Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 35.49130°N / 91.98565°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Feb 6, 2000
Activities Activities: Scrambling

Sparkling Setting


 With a summit view that extends many miles in every direction, Sugarloaf Mountain rises its 690 feet of remnant sandstone above the lazy meanders of the Little Red River on one side,  and the pastoral reaches of the community of Heber Springs on the other.  I climbed it in February, 2000 via a well developed trail system beginning at the parking lot. The trailhead features a wildflower identifying placard, doggy poo waste bags, and even a lost and found weatherproof box! Only a half mile long, the trail leading to the summit cliffs offers hand rails and fetter-like holds at the steeper sections, and even a trailside resting bench, courtesy of a Boy Scout doing his project to help earn his Eagle Scout ranking. The climb itself is possible any month of the year. The cliffs protecting the summit plateau reminded me of the biblical walls protecting Jericho, quite ominous appearing. They are a healthy 45 to 70 feet tall. If the climber is wiry enough, he or she can use one of many fissure notch-chimneys to circumvent the cliffs and gain access to the top. Otherwise expect to use a 100 foot rope and possibly a dip jammer or a couple runners to help you rappel safely down. Other protection placed is always a good idea but not essential. Sorry, I found no summit regiter at the highest point. I was able to scramble it up and down, maintaining my nerve easily around exposed areas. ....Definately an interesting area for sure. The sandstone is well layered, and has pocket gopher holes studding the weakest cliff bands. Give yourself a half day at a minimum for the adventure. Yes, you could charge up and down it like a gladiator, but why do that? Relax and enjoy all the little hidden discoveries waiting to be found. Plus, slower usually translates to safer, right?....So  I really recommend this little jewel of a climb. Perhaps there are many routes to the top to accomodate all skill levels. I just did not have the time to thoroughly explore the complete perimeter of the cliffs. It was hovering around 32 degrees when I scrambled to the top, somewhat chilly, but the brisk air kept me moving. Even on that winter morning I saw others up on the trail and even on top, so that speaks of the local popularity of this enchanting rock formation.


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