11333 West Arkansas Highway 74

West Fork, AR 72774

Lee Creek Valley, a picturesque setting in northwest Arkansas's Ozarks Mountains--ancient sedimentary mountains renowned for their natural beauty and lush oak-hickory forest--was selected as a park site in the 1930s. The Civilian Conservation Corps used native materials to craft the parkís CCC/Rustic style wood and stone structures including an impressive native stone dam that spans Lee Creek in the heart of the park forming peaceful 8-acre Lake Devil. Devil's Den is called one of the best-preserved Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) park developments in the United States and contains the largest sandstone crevice cave area in the country.

The Arkansas Archeological Survey in 1979 recorded eleven archaeological sites at the park. Six sites are prehistoric and indicate the presence of Native Americans as far back as 8,000 years. Archaeological evidence of European-American settlement indicates that whites probably settled in the area before 1836, the year Arkansas became the twenty-fifth state. Settlement of upper Lee Creek Valley steadily increased during the 1840s and 1850s, with settlement of the area reaching its height from 1880 to 1920.

The most unique portion of the park is the sandstone crevice area, which contains approximately sixty crevice caves. The longest is Devilís Den Cave, extending 550 feet into the hillside. Geologists believe that, between 10,000 and 70,000 years ago, about thirty acres of hillside collapsed and slid into the valley, causing massive blocks of sandstone to fracture and form numerous crevices and caves. In 1982, the Devilís Den Crevice Cave Area was placed on the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commissionís Registry of Natural Areas. The crevice caves provide a habitat for numerous bat species, including the Ozark big-eared bat, an endangered species. The bats hibernate in Big Ear Cave, one of only four known caves in Arkansas considered essential to the survival of the species. While park-goers can explore caves and crevices throughout the park, Big Ear Cave is off-limits and protected by a special alarm system. One of the most popular annual events at the park is Bat-O-Rama, which addresses the parkís expanding colony of big brown bats.

Devilís Den has hiking, mountain biking, and backpacking trails that lead to caves, crevices, and bluff overlooks.

To reach Devil's Den State Park, travel eight miles south of Fayetteville on I-540 to Exit #53 (West Fork), then go 17 miles southwest on Ark. 170; or I-540 at Exit #45 (Winslow) and go 7 miles west on Ark. 74 to the park.

To reach the park office or make campsite reservations call 479-761-3325

Bibliography: den
The Encyclopedia of Arkansas - Devil's Den by Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism

To return to Washington County Map,click here!