Bikepacking: 4-day Ozark Waterfall Tour

Back in January of 2019 a close friend and I embarked on a 4-day bikepacking trip showcasing some of the most impressive waterfalls hidden deep within the Ozark National Forest. Using Tim Ernst’s guidebook Arkansas Waterfalls, the DeLorme Gazetteer of Arkansas, and Garmin Connect’s course builder, we created a custom route on Forest Roads, Scenic Byways, and remote country blacktop.

Day 1 began at Pedestal Rock Scenic Area, we headed 21 miles northeast to Richland Creek Campground for the first night. En route we took a short break to explore Six Fingers Falls

Day 2 took us past easily accessible Falling Water Falls, 37 miles southwest to a forest clearing where we made camp at the “trailhead” for a difficult bushwhack first thing the next morning.

Day 3 we hiked deep into a canyon and explored Sidewinder, Swamp, and V Slot waterfalls. This is truly a special area of the Ozarks. By late morning we finished breaking camp and started working on the 30 miles of westward travel. Halfway through the day we enjoyed Haw Creek Falls and Pam’s Grotto, both easy hikes on established trails with a well-maintained forest service campground nearby. We continued to an intersection with the Ozark Highlands Trail and hid the bikes and hiked in to a thru-hikers paradise campsite at Lick Creek.

Day 4 started with a sturdy bushwhack up Lick Creek to Slot Rock, Sunset, and Discovery waterfalls. After hiking back out to our well-hidden bikes, we rode the final 39 miles back east to the beginning of our waterfall tour at Pedestal Rock.

Totals: 12,645 ft climbing. 128 miles. 10 waterfalls.

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