- Scale is 0 to 4
- Time of year visited: April
- View: 2.5 View is mostly your rock walls, but a short hike to the top of your cave provides a nice view of the Ozarks.
- Water: 2 While there was some trickle in the cave, the nearest reliable source, Devils Fork, was about a mile back down the steep hill.
- Accessibility: 1.5 Half the fun is getting there. Four miles of unmaintained trail from the Richland Creek Campground and, depending on the time of year, some potentially tricky water crossings.
- Solitude: 3 There are likely only two or three caves here large enough to camp in, but it is first come, first served. You may have neighbors when you arrive.
- Comfort: 3.5 Relatively flat. Relatively dry. Blocked from wind.
- Coolness: 4 Uh, it’s a cave out in the middle of nowhere.
Of Note: It is rumored that outlaws and Civil War deserters hid out in these caves before they were part of Arkansas’ Ozark National Forest. Summer creates dense undergrowth. Spring can create tough “creek” crossings. My second attempt to visit the castles was thwarted by one of the three river crossings, and I left wet, bloodied, and frustrated. The Sandstone Castles are first come, first served.