Tuesday, December 31, 2013

AR hiking, day 3

   Last day! Or rather, last half-day for hiking, as we have to drive back to Kansas City today. We started by packing up everything at the cabin, then headed to Round Top to see a view of the area from high atop a hill. The overlook was nice, but otherwise the hike fell short of what we've seen the last two days. We had been spoiled!
Whatever one Shiba does...
...so must the other!
   We left and discussed where to go for our last hurrah, and decided on Lost Valley.
   Lost Valley is known as this national park's most popular hike, and Arkansas's as well. Sounds crowded. Well, fortunately it's Monday, so we practically had the place to ourselves. That was also good because, we learned at the trailhead, dogs aren't allowed. @&#%!! That's just a suggestion, right? We assumed it was, and sheepishly trotted down the trail with our three dogs in tow. After the last two days of hiking we knew they could handle anything. We guessed they just didn't want a bunch of unruly dogs on the crowded trail.
Shiba selfie in front of Eden:
   Much of the trail was new, hard-packed substrate, all the way 0.75 miles to the end, with natural trails leading down to caves, boulders, and waterfalls. The boulders were rough and craggy and very easy to climb (need to come back later!!). Eden falls & Eden Cave were the highlight at the end. And the water in the pool was silty-green again, bringing our trip full circle.
In 2.5 days we hiked 16.5 hours, and approximately 23.6 miles. 
   [Centerpoint trail to Buffalo River: 10 mi; Round Top 3; Lost Valley 3.5; Alum Cove 1.1 (twice) = 2.2; Glory Hole 1.9; Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point 3]
   Pooped doggies on the ride home: