Mt. Magazine Cascades, Arkansas

Mt Magazine Cascades Arkansas (7)

Mount Magazine Cascades in March 2011

My experience with Mount Magazine was pretty interesting. I have to admit that I’m not even sure how I ended up at Mt Magazine in the first place. Most of the waterfalls in Arkansas are in the north of the state. Mt Magazine Cascades (and Falls) are closer to the center of the state (though still a bit west). I wasn’t having much luck finding impressive waterfalls further north, so maybe I decided to head to somewhere more unconventional…

Mount Magazine is the tallest point in the state, so it’s not surprising that this could lead to waterfalls. The drive to the state park is up a winding road and it was beautiful. It was rather foggy, though. It made it a bit difficult to see where the falls might be.

I do remember wandering around for a bit. I don’t know if I officially found the Cascades or the Falls found in the “Arkansas Waterfall Guidebook” by Tim Ernst. I believe I led myself astray for a bit, and then somehow stumbled upon some falling water. (I do think I found the cascades, though they weren’t as photogenic as I expected…but that was due to different water levels.) After not much other luck, I called the search awash. It was luckier than some of the other searches I was having in Arkansas, a few of which I just completely gave up.

Directions:

  1. Head to Mount Magazine State Park. You’ll follow AR-309 (Mount Magazine Scenic Byway) to get there.
  2. Turn onto Mount Magazine Road. This will lead you up to the circular road around the summit.
  3. At the Brown Springs Picnic area, follow the trail to the Cascades. (I don’t remember this part very much.)

Accessibility: 8/10 (Easy/Moderate)
Height: ~100′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

Where in the World is Mount Magazine Cascades?

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Hemmed-In Hollow Falls, Arkansas

Hemmed-In Hollow Falls in March 2011

Hemmed-In Hollow Falls is one of the more widely known waterfalls in Arkansas. This seems to be due to its 200+’ height and honestly what is a beautiful scenic backdrop for the falls. And yet, if you show up at the wrong time of year, you might be slightly disappointed.

At first, I was somewhat concerned about hiking to Hemmed-In Hollow Falls. It sounded like it was a long and strenuous hike. It was long, and it was a bit strenuous in places…But I found much of it to be easier to traverse than I expected. (Sometimes, when you prepare yourself for the worse, it actually turns out better! The opposite also holds true.) It is a 2.5 mile hike downhill, followed by a 2.5 mile hike uphill on the return. It seemed spread out enough that I didn’t want to cry when I got back to the car!

The views to be had during the hike to the falls were rather impressive. The area is really very beautiful. As you get closer, you’ll see a smaller waterfall, though it was actually wider than Hemmed-In Hollow Falls, and seemed like it had more water flowing. Hemmed-In Hollow Falls had very little water flowing. There was also just enough wind that it kept causing the water that was flowing to oscillate back and forth. In the pictures, I’m not sure you’ll be able to tell it was flowing. It’s the portion that almost looks like sun rays. Much of the water has been dispersed after only 50′ of drop or so! So, I would strongly recommend going to the falls after it has rained in the area. Even with little rain, I will admit the rock near the falls is very interesting. There are a number of beautiful colors and striations.

Directions:

  1. Take AR-43 southwest from Harrison. Drive just over 18 miles into Compton.
  2. Turn left on the dirt road across from the Compton Post Office. I believe this will be County Road 19 (which might be Erbie Road). Drive for approximately 1 mile on this dirt road.
  3. Then follow the signs to the trail head parking area.
  4. From the parking area, start your hike to the falls. Bring water and some snacks so the hike is more enjoyable!

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/difficult)
Distance of Hike: 5 miles round trip (1500’+ elevation change one-way)
Height: 220′

Lower Hemmed-In Hollow Falls

Where in the World is Hemmed-In Hollow Falls?

Triple (Twin) Falls, Arkansas

Triple Falls in March 2011

This may be the first waterfall that I can think of that changes its name! If you visit after a nice rainfall, you’ll see Triple Falls, with three separate ribbons of water. If you show up and it’s drier, you might only see two ribbons, and now you can feel free to call it Twin Falls. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Getting to the falls is relatively easy, assuming you head in the right direction. I found what seemed to be the parking area for the falls, and started heading along what seemed like a nice trail. It didn’t lead anywhere (of interest). I kept hiking, and finally gave up. I really hadn’t walked that far, but I had to wonder. And then, I had this clever thought…let’s check the directions again. And after reading the directions, I realized that I might have left and right (or north and south) confused…something of that sort. By chance, I also noticed a sign. It said Twin Falls. Except there’s no Twin Falls in view, even though I hear something. I decide to go to the “other side”, hike a bit, and without much effort, I was viewing Triple Falls!

I’m pretty surprised I saw the Triple version. Many of the other falls in the area seemed rather sparse for March. Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls was almost water-less, as was Liles Falls. I was disappointed with some of the falls, but Triple Falls and Eden Falls ranked as my two Arkansas favorites (of the seven I viewed).

