Photo by  wwoods

MOUNT MAGAZINE - officially named magazine mountain- WITH AN ELEVATION OF 839 M (2,753 FT) IS THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS.

Name: Mount Magazine (Magazine Mountain)
Height: 839 m (2,753 ft)
Location: in Ozark National Forest, Arkansas, USA
First Climbed: unknown
Climb Time: 1-2 hours
Best Time to Climb: it is climbed all year round

Introduction to Mount Magazine.

Mount Magazine is a part of Ouachita Mountain Range and it is located in the Mount Magazine State Park, approximately 27 km (17 mi) south of Paris, Logan County, Arkansas. 

 

Mount Magazine State Park is a well-developed state park that offers a complete package of services, campsites and outdoor activities as well as great hiking trails and various observation areas. Besides various activities, such as rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, etc., the mountain is also a habitat of black bears, whitetail deers, bobcats and coyotes as well as other animal species.

The mountain is a flat-topped plateau with a sandstone top surrounded by abrupt rock cliffs. The mountain has two peaks on a to of the plateau - Signal Hill, which reaches 839 m (2,753 ft), and Mossback Ridge - 823 m (2,700 ft). Signal Hill is the highest point in the whole state of Arkansas and the main attraction of Mount Magazine State Park.

According to stories, Mount Magazine gets its name from the time when French explorers were traveling through the area and a landslide occurred on the mountain. One of the explorers astonished by the magnitude of a noise caused by the landslide described it as the sound of an ammunition magazine exploding. The explorers then named the mountain "Magazine".

CLIMBING MOUNT MAGAZINE

The trail that leads to the highest peak of Arkansas - Signal Hill in an enjoyable 2,3 km (1,4 mi) loop trail. It starts at Cameron Bluff Campground.

There is some climbing on the Signal Hill Trail, but not too much as there is less than 200 feet elevation difference between the lowest and the highest points of the trail.

To reach the loop you only need to walk 15 m (50 ft) from the campground. Once you are there, it is advisable to take a left and do the loop clockwise, but if you prefer a steeper and shorter route to the highpoint, choose right. 

From here the trail heads fairly straight to the southeast direction for the next 0,6 km (0,4 mi) toward House Gap - the small, flat area that lies between Signal Hill and Mossback Ridge.

After walking uphill for about 0,3 km (0,2 mi), the trail starts to go down and then makes a sudden right turn at a spur. Here you are almost in the House Gap area and you are about 9 m (30 ft) lower than the trailhead. At this point, if you turned left and followed the spur, you would be able to reach the Mossback Ridge trail. But if you still wish to continue to the highest summit, take a right as well as at the next junction, then follow the trail headed uphill to the highpoint. At the top, you will find the Highpoint Monument - a 400-square foot rock display shaped like the state of Arkansas. From here, the trail descends downhill for further 0,8 km (0,5 mi) heading back to the trailhead.

TREKKING AROUND MOUNT MAGAZINE

There are plenty of routes to hike around Mount Magazine. They vary in length and a total trail system in the park is almost 14 km (9 mi).

If you are looking for something short and easy – the Benefield Wildlife Trail might be just for you. It is a 1,6 km (1 mi) hike starting at Benefield Picnic Area. This trail lies through a both pine and hardwood forest and leads to a pond, surrounded by wildflowers. From the pond, the Benefield Trail heads back to the highway to the initial trailhead. 

If you are up to something a bit more challenging you can walk up to Mossback Ridge from the same Benefield Wildlife pond, where the Mossback Ridge Trail begins. It is a 3,2 km (2 mi) hike up to the second Mount Magazine summit. Following this route, you can also connect with Signal Hill Trail and Greenfield Trail.

Finally, if you are up for an extended hike the Cove Lake Trail is an obvious choice. It is a 15 km (9,3 mi) trek, that can be completed in only 5 hours and it commences from Cameron Bluff Drive, Corley and Cove Lake, Green Bench Road. It is a slightly tougher route, rated as strenuous and is considered to be perfect for beginner backpackers.