• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    5 Miles

Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall

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.

Note:
  • 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

Pack List

  • Snack
  • Cellphone
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Map
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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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

7 months ago
7 months ago

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.

10 months ago
10 months ago

Great fun. Recommend hiking from Compton trailhead as the hiking out Centerpoint is a doozy!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This is probably the waterfall that I am looking forward to seeing the most once we get a good rain. Gotta love that it's the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies! How is that hike out? I've heard that the hike out form the falls is pretty intense! Good post buddy!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Love this hike. Definitely try to catch the falls in the spring when the water levels are up

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

John Chau Explorer

W-EMT at Whiskeytown, soccer coach, and adventurer - making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. Check out my blog at: theruggedtrail.com and keep on adventuring! If you need a guide or an adventuring partner, shoot me an email at: johnachau@gmail.com!

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