High Banks Twin Falls

Ozark National Forest / Cass / Clarksville / Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

About High Banks Twin Falls


Hiking Distance: 1/2-mile round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2016-03-16
Date last visited: 2016-03-16

Waterfall Latitude: 35.68037
Waterfall Longitude: -93.68677

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High Banks Twin Falls (also called just High Banks Twins) provided us with one of our more tranquil waterfalling experiences in the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas.

While almost all the other waterfalls sat in established reserves with lots of people, this was the only one during our March 2016 South Central USA road trip (encompassing Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma) where we had it all to ourselves.

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_047_03162016 - High Banks Twin Falls
High Banks Twin Falls

As you can see from the photo above, this was quite a nice waterfall to be alone with as it featured a pair of side by side plunging waterfalls probably dropping around 70ft.

As its name suggested, the waterfalls plunged off the high banks of the neighboring cliffs into a secluded grotto that was well-hidden from the nearest road (which probably explained its obscurity).

Indeed, the High Banks Twin Falls gave us a taste of the Ozarks, which we were well aware was kind of the main Nature getaway for folks who are from or reside in this part of the country, and we could totally see why.

Chasing the High Banks Twin Falls

We began our excursion by parking at the High Banks Canoe Launch (see directions below).

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_007_03162016 - Our hike to the High Banks Twin Falls began from the High Banks Canoe Launch which was a put-in point for paddling on Mulberry River
Our hike to the High Banks Twin Falls began from the High Banks Canoe Launch which was a put-in point for paddling on Mulberry River

Then, we walked back towards the main road.

Once we were on the main road, we followed it to the east for a couple of minutes to a small bridge.

On the far (east) side of the bridge, we saw an unsigned trail-of-use, which we took upstream alongside the creek we had just crossed over.

The trail was pretty obvious at first as we meandered amongst a grove of tall thin trees still yet to have fully regrown their leaves this early in the Spring.

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_017_03162016 - Julie and Tahia hiking back along the road in search of the correct spot to scramble towards the High Banks Twin Falls
Julie and Tahia hiking back along the road in search of the correct spot to scramble towards the High Banks Twin Falls

Along the way, we encountered another stream to our right that yielded a tiny cascade.

The trail eventually became a little rougher as it was directly besides (or in some cases within) the stream.

And after maybe 15-20 minutes, we arrived at the High Banks Twin Falls.

We returned to the car after about an hour away from it.

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_027_03162016 - Julie and Tahia following along the creek bed in search of the High Banks Twin Falls
Julie and Tahia following along the creek bed in search of the High Banks Twin Falls

A good chunk of that time was spent letting our daughter chuck rocks into the plunge pool when we weren’t trying to take family photos with our tripod.

Overall, I believe that length wise, the hike was probably on the order of a quarter-mile in each direction.

Perhaps most of the time spent on this excursion had to do with driving to (and from) this part of the Ozarks from Clarksville, where we were staying for the night.

The Waterflow of the High Banks Twin Falls

Our visit happened to follow about a week’s worth of rains in the South Central States, but the flow of High Banks Twin Falls seemed to be quite constrained despite the influx of precipitation.

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_040_03162016 - Context of Tahia chucking rocks into the plunge pool beneath the High Banks Twin Falls
Context of Tahia chucking rocks into the plunge pool beneath the High Banks Twin Falls

So that led us to believe that this waterfall probably wouldn’t last very long (maybe give it a few weeks without rain before it would start trickling or going dry).

Perhaps this short time flow further added to the falls’ obscurity.

I’d imagine that in order to see this waterfall in its highest flow, we would’ve had to have been here immediately after or during heavy rain.

The flip side to making a visit under such conditions would be that the rougher parts of the trail could be a bit on the hazardous side due to the possibility of high water along with the presence of mud and slippery rocks.

