Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cossatot River

It isn't too often that we have both good fall colors and lots of running water at the same time. Usually things are pretty dry in the summer and fall in Arkansas, and most waterfalls are just barely running in October and November. But in the beginning of November, some heavy storms moved through and dumped a lot of rain. Which finally got the creeks back up and running again. The heaviest rain fell in the Ouachitas, so I woke up before dawn and headed out with the camera.

The original plan was to leave early enough so that I'd arrive at the Cossatot River at dawn. The hope was that there would be some cool fog or mist over the water. But of course, there wasn't anything when I got there. Luckily there was a lot of water flowing through the river to make up for it.


The Cossatot River is about 90 miles long, and starts in the Ouachita Mountains near Mena. The most scenic and popular section of the river is protected as a state park. The name for the park is widely believed to be an old Native American word for "skull crusher," but it's actually French (cassĂ©-tĂȘte means "crushed head").


The name probably comes from the rapids along the river, which are rated as Class IV and V. Some of rapids are amusingly named, such as the Whiplash, B.M.F., the Dishwasher and my favorite, the Cossatosser.


This was taken at Cossatot Falls, which is really more of a long series of tall cascades. The river drops and churns past boulders and rocks that have been shaped and sculpted by the rushing water.




A light rain started to fall, and I took a few more pictures before driving out to visit a few more waterfalls


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