• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2.1 Miles

Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Hike to this 39' double waterfall in Arkansas' Upper Buffalo Wilderness.

The parking area for Neil Compton’s Double Falls is approximately 1.1 miles past the trailhead for Hawksbill Crag on Cave Mountain Road. Cave Mountain Road is steep and can get pretty muddy after a good rain. A vehicle with 4WD is recommended although plenty of people make it up in small cars. You will see a sign on the left side of the road that states “Upper Buffalo Wilderness - Ozark National Forest.” Park along the side of the road. You will start your hike directly behind the sign.

From the sign, scramble directly down the bluff until you meet Whitaker Creek. There is no marked trail and may require some bushwacking depending on the season. Once you reach Whitaker Creek the hike becomes easier to navigate. Depending on where you emerge, you should quickly find Amber Falls along the left side of the creek (going downstream). You’ll pass two more drainages on the left hand side each with small waterfalls which are worth exploring. Continue downstream until you reach the top of Compton’s Double Falls. To reach the base of the falls, you’ll have to hike back up the bluff and follow it down to cross the creek. The bluff line is steep and slick so watch your step. The base of the falls is by far the highlight of the hike. For an added bonus, you can hike a short distance downstream and check out Owl Falls on the right-hand side of Whitaker Creek. From here, retrace your steps back to your vehicle.

Compton’s Double Falls runs best in the early spring and after a good rain. Exploring the base of the falls requires a creek crossing, so bring a sturdy pair of sandals if you don’t want to soak your hiking boots. I also suggest doing this hike with a buddy. The lack of trail can make it easy to get lost if you’re not familiar with the area.

Waterfall coordinates: N35 52.758, W93 27.754

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Sturdy Sandals
  • Walking Stick (for creek crossing)
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Water
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Reviews

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Did this hike over the Fourth of July weekend, and we had some trouble staying on the trail, but it was well worth the bushwhack when we made it to the falls!

8 months ago
8 months ago

One of my favorite falls in Arkansas! Ready to get some more rain to get the waterfalls going again.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Jon King Explorer

Based in Kansas City. Instagram: @joneking

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