Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pack Rat Falls, Arkansas Ozarks

4/28/2014 -  Pack Rat Falls hike

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking Location:  35.67663, -93.25463,  817 feet
  Pack Rat Falls:  35.67267, -93.25335,  1005 feet

Pet Friendly: Yes, dogs on or off leash should be fine. This is a campground, so if your dog is not well behaved around strangers, please keep it on a leash.

Motorcycle Friendly: Yes!  Just like any other vehicle if you can't see how deep the water is when the road crosses Haw Creek, don't cross.

GPS files:
  GPS track file for Pack Rat Falls Hike (.gpx format)

Pack Rat Falls
When we set out to go hiking today, Pack Rat Falls was not even on our list of waterfalls to check out.  But after visiting Lonesome Hollow Falls, Fern Falls, and Hudson Shelter Falls, we still had a good part of the afternoon left.  We decided we would drive home form Hudson Shelter on a little longer route via Highways 123 and 164, instead of just going straight down Highway 7.  Then we could stop in at Haw Creek campground and see what the recent rains had done for one of our favorite waterfalls.

Pack Rat Creek Canyon
As it turned out, the Haw Creek area received very little rainfall yesterday, if any.  In fact, Haw Creek Falls had less water than just a couple of weeks earlier when Boomer and I had hiked to Pack Rat Falls.  Bethany had never been up this cool little drainage, so we decided to make the hike up to Pack Rat Falls.

I won't reiterate the detailed directions on how to get to the falls, since you can get that information on my previous post for Pack Rat Falls.  Click on the link here to access that post and the detailed directions.  

I will add that the Ozark Highlands Trail goes right through camp site #5, which is the parking location and trail head for Pack Rat Falls.  When you start out, you are actually on the Ozark Highlands Trail for a few yards until you round the ridge spur on the right and go off that trail to head upstream in the creek canyon for Pack Rat Falls.

Pack Rat Creek Canyon
Log Walking Practice for Boomer
The creek itself is one of my favorites.  It tumbles down this canyon with cascades, slides, and pools literally all the way up to Pack Rat Falls.  Along with being the love of my life, Bethany is our photographer.  Having never been to this wonderful little creek, she had to stop and take a bazillion photos along the way.  Pack Rat Falls itself is a beautiful 24 foot waterfall, and it's grotto makes a picturesque setting.  There was a large log going right across the pool at the base of the falls, so Boomer got a little real life workout with his 'mount' command, which means he is to get up on the log and walk across it.  He did just fine, slipping a little because it was wet and mossy.  I'm surprised both of us didn't end up in the pool, but we came out nice and dry.

We were starting to lose our daylight down in the creek canyon, so we headed back out.  Of course, on the way back we had to 'oooh' and 'aahh' and wait for Bethany to take more photos, but that's OK.  This is the kind of magical place that you just like to hang out in and savor nature's beauty.  All in all, a great way to put a cap on a four hike afternoon with my favorite hiking companions.

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