The Top 10 Waterfalls in Arkansas

Published on September 2nd, 2021

Unless you’re from there or you’ve been lucky enough to visit, Arkansas is a state that falls off of many peoples’ radars — which is extremely unfortunate for them. Those in the know are lucky to know exactly how much goodness Arkansas has to offer, not the least of which are these ten epic waterfalls we’ve gathered for your consideration.

The Top 10 Waterfalls in Arkansas

1. Hemmed-In Hollow Falls

2. Eden Falls

3. Glory Hole Falls

4. Hamilton Falls

5. Falling Water Falls

6. Pam’s Grotto Falls

7. Rat Pack Falls

8. Natural Dam Falls

9. Cedar Falls

10. Little Missouri Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Arkansas

Here are the top 10 waterfalls in Arkansas and the information you need to get to them!

1. Hemmed-In Hollow Falls

Hemmed-in Hollow Falls, Arkansas
By Formattc at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16395868

Nestled just outside of the northern reaches of Ozark National Forest, in a separate wilderness preserve known as the Buffalo National River, Hemmed-In Hollow Falls offers an absolutely expansive experience, despite its name. Measuring 209 feet tall and plummeting straight from the source above to the exquisitely-carved stone bowl below, this waterfall is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, examples in the state. They’re also one of the tallest falls this side of the Rockies. While there are multiple hiking trails in this area, the most direct route to Hemmed-In Hollow Falls runs about five miles round trip and sees 1,500 feet in elevation gain, so you’ll definitely want to pack lots of water and snacks. Your reward at the end makes it all worth it!

Things to do near Hemmed-In Hollow Falls: The Buffalo National River is the first NPS-managed site of its kind and is filled with all sorts of other exciting outdoor activities to try, including many paddle sports. And, of course, the vast expanse of Ozark National Forest beckons just to the south — you’d best get your hands on a local RVshare rental so you can see it all!

2. Eden Falls

A horizontal image of Eden Falls in Arkansas. It is just one of several waterfalls in Arkansas.

Another waterfall tucked into the Buffalo National River area, Eden Falls offers a truly heavenly view: waters cascade gently over the layered rock lip, tumbling from the mysterious cavern that is its source. Although substantially shorter than Hemmed-In Hollow Falls at about 37 feet, the gradual flow along the rocks offers a whole different atmosphere, and the falls is accessible via the relatively short and gentle Lost Valley Trail, which runs just over two miles round-trip and sees only about 250 feet of elevation change. There will be some steep, slippery, rocky areas, to be sure, so watch your footing — but this falls is a great option if you’re not quite up for an all-day, strenuous hiking experience.

Things to do near Eden Falls: There are even more great wildernesses in this area to explore, such as nearby Withrow State Park. Plus, the towns surrounding Buffalo National River welcome visitors with plenty of dining options and all the resources you need to enjoy a comfortable vacation. And, of course, your time will be made all the cozier if you take to the road in an RVshare rental!

3. Glory Hole Falls

Father and son looking at the frozen waterfall Glory Hole Falls. Arkansas, United States

One of the best-known waterfalls in the entirety of Ozark National Forest — and therefore one of the best-known falls in all of Arkansas — Glory Hole Falls is fed by a fresh spring, and its tumult has carved out a fascinating rock grotto over the years. Better still, the Glory Hole Waterfall Trail is a fairly gentle one, running less than two miles round-trip and seeing just under 500 feet of elevation gain. It’s dog friendly and accessible year-round, though you may want spikes or another form of traction in the snow and ice — but if you’re brave enough to take to the trail in the wintertime, you’ll be doubly rewarded: the falls are known to freeze solid, creating a fascinating illusion of a column of water suspended between the rocks.

Things to do near Glory Hole Falls: Tucked deep in the lush forest of the Ozarks, Glory Hole Falls is surrounded on all sides by other beautiful natural destinations to explore, including nearby Bowers Hollow Falls, Woods Boys Falls and others. An RVshare rental is a great way to explore the area at your own pace in your own private getaway bungalow on wheels!

4. Hamilton Falls

Hamilton Falls, AR
Image via exploretheozarksonline.com

Over on the east side of Ozark National Forest, just off Big Devils Fork, Hamilton Falls is a short but broad cascade that tumbles beautifully into the crystal blue waters below it — and although they’re one of the most difficult wilderness destinations in the state to reach, those who are able to make it will enjoy the kind of serenity in nature it’s hard to find in the 21st century. Rather than following a designated trail, many explorers have bushwhacked their own way to these falls and some other remote falls in the area, like Twin Falls, which you’ll see on this route documented on Rick’s Hiking Blog. Keep in mind that this kind of rugged adventuring is really best left to those who know what they’re doing — and have a GPS satellite phone to help just in case something goes awry.

Things to do near Hamilton Falls: This is one of the most remote parts of Arkansas, so if you’re out here, chances are you’re trying to get away from “things to do.” That said, if you do need basic resources like a grocery store or post office, you can find them in the small towns to the east of the state forest line. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your adventures!

5. Falling Water Falls

Falling Water Falls, Arkansas

Its name may be simple and descriptive, but we surmise that perhaps the people who saw it first were so captivated, they couldn’t come up with anything more creative. Either way, Falling Water Falls is well worth the effort it takes to get there, particularly since that effort involves absolutely zero hiking! The falls are easily seen along a scenic drive; you don’t even have to get out of your car to enjoy them. That said, you’ll probably want to park and get out of your vehicle to enjoy the full sensory experience of these falls: the sound of the rushing water, the cool mist on your skin. If you want an even more intimate woodsy venture, there are a variety of horse trails striping the area.

