Where is Devil’s Den State Park
Lodged away in the Lee Creek Valley of the Boston Mountains, Devil’s Den State Park resides entirely in the state of Arkansas. The closest city to the park is West Fork in Washington County. The park’s geography includes several sandstone rock caves, bluffs, and ravines, an 8 acre man-made lake, and several acres of Arkansas woods which adjoin with the Ozark National Forest. Recreational features in the park include picnic areas, campsites, and a diverse trail system which provides access to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. The park contains several trails designated for horseback riding only. Devil’s Den US State Park lies 28 miles south of Fayetteville, 178 miles northwest of Little Rock, and 135 miles east of Tulsa, Oklahoma
How Large is Devil’s Den State Park
Devil’s Den State Park covers over 2,500 acres of diverse wilderness. The park's trail system extends over 63 miles. These trails grant visitors the opportunity to embark on hikes with a variety of difficulties and lengths. The longest trail in the park is the Butterfield Hiking trail, which follows an old United States mail route throughout several different ecosystems in the park. This trail along with one other in the state park crosses over into the Ozark National Forest. Devil’s Den State Park also contains several large and deep caves. However, these caves have been closed to the public since 2010 when White Nose Syndrome, a fungal infection that affects populations of bats, was first found in the park.
Devil’s Den State Park Weather
The climate of Devil’s Den State Park fluctuates throughout the year. Summers in the park bring temperatures that average between 70- and 95-degrees Fahrenheit. June, July, and August are the hottest months of the season. Winter in Devil’s Den State Park brings temperatures that average between 30- and 50-degrees Fahrenheit. The park on average experiences around 75 days of rain per year. Yearly snowfall in the park consistently totals around 8 inches. A large portion of this snowfall usually appears in January and February. Devil’s Den State Park is open year-round but will occasionally close due to inclement weather. Visitors looking to visit the park during snowfall should check the park’s website for timely updates.
When Did Devil’s Den Become a State Park
Identified as the perfect spot for a park during the Great Depression, construction on Devil’s Den State Park began in 1933. The park’s first facilities were almost entirely built by the Civil Conservation Corps. Since its construction, park management has made the protection of the CCC relics in Devil’s Den State Park a top priority. This management has earned the state park continued reception as one of the best preserved CCC sites in the United States. In 1994, Devil’s Den State Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its rustic CCC architecture.
Things to do in Devil’s Den State Park
Devil’s Den State Park offers history buffs, geologists, and naturalists a plethora of opportunities to explore. Our National Park Visitors Guide has listed the most popular adventures below:
Old Road Trail
The Old Road Trail is the only trail contained entirely within Devil’s Den State Park. The trail follows an old Arkansas highway, and provides visitors with views of several old car relics from around the time the first automobile was invented. Along the way, the Old Rail Trail passes by Yellow Rock Bluff and several CCC overlooks. For horseback riders, there is a hitching post just before the CCC overlook where visitors are required to hitch their horse before continuing.
Gorley King Trail
Named for a visitor of Devil’s Den State Park who hiked and rode on the park’s trails throughout the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s. King also volunteered to help with the creation of several trails in the park. The Gorley King Trail climbs throughout the park before reaching the overlooks that view Lee Creek below. The trail eventually enters the Ozark National Forest.
Butterfield Hiking Trail
The Butterfield Hiking Trail is named for the Butterfield Stage Line that used to follow the trail in the mid-1800’s. The Butterfield stagecoach brought mail from across the country to Arkansas. One of the longest trails in Devil’s Den State Park, the Butterfield Hiking Trail is 15 miles long and listed as strenuous.
Several trails in Devil’s Den State Park are designated for mountain biking on a rotating basis. For information regarding which trails are currently open and designated for the sport can be obtained from the park’s visitor center.
Paddling on Devil Lake
Devil Lake was originally created by the CCC and now offers visitors to Devil’s Den State Park the opportunity to kayak and canoe. The park offers kayak, canoe, and pedal boat rental services, but visitors are welcome to bring their personal watercraft along with them to the park.
Fishing on Devil Lake
Anglers visiting Devil’s Den State Park can drop a line in Devil Lake. The lake provides a home to several freshwater species including largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. The park’s camp store sells various fishing tackle for visitors who forgot to bring something along with them.
Visitors hoping to spot the various wildlife species that call Devil’s Den State Park home should look to visit the park around dusk or dawn. The park’s most commonly spotted wildlife species include groundhogs, beavers, vultures, armadillos, foxes, and various songbirds.
Camping in Devil’s Den State Park
The campground at Devil’s Den State Park includes 143 campsites and 17 full-service cabins. All of the park’s cabins are located along scenic Lee Creek and contain full kitchen, heating and air conditioning, and stone fireplaces. The campsites within Devil’s Den State Park vary from RV pads with electric and water hookups to sites geared more for tent camping.
When to visit Devil’s Den State Park
Devil’s Den State Park can be visited year-round. However, the park receives its highest visitation throughout the summer season. Summer is great for hiking and recreating on Devil Lake. Wildlife in the park is most active in the spring. Fall is a great time to experience the park’s seasonal colors and planning a winter visit is a great way to avoid crowds throughout the park. Occasionally, during adverse winter weather conditions the park does close for a day or two. Visitors planning a trip to the park during the winter months should check the area’s weather forecast frequently.
Must Have Items to Bring to Devil’s Den State Park
All Devil’s Den State Park has to offer cannot be enjoyed without the proper equipment and supplies. List of Parks covers the items visitors should bring with them to the park:
Every individual traveling to Devil’s Den State Park should bring plenty of water along with them to the park. Electrolyte filled beverages and energy filled snacks are also a good idea.
Sturdy Hiking Boots
The trails at Devil’s Den State Park traverse several areas in the park where the terrain is highly unstable. Any visitor looking to hike one of the park’s trails should bring a sturdy pair of hiking boots along with them to the park.
A stay at Devil’s Den State Park campground is a great way to create lasting memories. To properly enjoy their stay, visitors who are camping in the park should create a checklist of camping equipment they need to pack before they head out to the park.
The best way to see the park’s wildlife is with the aid of binoculars. Hikers should look to purchase a lightweight but power pair.
Devil Lake provides freshwater anglers the opportunity to drop a line within Devil’s Den State Park. Visitors hoping to fish on the lake should bring their rods, reels, and equipment with them to the park.
Several trails in Devil’s Den State Park overlap each other. Visitors looking to head down one of the park’s trails should obtain and study a trail map before going.
Where to Stay in Devil’s Den State Park
Visitors looking to camp within Devil’s Den State Park should make reservations for a campsite or one of the park’s cabins online through the park website. In the summer, these campsites and cabins fill up rather quickly. Reservations should be made in advance. Visitors looking to stay in a hotel near the park should make the 25-minute drive to Fayetteville.
Food Near Devil’s Den State Park
Visitors looking to grab a bite to eat or to refill on supplies should search for options in West Fork or Fayetteville. The park’s website also features a list of nearby food and drink options visitors can access to find exactly what they are looking for.
Airports Near Devil’s Den State Park
The closest airport to Devil’s Den State Park is the Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The airport is 134 miles or a little over a two-hour drive away from the state park. The next closest airport to Devil’s Den State Park is three hours away in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.