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Devil’s Den State Park Guide — Camping, Hiking, and More 

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

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Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
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Devil’s Den State Park is in northwest Arkansas’s Ozarks Mountains, with abundant natural beauty and a rich history to discover. There’s much to see and do here, including notable mountain biking trails, camping, hiking, and swimming. The park attracts about half a million visitors each year, and it’s not hard to see why with what this park has to offer.

How To Get to Devil’s Den State Park

Where Is Devil’s Den State Park?

Devil’s Den State Park is in Lee Creek Valley in the Arkansas Ozarks. Some well-known nearby cities are Bentonville, Arkansas, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, which are between 23 and 48 miles from the park. This state park stretches over 2,200 acres and includes unique rock formations, caverns, creeks, and lakes.

Devil’s Den State Park Opening Hours and Seasons

This state park is open year-round. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed for federal holidays, including New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Camping is available year-round, and the swim season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Nearest Airports to Devil’s Den State Park

Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) is the closest major airport to Devil’s Den State Park. This airport is in Bentonville, Arkansas, about a 48-minute drive from the park. With nonstop flights to over 20 cities across the country, this airport offers convenience and accessibility.

There are 6 airlines that service XNA, including Allegiant, American, Breeze, Delta, Frontier, and United. Once you arrive, you can rent a car at one of the kiosks and head toward the park.

Driving to Devil’s Den State Park

Driving to the park is simple and straightforward. Take Interstate 540 and travel 8 miles south of Fayetteville. Then, take exit 53 at West Fork and continue on this route for 17 miles southwest on ARK 170. Another option is to take I-540 to the Winslow exit at mile marker 45 and go 7 miles west of ARK 74.

Taking the Train to Devil’s Den State Park

There is no train service to Devil’s Den State Park.

Taking the Bus to Devil’s Den State Park

There is no direct bus service to the park, but there is a way to get close. Greyhound offers service to Fayetteville, which is about a half-hour drive from the park. Taking the bus is an affordable way to arrive at the park and let someone else handle driving while you sit back and enjoy the journey to this Arkansas region.

Getting Around Devil’s Den State Park

Getting Around Devils Den State Park
Image Credit: Arkansas State Parks

The best way to explore this park is by combining walking and driving. Several parking areas spread throughout the park allow you to drive to various attractions, park your car, and continue your exploration on foot.

Hot Tip:

The park provides a useful printable map to help you plan your park adventures.

What To See and Do in Devil’s Den State Park

There’s so much to experience in this state park, no matter what appeals to you. Whether hiking, fishing, mountain biking, or attending educational programs, this park has every interest covered.

Fishing

Lake Devil is the perfect spot for fishing enthusiasts to reel in a catch. This 8-acre lake was formed by the rock dam that spans Lee Creek. You can go canoeing or rent paddle boats and spend the day on the water. Lots of visitors fish right off the banks.

Fish species commonly caught here include bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. Fishing at this park is a great way to relax and take in the stunning scenery.

Hiking

At Devil’s Den State Park, there are a dozen hiking trails. These trails vary in length and difficulty and surround the Ozark National Forest. Before heading out for a hike, hikers must register for a free permit at the visitor center.

Some of the popular trails here are the 15-mile Butterfield Hiking Trail, the Devil’s Den Trail, which takes hikers past the rugged geologic formations that inspired the park’s name, and Fossil Flats, which is the first of the Monument Trails in this park.

Mountain Biking

MTB Devils Den State Park
Image Credit: Arkansas State Parks

Devil’s Den State Park is known as the home of Arkansas mountain biking. In the late 1980s, the park created the first designated mountain bike trail in the Arkansas State Park system, Fossil Flats. This led to the birth of the annual Ozark Mountain Bike Festival, which still takes place every year.

While there are several mountain bike trails here, Fossil Flats is considered the best. It is a popular trail where mountain bikers from around the world come to trek.

Recently, Fossil Flights received Monument Trail status, and soon after, 7 other trails in the park gained this status. Other trails within the park include Devil’s Racetrack Trail, Gold Brick, and Dollar-A-Day. Biking these trails provides an excellent workout and the opportunity to see wildlife, plants, and stunning views along the way.

Hot Tip:

For more information on the park’s trails, check out the descriptions on Arkansas State Park’s website.

Swimming

Summers in Arkansas can get quite hot, and one of the best ways to beat the heat is by taking a refreshing dip in the park’s swimming pool. The pool is open during the summer, specifically from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Guests staying in one of the cabins are granted complimentary access to the pool, while other visitors can enjoy entry for a fee ranging between $5 and $6.