Directions:
1) From Jasper, head west along AR-74.
2) After driving for a few miles, turn right onto Camp Orr (or Kyle’s Landing) Road. There will be signs for Kyle’s Landing and the Boy Scouts of America Camp Orr indicating the turn.
3) It’s a downhill drive along a gravel road. I don’t remember it being terrible. After a mile, you’ll take a sharp right to continue on Camp Orr Road.
4) Drive down to the bottom of the hill, and look for a sign for Twin Falls just before you enter the Boy Scout Camp. It’s somewhere very near the entrance to your LEFT as you come downhill. I don’t remember the trail being extremely noticeable at first, but once you find the sign, it’s pretty straightforward.
5) Hike the short distance to Triple (Twin) Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10

Where in the World is Triple Falls?: map

Eden Falls, Arkansas

Eden Falls in March 2011

In March 2011, I went in search of Arkansas waterfalls. I flew in the Fayetteville/Bentonville Airport, and headed out on my journey. I had seen pictures of all of these very scenic waterfalls, though many of them sounded somewhat difficult to get to. A significant number of falls in the book “Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook” by Tim Ernst indicated difficult hikes, bushwhacking, GPS being suggested, or some combination of the three. Therefore, I tried to limit myself to those that seemed to have just one of the three, if possible. At the end of the journey, all I can say was that I was rather disappointed (though this was no fault of the author). Maybe I’m terribly wrong, but waterfalls in Arkansas just seem to be harder to find…Or maybe they didn’t want me to find them.

On one waterfall “hike”, I was standing in a thicket of rose bushes, wondering how I was going to get out with minimal damage. It seemed as though the waterfall should be right nearby, but there was no sound or sight of water to be had! At another waterfall, I was standing on the edge of a cliff, with no real way of getting good views of falls. I even did the moderately difficult hike to Hemmed In Hollow Falls, only to find that there was virtually no water flowing over the falls. I was striking out big time.

And then came Eden Falls. Eden Falls automatically skyrocketed to the top of the Arkansas waterfalls list for me because I could actually find it without feeling a sense of confusion/disappointment. At about 1.1 miles one-way, the hike was manageable. There weren’t any crazy elevation gains. There wasn’t any bushwhacking, or need for GPS. The trail was as obvious as could possibly be. And as you approach the falls, the views become absolutely stunning. The rock formations and geology around the falls are truly amazing. At one point along the hike, you’re actually standing under a rock overhang. Eden Falls was also thrilling because enough water was actually flowing over the falls to make it worth my while. Everything about Eden Falls just made me happy! (And as an added bonus…there’s a cave near the top of the falls.)

(Note: It seems there are waterfalls above Eden Falls, and other falls along the trail to Eden Falls. I’ll encourage you to buy the book to find out more about them…I didn’t have any luck in finding them. At that time, I was just happy with one impressive waterfall.)

Directions:

  1. From AR-43 in Ponca, head south for a short distance.
  2. Turn right onto Lost Valley Road. Head down to the end of Lost Valley Road. There will be a ranger’s residence at the end of the road, along with parking.
  3. Head to the trail, and enjoy!

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 53′
Length of Hike: 2.3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Eden Falls?

Liles Falls, Arkansas

When thinking about a waterfall I’ve visited over a year ago, I sometimes have difficulty recalling the specifics. So let’s start with what I can remember well: I do clearly remember that Liles Falls was one of the more seasonal falls I visited in northwest Arkansas in March 2011. There was very little water flowing over the falls, so little that it really wasn’t worth exploring the second portion of the falls, which requires more effort. Visiting after a significant rainfall is definitely worth it. I also remember it being pretty easy to the get to the falls. It’s not a particularly long hike along the trail.

What I don’t seem to remember as well: I think the road to the falls is gravel, but I don’t remember it being particularly bad. I’ve been on some narrow gravel roads that have made me nervous, but I don’t remember that here. I feel like I passed a forest ranger, who must have wondered what I was doing in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I don’t remember whether there was an area for parking at the “trailhead” to the falls. I wasn’t there for any significant amount of time, and I really just remember not being that impressed…

Directions:

  1. The road leading to Liles Falls is found off of AR-7 between Jasper and Pruitt. If you’re coming from Jasper, you’d be heading northeast along 7.
  2. On your left, you will come to County Road 79, also known as Erbie Campground Road. Turn left onto Co. Rd. 7.
  3. Head about 3.5 miles along County Road 79/Erbie Campground Road. You’ll pass the Cedar Grove Picnic Area.
  4. At 3.5 miles, park right after crossing the small creek. I don’t believe it was flowing significantly when I was there, as it feeds the falls.
  5. Head downhill along the pretty clear trail (though I don’t remember if it was marked).

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 41′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Liles Falls at very low flow in March 2011

Where in the World is Liles Falls?

