Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lizard Log Falls, Brock Creek Recreation Area, Arkansas Ozarks

3/14/2015 - Lizard Log Falls and Polyfoss Area

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking Location:  35.53879 -92.80868,  1480 ft
  Lizard Log Falls:  35.53207,  -92.81144,  1167 ft
  Break in Bluffline below Lizard Log Falls:  35.53148,  -92.81190,  1240 ft
  Unnamed Falls #1:  35.53570,  -92.80909,  1344 ft
  Unnamed Falls #2:  35.53523,  -92.80960,  1321 ft
  Unnamed Falls #3:  35.53176,  -92.81281,  1168 ft
  Unnamed Falls #4:  35.53143,  -92.81328,  1142 ft

Pet Friendly: Yes.  No problem for dogs off leash.  

Motorcycle Friendly: No.  It is about 15 miles on a gravel road, no place for a heavy cruiser or touring bike.

GPS Track (3-D Map at bottom of this post)
  Lizard Log Falls GPS track (.gpx format)

Lizard Log Falls (47 ft)
After leaving Schoolhouse Falls, our second hike of the day was nearby Lizard Log Falls.  This waterfall was also originally documented by Zack Andrews, founder of Waterfalls.IO.  As originally plotted out and described in Tim Ernst's wonderful guidebook, Arkansas Waterfalls, the trail starts at the Austin Trailhead and goes to Lizard Log Falls and three other significant waterfalls in a seven mile trek.  

Unnamed Falls #1
We were opting for shorter hikes today due to the threat of rain, so we used a different starting point and a route that took us down more of the Lizard Log drainage.  See the previous post for Schoolhouse Falls to get driving directions.  From our parking location for Schoolhouse Falls, we went back on the Jeep road to Wilderness Trail, then turned left.   Only 0.3 miles east on Wilderness Trail from the Austin Trailhead we pulled over on the left (south) and parked.  This put us at the top of the drainage for Lizard Log Falls.

Unnamed Falls #2
We started out hiking down the right (west) side of the creek, where the slope is easier.  We then crossed the creek to the left side at the unnamed waterfalls upstream of Lizard Log Falls.  This drainage is fairly steep, as you can see from the 3D topo map at the bottom of this post.  There are numerous waterfalls and cascades as you go down the drainage, some very picturesque and all but Lizard Log Falls are unnamed, to the best of my knowledge.  I documented two above Lizard Log Falls and two below, but there are many more.

Top of Lizard Log Falls
Continuing on downstream, we crossed a tributary on the left side of the creek, then followed the creek downstream to the top of Lizard Log Falls.  The top of this waterfall is quite remarkable in itself.  The water has cut a slot channel in the creek bed at the very top of the waterfall, and just before that is a stairstep chute that the water rushes down before hitting the slot and spilling over Lizard Log Falls into the large pool 47 feet below.  Quite a sight, but to view the waterfall itself you will need to make your way down to the base.

Slot Stair-step Falls feeding Lizard Log Falls
You will need to be on the left (east) side of the creek when you get to the top of Lizard Log Falls, because on the other side there is a sheer bluffline for quite a way downstream.  Even on the east side, you have to go downstream about 200 yards to find a break in the bluffline you can use to get down to creek level.  Look for the table shaped rock for the access point.  If it looks too steep for you, there is a lesser slope just a little further downstream.

Rock marking break in bluffline
Once down below the bluff, you can easily make your way back upstream to the base of the waterfall.  As you might expect from the way water shoots through the slot, this one spews water well out away from the bluff into a large emerald pool.  We shot some photos from every perspective here, then moved on downstream.

Downstream of Lizard Log Falls, there are at least two more really nice unnamed waterfalls.  That is as far down the
Unnamed Falls #3
drainage as we explored today, since we had more on our agenda for the day and we were trying to keep the hikes relatively short due to the ever impending threat of more rain.  After I got home and downloaded all the tracks from the day's hikes, I noticed that this drainage drops off even more steeply after the lowest waterfall we visited.  I don't doubt there are more pretty nice waterfalls lower in the drainage, but that will be a longer hike for another day.

Unnamed Falls #4
After visiting the waterfall I called Unnamed Falls #4, we headed back.  Climbing back up out of hollows with steep sides is always a chore, but once back above the bluffline it was easier going.  We stopped at one tributary into the creek and explored just a little way upstream, but found nothing extraordinary.  We continued back up the drainage, crossed the creek near Unnamed Falls #1, and back to the parking location.

This was right at three miles round trip, all of it a bushwhack, and some of it a little steep and rugged.  I would rate it a moderately difficult hike, but well worth the effort.  There are a lot of picturesque waterfalls and cascades in this hollow and probably more further downstream from where we turned around.  Our second hike of the day was done, on to the next!
3-D GPS track - Lizard Log Falls

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