On Saturday, we visited three falls, Bear Skull Falls, Slot Rock and Discovery Falls. Conveniently all of these falls are located on the same portion of the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT). You do have to bushwhack to Discovery Falls. There are actually four falls on this section of the trail, we tried to visit Sunset Falls but took a wrong turn. It was getting a little late and we still needed to set up camp.
I just love Tim Ernst and his style of writing is hysterical, a dry humor that reminds me of my dad. The photos in the book are awesome and Tim is in most of them. Mark and I joked that it would be funny to take pictures replicating Tim's. The above photo is my super amateur copycat shot of Bear Skull Falls. I will note that we had some trouble finding this portion of the OHT; however, you know you are on the OHT because the trail is marked with white markers.
If you want to waterfall hunt or just hike, I highly recommend Tim's book. He has ratings of the falls, the height, how many miles to get to the fall, if you need a GPS or not, the latitude and longitude and how hard of a hike or bushwhack it is. The fall pictured above is Pam's Grotto and named after his wife. Tim was instrumental in building the OHT and helped to build this portion of the trail.
Although the book says it is a medium hike/bushwhack the Pam's Grotto was actually pretty crowded. There were some pretty serious photographers so I just tried to stay out of their way. You can actually see the leg of a tripod in the left hand side of the above photo. I hope someday that a beginner photographer sees me and thinks of me a "serious photographer."
On a side note, Mark and I got to meet Tim at John Brown University (my Alma mater), in Siloam Springs, when he was presenting his Arkansas Nightscapes slide program. He is more awesome and humble then I can express here. His advice to beginning photographers is you just have to be there and keep taking photos.
Since Pam's Grotto was only a mile long hike, we decided to get in the truck and drive to another trail head. We went to Hobo Falls East and West. This was a super fun hike with some awesome camping spots. The above photo is Hobo Falls East.
Unfortunately, Hobo Falls West had a lot of brush, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Tim wrote "Be sure to save some energy for the climb out" and he was NOT kidding. It is a three mile round trip, which doesn't seem bad, but it is uphill the whole way back. Let's just say that the Shepherd beat all of us to the truck..
If you live in Arkansas and haven't taken advantage of exploring the Natural State you are really missing out. You don't have to spend money, have fancy hiking boots or a GPS, just the spirit to adventure. Hope to see you on the trail!