Mount Magazine Camping | Arkansas State Park

Mount Magazine Camping trip. Weekend getaway to Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas. Campground photos and things to do on the mountain.

Mount Magazine State Park is located approximately two hours from the Little Rock area. It’s the highest point in Arkansas and sits at 2,753 feet in elevation. This state park has sweeping views of the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake.

Enjoy a weekend getaway or head up for an easy day trip.

But before you make the drive, here are a few things you might want to know.

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Before our camping trip we did a little research on the area and one thing was mentioned several times though-out the reviews. That this mountain isn’t kid friendly.

How can a state park not be kid friendly?

Mount Magazine Camping

Mount Magazine State Park offers 18 full hookup campsites for RV’s and tents. They also provide lodging and cabins, both with breathtaking views of the Petit Jean River Valley. Down the road from the visitors center there is an equestrian and ATV parking area with a multi use trail 34 miles long.

Be sure to check out the Mount Magazine State Park website and click “book now” for more details.

The lodge at Mount Magazine overlooking Petit Jean River Valley.

Before you make your way to the Mount Magazine campground, you’ll need to check-in at the visitors center. This visitors center is RV and travel trailer friendly with several pull though parking spaces.

Campground- Mount Magazine State Park offers 18 campsites with water, electric and sewer hookups. Two of them being 50A and 16 30A with tent pads.

  • water/electric/sewer
  • bathhouse within walking distance
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • lantern hanger
  • BBQ area
  • dump station

Although the campground at Mount Magazine is small, the campsites are spread out nicely and well maintained. They are fairly level but you might need to make a few adjustments here and there.

Fire pit and travel trailer at campsite 1.
Mount Magazine State Park – Campsite 1
Picnic table, fire pit and tent pad surrounded by trees.
Campsite 1
Two kids and a dog walking the road along the campground.
Mount Magazine campgounds

Lodging- The resort lodge at Mount Magazine offers 60 guest rooms, all with a view of the Petit Jean River Valley. Inside the mountain lodge is a heated pool, fitness center, game room and the Skycrest Restaurant.

The lodge at Mount Magazine with blue sky's and white fluffy clouds.
The Lodge at Mount Magazine

Enjoy the views from the rustic-cabin style lobby with massive stone fireplace, floor to ceiling windows and cozy seating area.

Wood seating area with eight large windows and valley views.
The Lodge at Mount Magazine – lobby

Cabins- Along the mountain bluff stand 13 cabins available to rent. Each one has a full kitchen, fireplace, and wrap around deck with outdoor hot tub that offers panoramic views of the valley.

Mount Magazine State Park – Things to do

Visitors Center- Inside the Mount Magazine visitors center is a gift shop and exhibits on the history and wildlife in the area. Be sure to sit and enjoy their wildlife observation room. Located with the exhibits, this peaceful room with rocking chairs and oversized windows allow you to watch the birds and surrounding nature.

Stone fireplace and gift shop at the visitors center.
Visitors center gift shop
Three rocking chairs looking out the windows of the wildlife observation room.
Wildlife observation room at the visitors center

Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive- Take a drive around Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive. This one way road has stunning views overlooking Horseshoe Mountain and the town of Paris. Stop along one of their lookout points and walk down the stone walkway to get a better view of the cliffs. Or make your way around the drive to the Mount Magazine Amphitheater. Be sure to check out Petit Jean Valley Overlook as well.

Stone steps leading down to the overlook.
Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive

Skycrest Restaurant- Enjoy a night off from cooking and head over to the Skycrest Restaurant located at The Lodge at Mount Magazine. You just can’t get enough of that beautiful view and the drinks, food and portion sizes (in our opinion) were great.

Table with four chairs in front of the large windows of the restaurant.
Skycrest Restaurant – The Lodge at Mount Magazine

Picnic- Bring a basket and bit of cheese and crackers and enjoy a picnic at one of their two designated picnic areas. Benefield Picnic Area and Brown’s Picnic Area. Both areas offer tables, grill, bathhouse and gorgeous views.

Picnic table and grill surrounded by tall trees.
Brown’s Spring Picnic Area

Hiking- View Mount Magazine Trails Map

There are several trails in the area and some of them have steep cliff drop offs. Take extra care and caution when exploring the trails at Mount Magazine State Park. If you have further questions head over to the visitors center and ask a park ranger for more details.

  • Signal Hill Trail- 1.5 miles Moderate – Signal Hill Trail is a well traveled trail that leads to you the highest point in Arkansas. This trail can be accessed both in front of the campground and the lodge. At the top you’ll find a large stone map of Arkansas and a marker indicating Mount Magazine.

With easy access from the Mount Magazine camping area and no steep drop offs, this trail is a bit more family friendly.

Little kid in pink coat stepping on the highest point in Arkansas.
Top of Signal Hill Trail

Other things to do on the mountain

The weather on Mount Magazine

Typically, the weather on Mount Magazine is about 10 degrees cooler than in the valley. That means that a hot day everywhere else, might not be so bad up on the mountain. Pack accordingly

On average they can see up to eight foggy days per month. Although, that can be rather beautiful and a bit eery.

Two kids holding hands why walking through a foggy forest.
Fog at the campground
  • Mosquitos- Mosquitos are rare on Mount Magazine.
  • Black Bears- Because of the rich environment, Mount Magazine is home to black bears. Be cautious and never leave food out. You can read more about black bears here.

Things to remember

Bring everything you need with you. There are no grocery stores nearby.

There are a few tight turns depending on which road you take up. Go slow and be aware of your surroundings.

Blind curve near Petit Jean Valley Overlook

Is Mount Magazine kid friendly?

Several reviews of the area will tell you that Mount Magazine is not kid friendly. The reasoning behind that being that there are no playgrounds. I didn’t really feel like my kids needed a playground to be entertained, but there is another reason you really need to be cautious with kids up on Mount Magazine.

They have a notice in their trails map that states “to preserve the beauty and ecology, fences and warning signs have not been installed in some park locations.”

We had a chat with our children about the area but my oldest daughter still leaned her back against a fence with a drop off. She was fine but my heart was racing. After that we were extra cautious.

Overlook with wooden rail and stone pillars.
Lookout point along Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive

There are overlooks with railings that would not be appropriate for rambunctious toddlers. There are also several hikes along ridges and cliffs such as the one to Sunrise Rock and Inspiration Point.

For those reasons I would say that this Mountain is better suited for older children and adults. (in my opinion)

Our Mount Magazine camping getaway was a great adventure. The views are like none other in Arkansas and something you should experience at least once. We started back down the mountain around 11am and were off to another Arkansas state park.

We’ll see you there. ~Sara

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