Nestled off of a rural road in Hot Springs, Arkansas is a family owned and operated, off-road park, of the same name, that has something for everyone. Spectator or participant, young or old, fearful or fearless, all will have fun at this awesome not so little 1200+ acre park.
The campground offers a variety of site choices from primitive tenting to premium RV and a range in between. We were passing through on a Wednesday night in late May and they were able to accommodate our small teardrop camper even with us arriving after check in and office hours.
It was pretty empty and quiet during our stay, but it was evident they were prepped and ready for a big Memorial Day Weekend! The park offers restrooms, showers, a small general store, and of course - tons of off roading fun for 4x4’s, ATV’s, Motorcross, Side by Sides and more! We took the opportunity to complete three Jeep Badge of Honor trails while we were there!
Finding the first trail was a little tricky even with a highlighted map from the very helpful office staff but once we did, it was miles of fun! With a difficulty rating of 2-4 by Jeep and 3 🔹🔹🔹by the park rating, it was a super first trail to test the skills and nerves with a mix of backcountry logging road type terrain and a few challenges that required some spotting and planning.
There’s an “easy exit” about half way through that allows you to complete the badge but also fit in the other 2 trails in one day. Plan on about 45-60 minutes for this trail.
After exiting Snake and meandering down Road 5 in the park, you’ll find the entrance to Rubicon Ridge. With a gorgeous scenic view at the start, it’s described by the staff as “ a little bit of a drop in, and once in, you’re committed” Hells to the yes on that one! It’s more like a 1/4 to 1/2 mile of downhill descent on a narrow bed of loose rocks to get "down in".
The trail is several miles of challenges at a 3-6 on the Jeep scale and a solid 3🔹🔹🔹 on the park scale. Though we didn’t need to call on the winch, we did have to use every bit of our 2.5” lift, 33” tires, high clearance exhaust and front sway disconnect! Plan on 1-2 hours to navigate and enjoy this beauty of a trail.
When you survive (I mean reach) the end of Rubicon Ridge you’ll drive down Road 1 a bit and then pop onto trail D14 which takes you to Fun Run. There will be a few times on D14 that you actually question if you’re on the trail or have some how veered off into the river bed (both of which are true!!) In the first few turns, you will definitely say “this is fun!” I for sure did.
The trail meandered through some tree strewn meadow features but then Bam! You’re face on to some super steep rocky ascents and descents! We for sure thought the winch would be used at some points but thanks to expert driving and spotting skills, we made it to the end!
With four more hours and three Badges 🏆 for my off roading belt, I would call the day a success! Topped off with a Corona Rita and Tortilla Soup combo at Jose‘s Mexican Grill and Cantina and life is good! Back on the road east we go!