Sam’s Throne is one of the most picturesque areas in the Arkansas Ozarks. It’s located in the Ozark National Forest near the small town of Jasper, just off state highway 123 – possibly one of the most scenic roads in the state. 

Sam’s Throne is a popular spot for photographers and with all the chickenheads and unique geological features, it’s also a popular spot for hikers, climbers, and campers. The craggy overlook from Sam’s Throne and its surrounding ridges and bluff lines offer killer opportunities for stunning compositions and a dynamic spot for sunset shots. It also has a strange history.

The Legend of Sam’s Throne has been handed down for generations and goes something like this. Sam Davis was born in 1795 and sometime in the 1830s his sister was kidnapped by some Native Americans in Mississippi. He apparently tracked them from the Mississippi River to the White River, then up the Buffalo River to Big Creek, then to the mouth of Dry Creek where he lost the trail. And he never left. He settled in the area and became a farmer and buffalo hunter. Though he gave up his search, it is told that he eventually found his sister. One day while he was looking for a lost cow, a woman answered his moo call. The two kept calling to each other and as they came close, Sam recognized the woman as his long-lost sister, now married to an Osage chief who lived on Cave Creek. It appears this sent Sam over the edge. Years later he succumbed to dementia which included erratic behavior. He started climbing atop his “throne” and screaming hellfire and damnation sermons to all who lived below in the Big Creek Valley.

For Spring Break I took Chels and the kids back to Arkansas to visit family. Chels and I handed the kids to the grandparents for 24-hours and packed it with two hikes and an overnight stay in a remote cabin. Here’s our hike to Sam’s Throne:

Next time we go to Sam’s Throne, we’re backpacking and camping on the throne itself. For more information on the hike to Sam’s Throne and how to get there visit: Buffalo Outdoor Center.

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