Collins Creek by Noel Pennington / CC BY 2.0
Landscape photographers can find plenty of natural beauty in Arkansas, including rivers, waterfalls, mountains, forests, and even hot springs. On this page you will find details of some of the most noteworthy locations in the state to photograph. The interactive map below shows the location of each spot mentioned on this page.
This page will continue to be a work in progress, so please feel free to leave a comment with your own suggestions of great places to photograph.
Buffalo National River
In northern Arkansas, 135 miles of the Buffalo River are managed by the National Park Service and designated as the Buffalo National River. The park area includes land on either side or the river itself. This area features beautiful bluffs, rock formations, and many waterfalls. The park has many trails that can be hiked, and boating on the river is also a great way to see an experience what it has to offer.
Buffalo River by Buffalo Outdoor Center / CC BY-ND 2.0
Bee Bluff, Buffalo National River by Buffalo Outdoor Center / CC BY-ND 2.0
Buffalo National River by Buffalo Outdoor Center / CC BY-ND 2.0
Eden Falls is within the Buffalo National River and is accessible by way of the Lost Valley Trail. This is an amazing trail that is easy to access and offers excellent scenery. Eden Falls is an 80-foot cascading waterfall surrounded by beautiful nature. It is about a 2 mile round trip hike to see the falls. Along the trail you’ll find plenty of other photo-worthy subjects, including Clark Creek.
Eden Falls by prettyemmy / CC BY-SA 2.0
Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point)
Hawksbill Crag, also known as Whitaker Point, is a favorite destination of many photographers. The rocky point provides a stunning view of the surrounding area, and the formation itself makes a great photograph. It is located near the Buffalo River and within the Ozark National Forest. To reach Hawksbill Crag you can take a 3 mile round trip hike from a parking area on Cave Mountain Road.
Hawksbill Crag by Noel Pennington / CC BY 2.0
Petit Jean State Park and Cedar Falls
Petit Jean State Park is about 75 miles north of Hot Springs between the Ouachita and Ozark Mountain ranges. This amazing park provides stunning overlooks and one of the most popular waterfalls in Arkansas. There is a 2 mile round trip hike that will take you to the base of Cedar Falls, a beautiful 100-foot waterfall. You can find more details about the overlooks and trails from this page.
Cedar Falls by James Tatum / CC BY 2.0
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is located in central Arkansas in the Ouachita Mountain range. It has been a federally protected area since 1832, before any national parks existed. It is also the smallest national park in the U.S. In addition to the unique springs, the park also includes hiking trails and roads. With the town of Hot Springs being right there, Hot Springs National Park is very easy to access.
Hot Springs National Park by Good Free Photos / Public Domain
Garvan Woodland Gardens
While you are in Hot Springs be sure to visit Garvan Woodland Gardens, the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas. This is a great place to photograph a wide variety of flowers. You’ll also find nature trails that provide beautiful scenery for your photos.
Garvan Woodland Gardens by Kimberly Vardeman / CC BY-ND 2.0
Devil’s Den State Park
In northwestern Arkansas, Devil’s Den State Park covers 2,500 acres. It features a man-made lake, more than 60 miles of trails, and plenty of beautiful scenery in this Ozark valley. Details of the various trails are available at the park’s website.
Devil’s Den State Park by jaystout / CC BY 2.0
Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine State Park is in western Arkansas, north of the Ouachita National Forest. Mount Magazine is the highest point in the state and provides dramatic views of the valley, canyons, and mountains. Cameron Bluff provides one of the best views in the park.
Mt. Magazine State Park by Good Free Photos / Public Domain
Little Missouri Falls
Little Missouri Falls in the Ouchita National Forest of western Arkansas may be a small waterfall, but it is very beautiful. You can reach the falls by taking a gravel road to a picnic area, and then a trail leads to the falls.
Little Missouri Falls by Michael McCarthy / CC BY-ND 2.0
White Rock Mountain
The White Rock Mountain Recreation Area is in the western part of the Ouchita National Forest. Here you will find amazing views of the surrounding forest. There are three stone cabins and a lodge on top of White Rock Mountain that were built in the 1930’s. Around the rim of the mountaintop there is a 1.5 mile loop trail, and several other trails are accessible in this area.
View from White Rock Mountain by Mike Norton / CC BY 2.0
Cossatot River State Park
Cossatot River State Park is in western Arkansas, south of the Ouchita National Forest. This area is home to some rough rapids that are popular with kayakers. The rapids also offer photographers a great subject to capture. The rocky canyon surrounding the river is also excellent for photographing. The Brushy Creek Recreation Area is one of the best places to access the river because of easy access from State Highway 246.
Cossatot State Park by MyBiggestFan / CC BY 2.0
Kings River Falls Natural Area
Kings River Falls Natural Area is in northwestern Arkansas, within the Ozark National Forest. This area includes 3 miles of the Kings River, featuring Kings River Falls. An easy 2-mile out-and-back hike will take you to Kings River Falls. The trail begins at the parking area.
Kings River Falls by brandonrush / CC BY-SA 3.0
In north central Arkansas, Collins Creek is part of John F. Kennedy Park near the town of Heber Springs. A hiking trail leads to nice views of this scenic creek.
Collins Creek by Noel Pennington / CC BY 2.0