Spring rains might mean a weekend full of Netflix instead of slogging through sloppy soaking hike, but it also means it’s waterfall season. Last week here in Arkansas it rained for four days straight. And it was a nice gentle rain, it poured and flooded. But on Sunday the sun came out and I knew I was going to be heading for a waterfall hike.
If you are looking for a great resource on finding waterfalls, check out Tim Ernst’s book Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook.
Learning when there’s too much water
There is a pair of waterfalls called Twin Falls in the Richland Creek Wilderness area in the Ozark Mountains that I have been to once but can’t seem to find my way back. There really isn’t a trail and you have to bushwhack.
When I successfully hiked to the falls, I was led by my then-boyfriend. He took me a way that is not mentioned in any of the guide books or blogs I follow. Last year I tried to lead my friends on a hike to find the waterfalls but left my guide book at home. We didn’t make it.
I went back a few months later – on my own this time, no one to lead astray. This time I remembered the guide book and chose to hike down to the falls from the top of the mountain. Well, I didn’t make it that time either.
After we got so much rain last week, I thought that a great hike would be to try to find the falls again.
What worried me was I wondered if we received too much rain. The way I planned to hike had two large creek crossings, on on Falling Water Creek and another on Richland Creek.
So I asked fellow blogger Brent of Exploring Northwest Arkansas, and he advised against making the creek crossings.
Fuzzy Butt Falls
I decided to explore the same area but hike to a different waterfall, Fuzzy Butt Falls (and yup, that its name).
Fuzzy Butt Falls is in a small slot canyon and on a tributary of Falling Water Creek. I actually was glad that I couldn’t make the waterfall hike to Twin Falls because with the amount of rain we had Fuzzy Butt Falls has a really nice flow, which I normally overlook by chasing the bigger falls.
The trail to get to Fuzzy Butt Falls is only a mile one way. And although it’s in a really remote area the trailhead is pretty easy to find.
From Russellville take Highway 7 north until you reach Pelsor. At Pelsor you turn east on Highway 16 and follow that highway until you come to Forest Service Road 1205. Stay straight on that road, which parallels Falling Water Creek. When you come to a bridge (NOT a low water bridge) that crosses the creek, the trail begins on the northwest side of the bridge.
It’s a fairly easy hike. However going after all the rain I had to slog through a trail that had become a creek. And not quite at the halfway point I had to cross a small creek, which also has a nice cascade. But because of the rainfall, the water was up to my mid-calf and I had to take off my boots to cross.
The trail follows Falling Water Creek and there a few spur trails to the creek. About three-quarters of the way there is a pretty noticeable spur trail that is marked with pink and orange flagging tape. This leads you to Six Fingers Falls on Falling Water Creek. This area of the creek is very beautiful.
Once back on the trail to Fuzzy Butt Falls, you don’t have much further to go. When you get to a sandy beach on the creek to your right on the left is the slot canyon and the falls. It is marked with green circle trail markings on the trees.
Some hikers exiting warned me that I would have to wade the creek twice. So I simply changed into my river shoes.
It’s only a couple of yards in the canyon and you come to the falls. They are more than worth all the muddy water I hike through to see the falls.
There are a lot of mosses and vegetation growing on the sides of the walls. It’s really pretty, even though it feels like its raining on you because the groundwater seeps out.
On a side note, I had been to the falls once before, with that same boyfriend. We didn’t hike the trail in. When we were there the temperatures hadn’t been above freezing in days. And we actually crossed the creek completely iced over. That is the only time I have been able to walk on iced-over creek or pond in Arkansas.
Once in the slot canyon I felt like I was in Lord of the Rings. All that seeping water made huge ice cycles that clung to the walls all around me.
So if you are looking for a great easy waterfall hike after a large rain or after a long period of freezing temperatures, I would suggest Fuzzy Butt Falls.
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