Punch Bowl Falls

I had seen this place listed in Tim Ernst's waterfall book and a different view of it in his latest book, Arkansas Nature Lovers Guide.  When I first saw the image my mouth dropped as the page turned.  This is a place I HAVE to go!  As I looked at the image I had determined that it would have to be a spring time shot.  You have to do your homework when it comes to locations and time of day if you what to get some good images.  So I determined when was the best time and now I just had to wait till the right time.

Spring time came and it had came a hard rain for a few days and the weather was cool, so it was the right time.  I emailed Bob to see if he was ready for a bushwhack to Punch Bowl Falls.  Of course Bob was ready to go and we set the time for a early hike to the falls.  Bob and his wife Marilyn would be joining me to the falls.  Marilyn is quite the outdoors person that enjoys hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, well you get the picture...she is way more fit than Bob or I.  So this would be a fun hike today.  We stopped off for a little breakfast and drove north of Russellville on Hwy 7 to Lurton and headed down some forest service roads till me found our parking spot.  We will actually follow the Ozark Highlands Trail till we get to Dry Creek.  Once we get to Dry Creek, we will follow the creek downstream through a difficult bushwhack till we get to the falls.  There are several nice falls along the route as we head to our destination.

We go a ways and Bob thinks this is it.  we look around and decide this is not the place.  We continue on up the mountain and locate a USGS benchmark survey marker along the way.  There is also a "Witness Tree" there, but I don't know what that is.  I think it is used in surveying, but I don't know for sure.  If you know what it is used for post me a note!  As we continue along the creek we get to our location.  There is a great waterfall, but I tell Bob I don't think this is it.  Bob insists that this is the falls.  We are very tired from our teak through the woods and we set down and enjoy some lunch.

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After some lunch we scout around for the best place to photograph the area.  We find some nice spots, but I still am not convenced this is the right place.  While we photograph the falls, Marilyn plays mountain goat and crosses the creek and climbs around on the bluffs.  I am near where the stream goes out of the pool of water on into the creek and Marilyn says " Boys, you need to be over here"!  Bob and I look it over and decide we need to cross the creek.  Marilyn wades into the creek and takes our photo gear to the other side of the creek.  Bob and I try to trace Marilyn's path across the creek and it involves some bolder hopping to get there.  Once we get there, I finally see it!  Yep, this is it! I say with some doubt.  I am still thinking it is at a different location.  We wait for the clouds to block the sun so we can photograph the falls.  What a sight!  I am loving the view.

All I can say is you better plan all day for this trip.

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Marilyn at Punch Bowl Falls