Bordering the great Mississippi River and nicknamed the ‘Natural State’, Arkansas is a region of the United States that can only be described as special. There’s over 600,000 acres of lakes in the state, along with abundant park and wilderness areas, mountains, caves, rivers, and hot springs. This state is nature at its best, and the waterfalls in Arkansas sum that up spectacularly.
Arkansas is home to some beautiful, big waterfalls that are unlike any you will have seen before. So, if you are planning a trip to Arkansas then you are definitely going to want to visit at least one or two of them!
To help you along, we’ve tapped into out Arkansas natural knowledge to share with you the twelve most beautiful and enticing waterfalls in the state.
So, let’s get right into it! Here’s the best waterfalls in Arkansas – cascades you have to visit in your lifetime.
The Best Waterfalls in Arkansas: Cascades you Must Visit in your Lifetime
1. Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls
Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls is a single drop waterfall that is located within the stunning Ponca Wilderness Area in Northern Arkansas.
It’s a popular fall and no wonder. This cascade stands at a height of two hundred and nine feet, and is the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians!
That impressive height is what makes this Arkansas waterfall a must see. But we recommend visiting this waterfall after periods of heavy rainfall – for example during the winter and spring months. Why? Well the rainwater will make this cascade bigger, more powerful and even more impressive!
The waterfall can be accessed from at least three different hiking trails. The Centerpoint Trailhead, Compton Trailhead, and the River Trailhead. The Centerpoint Trail is probably the most difficult, but this ten mile out and back trail is a gorgeous route through lush forest and is our favorite. See the map for that here.
2. High Bank Twin Falls
High Bank Twin Falls is smaller than Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls, but that doesn’t mean it is any less beautiful! This waterfall reaches a height of almost seventy-five feet but is divided into two distinct streams that then cascade over wonderful, layered rock. From there the water then lands in a pool below, which is perfect for a refreshing dip!
Located in the Boston Mountain area of the Ozark National Forest, like other waterfalls we’d recommend visiting High Bank Twin Falls during rainier months if you want to see it at its most powerful. Although when there’s been rain the plunge pool beneath it is more muddy and less ideal for swimming.
This cascade can be easily reached by a half mile out and back trail. There’s a tiny parking area at the trailhead, but it’s best to get there early in the morning if you want to find a space. See the trail map here.
3. Kings Bluff Falls
With a height of around one hundred and fourteen feet, Kings Bluff Falls is the tallest waterfall in the Ozarks, and one of the tallest throughout the state of Arkansas! So, this is one you absolutely should not miss out on.
You can also find grottos, peaks, and caverns all around this area. So, not only are you going to get to see a very impressive waterfall, but you can also see some beautiful scenery too! Definitely take a day out to explore the Ozarks, enjoy some hiking, and a picnic beside Kings Bluff Falls.
The two mile Kings Bluff Loop Trail – map here – will take you to the falls and through some of this beautiful national forest.
4. Pam’s Grotto Falls
Pam’s Grotto Falls is a stunning single-drop waterfall that is almost forty feet in height. You can find it tucked away in Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area near the towns of Russellville and Clarksville. It is deep in a ravine with towering bluffs which are popular amongst rock climbers, and is one of the most unique looking Arkansas waterfalls.
It is pretty easy to get to this waterfall via a one mile out and back trail (map), but it can get quite tricky in places, so make sure to wear shoes that are sturdy and can support you on potentially slippery rocks.
5. Falling Water Falls
Falling Water Falls is nowhere near as high as many other waterfalls in Arkansas, standing at just over 10ft tall. However what makes this waterfall so special is its beautiful plunge pool, which is large, calm, and perfect for wild swimming.
During summer that pool is wonderful on hot days, but this place is beautiful all-year round, even in the winter months. In fact when the temperature gets low enough then large icicles will often hang from the fall’s precipice, turning it into a Arkansas winter wonderland.
6. Haw Creek Falls
This waterfall is located in the Ozark National Forest where there’s several waterfalls nearby, making it a great place for a day trip chasing a few Arkansas waterfalls.
