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Statewide Dardanelle Harrison Jasper Kingston Little Rock Marianna Mount Magazine State Park Petit Jean State Park Rogers Winslow
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Top 10 Places to Watch the Sunrise in Arkansas

Kingston, AR - November 6: Camping at Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point in Kingston, AR on November 6, 2022. (Photo by Will Newton/ADPHT)

Watching the sunrise in Arkansas is a magical experience that can set the tone for a beautiful day ahead. There’s something special about witnessing the first light of day, especially when it’s over a serene lake or after a refreshing hike up a favorite trail. Keep reading for a list of Arkansas’s best places to view the sunrise.

The morning is a fantastic time to get out and explore. The air is crisp, the world is waking up, and there’s a sense of calm and possibility. Watching the sunrise can be a peaceful and rejuvenating experience, helping you feel more connected to nature and ready to tackle whatever the day may bring.

To make the most of your sunrise adventure, arrive at your chosen spot well before the sun peeks over the horizon. This gives you time to find the perfect viewing spot, set up your camera to capture the moment, and take in the beauty of the pre-dawn sky.

While all this makes for an early morning, the mental and physical benefits are worth it. So, set your alarm, grab your coffee, and get ready to start your day in the most beautiful way possible!

Sunrise at Hawksbill Crag courtesy of Arkansas Parks, Heritage and Tourism

Hawksbill Crag

The 3-mile Whitaker Point Trail leads to a lookout point with stunning views of the Buffalo River valley. The payoff is a spectacular sunrise over the rolling hills and forests.

Photo courtesy of Noel Pennington, CC by 2.0

Arkansas Grand Canyon

Sunrise at the Arkansas Grand Canyon, near Jasper, is a photographer’s dream. Facing east, the canyon offers an unobstructed view of the horizon, letting you capture the full drama of the rising sun as it ignites the sky.

Little Rock, AR – June 3: Sunrise hike at Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, AR on June 3, 2022. (Photo by Will Newton/ADPHT)

Pinnacle Mountain

The visitors center at Pinnacle Mountain State Park offers a great sunrise view over the Arkansas River Valley. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can hike to the top of Pinnacle Mountain or nearby Rattlesnake Ridge for even more impressive views.

White Rock Mountain

At White Rock Mountain near Winslow, Arkansas, witness a stunning sunrise that paints the Ozark Mountains and surrounding sky. As dawn breaks, you can view the pastel tones over the rolling hills that seem to go on forever. Breathe in the crisp mountain air and soak in the beauty before the day unfolds.

Lake Atalanta

Lake Atalanta in Rogers is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise over water. The lake is surrounded by trees, which creates a beautiful reflection of the sunrise colors.

Mount Magazine – Signal Hill Picnic Area

Mount Magazine, Arkansas’s highest point, offers stunning sunrises. The Signal Hill Picnic Area provides a panoramic view of the mountains and valleys.

Petit Jean – Stout’s Point

Standing at Stout’s Point in Petit Jean State Park at sunrise is a magical experience. The eastern sky ignites with a breathtaking display of color at first light, casting a dramatic glow on the Arkansas River Valley sprawling out below.

Mt. Nebo State Park – Sunrise Point

Mount Nebo State Park’s Sunrise Point lives up to its name. This scenic overlook boasts an uninterrupted view of the eastern sky, perfect for witnessing the sunrise over the hills, bringing light and color to the Arkansas River Valley.

Marianna, Arkansas – October 4: Lower Delta FAM tour in Marianna, Arkansas on October 4, 2022. (Photo by Will Newton/ADPHT)

Arkansas Delta

There is something unexpectedly magical about watching the sunrise over a field of crops. Farmers see this sight regularly, but average folks may miss out on it. Watching the sunrise over a cotton field is truly a sight to behold.

Photo by Julie Kohl

Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship

Watching the key drop at the annual Hot Air Balloon State Championship in Harrison is a must-see event. It takes place at sunrise, adding to the pastoral scene of hot air balloons slowly lifting over the horizon, silhouetted by the sun.

The early morning presents a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty, with the world slowly waking up around you. Watching the sunrise in Arkansas is a truly magical experience that is not to be missed.

Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism unless otherwise noted.


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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and teaches art part-time at a local private school. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas where they raise chickens, farm hay and bake bread. Julie loves adventure and sharing it with her husband and son. They frequent the trails, campgrounds and parks of Arkansas, always on the hunt for new adventures and new stories to share. Learn more on her blog Seek Adventures Media.

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