression, the park was developed by the CCC, a public work relief program that provided jobs for young men and contributed to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by governments. Many of the park’s structures, including the iconic stone dam across Lee Creek and rustic cabins, were constructed from native materials and are still in use today, reflecting the craftsmanship and enduring legacy of the CCC.

The park’s name, “Devil’s Den,” comes from the eerie and mysterious rock formations and caves within its boundaries. These natural features have been a central part of local folklore and a draw for visitors and explorers for generations. The area served as a local hideout during the Civil War, which adds to the park’s historical intrigue.

Archaeological evidence also shows that the area was inhabited by Native American tribes long before European settlers arrived. These early inhabitants were drawn by the region’s abundant resources and natural shelter provided by the caves and crevices.

Activities at Devil’s Den State Park

Hiking and Trails: Devil’s Den State Park offers several hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, from the easy and family-friendly Devil’s Den Trail to the more challenging Butterfield Hiking Trail that extends for 15 miles through the rugged terrain of the Ozarks. The trails are well-maintained and offer spectacular views of waterfalls, ancient rock formations, and lush forests.

Camping: The park features a variety of camping options, from modern facilities with electricity and water hookups to more primitive camping areas for a rustic experience. The campgrounds are equipped with restrooms, showers, and a camp store, providing everything needed for a comfortable stay in nature.

Other Recreational Activities:

  • Mountain Biking: The park boasts several mountain biking trails that range from moderate to challenging, providing exciting opportunities for biking enthusiasts.
  • Horseback Riding: Visitors can bring their horses to enjoy the multi-use trails that offer incredible views of the park’s scenery.
  • Fishing and Paddling: Lee Creek and the artificial lake formed by the CCC dam are popular spots for fishing and paddling. Anglers can catch a variety of fish, including bass and catfish.

Visitor Tips and Park Etiquette

Best Times to Visit: The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the foliage offers a breathtaking backdrop. Summers can be quite hot, and winters, although mild, may have occasional icy conditions.

Safety Tips and Park Rules:

  • Always stay on designated trails to protect both the natural environment and your safety.
  • Check weather conditions before your visit, especially if planning to hike or camp.
  • Keep pets on leashes and clean up after them.

Recommendations for First-Time Visitors:

  • Start at the visitor center to pick up maps and check any notices about trail conditions or wildlife sightings.
  • Consider a guided tour to learn more about the park’s history and natural features.

Q&A Section

Q: Are there any facilities for children? A: Yes, the park offers playgrounds and safe, shallow areas of the creek for children to play. The visitor center also provides educational materials about the park’s natural environment and history.

Q: Can I reserve a campsite in advance? A: Yes, it’s highly recommended to reserve campsites, especially during peak season. Reservations can be made online through the Arkansas State Parks website.

Q: Are there any restrictions on activities due to COVID-19? A: Current park operations adjust according to state health guidelines, so visitors should check the park’s website or contact the visitor center directly for the latest information.


Devil’s Den State Park is a treasure trove of natural beauty and historical depth, offering endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re looking to explore its trails, enjoy a peaceful camping experience, or simply soak in the breathtaking views, Devil’s Den has something for everyone. Plan your visit today and discover one of Arkansas’s most cherished natural landmarks. For a list of great tent camping locations in Northwest Arkansas check out 10 Must-Visit Tent Camping Locations in Northwest Arkansas.

Ken McClary

Ken McClary is a local web developer, online marketing guru, and one of the most known food bloggers in Northwest Arkansas. He started in 2014 along with several Northwest Arkansas focused blogs and social media sites. The Network reaches thousands of local readers every day and in 2021 reached over 1/3 of the population in NWA with his content. | Google "Ken McClary" for more info!