Best Waterfalls in Arkansas – A Exhaustive List To Visit

Sharing is caring!

Arkansas, often referred to as the Natural State, is home to a variety of picturesque landscapes and abundant natural beauty. Among its many outdoor attractions, the state boasts a wealth of exquisite waterfalls that leave both locals and visitors in awe. These captivating cascades provide not only incredible backdrops for photographs but also serve as the perfect destination for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

With over 200 year-round waterfalls spread throughout the state, Arkansas is a haven for waterfall chasers from all walks of life. The diversity of these falls, ranging from towering horsetails to glittering cascades, ensures that there is a waterfall suited for everyone’s tastes and abilities. Some of these stunning waterfalls are easily accessible, while others require a bit more effort for the more adventurous souls.

Whether you find yourself drawn to the popular and iconic waterfalls, or you prefer the hidden gems and serene picnic spots, Arkansas is teeming with opportunities for you to explore and experience the enchanting allure of these natural wonders. So, pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and set out to discover the magic of Arkansas’ waterfalls that will undoubtedly make you fall in love with the Natural State.

Popular Waterfalls in Arkansas

Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls is a stunning 95-feet tall waterfall located in the heart of Petit Jean State Park. The hike to Cedar Falls is moderately challenging, but the reward is worth the effort. The trail to the falls, Cedar Falls Trail, takes you through scenic views of the surrounding landscape, making your journey even more enjoyable.

Falling Water Falls

Falling Water Falls is a mesmerizing cascade found in the Ozark National Forest. Easily accessible from a pull-off on the side of Highway 16, Falling Water Falls is a favorite spot for swimming and photography enthusiasts. The falls plunge into a serene swimming hole, surrounded by the lush greenery of the Natural State.

Glory Hole Falls

This unique waterfall, Glory Hole Falls, is a hidden gem tucked away in the Ozark National Forest. Water elegantly streams through an eroded hole in the overhanging rock, creating a mystical scene. The moderately easy hike to Glory Hole Falls affords visitors the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Arkansas wilderness.

Haw Creek Falls

Located in the Haw Creek Falls Campground, Haw Creek Falls is a popular waterfall that offers beautiful scenery and relaxation. The falls are easily accessible, making it a perfect spot for families and novice hikers. The gentle cascade creates a soothing atmosphere, inviting visitors to wade in the shallow pool surrounded by the Ozark Mountains.

Lost Valley Falls

Nestled in the Buffalo National River area, Lost Valley Falls features two gorgeous waterfalls, Eden Falls and Cob Cave Falls. The Lost Valley hiking trail, which leads to the falls, is filled with spectacular views, rich vegetation, and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Petit Jean Falls

Easily accessible from Mather Lodge in Petit Jean State Park, Petit Jean Falls is a picturesque cascade surrounded by lush greenery. The short hike to the falls allows you to enjoy the captivating beauty of nature while listening to the soothing sounds of falling water.

Twin Falls

Twin Falls, also known as High Bank Twin Falls, is a breathtaking double cascade located in the Boston Mountain region of the Ozark National Forest. The falls can be accessed through an easy hike, making it an ideal destination for families and less experienced hikers. Marvel at the two waterfalls plunging side by side into a clear pool, and soak in the awe-inspiring scenery.

National Forests and Parks with Waterfalls

Ozark National Forest

Located in northwest Arkansas, Ozark National Forest is home to some of the state’s most stunning waterfalls. A waterfall road trip through this forest can last anywhere from four hours to a full weekend, depending on your exploration preferences. A popular choice within the forest is Falling Water Falls in Sand Gap, offering easy access and beautiful scenery.

A notable trail to see waterfalls in this forest is the Mill Creek OHV Trail Loop, which boasts 7,260 ft of total ascent, making it the park’s most challenging.

Buffalo National River Park

Buffalo National River Park is another great destination for waterfall seekers in Arkansas. This park is recognized for its picturesque landscapes and recreational opportunities, such as camping, hiking, and canoeing, as well as numerous waterfalls.

Petit Jean State Park

As one of Arkansas’s most famous state parks, Petit Jean State Park is known for its breathtaking beauty, variety of outdoor activities, and Cedar Falls – often regarded as the “prettiest falls in Arkansas”. The park has a handicap-accessible path to a viewing platform, but the Cedar Falls Trail offers the best close-up experience of the falls.

Ouachita National Forest

Covering over 1.8 million acres, the Ouachita National Forest offers several waterfall trails to explore. The most popular waterfall trail in this forest is the Eagle Rock Loop, rated 4.6 stars by hikers and boasting an elevation gain of 4,114 ft.

By visiting these forests and parks, you can experience some of Arkansas’s most beautiful waterfalls while enjoying the state’s stunning natural landscapes.

