Friday’s high was 89 and Sunday’s was 69. The long-range forecast has mostly 60’s and 70’s for the rest of the month. Backpacking season has finally arrived!
I was to kick-off the season with an overnighter in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness but plentiful precipitation on Saturday turned it into a day-hike on Sunday instead. I was part of a group of 10 that hiked in to Smith & McClure falls. There was surprisingly little water flowing – perhaps the rain runs-off very quickly and one needs to be there during or just after a shower for the real show.
I couldn’t get any useable pictures of Smith Falls from above due to lighting problems, vegetation, lack of good vantage points etc. Getting below the falls is apparently a pretty arduous trek so we skipped it this time. As usual, Tim Ernst has some of the best pictures. I did get a shot of the valley below. I think the Buffalo River runs from right to left at the base of that mountain.It was easier to get below the upper part of McClure Falls, though some members of our expedition chose to take a shortcut.
Bowers Hollow Falls were also on the menu but we were running short on daylight and skipped them this time. There’s an awful lot to explore here and I’ll certainly be back.
Can you tell me if a guy were to enter that area (referring to the entire wilderness between 21 and Cave Mountain Rd.) by himself, are there specific places to park a vehicle? Or maybe anywhere along an old forest road? Something like that? I’d really like to spend an overnight or two in there during run-off season. I went to the crag a few weeks ago and was enamored of the area.
Get maps of the area from http://www.ouachitamaps.com/Upper%20Buffalo.html . There are three commonly used trail heads along AR 21 – Terrapin Branch, Boen Gulf, and the Whitely Place – and they happen to be on the south, middle, and north maps respectively. The first two are marked with a “P” symbol, the last is also known as the Boxley trail head for the Buffalo River trail. I’ve never been into the wilderness from that east side but there is sure to be some nice scenery in there. Does that help?
You bet. Thanks very much. I live up in KC but I hope to get back down in the spring. I appreciate it.