Petit Jean State Park Arkansas: Incredible Things You Need To See

petit jean state park

Petit Jean State Park is a natural and historic treasure located in Morrilton, Arkansas. It is the oldest state park in Arkansas and is home to a variety of stunning scenery, including Petit Jean Mountain, Cedar Creek Canyon, and the Arkansas River. The park also offers a variety of activities, such as hiking, camping, fishing, and boating.

One of the most popular attractions at Petit Jean State Park is the Mather Lodge. The Civilian Conservation Corps built this rustic lodge in the 1930s, and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The park also has a visitor centre, a museum of automobiles, and several hiking trails.

Petit Jean State Park is a great place to visit for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. Whether looking for stunning scenery, outdoor activities, or a place to relax and enjoy the peace, Petit Jean State Park has something to offer everyone.

Petit Jean State Park Hiking

Hiking at Petit Jean State Park:

Petit Jean State Park has cool rocks and land formations. We went there mainly to hike, which means walking in nature.

All the paths are taken care of and have signed. Some paths are simple, and some are harder.

Petit Jean Mountain is a naturally pretty area to explore all afternoon.

Since many people like hiking here, we’re telling you about the best paths to walk.

Petit Jean Trails Not To Miss:

Rock House Cave

The Rock House Cave Trail is a moderate 1.3-mile trail in Petit Jean State Park that leads to a small cave with pictographs dating back to the Archaic Period (8,000-1,000 years ago). The cave is located on a sandstone bluff overlooking the Petit Jean River Valley.

The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. It starts out by following a ridgeline with views of the valley below. After about a half-mile, the trail descends to the cave entrance. The cave is small and can be accessed by a short ladder. The pictographs are located on the walls of the cave. They are faded, but they are still visible.

The Rock House Cave Trail is a great option for hikers who are looking for a moderate hike with a bit of history. The cave is a unique place to see ancient pictographs. The views from the trail are also amazing.

Seven Hollows Trail

The Seven Hollows Trail is a 4.5-mile loop trail that winds through seven sinuous canyons (or “hollows”) carved by streams over 300 million years. The trail is moderately difficult, with some steep climbs and descents. Along the way, you will see various natural features, including caves, waterfalls, sandstone bluffs, and hardwood forests. 

The highlight of the trail is the Natural Arch, a 22-foot-tall stone arch that spans a stream. Just beyond the arch is Wet Weather Falls, a small waterfall that flows only after heavy rains.

The trail is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, squirrels, and birds. If you are lucky, you may even see a black bear.

The Seven Hollows Trail is a great option for a day hike in Petit Jean State Park. It is challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult that it is inaccessible to most people. The trail is also well-maintained and easy to follow.

Cedar Falls Trail

Cedar Falls Trail in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio: This is a 0.4-mile (0.64 km) out-and-back trail with an elevation gain of 100 feet (30 m). It is considered to be a moderate trail with some steep steps. The trail leads to a waterfall that is most impressive in the spring and fall when the water levels are high. The trail is open year-round, but it can be slippery in wet weather.

Bear Cave Trail

Bear Cave Trail is an easy 1.1-mile out-and-back trail located in Morrilton, Arkansas. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. It is a popular area for hiking and walking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.

The trail takes you under, around, over, and through,  gigantic sandstone boulders. The huge rocks form narrow passageways and rock shelters. There are also some small caves along the trail, but they are not large enough to enter.

The trail is relatively flat and easy to follow. There are a few stairs and some uneven terrain, but it is nothing that most people would have trouble with. The trail is well-maintained, and there are plenty of benches along the way to rest if needed.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 1.1 miles
  • Time: 20-30 minutes

Petit Jean State Park Biking

Petit Jean State Park is a great place for biking, with a variety of trails to choose from for all skill levels. The CCC Hike & Bike Trail is a 1.75-mile easy trail that is perfect for families or beginners. It winds through the woods and past some scenic overlooks. The Cedar Creek Trail is a 1.9-mile moderate trail that is more challenging, with some hills and rocky terrain. 

It offers great views of the Petit Jean River and the surrounding mountains. The Canyon Trail is a 2.2-mile difficult trail that is best for experienced bikers. It is steep and technical, with some narrow passages. 

Camping at Petit Jean

Camping at Petit Jean State Park is a great way to enjoy Arkansas’s beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. The park offers 125 campsites in which Thirty-five of the sites have 50 amp water, electrical,and sewer hookups, while the other 90 sites have 30 amp electrical and water hookups. All sites are reservable.

The cost of camping at Petit Jean State Park varies depending on the campsite and the time of year. The rates for 2023 are as follows:

  • Tent campsite: $25 per night
  • RV campsite with 30 amp electrical hookup: $30 per night
  • RV campsite with 50 amp electrical hookup: $35 per night
  • Group campsite: $100 per night


What is Petit Jean State Park famous for?

Petit Jean State Park is famous for its natural beauty and ancient geology. The park is home to a variety of hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and rock climbing opportunities. It is also home to the Petit Jean Mountain, a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers.

How large is Petit Jean State Park?

Petit Jean State Park is 3,471 acres (1,405 ha) in size. It is located in Conway County, Arkansas.

Is there an entrance fee for Petit Jean State Park?

There is no entrance fee for Petit Jean State Park. However, there are fees for camping, lodging, and other activities.

What are the best times of year to visit Petit Jean State Park?

The best times of year to visit Petit Jean State Park are spring and fall. The weather is mild during these times, and the park is less crowded. However, the park is also beautiful in the winter, when the trees are bare and the rocks are covered in snow.