Richland Creek Recreation Area | Ozark National Forest

posted Jul 23, 2017, 10:54 AM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 10:25 AM ]

Richland Creek Recreation Area 

Ozark National Forest 

The Richland Creek Wilderness was created by the 1984 Arkansas Wilderness Act and contains 11,801 acres in the middle of the Boston Mountains. One of three wildernesses on the Buffalo Ranger District, it takes its name from the main creek running through the area with the rich, fertile soil along the lower creek portion near the Buffalo River. An unusual feature of the Ozark Mountains is that the “mountains” are actually plateaus, uplifted as a unit with few folds or faults. The ruggedness of these mountains is due to erosion of the plateaus caused by swift rivers flowing between them. Topography within 1/4 mile on either side of Richland and Long Devil’s Fork Creeks is quite rugged and scenic. Rock bluffs over 100 feet high and extending over a mile along each side of Richland Creek graphically reveal the earth’s development. The forest cover is mostly second and third growth oak-hickory. Some scattered stands of shortleaf pine in old fields exist from when the Forest Service purchased the land in the 1930s and 1940s. There are no developed trails located in the wilderness. There is a system of old logging roads that run throughout the area and receive sporadic use. Kayakers float Richland Creek after rains have raised the creek water level. The wilderness area is known for its crystal clear creeks and waterfalls. Remember to take drinking water or a filtration device with you for your safety

         Directions: GPS: Latitude : 35.8364000 Longitude : -92.9737667

The most popular access point to the wilderness is at the Richland Creek Campground located on the eastern edge along Forest Road 1205. From Russellville, take Arkansas Highway 7 north for 37 miles to Pelsor, then turn right (east) on Arkansas Highway 16 and go 10 miles; turn left (north) on Forest Service Road 1205 (gravel) about one mile east of Ben Hur. Take Forest Service Road 1205 north 9 miles to Richland Creek campground which provides access to the wilderness area. Caution: Because of rough roads, visitors are not encouraged to take camping trailers to Richland Creek campground. Another access is to the north of the wilderness. Take Highway 74 east of Jasper, travel to the end of the highway about 6 miles east of Mt. Judea to a “T” in the road; go north following the pavement for 2 miles; travel to a “T” in the road to Bass, Arkansas; go east ¼ mile crossing a small creek; take Forest Road 1200 (also Newton County Road 37) for 4-1/2 miles to the junction of Forest Road 1205; take Forest Service Road 1205 for 9 miles to the campground. Caution: During rainy weather, the crossing at Bass, Arkansas might become impassable. About ½ mile north of the campground, along Forest Road 1205, is another access point with a pullout area and a visitor registration box. Another access is Hill Cemetery located in the northern portion of the wilderness. It is 7 miles north of the Richland Campground on Forest Road 1205. At the saddle of a 4-way intersection with a field on the north side of the 1205 road; take the road that is located on the east side of the field; go past the house to the end of the road about 1 mile. Caution: This access is not recommended for passenger cars. The first ¼ mile of the road is on private property so the owner’s permission is required for any travel off of the road. In addition, parking is extremely limited.

Over All Re-Cap:

This area has a small picturesque mountain stream with waterfalls, rocks, and bluffs. There is access to the Richland Creek Wilderness Area. 11 family camping units. Because of very rough roads, visitors are not encouraged to take "low clearance" camping trailers to Richland Creek, Arkansas.

Questions | Comments:  

Potable Water: The Ranger's Office told us, there is Potable Water available near the campsites "Centrally Located"

Comment: I would still haul in Potable Water to be safe. I only say this because their website states there is NO Drinking Water available. Just to be on the safe side. "Be Prepared"

Restroom: The Ranger's Office told us, there is a Vault Toilet near the campsites "Centrally Located"

Comment: I would still bring a Portable Toilet, only because their website states NO restrooms. "Be Prepared"

Road Information: The Ranger's Office told us, you should be able to get into the area with a small camping trailer, but the more ground clearance the better, just take it slow and you should be fine.

Comment: A small camper or if you are tent camping, you should have no problem. A pickup truck or 4 wheel drive tow vehicle would be good. Low to the ground passenger car, leave at home.

Note: The above information was relayed to us from the Richland Creek Rangers office. The comments were our take on the information received.

Topo Map: Richland Creek Wilderness Area 

Contact | Mail: Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, 605 West Main, Russellville, AR 72801

Phone: (479) 964-7200


ORCC Off Road Camping Club


Great Place to Camp and Explore for the entire family!

Video: "Enjoy the Full Moon rising, filmed at campsite at Richland Creek"

"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom"