One of the most awe-inspiring areas in Arkansas is its Grand Canyon just south of Jasper, Arkansas. We were there during a spring visit and also a fall trip. It is hard to say which is it a better time of year. I imagine summer and winter are just as beautiful. The traveler in this area can view the canyon valley by driving south of Jasper on Highway 7. There are several rest areas along this road for taking in the breath-taking views. Just a few miles outside of Jasper is a large pull-off with a tower and a souvenir shop where you can get a fantastic view of the valley to the east. Another must stop is the large parking lot at Cliff House Inn where you can also have lunch as well. You also must stop at the Rotary Ann Rest Area, build in the 1930's and has a picturesque 180 view of this canyon. When you reach highway 23 while driving south on Highway 7, take a sharp turn left and head back northeast on highway 123 to see views looking west. There are not many pull-offs on the east side of the canyon unfortunately, but the views are worth this loop tour. When you reach highway 374, turn left and go through the valley area and through the little community of Low Gap where a cafe there is worth a stop if it is lunch time. This will take you back to Highway 7, and a right turn will take you back to Jasper. Although not as spectacular a drive, you can take highway 123 to highway 74 and a left turn will take you right into Jasper.
If you prefer not to do the whole tour around the canyon, there are also roads to take you to other outstanding tours. You can see beautiful waterfalls off of highway 74 between Jasper and Ponca as well as the Lost Valley south of Ponca. The Boxley Elk are worth trying to watch along highways 43 and 21, where you could continue if you wanted to continue south, you can pick up highway 16 and head back north when you bet to Highway 7 to loop back to Jasper. If you continue on 16 instead of turning north, you can continue south on Highway 7 & 16 to Pelsor, Arkansas, and turn left on 16 until you come to the King's Falls and Pedestal Rocks Trails (see Jasper Area for information on these). All these sites beckon you to this area of Arkansas to spend more than just a drive through to see the Arkansas's Grand Canyon. See links below for some of these areas.
There are many other things to see in this area. Check out web pages for , Steel Creek, Boxley Elk, Lost Valley, and Twin Falls.If you camp, RV spots are very limited in most areas and many of the primitive campgrounds are down steep dirt roads, which require 4X4 trucks to get to. For other accommodations check out these links: Ponca Area, Jasper Area, Camping, government primitive camping sites.
AFall View of Arkansas's Grand Canyon
Below are pictures from our trip to Jasper, Arkansas and tour of Arkansas's Grand Canyon..
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This 1 1/2 minute video done by David Whitehurst gives a good summer view of Arkansas's Grand Canyon south and east of Jasper, Arkansas.