Tongue-in-cheek title aside (sorry guys, we had to).. Glory Hole is a very appropriate name for one of, if not THE, most iconic waterfall in the entire state. Stuck right in the middle of the Buffalo National Forest, the Glory Falls is worth the drive and the hike to get to.
There really isn’t any sign that says “Glory Hole this way.” So, you have to use your GPS and navigate a bit. The drive is gorgeous, and full of Ozark charm. Be sure to check out the hole in the wall (ok ok, we are done now) Ozone Burger Barn on Hwy 21 if you get the chance!
If you like some good humor, this would be an excellent time to cue up one of Phil’s favorite ridiculous Steel Panther songs, also titled Glory Hole. We have to warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart, children under 18, or work.
As you head down/up HWY 21, you’ll be looking for a collection of vehicles on the east side of the highway. Not only is it the most iconic waterfall but it’s very popular among outdoor enthusiasts.
Pull over and find yourself a spot if you can. Across the road is some parking, but be careful, it is private land… it would take a tow truck quite a while to get to you though (HA). Just be respectful. Once you have parked there is a small trail head. Just follow the signs or the people. The first half of the hike is really nothing to write home about, but the it opens up into an amazing hike! Water will start coming in on all sides and you’ll see a couple of unnamed waterfalls (we think they’re unnamed) before you find your way to the Glory Hole.
Upon approach you get to actually see the water fall go through the top of the hole. VERY NEAT! Hey, but you be careful! People have slipped and injured themselves. Once you traveled past the water going through the rock/bluff you’ll go underneath and see the Glory Hole in all its, well, glory. If this doesn’t impress you then we probably can’t be friends. Great photo op! Get all you can!
The hike back out isn’t that bad, and if you got there early enough you’ll have time to get another waterfall crossed of your check list. OH, and if you do not have a checklist, Tim Ernst’s Waterfall book is amazing and the best field guide for hunting Arkansas waterfalls. Get your own here http://timernst.com/Products/H2O.html. Bowers Hollow Falls isn’t very far from there…
Get out and EXPLORE!
Phil and Jess
The Arkansas To Do Team