Looking for info on Petit Jean SP

Discussion in 'Arkansas' started by skeetercampsintexas, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    So I'm thinking for my 10 yr anniversary I want to take my wife to Petit Jean. I've been there once about 15 years ago. I don't remember much about it other than the views and landscape were amazing! Any info, pictures, advice would be appreciated. This won't be happening for 2 years but I figure I better get planning!
     
  2. goofiefoot

    goofiefoot New Member

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  3. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Thanks! I was there once many years ago, the only negatives I recall were the windy mountain roads and a look at the Arkansas river so rudely interrupted by a nuclear power plant!
     
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  4. froggie

    froggie New Member

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    We've been twice. The premium sites are very close with little privacy. The other loops are all nice. Weekends are crowded with weekend campers. During the week, the park is quieter. Trails are fairly challenging , except for the bear cave trail. But they are worth it. Bring or buy walking sticks. Treat yourself to a meal at the lodge, especially the hotwater cornbread. You can buy firewood just before you enter the park. Bath houses are okay. Plenty of hot water. The park is absolutely beautiful. Rangers are super nice and helpful. IDK, just ask for particulars.
     
  5. SmilinBeard

    SmilinBeard Member

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    I was there a few years ago. I was in Little Rock on business and had a down day. Two things I was impressed with were the waterfall at the bottom of the gorge, and the natural bridge. Beyond that I remember the the scenery was generally fantastic.
     
  6. hootn

    hootn Member

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    we are thinking about headed there the last week of October. we have been camping in cades cove during that time the last 2 years and looking for something different this year. going to call them sometime this week for info.

    scott
     
  7. froggie

    froggie New Member

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    It is a very popular park. It's better during the week than on weekends.
     
  8. goofiefoot

    goofiefoot New Member

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  9. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    How were the campsites and typical neighbors? I was thinking of quite the extended stay, maybe along the lines of 10 days or so, giving us plenty of opportunity to explore the nearby areas and towns. The very last picture you posted of petit jean, looks like maybe petrified wood? Is that what that was?
     
  10. goofiefoot

    goofiefoot New Member

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    We camped in Area A, which looked to be the best area. All the areas were nice, but A had much larger spaces, and the option of being close to the lake (we were content being away from the water, and having an enormous lot). I think it would be awesome for a longer stay, as there's lots to do in the park, and it's not horribly far off the main path.

    We met lots of folks around us (our daughter wants to greet everyone as they walk by, especially if they have dogs), and most everyone was very friendly. We add a noisy group a few sites down the first night, but they weren't too bad, and left the next day.

    The fossils i found were trees (330 million years, from a sign i saw somewhere in the park). Those were imbedded in a boulder on the Cedar Falls trail.
     
  11. hootn

    hootn Member

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    crazy woman and me and her lap dog will be there the last week of october for a week. we have a site in section c, lot 91 i think.

    scott
     
  12. froggie

    froggie New Member

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    Skeeter, the first trip we made was in over Thanksgiving break in 2013. We had reservations, but we didn't need them. It was cold. Sleet and snow. Hiking was great, though. We went back last October over a long school break weekend. It was jam packed, but we had reservations. We got in right before dark and drove past our site the first time through. When we got back around, a family was setting up a tent in our site. I felt bad for them, but I told them we had it reserved. They were nice and moved. Problem was the reserved sign wasn't on our site. That night we found that the 5 or 6 sites around us were all taken by a large family group. They were loud until at least 11. Sunday they left. After lunch, in comes a group who had at least 10 - 12 sites together. (Tenters) They screamed, laughed, ran past our camper, demolished the bathroom. We finally called the desk at about 11. The ranger quieted them down. Anyway, this is a really popular park, so you get a lot of people who have never camped much. They apparently don't understand campground etiquette or don't care. The hiking is great. bathhouses are nice. Look up B.T. Jones, one of the rangers, and he will take you on some beautiful hikes and show you sites not on the grid.
     
  13. SmokeEater2

    SmokeEater2 New Member

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  14. Carol Overland

    Carol Overland Member

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    Yes, that Arkansas Nuclear One, and it's Mt. Nebo with the view of the plant. Don't even think of taking a pup up to the small campground at Mt. Nebo!
     

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  15. Carol Overland

    Carol Overland Member

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    For photos of the campground (Arkansas doesn't post photos!), Petit Jean is available on youtube
    Some other parks are on google earth.
     
  16. JLBlair

    JLBlair New Member

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    We are planning to take our PUP to Mt. Nebo in October. Why do you say not to take one there?
     
  17. Carol Overland

    Carol Overland Member

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    The road is such a steep incline that my van, without the pup, was struggling. Getting up with a pup would be hard, but getting down, well, it might go a little faster than you'd want!! I'd strongly recommend camping at Petit Jean, and then taking a drive over. Also, the campground is weird, it's up at the top with little areas but not much as a campground. Google for photos of it. I'm an old truckdriver, and not easily leery, but that's not something I'd do! p.s. YES! October is the best time to tour Arkansas!
     
  18. JLBlair

    JLBlair New Member

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    Thank you! We did Petit Jean a few months ago. We are wanting something different. I will start a search for a new location.
     
  19. Carol Overland

    Carol Overland Member

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    Lake Charles State Park is on our list, it's on google earth for a drive through. Sites along the water's edge look great!
     
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