Situated at Arkansas' highest point, 2,753 feet above sea level to be exact, the view alone is worth the trip to Mount Magazine State Park. But visitors to this mountain park will be spoiled with even more than just incredible vistas when they park the RV here. Miles of trails entertain hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, while those searching for more of an adrenaline rush can have a go at rock climbing or hang gliding. Anglers can try to reel in some dinner from the quarry, and if they are successful, grills are available for use throughout the park and at the campground.
If you're looking for a more relaxing sojourn, you can spend an afternoon at the visitor center learning about the park through interactive exhibits, or head to the lodge for a sweeping view of the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake. Settlers came to this area as early as 1870 to escape the summer heat and build houses, farms, and eventually resorts, though little from this time period remains in the park today.
The mountain climate is especially refreshing in the summer, and if one day wasn't enough at Mount Magazine State Park, you can park the rig in one of 18 full-hookup sites available at Cameron Bluff Campground. You could spend weeks using the park as your basecamp to explore the surrounding Ozark National Forest, or simply relax and enjoy that famous view.
Located halfway between Little Rock and Fort Smith in northwest Arkansas, Mount Magazine State Park is an outdoor lover's dream. Surrounded by the Ozark National Forest on all sides and the Ouachita National Forest to the south, its safe to say that visitors to Mount Magazine will be afforded the peacefulness that only nature can provide. That being said, the park is located at the state's highest point, so those driving big rigs or hauling trailers will need to take the mountain roads nice and slow. AR-309, also known as Mount Magazine Scenic Byway, cuts through the park, and although it is well-traveled and maintained, there are steep inclines and switchbacks present -- you are driving up a mountain after all. For most, the risk is worth the reward, as you'll be treated to stunning views while you ascend to the park.
Once inside the park, roads remain paved but curvy in places, so take your time getting to and from the main attractions. The campground is situated in a flat loop, making it easy to park and set up camp at the 18 spacious sites available to RVers.
Additional parking can be found at the lodge, the Brown Springs Recreation Area, and at various viewpoints along Overlook Drive.
If one day at Mount Magazine State Park wasn't enough, you can park the rig in one of 18 RV friendly sites at Cameron Bluff Campground. Each site is equipped with full hookups -- two of which offer 50-amp electric and 16 of which offer 30 amps. There is also one ADA-accessible site available. Guests will find a picnic table, lantern post, and fire ring at each site, along with spectacular views of the Petit Jean River Valley. A dump station and a bathhouse with flush toilets and hot showers can be found nearby, and campground guests will be close to hiking trails, picnicking areas, and the amphitheater. Cameron Bluff Campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance.
If you prefer the ritz over the rugged, then book a room at the Lodge. The Lodge is located on the southwest side of Mount Magazine State Park and features 60 rooms that vary in size and price. Guests will also find an onsite restaurant, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a game room, and some of the best views in the park to boot. The Lodge is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance.
Those looking to get out of the RV for a night or two can stay in one of Mount Magazine State Park's 13 cabins. You can choose between one, two, and three-bedroom cabins, all of which offer stunning views of the Petit Jean River Valley. All cabins are equipped with modern kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, and covered decks with hot tubs. One dog-friendly cabin and three ADA-accessible cabins are available upon request. The cabins are available year-round, and reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance.
Lace-up your hiking boots and leave the pop-up parked at camp, because Mount Magazine State Park has over 14 miles of trails to explore. Trails vary in length and difficulty, and you could spend hours traveling these scenic routes. If you're still hungry for more, there are connector trails that lead you from the park into the Ozark National Forest, where more than 60 miles of trails await you. One of the most popular trails in the park is Bear Hollow Trail. This three-mile loop is ranked moderate in terms of difficulty and will lead you past stunning mountain overlooks, waterfalls, and a picnic area, should you need to stop for some sustenance along the way.
At nearly 3,000 feet high, Arkansas' highest point offers some of the best rock climbing in the state. Mount Magazine State Park sits atop that point, and technical climbers and rappellers can take advantage of the 1,500-foot slab of sandstone during their RV vacation to the park. There are more than 100 different routes available ranging from 5.5 to 5.12c, along with a few bouldering areas. Take in views of the Petit Jean River Valley as you climb your way past canyons and jagged bluffs. Be sure to register at the Visitor Center before beginning your climb.
If you're looking to experience something unique during your time at Mount Magazine State Park, head to the Visitor Center and ask about hang gliding. When the weather is at its finest, the park becomes a hang gliding hot spot, due to its high, mountainside location. If you want to keep your feet planted on solid ground, you can watch from the launch site. If you are a class 4 flyer, you can take to the skies and see the park and all of its surroundings from a whole different viewpoint.
Once you've parked the rig and set up camp, head to the Visitor Center located in the middle of the park. Here, both young and old can walk through exhibits and learn about the park's geology, history, and the flora and fauna that call Mount Magazine home. While you're there, you can visit the wildlife observation area, tour the wildflower and butterfly garden, or sign up for one of the park's environmental learning programs. There is also a gift shop inside if you'd like to pick out a souvenir to remember your trip or stock up on snacks and firewood before turning in for the night.
Don't forget to pack your poles and tackle in the Airstream when you visit Mount Magazine State Park, because there are some great fishing opportunities all year round. A small quarry is located on the east side of the park and can be accessed by Will Apple's Road Trail and Huckleberry Mountain's Horse Trail, or by AK-309 if you're driving. Common catches from this small body of water include bream, catfish, and largemouth bass. If the quarry doesn't prove plentiful, there are numerous lakes within 30 minutes of the park. Stop by the Visitor Center for a recommendation or to buy an Arkansas fishing license.
There's nothing more refreshing than a ride through the mountains on a crisp fall day, so don't hesitate to pack your bike along in the motorhome. Mount Magazine State Park has trails suitable for all riders, so whether you're a seasoned pro or just looking to explore the park via bicycle, you won't be disappointed.
Skilled mountain bikers will love the Huckleberry Mountain Trail. This 34-mile trek will lead you down the mountainside and into the Ozark National Forest. Biking is also allowed on the park roads, and cyclists of all skill levels will appreciate the incredible views from the top of the mountain. If you didn't haul your own bikes along, rentals are available at the Visitor Center along with trail maps and sound advice from park rangers.
Hikers and bikers aren't the only ones who can enjoy the trails at Mount Magazine State Park. Equestrians can also take to the trails and enjoy all the scenic views offered at the park. The Huckleberry Mountain Trail is open for trail-goers of all kinds and is a favorite amongst horseback riders. This popular 34-mile trail starts near the rock quarry in the northeast of the park and leads you down the mountainside into the Ozark National Forest. Horseback riding is especially rewarding in the spring and fall, where you'll have stellar views of carpets of wildflowers or fall foliage in full swing.
Although the drive up to Mount Magazine State Park is a scenic drive all in itself, there are even more spectacular driving views to be seen once you are inside. Overlook Drive is a one-way loop measuring just over a mile and is located near the campground. Although the loop is short, there are plenty of stop-offs along the way with parking areas large enough to park the Sprinter so you can hop out and snag some pictures.