Hawksbill Crag
April 12, 2003

I'm not bragging, nor am I complaining, but below are pictures that you rarely see anywhere else - the view from Hawksbill Crag, the bluffs that everyone stands on while they're taking the standard crag picture, and three interesting boulders on a crag next to the Hawksbill.
The first picture I ever saw of possibly the most-published scene in the Ozarks was on a calendar back in the mid-Eighties. The caption simply said "Whitaker Point, Ozark National Forest", with no information about where this protruding rock was. For years I kept a slip of paper with this name scribbled on it - hoping to someday find out where exactly it was. There was no internet back in those days.
On March 18, Stacey and I attended the Tim Ernst slide program in Fort Smith, where one of the pictures shown was that of a rock climber hanging below the edge of the crag. During the question and answer session at the end, much was said about that photo. Anyway, I came away from there with the Hawksbill Crag fresh on my mind. Then a couple of days later I spotted the name on the Geocaching web site, and finally after 15 years I knew exactly where it was and how to get there.
The first Saturday we had free, Charles, Cliff and I headed up to the upper Buffalo Wilderness. We arrived at the trailhead around 9:30 in the morning and was able to beat the crowds and have the crag to ourselves.The views were astonishing. We met quite a few groups as we where heading back. On the hike back we dropped down to check out Haley Falls. There was a tent and some backpacks below the ledge there, but not their owners. On the drive back we stopped just up from the highway to see Cave Mountain Cave - you can see the fence around it from the road. It was closed until May 16 to protect the bats, but I had Cliff squeeze through the fence so I could get him in the picture of the cave. There was some old mining equipment down the hill. At the parking area there was a bulletin board full of interesting stuff about the cave; we were glad we stopped.
By the way, directions to Hawksbill Crag and to many other wonderful places can be found in either Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Hiking Trails or Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebook.