Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mt. Nebo Falls

Last Saturday was a slam dunk day for waterfall photography - if you didn't mind getting rained on. A few heavy storms were passing through, and I drove off in the rain trying to reach a waterfall or two. My original plan was to hit Pam's Grotto Falls in the Ozark National Forest. Along the way I decided to make a sidetrip at Mt. Nebo State Park, but it was so pretty there that I ended up staying there all day.

The state park sits at the top of the 1,350 foot tall Mt. Nebo. The mountain usually offers good views of Lake Dardanelle, rolling hills and even a nuclear power plant. But the top of the hill had a bit of a fog hanging over it, which would only get stronger as the day wore on. I drove around the park for a bit, standing in the rain and taking pictures. Finally I made it over to the waterfall, which seems to be a bit overlooked. I don't know why - it isn't listed in the Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook, so many people probably don't know it's there. The falls probably only really run after very heavy rains, which worked out ok since it had been raining heavily all day.

About ten years ago I went out to these falls, way back when I was in college. I went with some friends who didn't seem all that interested in nature or waterfalls, and spent more time looking at a random old beer can that was laying along part of the trail to the falls. The can looked to be decades old, and we wondered the possibilities of how it ended up at this spot along the trail. When I got home on Saturday I talked to one of those old friends, and told him I had gone to the waterfall at Mt. Nebo. The first question he asked was - "did you see the old beer can?" I didn't see it, sadly.

The trail to the waterfall at Mt. Nebo starts out a parking area with a nice overlook. An old fence circles the parking area, which is slowly being covered in moss and lichen (along with a few trees).

The trail to the falls is a short and easy hike (although a bit steep). The trail switchbacks down the hill, running alongside the creek that makes the falls. Along its run, the creek tumbles over several small waterfalls and cascades.


It was a really pretty area, and I spent a long time working my way down the hill.


I only saw two other people out on this trail while I was out there. They managed to hike in and out in the same time it took me to move about 20 feet down the creek. Taking pictures eats up a lot of time!

This is looking down from the creek just above the main waterfall, you can see where it drops off below. Fog was swirling in, drifting over the hilltops in the distance. It was a great scene, which the pictures don't quite capture.

The trail switchbacks further down the hill and then runs along the base of the falls. I'd guess that the falls are about 20 feet tall...

And the view looking out from behind the falls, luckily there was plenty of room to set up the tripod without any spray coming back and hitting the camera.

Looking up at Mt. Nebo Falls:

And one last view, with a blooming tree in the foreground.

I made my way back up the steep hill, stopping to get one last view of the creek that I missed on my way downhill:


When I got back to the car, a thick fog had settled over most of Mt. Nebo. I spent the rest of my time up there slowing driving through the thick fog, looking for more pictures...


satlink said...

I lived on Nebo from 1974-85 and your pics make me miss home. In the early 80's, I took a pic of the falls iced up from top/bottom and side/side. That's a bunch of ice. I mowed yards to by camera/lenses and pay for my film. So Nebo was the beginning of my love of photography. Thanks for the memories!

Cormackphotos said...

Thanks Mike, Mt. Nebo must have been an amazing place to live for nearly 10 years.