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Monkey Falls
April 25, 2003

I first found the grotto with these twin waterfalls in the mid Eighties during deer season. I was helping my buddy Mike find a place to hunt. Back then I was amazed at the scale of the place. From above, the canyon walls looked hundreds of feet tall, and it seemed a very far way down to the bottom of the falls. I was quite naive when it came to waterfalls and canyons, I now realize, because this place isn't big at all compared to some of the places I've seen. The left waterfall is 33 feet tall, and the right one around 20. Still, when you add in the other small waterfalls and cascades downstream it makes this a trip worth making.
Before this spring, I had returned two different times to share this place with others. Once in the later Eighties to show my buddy Johnny, and once in the early Nineties to show Stacey (we were dating at the time).
On March 18 Stacey and I attended a Tim Ernst slide program in Fort Smith, which included the waterfall show. I bought the waterfall guidebook before the show started. On the drive home I started wondering if those "really big" waterfalls I had found were in Tim's book. They weren't, so suddenly I had a mission to accomplish - return to the waterfalls after a big rain, measure them, and send the information to Mr. Ernst.
The pictures on this page are from three separate trips. Cliff and I first made the trip on April 19, just after a big rain. We came armed with the GPS receiver to record coordinates, and a spool of kite string to measure the falls. Though I hadn't been here in ten years I was able to locate the correct ravine to start following down the hill. This was also the first time I found a way down into the canyon. Our camera lens got water in it, making already bad pictures useless, and the 10-year internal battery in my GPS unit decided to die at that moment, so a return trip was due.
On April 25 I returned after work to find the falls running much better, though still not great. This time I was able to get GPS readings and some blurry pictures.
On April 29, Charles and I left work early so he could see what the big deal was. It was sunny and humid that day, and the woods were all grown up by then. To this day he calls the area "Cambodia"!
The falls are located in the northwest corner of Johnson County in the Indian Creek drainage. I only have approximate mileages to the area, so you will need GPS capabilities to get there. Coordinates for the parking and departure spot are N 35 45.006 W 093 40.692 (WGS 84). Coordinates for the falls are N 35 44.992 W 093 40.927. These are at the very top of the Yale quad. To get to this area, take Hwy 215 East of Cass or West of Oark then turn north onto County Road 33 at Yale. After about a mile you should cross the Little Mulberry Creek. Continue for another mile where the road will fork. Take a left onto Johnson County Road 5051 and continue for roughly four miles. I hope to return next spring and get some decent shots of the falls. I will try to write down precise mileages and update these directions then.
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