The Hemmed–in Hollow Trail begins in the heart of the Ponca Wilderness at the Compton Trailhead and winds down the mountain side descending nearly 1,400 ft. to the sandstone bluffs along the Buffalo River. The trail opens up along the way, giving visitors outstanding scenic views of the Buffalo River and the Ozark Mountains that surround it. The gem of the hike is Hemmed-in Hollow Falls. The picturesque Hemmed-in Hollow falls cascade nearly 210 feet over the rugged Ozark bluffs, making it the highest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians. This waterfall only flows after a considerable amount of rain, so please be mindful of recent precipitation before you attempt this difficult hike. The Hemmed-in Hollow Trail is an extremely steep and strenuous trail that will humble even the most experienced hiker. Visitors will need to plan to take the entire day to hike this trail, due to the rough wilderness terrain. The Hemmed-in Hollow Trail intersects with many of the other trail systems in the Ponca Wilderness, creating multiple spur trails for the more adventurous hiker. The spur trails connect the Hemmed-in Hollow Trail with the Sneeds Creek Trail, Centerpoint Trail, Bench Trail, and Old River Trail. For this reason, it's essential to have a detailed topographic map of this area in order to avoid confusion at trail intersections in the Ponca Wilderness. The Hemmed-in Hollow Trail can also be accessed via the Centerpoint Trailhead located on Hwy. 43. This option is not quite as strenuous as Compton Trailhead, but visitors will still need to plan an entire day for this hike, due to the rough wilderness terrain.
Visitors will need to plan to take the entire day to hike this trail, due to the rough wilderness terrain. The Hemmed-in Hollow Trail intersects with many of the other trail systems in the Ponca Wilderness, creating multiple spur trails for the more adventurous hiker.
This hike is not recommended for children under 12 years old.
Pets are not permitted on trails in the Ponca Wilderness of Buffalo National River. Documented service animals welcome.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Hemmed-In Hollow Falls
Take Hwy. 43 out of Harrison and travel approximately 18.5 miles to Compton Community. Turn left on the dirt road across from the Compton Post Office and travel 1 mile. Follow the signs to the trailhead parking area. Two trails begin at the Compton Trailhead: Hemmed-In Hollow Trail (marked by white, rectangular blazes) and the Sneeds Creek Trail (marked by yellow, rectangular blazes). Please be careful to take your intended trail.
Time of Day
This trail is an extremely steep and strenuous trail. Service animals are permitted.
Last updated: November 6, 2020