Wow!  All I have to say is Wow!  This was the best of the best hikes I have ever been on. It was difficult and challenging but it was exciting the whole way.   March, 14th, 2009.  A group of 10 Royal Rangers and some backpacking associates head out to the Eye of the Needle!

I left the house at 6:15 am Saturday morning to pickup the Van and pickup the 1st load of hikers.  We then meet at McDonalds and took a road trip to Kyle's Landing just west of Jasper, Arkansas.  From the parking lot we went to the west end Trail Head.  Took the Old River trail .10 of a mile to Indian Creek .5 mile.  We meet a group of young people that were part of a Leadership team building group about 25 youth were backpacking and having a great time.  Then onward we went due south up the Indian Creek.  Wow!  The trail was easy going for the first .5 mile.  Then it did a lot of up and down and going along the creek as the 600 foot cliffs started to close in on Indian creek.   At some points high up above the creek we could look down as we traversed the narrow path.  Sure footing was the only way to go.  It was constant up and down like going up and down stairs for miles. 

We were well on our way to the Eye of the Needle.  After about a hour of hiking we stopped at Base Camp Eye of the Needle.  This is about 45 minutes walk from the base of the entrance to the eye of the needle gorge.  We placed a rope to make the trip back down easier.  The boys well they just followed the downed trees from the recent ice storm and used instead of the Rope.  UP  the 100 foot climb to the entrance to Eye of the Needle Gorge then through the crawl through hole a short cave of about 30 feet about 4 feet high.  Then more of the same another 500 feet walking along the edges of the gorge.  At this place the gorge now maybe 60 feet wide and 100 to 800 foot cliffs on both sides and there it was. The eye of the needle. 

1:30 pm.  We made it.  While the boys explored and went into a cave that was pretty deep we took a break and took some photos.  The Eye of the Needle is pretty cool.  It was a lot of work to make it to this place yet it was worth it. 

All along this trail it's layered with caves, water falls, trickling streams, huge rocks and a peace that passes all understanding. 

The boys.   Everyone of them said thanks for taking me to this place.  They meant it. 

Click on a Picture to get a larger view.

This place is rugged.  One must always be keeping everyone focused on good footing and using good judgment.  This event was for Boys 13 and older.  These boys did a great job and had a great time.

Well it's 8:15 and I am pulling into my driveway at home.  A 14 hour Ranger Event day.  Wow!  What a day!  These boys are pumped "Ready" to go on the next event.


Mark Jones