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Ozark waterfall guide

Wildman Twin Falls
Wildman Twin Falls

The Ozarks offer endless reasons to explore the outdoors. At the top of the list, however, is waterfalls. There is something truly remarkable about the way water flows down a cliff, bending to the force of gravity and changing directions. Waterfalls are always magical, always memorable and the Ozark Mountain Region is home to some of the best waterfall views in The Natural State. While the most well-known waterfalls are named and accessible via trails, there are also wild waterfalls that occur spontaneously after rain and they can be found nearly everywhere. 

Even among the named waterfalls in the Ozark Mountain Region, there’s a lot of variety. Some waterfalls last all year, while others have a season. Some falls are easily accessible and others are hiding at the midpoint of a strenuous hike. A little bit of planning can help make sure you find the view you want without biting off more than you can chew on the journey. Here are some of the waterfalls you can see on your Ozark getaway, as well as some viewing tips for every type of traveler.

Twin Falls

An absolutely epic adventure, Twin Falls is TWO waterfalls for the price of…well, free. The view is unbelievable and totally remote. Getting to this private sanctuary requires more effort, but it's worth it for the solitude. When you arrive, you’ll see two distinct falls separated by a rock bluff. They flow pretty much all year. Spring is the best season to catch the strongest flow. On the coldest days of winter, the falls will freeze in place. And sometimes at the peak of the season, Twin Falls can become Triple Falls. It’s quite the sight.  

Reaching the site involves a steep rugged drive and a moderately difficult hike with multiple water crossings. The hike to Twin Falls is about 2.2 miles each way, with narrow trails and steep, sometimes slippery slopes. Appropriate hiking gear and rubber boots are encouraged. Allow extra time for the terrain and avoid the rocky trails just after a rain. It’s more than worth it. There are more waterfalls at the halfway point of this rugged journey and when it’s over, you’ll have stories to tell.

Wildman Twin Falls

Falling Water Falls

Family-friendly and beloved by locals, Falling Water Falls is easily accessible and a different kind of fun in every season. Cold spring-fed waters make it a favorite swimming hole during the hot Arkansas summers. In fall and winter, the whole place is peaceful and quiet except for the flowing water, which is mesmerizing. Spring is the rainy season, so the flows are at their peak and the views are lush and vibrant. The best part is accessibility. The falls are easily visible from the road.

Falling Water Falls Richard Creek

Hemmed-In Hollow Falls

Another Ozark adventure is Hemmed-In Hollow Falls, the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians. At 209 feet, this waterfall is a single vertical plunge and one of the most photogenic spots in The Natural State. Spring is the peak of the waterfall season, with the flow tapering off a bit during dry spells, but it is visible all year. If you’re careful, you can walk behind the falls or even sit under them. You’ll want to take lots of photos when you see the view, so be sure to charge your phone all the way before setting out. 

The challenging hike into (and especially out of) Hemmed-In Hollow makes the view especially rewarding. You have to earn it, and you’ll want some company on this arduous hike, the first half of which is all downhill. Bring plenty of water and expect to spend at least five hours on the trail round trip. Many are drawn to the hike itself, which is a favorite among serious hikers in every season but especially in fall, when the weather is cool and the leaves are turning. Any time of year, this adventure is worth the trip.

Hemmed in Hollow Framed with Trees

Mirror Lake Waterfall

Easy to reach, Mirror Lake Waterfall is hard to leave once you see it. This super-accessible destination features wide, cascading waterfalls and breathtaking views for the whole family. The aptly named Mirror Lake, into which the fall flows, is crystal clear and stocked with rainbow trout. It’s another world out here and reaching it is easy. More adventurous trails are available, but you can easily access the falls with toddlers in tow, and it’s always the right season. 

Blanchard Springs Mirror Lake

Planning Your Waterfall Getaway

These are just a few of the named waterfalls to be found in the Ozark Mountain Region and throughout Arkansas, and all of them are spectacular. First, as is probably obvious by now, the trails to the falls can vary in difficulty, and there are often options for which trail you take. Matching your party’s skill level to the trail difficulty is the key to a great trip. Second, seasons matter more for viewing some waterfalls. When possible, avoid the driest parts of the year, like the hottest days of summer or coldest days of winter. Learn more about trails, camping, lodging and nearby attractions by visiting the Ozark Mountain Region website.