Last year I went to Mt. Magazine to do some waterfall hunting. I stopped by Hardy Falls first. I’m glad I took photos then because when I went back this year, the best view was totally blocked by downed trees! I also visited a little-known place called Wildman Twin Falls. This was the one I was most excited about because it features two 43 foot waterfalls side-by-side! It was named by waterfall explorer extraordinaire, Tim Ernst. He named the falls after a friend of his who passed away in 2011, Carl “Wildman” Ownbey. According to Tim, “he could out-hike anyone, even on into his late 70s. He backpacked the entire Pacific Crest Trail in his mid 60’s, and the entire Continental Divide Trail when he was pushing 70 – put the rest of us to shame.”
I know I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but if you want to learn about and visit waterfalls in Arkansas, Tim Ernst’s “Arkansas Waterfalls” book is a must!
Anyone interested in seeing the GPS info for my hike can view it here: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/yxbJp7cwQyhsXFYiCV5LgMIV/Aerial/
Ok, so Wildman Twin Falls… On my first visit to this spot a year ago, I was somewhat disappointed. Why? Because after parking and getting out of my truck I could hear the water. I figured I didn’t even need to read the Tim Ernst book on how to get to the spot because I could just follow my ears! Well, that worked… somewhat. I got to the spot, but I was 43 foot up and it looked like bluff lines on either side as far as I could see. I tried for awhile to find a way down on the right side but to no avail. I was SO disappointed because the real beauty was from the bottom. It was late in the day and I had to head back to town, dejected!
This time I was prepared! I committed to reading through Tim’s description of the hike BEFORE leaving the truck this time! One small problem: Tim’s book mentions a Jeep trail that goes off to the left. I never saw such a thing! In fact, all I saw to the left was woods that were thick and full of briers. I didn’t want to get stuck at the top again so my nephew, Ethan, and I decided to bushwhack and head into the woods without a trail. We eventually met the creek that turns into the falls later and crossed over as the book suggested. I was then supposed to hike until I passed by a food lot and bushwhack down a steep hill. Well, I never saw a food plot. Maybe I didn’t go far enough. Ethan and I decided the hillside looked “survivable.” LOL, it was steep! We made it down but it took quite a bit of time. We then went back upstream to the falls, and it was worth it!
Check out the shots we got while we were at the base of the falls:
The photo in Tim Ernst’s book used this tree as a foreground to separate the waterfalls. Since I risked death to get here, I figured I might as well give it a go too! That tree has grown a bit over the years.
While this next shot cuts out most of the left waterfall, I still liked the angle and composition:
This one might not look like much, but it is a pano of about 7 shots so I can make a huge print if necessary. 🙂
I’m thrilled I was able to finally get back to this spot and get some shots! It was worth the tough climb down and back out again. Oh yeah, as tough as the descent was, the climb out was that much worse. Actually, climbing out seems to give you better footing, but it’s more strenuous. All in all though, it was well worth the effort!
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