Falling Water Creek - Falling Water Falls to Richland Campground (7 miles)

Falling Water Creek, Arkansas, US


Falling Water Falls to Richland Campground (7 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 50 fpm
Max Gradient 60 fpm

Falling Water Falls

Falling Water Falls
Photo of Jessica Robinson by Jesse Scribner taken 07/03/04

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Richland Creek near Witts Spring, AR
usgs-07055875 3.50 - 6.00 ft II-III+(IV) 00h58m 2.46 ft (too low)

River Description

Note: The combination of steep banks and lots of dead red oak trees (thanks to the borer beetle infestation) tend to clog the creek with wood from time to time, so keep a look out.

Put-in: Go East on Hwy 16 from Ben Hur for 1.5 miles and turn onto Upper Falling Water Road (NFS 1205) and following to the Falls on the side of the road. There is limited parking along the road and several primitive camping/parking spots upstream a few hundred feet.

Take-out: Continue downstream to the NFS Richland Creek Campground. This road will parallel Falling Water Creek most of the way. Multiple access points are available along the road. This road can also be reached by taking Falling Water Road(NFS 1313) farther East off Hwy 16. Or from Searcy County Road 265 (NFS 1219) from Hwy 16 near Witts Spring.

Falling Water road will cross the creek about halfway between the Falls and the campground. At lower levels, many opt to just run from the bridge down.

The Falls are the highlight (10-12 feet) with the rapid immediately below being the most difficult. It offers an undercut on the right and tight slots for pinning elsewhere. The other significant rapids include the shoals below the bridge, which can develop powerful hydraulics and 'The Grotto' just before reaching the campground.

At medium to high water levels, the shoals (especially below the bridge half-way down) offer some fun play.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-04-03 14:38:30


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.1Falling Water FallsIIIWaterfall
0.1Falls run-outIVHazard
0.2Upper GorgeIII
2.0Bailey Cole ConfluenceAccess
3.0Low-water BridgeAccess
3.1Bedrock GorgeIIIPlayspot
3.8Six Finger FallsIIIWaterfall
4.6Lower GorgeIII
4.6Lower CampsiteAccess
6.2The GrottoIII
6.8Richland Creek CampgroundAccess
7.0Campground BridgeTakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Put-in above the falls. Park in the pull-out above the falls or at the primitive campsites above the falls

Falling Water Falls (Class III, Mile 0.1)

Can't miss this roadside drop. Drop is straight forward. Can plug, boof or freewheel. Watch the hydraulic at higher flows. Easy to carry up and run multiple times.

Falls run-out (Class IV, Mile 0.1)

Most difficult and potentially dangerous rapid on the creek. Most portage. Main flow is down the right with an undercut and pin-rocks to deal with.

Upper Gorge (Class III, Mile 0.2)

Below the falls, the creek drops away from the road into a 1 mile long section of fun technical class II-III drops with a remote feel.

Bailey Cole Confluence
Alternate access below the upper gorge is available near the confluence with Bailey Cole Creek via some primative camp sites along the road. Some nice surf spots are located below here.

Low-water Bridge
Alternate access point.

Bedrock Gorge (Class III, Mile 3.1)

Below the low-water bridge, the creek runs through a 0.75 mile long section of bedrock which forms numerous ledges and with lots of surfing spots. Beware of some of the hydraulics at high water levels. The bedrock ends at 6-Finger Falls.

Six Finger Falls (Class III, Mile 3.8)

Six foot tall steep slide/falls with several chutes to chose from. The right side contains a boulder at the bottom to deal with.

Lower Gorge (Class III, Mile 4.6)

2-mile section that drops below and away from the road. Similar remote gorge feel as the upper gorge, but rapids aren't as tight. The Grotto awaits near the bottom with a shallow but grabby hydrauic. Watch for wood in the willowy sections.

Lower Campsite
Alternate access point. Below here the creek drops below and away from the road on its way to Richland Creek.

The Grotto (Class III, Mile 6.2)

Main drop of the lower gorge. A shallow grabby hole awaits at the bottom.

Richland Creek Campground
Confluence with Richland Creek at the campground. Take out here or continue through one more rapid to the campground bridge.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 2 2008 (3942 days ago)
Lance JonesDetails
Falling Water Road is closed by a large landslide and downed timber about 2 miles below the Falling
Water Creek Bridge. Must access the Richland Creek Campground via the north side of the Richland
Creek (LONG SHUTTLE). Lowest access point availble above the landslide is the primitive campground
at mile 4.6, 1.6 miles below the bridge.