Park Programs

A great way to learn about the park is to participate in one of the many park programs offered year-round. These programs include history and nature talks, guided hikes, recreational games, and evening programs at the amphitheater or visitor center.

From wildlife adventures to foraging workshops, there are programs for every visitor here. Additionally, the park offers an Explorer Program for children ages 7 to 14. This youth conservation program encourages connection with wildlife and nature.

Visitor Center

The visitor center is an excellent place to begin your adventures. This facility is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on federal holidays. Here, you can explore educational exhibits that teach about the park’s flora, fauna, and history.

The visitor center is staffed with park interpreters who are eager to answer any questions you may have about the park and help you plan an exciting day of exploration.

Best Times To Visit Devil’s Den State Park

Devil’s Den State Park is an amazing park to visit, no matter what time of year you are able to. Certain times throughout the year are better than others, especially if you hope to participate in a particular event or activity.

Best Time To Visit Devil’s Den State Park for Ideal Weather

Weather can greatly impact a vacation, so planning a trip around typical trends is wise. August is an excellent time to visit Devil’s Den State Park; the weather is ideal. The temperatures are still warm enough to enjoy swimming, and it isn’t as rainy as in some of the other months.

Best Time To Visit Devil’s Den State Park To Avoid the Crowds

Family look at waterfalls Devil's Den State Park
Image Credit: Arkansas State Parks

A solitary visit to this state park may be just what you need for a break from the daily grind and quality time in nature. February is a great time to visit Devil’s Den State Park for a crowd-free experience. The temperatures are beginning to warm up and range from the mid-30s to the low 50s. The cooler temperatures tend to deter visitors, making it an optimal time to visit the park.

Best Time To Visit Devil’s Den State Park for Fall Foliage

Devil’s Den State Park is a breathtaking destination for visitors to view fall foliage. The leaves burst with vibrant shades of gold, maroon, and orange. October is the best time to visit this park to enjoy the fall colors. The temperatures range from the mid-50s to the low 70s, and the trees are at their peak colors this time of year.

Cheapest Time To Visit Devil’s Den State Park

The cheapest time to plan a visit is typically mid- to late September. This is when flights and accommodations are at their lowest throughout the year. A September visit can potentially save you hundreds in travel expenses.

Annual Events in Devil’s Den State Park

Various events take place regularly, including guided nature hikes, wildlife talks, and fishing events. Some events take place annually and attract visitors and locals alike.

Bat-A-Rama

For over thirty years, the park has hosted an annual event called Bat-A-Rama each June. Several programs occur during this weekend event, including talks by bat experts at the park amphitheater, demonstrations about bat houses and how to build them, kids’ programming, and even a softball game. This event is perfect for visitors of all ages.

Ozark Mountain Bike Festival

Every April, Devil’s Den State Park hosts the annual Ozark Mountain Bike Festival. This event has been going on for 35 years and is a fantastic opportunity for friends and family to enjoy the park, cycling, and meeting new people. The festival features guided rides, exciting contests, and an evening social.

Where To Stay in Devil’s Den State Park

Planning where to stay shouldn’t be a problem when visiting this part of Arkansas. There are abundant options both inside the park and in the surrounding cities.

Inside the Park

Devil’s Den State Park offers several different lodging options within its boundaries. From camping in the campground to a rustic cabin experience, there’s something for everyone.

Cabins

Devils Den State Park Cabins
Image Credit: Arkansas State Parks

Devil’s Den State Park offers 17 full-service cabins with all the comforts of home, providing a relaxing retreat for visitors. The Civilian Conservation Corps built these cabins in the 1930s. Each has modern amenities such as satellite TV, air conditioning, heating, a full kitchen, and linens.

Each cabin has outdoor seating areas for enjoying the views while sipping a cup of coffee. Visitors can choose from studio cabins or cabins with up to 3 bedrooms, making it an ideal choice for couples, families, or small friend groups.

Camper Cabins

There are 9 camper cabins available at Devil’s Den State Park. This option offers a closer-to-camping experience with some comforts of home. Each cabin can accommodate up to 4 people. Guests will share a family-style bathhouse with other campers.

These cabins do not have a kitchen, bathroom, television, or linens, so campers should come prepared with everything they may need during their visit. Amenities include a screened porch with a dining area, picnic tables, a grill, and heating and air conditioning.

