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tbruihler
12-03-2010, 08:39 AM
My wife and I are going to be visiting Arkansas between Christmas and New Years from Iowa. Normally we have traveled farther South/West/Southeast but we decided to go somewhere that we can get out of the 10-20 degree weather of Iowa but still only have one long day of driving.


We could use any advice we could get on things to do and/or caches to visit! We are thinking of spending most of our time in the Hot Springs/Jasper area but are open to suggestions. Is this a "dead" time of year for those locations?

We're are our mid-20s and don't want to break our pocket book this trip!

My wife is into photography and we both enjoy the outdoors so things to "see" are just as important as things to "do"!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

kcackler
12-03-2010, 10:15 AM
I'm not all that well traveled, having spent most of my adult life in the Russellville area, but there are some AWESOME spots around here. And Russellville is fairly close to Hot Springs, if you were so inclined to come this way.

Mt. Nebo (If you can get up the road that time of year) has fantastic views and enough caches to keep you busy all day.

In Morrilton, there are a series of caches centered around finding a chest with your safe cracking equipment in it and then travelling to various caches using that equipment to access the caches. It was an easy series but SO MUCH FUN.

Captaincooder has the Starlight 365 series here which was a ton of fun as well. It's a night cache series with invisible ink clues.

The Griswolds placed GC2G0F5 GC2G0FC and GC2FQ8G near the nuclear plant discharge bay and that was a fun trail as well with an awesome view of the nuclear plant (And water that is warm year round)

OH if you come here you should do the Smiley Bayou/Brearly Cemetery caches by captaincooder - GC24ZJT That series was fun. The last clue had us stumped for several trips trying to find it.

Then you've got all the caches in Old Post park and all of the ones in Bona Dea (If you're looking for easy walks). Old Post has some pretty sweet views and Bona Dea is just a nice calm walking trail system.

Also, near my house, in the middle of town, there is an old quarry. I never knew about it until caching took us down there. There are a few caches down there. I really liked that place for some reason (Perhaps because it was this huge old rock quarry in the middle of town) - GC2G5FN is one of the caches in that area.

Maybe you should come here instead for vacation. :lol:

tbruihler
12-03-2010, 10:38 AM
Maybe you should come here instead for vacation. :lol:


If I could convince my wife to plan our vacation around "geocaching" it sounds like a great place to go! Unfortunately, I don't think it will work out that way :(

Thanks for the advice! If we get to Russellville(on our way to Jasper) I will make sure to check out some of those caches!

kcackler
12-03-2010, 11:40 AM
Don't know any caches around the Hot SPrings area. Never gone caching there.

I'm sure somebody here will give you some tips this evening though.

idratherbehiking
12-03-2010, 12:37 PM
My wife is into photography and we both enjoy the outdoors so things to "see" are just as important as things to "do"!

Since you are headed to Jasper you definitely need to go to Boxley Valley to see the Elk and hike the trail at Lost Valley GCG4QK (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=a2f15f67-3c09-4fb9-8ba9-42ecfaf058c5). And if you don't mind the 6 mile drive on a dirt road you should go to Hawksbill Crag GC3630 (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=1971f834-fdc7-4eb9-94c6-602cad791af9), the most photographed spot in the state.

I just went up that way last month and spent 3 days hiking several different trails. My favorite was one I had not done before, the Goat Trail to Big Bluff on the Buffalo River.

I could list about a million more places so if you have any questions you can p.m. me with more details about the types of things you would like to do.

rklmbl
12-03-2010, 02:33 PM
We would love to have you come to the Hot Springs area for your trip. As you know, downtown Hot Springs is a National Park and interesting to visit. There is an earth cache there but it will take some time to do. There are many many many caches in Hot Springs and the surrounding areas. There is also Hot Springs Village, a gated community just north of Hot Springs on Highway 7. It is full of condos to rent and we have found them cheaper than most hotels. HSV is a beautiful area 15 miles wide and 8 miles deep with 12 golf courses and 10 lakes and hiking trails and many things to do. The Hot Springs area has power trails, head-scratching caches, friendly cachers, puzzles, etc. If you have any other questions and are interested in this area, please email us.

Nukeworker
12-03-2010, 03:30 PM
With your wife enjoying photography, you might want to check out the numerous waterfalls in the NW quarter of the state. More than likely you can find some white pelicans at the Russellville Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River that are beautiful to photograph. Each of the Arkansas State Parks has at least one cache with beautiful scenery and an opportunity to view wildlife. Enjoy your visit to Arkansas.

perm74
12-03-2010, 07:10 PM
Without going into a lot of detail Hot Springs is the vacation hot spot in all of arkansas. Downtown stuff will keep you busy for a full week. Lot's of rich history etc. It should be a fairly cheap stay due to you coming in an off season. There are a bunch of cool caches here as well but you would/could be busy all week and not do one cache as it sounds your wife may want it that way:)

Jffok
12-04-2010, 04:27 AM
The Jasper area offers lots of hiking trials. As IHadRatherBeHiking stated Hawskbill and Lost Valley are good areas. In fact any where along the Buffalo River. But that would be a much pretty trip when the fall colors abound. Hot Springs is good year round for indoor or outdoor activities.
I live closer to the Ark.Okla. State Line near Ft. Smith if there is anything in this area you want more detail on. Enjoy your vacation and visit to Arkansas.

Ashallond
12-05-2010, 08:15 PM
gingerose has made a great set of challenge caches in and near hot Springs that you may want to look into. There's a few power trails just west of Hot Springs if you like those, as well as a few Earthcaches. Fort Smith has a ton of caches, and a Busy day icon challenge there as well.

As for what to do when NOT caching, tons of choices.

Hot Springs is the vacation destination in the state, plenty of state parks all around, each park containing a parkcache in a large series. (wait, not caching...not caching)

Honestly, I think everyone's really explained a lot of things to do when not looking for the smiley.

If you want any leads as to quick and easy caches on the way down the NW corridor (Down I-540) let me know, and I'll point out a few.

sayitagain
12-05-2010, 10:11 PM
There are days when you go geocaching with the idea of picking up a lot of finds and then there are days when you take off with one particular place in mind and if you are able to get there and log the find then you have had a fantastic geocaching day. Hawksbill Crag is one of those places. My son maumellean and I picked this as our 1000th find and my wife and other son sicksooie went along and we had a fantastic day. This place is absolutly breath taking. If your wife is into photography she will want to visit Tim Ernst's web site. He is one of the best photographers in the state when it comes to nature and scenery and has published numerous books of his photographs. He lives on a bluff overlooking the Buffalo national forest right around the ridge from Hawksbill Crag. He keeps an online journal called Cloudland Journal in which he writes daily of his photographic experiences. There are numerous really neat caches around the area but if you have the time I'd definitly make the hike to Hawksbill.

tbruihler
12-05-2010, 10:57 PM
Thanks everyone for all of the advice! We are looking into possibly renting a condo in Hot Springs Village (not much more than a hotel!) for a few nights and then spending a couple days around Jasper and exploring that area. Hawksbill sounds like a must-see so I will be sure to put that on our schedule!

Again, thanks for all of tips!

If anyone ventures North to flat, cold, corn-filled Iowa let me know and I will do what I can to help!