Things to do near Falling Water Falls: Another fairly remote part of the eastern Ozarks, Falling Water Falls is just outside of the unincorporated community of Ben Hur, which contains little more than a church and a cemetery. The nearest “big” town is probably Clinton, with its more than 2,600 residents and a Walmart… but you’re out here to get away from it all, right? Here are the RVshare rentals you need to do so comfortably.

6. Pam’s Grotto Falls

Pam's Grotto Waterfall in Arkansas during the spring

Its name may be more reminiscent of a favorite pub than a scenic waterfall vista — but make no mistake about it, Pam’s Grotto and the falls that run through it are a gorgeous wilderness destination. Tumbling nearly 40 feet from the source above down into the sculpted stone bowl that surrounds them, Pam’s Grotto Falls is access by a short and relatively easy trail (you’ll hike less than a mile altogether) — but as is true of any wilderness destination, you’ll want to watch your footing and make sure you have proper gear, like hiking poles.

Things to do near Pam’s Grotto Falls: Part of the larger Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area, there are many more waterfalls in this wilderness, including Car Wash Falls and Cincinnati Freedom Falls to the north. One of these local RVshare rentals makes the perfect home-away-from-home for the adventure, and you’ll have plenty of room for all your hiking gear!

7. Rat Pack Falls

Rat Pack Falls

Just south of Pam’s Grotto, Rat Pack Falls is an excellent one to make into a quick add-on, especially since it’s another sub-one-mile-round-trip trail venture. There is actually a series of cascades along this bushwhacked, unofficial trail, which some people use as a campsite — but do be warned that you may need to cross over the creek in order to get to the best viewpoints, and such crossings must always be done with caution.

Things to do near Rat Pack Falls: There’s no shortage of scenic viewpoints in this part of Ozark National Forest, from the Arkansas Sphinx to Rotary Ann Overlook. Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider for a nice, long, relaxed stay.

8. Natural Dam Falls

Waterfall at Natural Dam, Arkansas

Located inside a town of the same name in the extreme western reaches of Arkansas, close to where the state borders on Oklahoma, Natural Dam Falls cascade over — you guessed it — a natural dam that extends roughly 200 feet across the Mountain Fork of Lee Creek, making for an absolutely breathtaking sight. Visible without going very far out of town at all — indeed, without getting out of your car — these falls are a great option for someone who wants to sit alongside them and enjoy a leisurely lunch, getting away from it all without going very far.

Things to do near Natural Dam Falls: The town of Natural Falls isn’t big, but it sure is cute, and it’s not too far afield from some larger destinations (like Fort Smith) with more resources. Either way, an RVshare vehicle will keep you comfortable on the road; here are some local rigs to choose from.

9. Cedar Falls

waterfall flower creek rocks boulders usa Arkansas Park

Tucked into the 3,500-acre bounds of Petit Jean State Park, Cedar Falls constitutes one of the primary draws to this wilderness — though it certainly has plenty else to offer. At just under 100 feet in height, these broad and stately falls make a powerful statement, especially given their backdrop of gorgeous geological formations and dense Arkansas forest. As you amble your way along the relatively easy trail that leads to these falls, you’ll also have the opportunity to see other sites unique to the state park, like Rock House Cave. The park also offers its very own on-site RV campground, including generously appointed full-hookup sites.

Things to do near Cedar Falls: Just off the Arkansas River and only a little more than an hour outside of Little Rock, Cedar Falls (and the rest of the goodies awaiting you at Petit Jean) are convenient to a wide range of Arkansas residents and visitors. Plus, there are some excellent RVshare vehicles in the area to choose from — and plenty more campgrounds to consider if the on-site one fills up!

10. Little Missouri Falls

Little Missouri Falls

Tucked deep into the heart of Ouachita National Forest about an hour and a half from Hot Springs, Little Missouri Falls is a soft, short cascading waterfall where you can sit to enjoy a hard-won moment of zen. Although they’re not tall, their broad, gentle rippling effect is absolutely gorgeous and translates well to an epic Instagram post. These falls are reachable via a short and very doable hiking trail — it shouldn’t take you more than half an hour to reach them on foot. But they’re also connected via Little Missouri Trail to a wider network of hiking trails in the area that could easily be turned into a longer day hike or even an overnight venture.

Things to do near Little Missouri Falls: Given their distance from Hot Springs, this hike is easily day-trippable if you’re just looking to get out and back, though with so much rich scenery in this national forest, chances are you’ll want to stay and play. You should also be sure to save some time for nearby Hot Springs National Park, which, incidentally, is a great place to soak off some soreness after a long day of hiking. Here are some local RVshare rentals and area campgrounds to consider!

Planning an RV Trip to Arkansas

As incredible and numerous as its waterfalls may be, these cascades are just the start when it comes to reasons to visit the great state of Arkansas — and if you are going to visit, chances are you’re gonna want a rental RV to do it in.

Once you’ve secured your rig, check out our guides to the best campgrounds in the state of Arkansas as well as its best state parks. We’ve also written up some information on Little Rock and Hot Springs — and, of course, Hot Springs National Park, which you should be sure not to miss.

Enjoy!

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