Creek Road - Spainhour Falls

Clarksville, Arkansas (Johnson County)

Last Updated: 07/01/2019
4.7 /5 ( 7 reviews )
Nearby Trails
Status: Partially Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 5-7
Length: 3.5 miles
Highest Elevation: 1070 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Clarksville
Nearest Town w/ Services: Clarksville
Official Road Name: Creek Road
Management Agency: Ozark National Forest
District: Pleasant Hill Ranger District
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Highlight: Creek Road - Spainhour Falls
Located in Arkansas' beautiful Ozark National Forest, Creek Road - Spainhour Falls is one of the seldom visited gems this natural state has to offer. The road itself has plenty to satisfy an off-roader with ten creek crossings, multiple mudholes, and gorgeous scenery along the way. The cherry on the top is Spainhour Falls at the end of the trail. During the rainy season it has a heavy flow, and drops into a beautiful pool of water below that is perfect for a cool swim.



7 day forecast for Creek Road - Spainhour Falls

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
10 creek crossings and a mud hole or two that are deeper than they appear. There is also a very narrow section in the road that has about a 10' drop to the creek bed. Exercise extreme caution and judgement after heavy rains, the creek can rise fast. Turn around, don't drown!

Technical Rating: 5-7

Rocky or undulated road surface. Rocks and less than 54" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 54" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 10' foot. Tire placement not good. Can be steep and off-camber.
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Creek Road is a 3.5 mile mostly dirt road with ten creek crossings and a multitude of water/mud holes. There are quite a few spots where limbs and bushes grow into the trail during the warmer months. Even in the summer when it has not rained much, the water/mud holes are still wet, with one deeper mud hole close to the end of the trail it appears at least one person got stuck and lost a fender. In the rainy part of spring, expect some of the creek crossings to approach 30" in depth.
10 creek crossings and a mud hole or two that are deeper than they appear. There is also a very narrow section in the road that has about a 10' drop to the creek bed. As of July 1st, 2019 the side of the creek bed has started to erode and could result in wider vehicles falling into the creek bed if the wall collapses. Exercise extreme caution and judgement after heavy rains, the creek can rise fast. Turn around, don't drown!


1. Trailhead (0.00 mi)
The trailhead begins at the intersection of County Road 182 and Creek Road.
2. First Creek Crossing (0.10 mi)
The first of ten creek crossings is only 0.1 miles into the road.
3. Unknown Road - Stay Straight (0.13 mi)
There is an unknown road here on the left. It is not on the MVUM nor was it on my GAIS GPS map. Stay straight.
4. Second Creek Crossing (0.20 mi)
This is the second of ten creek crossings. Some of the smaller creek crossings are tributaries to Spadra Creek, which is the main creek Spainhour Falls is located on.
5. Powerline - Stay Right (0.50 mi)
Stay right at the Y with the powerlines.
6. Closed Road - Stay Straight (0.91 mi)
You will pass a gated, closed road on the left here. Stay straight.
7. Third Creek Crossing (0.98 mi)
Yet another of the smaller creek crossings.
8. Fourth Creek Crossing (1.28 mi)
This is one of the deeper creek crossings in the rainy season. Just before you get to this crossing, if there has been enough rain, there will be a small waterfall coming off the bluff on your right.
9. Fifth Creek Crossing (1.70 mi)
This is a wider and shallower crossing when it is flowing.
10. Sixth Creek Crossing and Intesection with FR94345G - Stay Straight (2.22 mi)
The sixth creek crossing is here, just past the intersection with FR 94345G. Stay straight.
11. Seventh Creek Crossing (2.46 mi)
This creek crossing has some good flow in the rainy season. Are you starting to see why they call this "Creek Road"?
12. Eighth Creek Crossing (2.73 mi)
The eighth creek crossing is here, and is one of the smaller ones.
13. Ninth Creek Crossing (2.91 mi)
Creek crossing number nine can be deep. Proceed with caution when flowing, there have been some large boulders moved around in this one.
14. Very Narrow Section in Road - Exercise Caution (3.07 mi)
As of July 1st, 2019 the side of the creek bed has started to erode and could result in wider vehicles falling into the creek bed if the wall collapses. DO NOT PROCEED through this section until further notice! Watch out here, the road gets very narrow and there will be trees on your left to avoid. A spotter here could make the difference between passing through, and dropping off into the ten foot deep creek bed.
15. Tenth Creek Crossing (3.10 mi)
This is not typically a deep crossing, just watch for larger rocks that have been moved by the water. There is a very cool looking root system on the tree that is growing in the creek.
16. Trail End - Spainhour Falls (3.54 mi)
The trail dead ends at Spainhour Falls. It is gorgeous during the rainy season, but even during dry months some water is flowing into the pool below.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 35.578933, -93.479197

Starting Point: Clarksville

Head north on N College Ave toward W Cherry St 0.6 mi, Continue straight onto N College Ave/Stillwell Rd Continue to follow N College Ave 1.3 mi, Continue onto Co Rd 3451/Co Rd 77 4.0 mi, Turn left onto Lone Pine Rd 0.7 mi, Turn right onto Co Rd 4418 1.1 mi, Turn left onto Co Rd 182 0.7 mi, Turn left onto Creek Rd / Forrest Service Rd 1422A. Creek Road trailhead begins here.


