Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park

Alternatively, this post could be titled ‘OMG WATERFALL!’ Hey, don’t judge me.

While we were casting about for things we could do while we were in Arkansas, I noticed a state park only a few minutes away from the refuge we were visiting. We decided that we had to go see the waterfall since the Other Half had never seen one before. Who knew living in an arid area meant not seeing a natural waterfall?

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When we drove up the hairpin turns into the park, it honestly reminded me more than a little of the Grand Canyon, with its sweeping views sectioned by flat buttresses and stunted trees.

When we got there, it was about lunch time, so we decided to go wash our hands and make some peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. Hey, don’t judge our camp food. While we were in the welcome center, the rangers told us that we were lucky to come that week since the falls was running for the first time in almost a year because of the melting snow. Score!

Cedar Falls is reachable by a two mile hike, or a 1/4 milke trail to the overlook.

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Obviously, we had to do both. The overlook so we could see where the trail led, and the trail because, well, who wouldn’t take a slick, mildly harrowing cliffside trail to see a 100 foot tall waterfall?

The trail descends a 200 foot cliff right from the start before following what I assumed to be Cedar Creek upstream to the falls. At about the one-mile mark, there is the tiniest, ricketiest bridge I have ever crossed over a creek. I realize that’s not saying much, but it was about 18 inches wide, had metal grating at the bottom, and swung crazily to the left or right with each step you took.

We were so proud of the pup for displaying no fear of bridges and stairs up until this point on the trip. He actually tried to swim across the brook rather than take the bridge, leaving me to carry all 23 kilos of him across the bridge.

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Happily on the other side, we continued on.

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I do have to say, Cedar Falls was pretty epic. There was roaring, there was water, and there were rainbows. Everything we could expect from a waterfall, right? Heck, there was even another dog for the pup to greet and exchange phone numbers (or the doggy equivalent) with.

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And on the way back up the trail, the formerly well-behaved pup decided he had had enough of playing nice. Instead, he ran into every snow drift he could find, pouncing on invisible creatures, burying himself in the wet mud, and in general rolling and snowplowing giant rifts into the cold snow. Because, hey, why not enjoy the hike in whatever way makes you happy?

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