Campsites

There are 135 campsites within Devil’s Den State Park. These sites are a mixture of tent-only spots and others that can accommodate RVs. Some sites are primitive and have no hookups, while some sites with hookups are available. You can sleep under the stars and fully immerse yourself in the surroundings of this remarkable park.

Towns Near Devil’s Den State Park

Several towns of varying sizes are within a short drive of the park. These towns have unique accommodations, local restaurants, and abundant recreational activities.

Bentonville, Arkansas

Bentonville is one of the closest towns to Devil’s Den State Park. It takes about 50 minutes to get here from the park. This charming town has a convenient location and is perfect for exploring the Ozarks. There are numerous places to stay here, including downtown hotels and larger luxury hotels on the city’s outskirts.

The restaurants in this town include Indian, Greek, Vietnamese, and Salvadorian. It’s truly a food enthusiast’s dream come true. There are also many incredible museums, art galleries, and parks to explore.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fayetteville is less than 30 minutes from the park. This lively city offers a wide range of dining, lodging, and recreational options. Visitors can choose from upscale hotels, affordable motels, private rentals, and historic bed and breakfasts.

The dining scene in Fayetteville caters to food enthusiasts with options ranging from hip food trucks and local diners to classy restaurants scattered throughout the town. For entertainment and recreation, travelers can explore various parks, botanical gardens, museums, and theaters.

Bottom Line:

With its proximity to the park and the abundance of attractions, a stay in Fayetteville would be ideal for any tourist.

Where To Eat in Devil’s Den State Park

There aren’t many eateries in and around Devil’s Den State Park, but there are a few to choose from. There is an option inside the park and a few within a short drive.

Ridgerunner Cafe

The Ridgerunner Cafe is the only place to eat within the park’s boundaries. It is open Thursday through Monday from March to November. The menu includes breakfast items such as biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and breakfast tacos, as well as lunch specialties like salads and sandwiches.

Pig Trail Bypass Country Cafe

Pig Trail Bypass Country Cafe is located in Elkin, about 38 miles from the park. Although it’s not as close as the park’s cafe, it is well worth the drive. This restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This cafe is famous for its Hooshburger, and its menu also features classic dishes such as chicken fried steak, fish sandwiches, omelets, and breakfast burritos.

Devil’s Den State Park Facts

Devils Den State Park
Image Credit: Arkansas State Parks

1. The Park Was Established in 1933

Devil’s Den State Park was chosen to be a state park in the 1930s and established on October 11, 1933.

2. Native Americans Are the Original People of the Park

In 1979, the Arkansas Archeological Survey documented 11 archeological sites within Devil’s Den State Park. There are 6 sites within the park indicating the presence of Native Americans dating back as far as 8,000 years ago. This study also revealed that European-Americans settled in the area before 1836, prior to Arkansas becoming a state.

3. The Park Was Built by the CCC

The Civilian Conservation Corps was commissioned to build this park in the 1930s. They used native materials to craft wood and stone structures, including the dam at Lee Creek. It’s one of the best-preserved CCC park developments.

4. Scary Stories Named the Park

There are several theories about how Devil’s Den State Park got its name. Some believe that Native Americans thought that evil spirits lived in the caves because condensation would emerge from the cave at different times throughout the year. Another theory suggests that parents would scare their children by telling them it was the Devil’s den to prevent them from entering an unsafe place. The area was named Devil’s Den before the park was established, so the name stuck.

5. Bats Galore

Devil’s Den Crevice Cave Area was placed on the Arkansas National Heritage Commission’s Registry of Natural Areas in 1982. These crevice caves are home to various bat species, including the endangered Ozark big-eared bat.

Final Thoughts

Around 500,000 visitors are drawn to Devil’s Den State Park every year. Whether casting a line for fishing, exploring the hiking trails, setting up camp under the stars, or setting out for a thrilling mountain bike adventure, Devil’s Den State Park promises an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to visit Devil's Den State Park?

It’s free to visit Devil’s Den State Park. There are camping or rental equipment fees, but visitors can enjoy general admittance at no charge.

How much time should I spend at Devil's Den State Park?

Plan to spend 2 full days exploring this beautiful park. You can see the park’s highlights in a single day, but spending 2 days will allow you to enjoy every aspect of the park at a comfortable pace.

Are there any attractions I should check out near Devil's Den State Park?

Several places near Devil’s Den State Park are worth checking out during your visit. The Winslow Museum and Ozark Folkways are popular places travelers enjoy visiting.

Can I bring my dog to Devil's Den State Park?

Pets are allowed at Devil’s Den State Parkas as long as they are kept on a leash and owners clean up after them at all times.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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