Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park

Posted on 24 of March 2012 at 5:29 pm by Zack Andrews

One of the most visited places in all of Arkansas is Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park. I dislike going places where millions of people have been to do photography (it’s hard to get unique shots) but, there is a reason I try to go here at least once a year. It is absolutely gorgeous and one of the most awesome waterfalls in Arkansas! To be honest there really isn’t a great word to describe this waterfall. Being down face-to-face with it while it’s running full tilt is something to experience at least once. The power of this waterfall is immense and you can feel the earth moving, the spray from the waterfall, and the bass from the water hitting the pool reverberating throughout your entire body.

Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park
Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park

Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park is a bucket list item.

The forecast for this weekend was sunny. The waterfall photographers worst nightmare; at least for those that know what they’re doing. So Matt and I decided to stay somewhere close to home. We tossed around a few ideas of places to go. Actually, I tossed around a few ideas which Matt said were dumb. Then we headed for Cedar Falls. It’s not far, a 45 minute drive or so, and the trail has been walked over so many times there is practically a sidewalk all the way to the waterfall. I’m kind of surprised they haven’t installed an elevator there yet.

Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park
Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park

Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park
Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park

We left Conway at 5:30 to get there before the sun decided to show it’s ugly face and arrived shrouded in darkness. After fighting off a band of wild raccoons from the dumpsters we started down the trail. With flashlights in hand we found the waterfall about 20 minutes before sunrise; it was still incredibly dark.

The morning was great and we had about an hour to shoot before the sun and the first person arrived. The photographer, with sun just beginning to rise over the falls, exclaimed: “You guys had the same idea as me! Get here before everyone else!”

Black and White of Cedar Falls
Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park

Matthew Kennedy photographing Cedar Falls
Matt Kennedy photographing Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park

We left with the sun at our backs, as droves of more photographers hiked in. It was a great morning to be out and I’m glad that Matt called my ideas dumb and re-enforced going to Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park. I’ve fulfilled my yearly quota and can avoid the crowd for at least a little while longer. Not only that, I got some awesome shots to hang on the walls of my new apartment in Little Rock. Two more weeks and then I’ll be even closer to Flatside Pinnacle! Expect millions of photos from the even more numerous trips that I will take there over the next few years!

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2 Responses to “Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park”

  1. Patrick Hinsey says:

    WOW!!! Just the shot I am looing for?? thanks for getting me more excited!!
    I have a trip planed Oct 16-19 and I know I am heading there.. your photos just proved to me I am on the right trail.
    Its hard to find place to shoot when you don’t live in the area…
    I notice you said the sun comes up behind the fall??
    how long did you open your aperture to get that shot… I’m guessing 45 sec.?
    One of my big worries going to places like this is all the tourist.. how busy will it be in Oct.
    how long is the walk in from the parking lot?? with the new “sidewalk” lol I guess a lot of people are using it..
    The only good thing is I will be there Wed-Thursday.
    If you could only shoot one photo, would you rather be there in the morning or evening?

    Thanks for all your help!!!
    oh and thanks for shooting water level…what a lost art that has become…

    Patrick

    • Zack Andrews says:

      Hey Patrick!

      I have to apologize, as I am just now seeing this comment. I hope that you had an excellent adventure at Cedar Falls! I am no longer updating this website so I should probably mention that somewhere.

      Have any photos to show off from the trip?