Dispersed camping is permitted on Creek Road and nearby Forest Service roads. Waypoint 16, beside Spainhour Falls, is perfect for dispersed camping. Someone has built a fire pit here, and there is room for 4 or 5 vehicles to park and camp. PLEASE TAKE OUT YOUR TRASH and leave the site cleaner than you found it.
Camping: Creek Road - Spainhour Falls

Trail Reviews (8)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Fairly easy, (however I do drive a Rubicon hardrock edition..)for most part.. it was dry, no water crossings and no water even dripping from fall area . Drove 4 miles and which point tight area to turn around. . Just have to pay attention to the trail and trees in some areas. . Horseflies were brutal..🤣

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Please do not proceed past Waypoint 14 until further notice. The creek is undercutting the wall of the creek bed and it has become unstable. One person has already had their right front tire collapse off the edge.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Just kinda a update .. the mudhole towards the end isn’t that bad but does have a good bypass around it, but as you should always do if your not sure about a hole scout it it before just bailing off in it. also the tree bypass just before the falls has opened up quite a bit so it’s no real issue . I was in a bigger vehicle, a 100 series cruiser and had zero issues .. I have a 4wd tundra as well and would probably just stop at the tree if in it and just walk the few hundred yards to the falls. I drove a little over 1/4 mile past the falls until the road narrowed down quite a bit and turned around . Theres a series of smaller water falls , a spring and old home place on up the creek from there but I didnt have the time to hike into on this trip.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Last 200 yards is blocked with fallen trees in a few places. Looks like a bypass trail is being formed that a Jeep could make it through, but my fat butt Raptor couldn’t. It was a nice hike though. Definitely have some pin stripes that will need to be buffed out this weekend.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Beautiful trail, very scenic! A friend and I went and camped at the falls, but as of right now there is one warning. At ablout 300 yards from the falls there is a huge tree down across the trail so there is an alternate trail that snakes down and then back uphill. We instantly lost traction (even with mudtires) and it took us about 45 minutes to an hour to get back uphill with traction boards. The way back down is even worse because you are driving on an already tore up trail. And you risk sliding into trees or worse, the creek which is about 20 feet down. My warning. If that big tree is stilll down, DO NOT go if you don’t have either a winch, or traction boards and it’s best not to go alone. It took my friend and I into full recovery mode, and took about 2 hours to go 70 feet. Both of us slid into trees and he busted his taillight and I ripped my right rear bumper panel off. My wife and I are going to try to go Cut that tree out of the way in a few weeks, but if you go, don’t be in a hurry.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
My wife and I went to Oark Store for lunch, then went to Spainhour Falls on the way back. Beautiful drive along the Mulberry River from Oark to Highway 21, then back west along Batson Road from Ozone, then south on Apple Road to just west of the trailhead. Nice, relatively easy trail with only one spot where I felt I needed 4WD ( a mudhole that was about 18" deep near the north end of the trail). Good flow in the creek at the falls. There are several stream crossings, but all but 3 or 4 were dry. Many mud holes, but all except the one were relatively shallow with good rock bottoms.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This is a wonderful trail with lots of scenery. The day I went was following 3 days of intermittent heavy rain storms. There were several water crossings, some of which were fairly deep and had heavy flow. I have a Jeep Wrangler with a 3" lift and 35's so the water crossing were fun for me. A stock Jeep probably would have been fine and could definitely make it during the dry season. There were also several waterfalls coming of the ravine walls for one too enjoy as well. The falls are especially beautiful and worth the trip. I definitely recommend putting this trail on your list, but I would suggest waiting until after a heavy rain to see the true potential this trail has to offer.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This trip was in the Spring, and there was plenty of water flowing through the creek crossings and at Spainhour Falls. It was a gorgeous trip. There was a secondary waterfall coming off the cliff at the fourth creek crossing (waypoint 8).

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: I have a Subaru Tribeca, I know that it has more clearance than any stock Subarus...Do you think that I could make this trip in it or would you advise against it. Thanks
–ryan (12/17/2018)
A: Ryan, I would not attempt it in your Tribeca. It "may" be passable in it at certain times of the year (I.E. when you can see the bottoms of the dry creek beds), but I would advise against it. Thank you for checkout out Trailsoffroad, there are definitely other trails that have been written up here that you can traverse in your Tribeca. Thanks! - Shawn
–Shawn Ayres (01/02/2019)
Q: I have a 4x4 Ford F-150 with a 2in lift in the front with decent tires is it something I could do without getting stuck
–Kevin (10/23/2018)
A: Definitely. You might get some pinstripes on the sides in the narrow, brushy areas, but it's easily doable in just about any 4WD vehicle. There's really only one spot where 4WD is necessary, and that's at a mudhole near the end that can get pretty deep. Otherwise, it's just a little bumpy. Go slow, enjoy the scenery.
–Brooks Booher (10/24/2018)

Writer Information

Shawn Ayres

Mapping Crew - Arkansas

Shawn is a native of Arkansas, and enjoys camping, exploring the National Forests, chasing waterfalls, and canoeing/kayaking. His wife and family love to accompany him on most of his outdoor adventures. He is also an avid rock-crawler, and can be found at the local off-road park any chance he gets. Having been a trail guide there, he knows the trails well, and enjoys showing new guys the ropes.
For individual use only, not to be shared.