Directions:
Head south out of Ponca 2 miles and follow the signs.
GPS:
36.00787, -93.36625

Printable Map
Fees:
None.
Facilities:
The trailhead has water and pit toilets. There is also a primitive campground (fee).
Nearest Gasoline:
Ponca at the Old Ponca Store (Lost Valley Canoe)
Photo Gallery: Activities:
Hiking, photography, wildlife watching.
Special Issues:
The last portion of the hiking trail heading to the cave above Eden Falls can be quite dangerous. Camping at Lost Valley was closed May 2011.
Seasonal Opportunities:
Spring wildflowers and fall color. During the wet season visit famous Eden Falls and the Natural Bridge falls.
Emergency Numbers:
National Park Service  (870) 365-2700
Newton County Sheriff  (870) 446-5124
Ponca Elk Education Center  (in Ponca)
    GPS: 36.02337, -93.36203  3 miles, 5 minutes    Map 
    AGFC education center, nationally recognized
Smith Creek Preserve ( 3 miles south of Boxley on HWY21)
    GPS  35.93508, -93.38659, 5 miles, 8 minutes
    Nature Conservancy, 500 ft. elevation change, two track
Relevant Offsite Links:
http://arkansaswildlifephotography.com  In-depth information on elk watching in Boxley Valley and the upper river area. Visitor guides, frequent updates, information. It has a special entry on Lost Valley.

http://www.poncaeec.com  No visit to the area is complete without visiting the award winning Ponca Elk Education Center. See their Annual Color Fest the 3rd weekend in  October.
Buffalo National River
Upper River Area

Lost Valley Hiking Trail

Destination
If there is a single must-see hiking trail in the Upper Buffalo River area is it the hiking trail at Lost Valley. This trail is virtually one that anyone can hike, the first portion of the trail is even barrier-free for a half mile. 
(hiking trail is open, barrier-free trail closed until further notice)

There are a number of benches for resting and watching the wildlife. The park service
estimates the round trip for a leisurely visit to be 2.5 hours for the 2.3 mile round trip.

Lost Valley Hiking Trail offers reasons to visit in every season. The Eden Falls waterfall is one of the most photographed in NW Arkansas, a local landmark. The Natural Bridge falls shoot out of a tunnel into a reflecting pool. Cascades in the creek and in a couple of small canyons on the south side of the trail in the wet season round out a great nature lover and photographer's venue. Armadillo Falls is also just a short
hike off the trail.

Spring and fall are magnificent at Lost Valley. The spring wildflower bloom is legendary and a destination for wildflower lovers in the region. Wildflower season usually coincides with great water flow in the cascades and waterfalls of Lost Valley. In the fall, golden leaves of the many beech trees in the valley illuminate it with a golden brown canopy. Fall is also generally a wet season with good flow in the falls and
Clark Creek. It has the additional advantage of coinciding with the rutting season for the legendary Boxley Valley elk herd
Eden Falls During High Water
Eden Falls on Lost Valley Trail

Itinerary Builder -- Attractions Close to Lost Valley Hiking Trail

Smith Creek Preserve

   Directions    Web
GPS:  35.93548, -93.38612  (6.9 miles, 9 minutes
)
Nature Conservency, hiking trail 500 ft. descent in 1 mile. Two track road, hiking trail, very scenic spring fed creek with outstanding spring wildflower show. Popular with photographers.  Remote, don't hike alone.

Ponca Elk Education Center

(in Ponca)   Directions
GPS:  36.02215, -93.36141  (1.3 miles, 2 minutes
)
AGFC elk education center, nationally recognized facility.
Open daily 10 - 4:30 PM, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
(870) 861-2432

Boxley Valley Elk Herd

  (Highway 43 & 21)    Directions    Web
GPS:  35.97717, -93.40219  (3.4 miles, 4 mins)

Home of Arkansas' famous elk herd, arguably the most viewable in the southern US. Mornings and evenings, fall rut exceptional.

Hawksbill Crag

      Directions
GPS:  35.88816, -93.4698  (11.8 miles, 34 mins)

Popular 3 mile round trip with 200 ft elevation change. Most photographed Arkansas Landmark. Trail can be rough, a few seasonal creeks. Hazardous around bluff edges, children need to be watched closely. Bear sightings now and then.

Boxley Valley Mill Pond

    Directions  
GPS: 35.98829, -93.40081    (2.6 miles, 4 mins)
The historic spring fed Boxley Valley Mill Pond is home to a population of trumpeter swans, many different waterbirds, bald eagles in season, as well as beaver, mink, otters and the occaional raccoon. Popular with photographers and wildlife watchers. Very near the best elk viewing areas.

Glory Hole

      Directions
GPS:  35.82595, -93.39737 (17.2 miles, 22 mins)

This is a popular short hike of moderate difficulty. The Glory Hole is a waterfall through the top of a cave. It is a popular destination with hikers and most serious outdoor photographers.  Fairly remote, probably best not hiked alone. NFS