Bumpers Falls, Arkansas

Bumpers Falls in March 2011

I’ve already posted about Bumper Falls’ nearby relative, Dewey Canyon Falls, so I’ll let you go over there and read more about that specific falls and some observations about Arkansas waterfalls. I had some difficulty in viewing many of the waterfalls, if I could find them in the first place. Bumpers Falls was one of the few that I could both find and view.

If you find the right path, which just requires a little careful observation, you can get to the base of the falls, and actually walk behind them. And be careful…There are some large drops near the falls, but walking away from the falls, you may begin to notice the drops lessen. At the right point, you’re safe, and you can get to the base.  When I got there, there wasn’t much water, but at least I could see something! This is probably best viewed after a LOT of rainfall.

Directions:

  1. I started out in Big Flat.
  2. From Big Flat, I headed east on AR-7 to the junction with AR-341.
  3. At the junction of the two roads above, turn left on AR-341. You’ll be heading north, which is the only way you can really head.
  4. Go for almost 9 miles (just a little bit under) on AR-341. This is where it gets a little bit tricky. You’re looking for the “first” time you see guard rails on both sides of the road, at least in a considerable distance. Before that, there may be guard rails on one side or the other, but this is the first time I recognized both around the 9 mile mark. If you’re headed north, you’ll actually have an easier time parking on the left side of the road (which means it might be easier to turn around at that point).
  5. Once you’re parked on the left side of the road right near the guard rail, head to the north (what I would consider the right end of the guard rail). If you go past the end of the guard rail for about 100 feet or so, you should notice a faint trail that leads into the woods.
  6. Follow this trail for a few hundred feet or so, and then head to the left toward Bumpers Falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy, If it seems harder, you haven’t found the right trail…this is from experience!)
Height: 27′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Bumpers Falls?

Dewey Canyon Falls, Arkansas

Dewey Canyon Falls in March 2011

I just got back from waterfall hunting in Arkansas (and a side excursion in Oklahoma), and I’m trying to decide which waterfall to start with. Do I start with one of the more exciting waterfalls, or do I start with a waterfall that seems more representative of my experiences.

I guess the second seems to be the better option. I was very excited to visit waterfalls in Arkansas, as it looks like there are a number of taller waterfalls in the Buffalo River region and the Ozarks in general…that was my impression. This may have been one case of higher expectations not necessarily being met…but oh well.

Dewey Canyon Falls represents two aspects of my Arkansas waterfall experience:

  1. Without much rain, Arkansas waterfalls are gosh darn boring. I figured showing up in March might lead to a better chance of water than, let’s say, July…but I’m not sure about that. Maybe it was just a dry winter? It had rained a few days before, but that wasn’t enough to make many of the waterfalls have significant flow.
  2. Arkansas waterfalls aren’t so easy to find. I’m trying to think of another area that I have had such difficulty in finding waterfalls. With the book on Arkansas waterfalls, I was able to find some more popular ones…but most of the waterfalls in the state seem to be found only after bushwhacking. Now I had horrible success with the EASY bushwhacking. With EASY bushwhacking, I was still mainly left completely confused, standing in thickets of wild roses, for the first time (that I could remember) hoping that I could actually find my way back to the car (and that’s with a GPS in hand). I can’t even IMAGINE medium or difficult bushwhacking, which eliminated a number of very cool-looking waterfalls.

Even finding Dewey Canyon Falls proved to be more difficult than I imagined. After following the directions, I spent a while trying to identify where the heck I was even supposed to go. GPS helped me identify the best place to park, and then I just hoped that was the right place! Luckily, I was going to see at least 1 or 2 waterfalls that day, after searching for four others without any success.

There are major bluffs in Arkansas, which present a challenge, but luckily there is a way to get an OK view of Dewey Canyon Falls, and it’s nearby neighbor Bumpers Falls. It really depends on finding the trail that leads to the falls, though this was the one case where bushwhacking wasn’t too bad. Once I got there, though, the small amount of water made it more difficult to photograph. Oh well…

Directions:

  1. I started out in Big Flat.
  2. From Big Flat, I headed east on AR-7 to the junction with AR-341.
  3. At the junction of the two roads above, turn left on AR-341. You’ll be heading north, which is the only way you can really head.
  4. Go for almost 9 miles (just a little bit under) on AR-341. This is where it gets a little bit tricky. You’re looking for the “first” time you see guard rails on both sides of the road, at least in a considerable distance. Before that, there may be guard rails on one side or the other, but this is the first time I recognized both around the 9 mile mark. If you’re headed north, you’ll actually have an easier time parking on the left side of the road (which means it might be easier to turn around at that point).
  5. Once you’re parked on the left side of the road right near the guard rail, head to the north (what I would consider the right end of the guard rail). If you go past the end of the guard rail for about 100 feet or so, you should notice a faint trail that leads into the woods. If you follow this trail, it actually leads you directly to the stream and the almost 90′ plunge that Dewey Canyon Falls takes. Explore to get better views of the falls! Have fun! Be careful!

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 88′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Dewey Canyon Falls?