Hiking and Trails to Arkansas Waterfalls

Lost Valley Trail

Lost Valley Trail is one of the most popular trails in Arkansas for its scenic beauty, majestic waterfalls, and fascinating geological features. The trail is 4.4 miles long and has a total elevation gain of 603 feet. While hiking the Lost Valley Trail, you will come across Eden Falls, a gorgeous waterfall that is well worth the hike. To avoid crowds, it is recommended to visit on a weekday.

Cedar Creek Canyon

Cedar Creek Canyon is yet another fantastic spot for waterfall enthusiasts. Located within Petit Jean State Park, this trail offers a wonderful hiking experience amidst dense forests and vibrant wildlife. Offering moderate difficulty, the Cedar Creek Trail is a must-try for those looking to explore Arkansas’ beautiful waterfalls and canyons.

Whitaker Point Trail

The Whitaker Point Trail (also known as Hawksbill Crag) is a 4.7-mile moderately difficult trail, known for its picturesque views of the Arkansas wilderness and cascading waterfalls. This trail is popular amongst hikers, campers, and nature lovers seeking a serene experience in the great outdoors.

Glory Hole Waterfall Trail

Located near Hagarville, the Glory Hole Waterfall Trail is a unique hiking destination due to its extraordinary geological features. The waterfall is one of the few in Arkansas where the water flows through the bluff instead of over it, making it a truly one-of-a-kind sight to see.

Hawksbill Crag

Hawksbill Crag, also part of the Whitaker Point Trail, is considered one of the most scenic overlooks in Arkansas. The impressive rock formation offers stunning views of the surrounding forest, making it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Happy hiking and waterfall chasing!

Outdoor Activities and Adventures

Camping and Backpacking

Arkansas, also known as the Natural State, is home to a plethora of beautiful waterfalls and vast forests that provide ample opportunities for camping and backpacking. A prime example is the iconic Petit Jean State Park where you can find scenic bluffs and charming waterfalls. For a more rugged experience, consider exploring the Ouachita National Forest, which offers a variety of campgrounds and backpacking trails for hikers of all skill levels.

Fishing and Boating

Many of Arkansas’ waterfalls are situated near lakes and rivers, making them excellent spots for fishing and boating. Whether you are looking to relax with a fishing pole or hit the water on a boat, numerous water bodies are at your disposal. Keep in mind that some locations might require permits or licenses, so be sure to check local regulations before hitting the water.

Swimming Holes

Swimming is a popular activity at many Arkansas waterfalls during the warmer months. Natural Dam is one such unique spot, featuring a massive natural stone dam that creates a delightful swimming hole. In addition, the state has a few hidden grottos with enchanting waterfalls that provide a refreshing and secluded experience. However, always exercise caution and take note of water levels and currents before swimming at any waterfall.


Arkansas’ waterfalls are undoubtedly a photographer’s paradise, offering stunning landscapes that capture the essence of the state’s natural beauty. Hikers, nature enthusiasts, and professional photographers alike will find a plethora of attractions to photograph, from dramatic bluffs to serene forests. With a constantly changing landscape, you’re likely to capture a unique image every visit. Don’t forget to bring your camera when you explore these picturesque locations in the Natural State.

Arkansas Tourism and Road Trips

Scenic Drives

Arkansas, known as the Natural State, offers a plethora of scenic drives perfect for a road trip adventure. The stunning landscapes of the Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River provide countless opportunities to explore breathtaking waterfalls and immerse yourself in nature. A popular route is a 4-hour road trip around the Ozark’s waterfalls, taking you through diverse terrains and awe-inspiring vistas.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Arkansas’s waterfalls is during the rainy season, typically from February to April. This period allows travelers to witness the cascades in their full glory. However, it’s essential to exercise caution during heavy rainfalls, as trails and roads may become slippery and challenging to traverse.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Embarking on an Arkansas waterfall adventure means passing through quaint towns and cities that add to the overall experience. Some notable stops include Russellville and Clarksville, both of which offer unique local attractions, dining options, and accommodations for road trippers.

Natural Wonders and Geology

The geographical diversity of Arkansas contributes to its numerous natural wonders. The state’s geology consists of limestone and sandstone, creating perfect conditions for the formation of cascades and other geological formations. One such marvel is Marble Falls, nestled within the Upper Buffalo River Wilderness—a must-see on any waterfall itinerary. Another impressive cascade to visit in the region is Kings Bluff Falls, which boasts a 110-foot drop, providing a magnificent sight for travelers.

In conclusion, an Arkansas waterfall road trip offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. The combination of picturesque drives, the best time to visit, charming nearby cities and towns, and the state’s natural wonders and geological formations make for a truly unique and memorable journey.