Little Missouri Falls
May 17, 2003

As I'm writing this ten months after our visit to the Little Missouri Falls area, I can say that the trip was one of my all-time favorites. It was the kind of outing where the sights and sounds were unexpectedly awesome and filled me with an excitement that took 24 hours to wear off.
I found myself at home on a Saturday afternoon with all the chores done, and a voice telling me now was the time to see Little Missouri Falls for the first time. The area down south had quite a storm pass through Friday night. I suggested the idea to Stacey and she was all for it. She packed a picnic dinner while I got all the necessary gadgets and gear in the truck.
 As we got closer to the Little Missouri, we could see that every little watercourse in the area was running with water, and the water was very clear. After turning off the highway and heading south we started seeing a lot of steep and rugged bluff faces and rock outcroppings, but with pines doing a good job of finding places to hold on. Just gorgeous. Too bad I didn't get any pictures of them.
The gravel road began following Crooked Creek, a very narrow and deep stream. After only a few hundred yards we passed by a waterfall that to this day is the prettiest one I've ever seen. It was just a small drop over some big boulders blocking the stream, and the water spilled into a pool four or five deep and no more than six feet across. The water was so clean you could see all the way to the bottom. The first picture below is of this waterfall. I know it doesn't look that impressive - I guess it's one of those things that you just had to be there. I wanted so bad just to jump into that pool. Maybe some day I'll get to.
Anyway, just down the road was Crooked Creek Falls, which was running as well as the picture in Tim Ernst's Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook, where I learned of these falls. We spent a while there enjoying the falls while Cliff picked up quartz rocks. He thought he'd found a treasure!
The big falls on the Little Missouri were running well too. We walked across a fairly new steel bridge going over the river towards the overlook areas. The paved trail went beside some neat rock formations and underneath a lush canopy including some big Umbrella Magnolias.
We also drove down to the Albert Pike campground, following Crooked Creek for the first three fourths of a mile and seeing numerous cascades. We parked at the campground and hiked up the Little Missouri Trail a little way.