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Compton, Arkansas

Hike to Hemmed-In Hollow Falls

5 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by John Chau

Hemmed-In Hollow is the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians at 250 feet. You can rappel behind the waterfall from one of the ledges above it. This hike is only a 20 minute hike from the Buffalo River.

After parking at the Hemmed-In Hollow Falls Trailhead, follow the path down as it descends into the valley. As you approach one of the vistas, you’ll be able to spot the emerald green waters of the Buffalo River, as well as the bluffs to your east where the waterfall hides.

After reaching the valley floor, follow the path to the east (there are signs pointing to the falls) and if you go during the off-season (fall-early spring), you might be the only ones on the trail. The summer months are usually packed with boaters and day-hiking families.

You’ll pass by several smaller waterfalls as you hike east along the creek, and eventually the path with open up with a vast view of the glistening falls cascading down from way above.

Take some pictures and grab a snack here, as the hike back is a bit challenging as you’ll gain 1200 feet of elevation in 2.5 miles of uphill switchbacks. If you opt to do some exploring, you can scramble up the right side of the falls to a ledge that wraps around the back of the waterfall. A stout tree here provides a decent anchor for rappelling.

Otherwise, you can also continue around to the north side of the falls and head west along the ridge where the rock is crumbly (so don’t freeclimb it – numerous people have had their holds break off and taken nasty falls) but the views from the overlook are on point.

If it's toasty outside, go hike 20 minutes along the creek and follow it to where it flows into the Buffalo National River. Jump in for a swim or wade across to the other side and set up camp.

  • Camping is unfortunately not allowed at the base of the falls
  • Beat the crowds, ticks, and the heat by going in the late fall to the early spring
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Easy Parking


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Grueling Hike Up But Worth It!😎

Hike down from Compton trailhead took us about 90 minutes. The water from flowing with recent Spring rain (end of March). Had lunch near the Falls. Grueling hike up took just over 2 hours gaining 1,200 ft in elevation. Great waterfall, amazing bluffs and terrain. I wouldn’t consider the hike out “Beginner”. For an easier hike I would recommend floating the river and hiking about .2 miles from the shore to the Falls.

Great Big Waterfall

Very cool hike. The waterfall was breathtaking and there is a trail on the way back that leads to the river. We swam in the river and it was just perfect. The way back is all up hill. Bring plenty of water

Intense hike.

The way there is pretty easy, all downhill. The way back is another story though. As far as the views, I went after a heavy week of rain and the waterfall was breathtaking. Best time to go would have to be spring.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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