Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Washboard Falls, Arkansas Ozarks near Wood's Mountain

12/29/2015 -  Washboard Falls

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking Location:  35.56294,  -93.32862,  866 feet
  Washboard Falls:  35.56458,  -93.32629,  1095 feet
  Curtain Falls:  35.56317,  -93.32809,  909 feet
  Falls #2:  35.56385,  -93.32748,  968 feet
  Falls #3:  35.56438,  -93.32682,  1042 feet
  Falls #4:  35.56457,  -93.32642,  1086 feet

Pet Friendly: Yes, dogs off leash should be fine. This little creek has very steep and often slippery sides.  You will need both hands to keep from falling yourself, so dogs on leash would not be recommended.

Motorcycle Friendly:  Kind of.  It is 1.4 miles off a paved highway on a dirt Forest Service road.  That's a short enough distance off the pavement that it probably won't bother you much taking your street bike or cruiser on it.
Hiking Statistics:  It is only a half mile round trip, so distance wise it is a very short hike.  That being said, it is a 200 foot elevation change over that quarter mile, so it is fairly steep.  In addition, the banks of the creek are even steeper and slippery when wet, so be careful.  Because it is a little treacherous, I would put this at a moderate bushwhack despite the very short distance.

GPS files (.gpx format) - maps of these tracks are at the bottom of this post:

Washboard Falls
After spending all day tromping around in the Cow Creek area, my hiking companions, Dan and Shelly Frew, and Jim Fitsimones, and I were pretty well worn out.  But not so much so that we couldn't stop for a quick hike up another unknown hollow to look at some waterfalls.  Dan had scouted this small drainage out before and was waiting for a day after a good rain.  Well, this was that day.  Besides, "it was on the way home" - excuse #2.

Washboard Hollow Creek
From the junction of Highways 123 and 164 (the small community of Hagerville), go north on Highway 123 for 4.1 miles and turn left (west), continuing to bear left onto FR-1423 (NOT CR-4540, which bears off to the right).  Go down FR-1423 1.4 miles and park on the right side of the road.  If you get to Dry Creek, you have gone too far.

Falls #3
My old friends Brent Robinson and Roger Chavers have roamed this entire area around Woods Mountain and have documented scores of waterfall in the area.  You can see Brent's website of waterfall finds, including a lot of documentation on driving and hiking directions, here.  I checked all the material Brent put on line and found plenty for the rest of the Dry Creek area, but nothing for this little creek.

Curtain Falls
We started hiking up the creek, and the first waterfall was right there, maybe a hundred yards off the road, a small but still pretty waterfall.  When my wife Bethany saw a photo of it, she said "that should be named Curtain Falls".  Now, there are a couple of Curtain Falls already, but I haven't lived as long as I have without learning a thing or two.  "Curtain Falls it is, dear"! I said, never even considering another response.  Besides, that has a nicer ring than Unnamed Falls #1.

Falls #2
Falls #2 was approximately another hundred yards upstream, and Falls #3 yet another hundred yards above that.  Both beautiful and photo-worthy in their own right, but the highest two waterfalls in the drainage were the best.   Dan had been to this hollow before, and had called the highest one Washboard Falls, for obvious reasons.  Washboard Falls flowed almost directly into Falls #4.  The ground here was very steep, and very treacherous.  It's hard to get a good location to even take a photo, and there is too much growth directly in front of Washboard Falls to get a good frontal shot of it.
Falls #4

This was a great way to wrap up the day.  If you find yourself in the area and want a quick hike that will only take a half hour or so, this is highly recommended.  It is a wet weather creek, so plan on this after a good rainfall.

GPS Track - FR-1423 to Washboard Falls

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