Have no idea where to backpack? Have you visited Whitaker Creek?
Whitaker Creek is located in Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point TH, Kingston, Arkansas, United States. There, you will love your hiking experience with the brilliantly cascading waterfalls in blue with the few swimming holes are waiting for you. If you think that you want to avoid the crowds, that is still possible. The crowds where people love to gather is at Whitaker Point and then you can go descend into the valley.
Arriving At The Whitaker Point
What should you do right after arriving at the Whitaker Point or Hawksbill Crag Trailhead?
We recommend you to go down the path and take 1/8th of a mile. There, you will find a small stream so you have to cross it and this is a starting point to turn off the rail. You can use Whitaker Creek as your guide and then follow it just like the handrail and it will descend down into the confluence and you will find the Buffalo River.
It takes about a 1/2 of a mile and then you can see the large drop-off. In this area, the Lower Fork of Whitaker Creek is amazing because it becomes a decent waterfall and that is so high. What you should do is to find the trail, on the left, and after that follow the path along the bluff line. Around to the right, it is behind the waterfall. At this point, make sure that your camera has enough battery power that you should snap some photos and enjoy your snacks. The cool cascade is everything and it is worth for you to take a break to enjoy your food. After that, you should go back to follow the path along the bluff line and take more fifty yards by following it. If you can find the less-steep area off the trail, it means that you are able to descend toward the creek. Do this carefully and descend down into the valley.
What to do next?
Well, it is still good to continue and follow the creek downstream that will make your head to east. Here, you should use particular caution especially if you find the large boulders. You need extra cautions when you are hiking in this area during winter. Some of the large boulders drop off directly into the deep pools of water.
Besides, you will reach the confluence of the Whitaker Creek and the Buffalo River. What you have to note here is the water gets so deep and swift. For this reason, it is good to head to the north and then stay on the left that is the west side of the Buffalo River. If you do not mind to go a little further, you will find the old rock chimney and the foundation of the old homestead. There, it is the best spot to camp. Nevertheless, if you think that you want to enjoy the river closer, you should go down to the Buffalo River.
It is amazing if you do not mind to follow the animal trails since it will bring you to the relatively flat spot with the old firepit that you can even stay there to build your camp. If you cannot find the old firepit, you should look around for any other flat spots around close to the river and camp there. Again, you should not leave any trashes that will destroy its beauty and natural look. When you camp there, make sure that no one can easily understand you have been there.
The best part to do here is to enjoy fishing for the smallmouth bass close to the big and the mossy rock that is around 75 yards downstream. Other things you can find is deer, wild boar, and coyotes. If you have a plan to go there during the full moon, there is a big chance to see the moonbeams that stretch across the night sky and the moon will rise above the hill slowly to the east.
It is up to you to plan how long you are going to camp there, but do it on the next day. It is always good to remember that it is a little of a bushwack back to the trailhead. You should hike back the same path you came and then pass by the waterfalls. The waterfalls are the reason why you should come here. There, you can enjoy swimming for free at any time with the vibrant, blue pools. The pools are not quite deep. But, it is always good to check the depths before jumping in any swimming holes.
Notes To Backpack To Whitaker Point Creek
Here are some notes to take:
- Freshwater is accessible on this hike with two primary water sources. Please always filter or boil the water first.
- Do not do the bushwack to come in the summer or you will get ticks and poison ivy
- It is a moderate bushwack with the perfect length for beginners to get more experience by using a compass and a map
- It is not allowed to camp at Whitaker Point or Hawksbill Crag but definitely, you should check it out after or before you hike along it.
Pack List In Whitaker Point Creek
If you are planning to visit this place, here is the pack list:
2-day backpacking gear and food, cellphone, fishing gear, sturdy hiking shoes, camera, First Aid Kit, flashlight, extra batteries, map, water filter, compass, camp stove, and lighter
With 5 miles of distance in this off-trail, the out-and-back trail makes you able to find the beautiful and scenic waterfall, swimming holes, forest, and river. Even if you are intermediate hikers, you should add this place to your wish list. You can go fishing, camping, backpacking, hiking, and photography. The best time to visit this place is in the spring, winter, and autumn. It seems great if you and your partner can visit this place and enjoy the natural view while having a little unforgettable adventure to remember in your lifetime.