Authorities

High Banks Twin Falls resides in the Ozark National Forest near Clarksville in Johnson County, Arkansas. It is administered by the US Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_015_03162016 - Julie and Tahia walking back towards the Hwy 215 in pursuit of the High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_016_03162016 - Looking back towards the short spur road leading to the High Bank Canoe Launch parking and put-in area
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_021_03162016 - Julie and Tahia approaching the bridge over the creek responsible for the High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_095_03162016 - An indicator that the High Banks Twin Falls would be flowing was by examining the health of the stream while atop the Hwy 215 road bridge
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_022_03162016 - Julie and Tahia entering the trail-of-use on the east side of the small road bridge for the Hwy 215
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_025_03162016 - Julie and Tahia passing through a grove of thin trees starting to sprout new leaves for the Spring en route to the High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_029_03162016 - This small cascade came from a side creek we encountered while on the trail-of-use to High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_031_03162016 - The hike became a little more of a stream scramble as we got closer to the High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_033_03162016 - Julie and Tahia almost at the High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_049_03162016 - Finally at the High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_091_03162016 - A more angled look at the High Banks Twin Falls
High_Banks_Twin_Falls_094_03162016 - Starting the short hike back to the High Bank Canoe Launch from the High Banks Twin falls

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Since we visited the High Banks Twin Falls from Clarksville, we’ll describe how we managed to make our drive from there.

There were actually two different ways to go (the east approach and the west approach), and we’ll describe both of them here.

Driving from Clarksville to High Bank Canoe Launch from the East Approach

For the east approach, we drove towards the northern end of Clarksville along Hwy 64 (Main St) before heading north (left if coming from the west or right if coming from the east) onto Route 103 (College Ave).

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_004_03162016 - Looking down at the put-in point for the High Banks Canoe Launch
Looking down at the put-in point for the High Banks Canoe Launch

From the west side of Clarksville (the direction we came from), there was a little bit of a shortcut along Ray Rd before rejoining Route 103 and turning left onto it.

We then followed Route 103 for about 18 miles (or 20 miles from the Hwy 64/Route 103 intersection) as the road road became twistier and slower the further north into the Ozark National Forest it went.

Then, we turned left onto the Route 215 and followed this road for a little over 5.5 miles to the well-signed High Bank Canoe Launch.

Taking the turnoff on the left, we then went to its established parking area.

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_018_03162016 - Looking towards the turnoff from the Hwy 215 for the High Banks Canoe Launch, which was to the left at the sign
Looking towards the turnoff from the Hwy 215 for the High Banks Canoe Launch, which was to the left at the sign

This drive took us around 30 minutes.

Driving from Clarksville to High Bank Canoe Launch from the West Approach

For the west approach (which we did in reverse when we left the fall for Clarksville), we would take the I-40 west to its exit at Hwy 23 in the town of Ozark (about 20 miles west of the Hwy 64 exit along the I-40).

We’d then head north along Hwy 23 for about 14.5 miles to the junction with Hwy 215 (near the town of Cass).

Turning right onto Route 215, we’d then follow this road for just under 9 miles, where the High Bank Canoe Launch turnoff was on our right.

High_Banks_Twin_Falls_001_03162016 - The parking area for the High Banks Canoe Launch, which was where we started our short hike to the High Banks Twin Falls
The parking area for the High Banks Canoe Launch, which was where we started our short hike to the High Banks Twin Falls

This drive took also took us on the order of 30 minutes or so (maybe a little slower since we had to follow a caravan of slow vehicles while on the Hwy 23).

To give you some context, Clarksville, Arkansas was 103 miles (90 minutes drive) northwest of Little Rock, Arkansas, 239 miles (3.5 hours drive) east of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and 335 miles (5 hours drive) northeast of Dallas, Texas.

360 degree sweep showing the base of High Banks Twin Falls and the surrounding cliffs before ending off with a couple of different closer perspectives

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Tagged with: ozark national forest, ozarks, cass, clarksville, fayetteville, arkansas, waterfall, johnson county, canoe launch, high banks



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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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