50 Wilderness Sites Across America
Dry Creek Bridge in Dry Creek Wilderness, Arkansas (Courtesy of Granger Meador via Flickr)
Flat bedding planes cut by Dry Creek, Dry Creek Wilderness (Courtesy of Granger Meador via Flickr)
Dry Creek Trail and Huckleberry Ridge Trail diverge in Dry Creek Wilderness (Courtesy of Granger Meador via Flickr)
View of Petit Jean State Park, so named for Petit Jean Mountain in Dry Creek Wilderness (Courtesy of Robert Thigpen via Flickr)

Dry Creek Wilderness

Sandstone bluffs, pine-hardwood forest, steep slopes

smithsonian.com

Location: Arkansas
Size: 6,310 acres
Year Designated: 1984
Fast Fact: Dry Creek Wilderness is home to Chimney Rock, one of Arkansas most unique geological formations.


Arkansas’ second smallest wilderness area’s namesake creek isn’t dry year round—Dry Creek actually runs for half the year, fed by water from the nearby Ouachita Range. But the half-year river isn’t the area’s biggest draw—that honor goes to Chimney Rock, which is located within the boundaries of the Dry Creek Wilderness. Like the more famous Chimney Rock in Nebraska, Dry Creek’s Chimney Rock also formed when a rock tower broke away from a cliff wall years ago.

Though roads surround the wilderness area, which is located within the Ouachita National Forest, rare animal communities still manage to thrive in Dry Creek. Black bears, for instance, can be found in an unusually high concentration within the area.

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