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    Ozark

    National Scenic Riverways Missouri

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  • Alley Mill Closed for Renovations

    The Alley Mill will be undergoing renovations much of summer of 2014. It will be open daily through Aug 17 and then only on weekends after that. There will be fencing around the Mill which will prevent close access. More »

Rocky Falls

Rocky Falls in full flow

Rocky Falls flows best after a heavy rain.

Few places in the Ozarks provide a glimpse of earth’s turbulent past as well as Rocky Falls. The reddish-brown rock you see here is rhyolite porphyry. It formed as molten rock deep within the earth and flowed onto the surface about 1.5 billion years ago. At the time, no living thing existed to see the awesome flow of glowing hot lava slowly advancing over the barren landscape.

Normally, a stream eroding softer dolomite, a type of limestone, would make a wider valley for itself. Since the rhyolite is harder, the stream tends to stay within whatever cracks that it finds, deepening them only a little by erosion. Thus a“shut in” is formed where the harder rock has “shut in” the stream. Farther downstream, past the constricting rhyolite, the stream valley widens once again. This allows the stream to expand into a pool.


Rocky Falls can be visited year round. It is located on Route NN, off of Route H east of Eminence and Winona. It has a walking trail, bathrooms, picnic tables and fire grills.


 
Rocky Falls
Redbuds add even more beauty to Rocky Falls in the springtime.
 

Did You Know?

Fall color paints a glade bright red.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways' glades are rocky, desert-like area on hilltops. Kept open by periodic fires, they are home to collared lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, cacti and other species more typical of the desert southwest. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...