Haw Creek Falls is a wide waterfall which stands at just a few feet tall, but what makes it stand out is the stunning pretty forest surroundings it sits in, as well as the huge shallow plunge pool perfect for dipping your feet in.
Despite there being just a short walk of 200/300m to get to the waterfall, the location its in is quite remote. So unlike other more accessible Arkansas waterfalls you could have this place all to yourself when you visit. Find the trail map here.
7. Cougar Falls
With a height of around eighty feet, Cougar Falls is another cascade located in the Ozark National Forest and is one of four waterfalls that can be found in the area.
You can get to this pretty waterfall by travelling down Rand Road for around 1.2 miles. There is parking on the right-hand side of the road, so you don’t need to worry about trying to find somewhere to park your car.
From there, you need to follow a little drainage to the small creek at the bottom. Which also pairs as a perfect place to stop and take a moment to admire the beauty of the area before you carry on.
From there you should follow the trail and that will lead you right to Cougar Falls!
8. Eden Falls
This waterfall is located in Buffalo National Park, southwest of Harrison. It is quite tall at around forty feet, but obviously not as tall as many other Arkansas waterfalls.
It is a pretty multi-tiered cascade, but what we love about it most is the cave behind it. You can get into that small cave and actually crawl around it. It’s a little eerie (and do be careful).
Eden Falls is also home to many birds that love to hang around the cascade, so keep an eye out when visiting and enjoy listening to their songs. There’s some lovely wildflowers spread around the area too. It feels like a real nature lover’s paradise.
The falls are quite easy to get to via a simple trail. However, it can get a little slippery when it’s wet as there are a few mossy rocks, so you need to be careful.
9. Mirror Lake Falls
This waterfall has two gorgeous natural swimming pools, and is mostly famous for the still waters in the top pool. The water in the poor is so still that it resembles a painting, or as the name suggests, the reflection in a mirror! It’s a very pretty place, but also a historical one too.
The lake that created the waterfall was made in the 1930s, with the main goal being to build infrastructure to get America’s idle workforce back to work after the great depression.
The waterfall has multiple terraces and can be seen from a circular trail that wraps around the lake. It is a beautiful place to visit all year round, but especially in the fall due to the ever-changing color of the leaves. During this season it looks like a completely different place than in other seasons.
10. Glory Hole Falls
This is possibly the most popular waterfall in the Ozark Mountains and for good reason too – it may just be the most photogenic waterfall in Arkansas!
This incredible cascade falls through an eroded hole in the top of a cave, so when standing below the sight is quite special. Just look at the video below and you will see what we mean!
The whole area around the falls has grottos and a labyrinth of caves that have been carved out by water. It’s a great place for exploring.
It’s only a two mile out and back hike to the waterfalls, and the trail itself isn’t too hard (see the trail map here). Just bear in mind that if it hasn’t rained for a while then the waterfall may not exist!
11. Forked Mountain Falls
The Forked Mountain Falls are actually quite small, but they’re pretty, easy to get to, good for swimming and there’s a campground nearby that means you can easily make this an overnight trip!
Located in the Ouachita National Forest, an area that straddles Oklahoma and Arkansas, this waterfall isn’t as spectacular as the ones in the Ozarks but it’s definitely worth a visit.
The 3.5 mile out and back trail (map here) takes you through remote wilderness, is barely used, and there’s even a swimming hole close by. This is also a waterfall that’s possible to visit all-year round, which is an added bonus!
12. Hamilton Falls
Like a few of the cascades on our best waterfalls in Arkansas list, Hamilton Falls is also located in the Ozark National Forest. However, this is possibly the hardest one to reach as it is located in a very remote area.
In fact you can only access it by a strenuous hike that will take you around four hours to complete. However that means it is rarely busy, and your reward is a wonderful waterfall all to yourself. A gift from nature!
The falls themselves are only around fifteen feet tall, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. There’s a beautiful blue plunge pool at the bottom of the falls too, which is perfect for swimming in. And as we said, because of the hike here you’ll likely have that natural swimming pool all to yourself.
The path to the falls isn’t really an official trail, but instead a path that adventurous types have made to get here! You can see details of that trail here.