Hawksbill Crag – A morning sunrise hike.

Fall is upon us, colors are starting to come in on the trees and the cooler weather is here. Getting down into Arkansas in the fall is a must around here, it’s too beautiful not to! A friend and I planned a short trip to the Boxley valley area to just take in the views, take some photos and just get away. Our normal camping site was all full so we found another spot just up the road a bit and it put us in a real good spot to be able to jump right on the main road to all the spots we wanted to go to.

We drove up Friday afternoon, set up camp and went to the local shop, The BOC. The Buffalo Outdoor Center is a nice centralized spot to meet up with other people, grab a snack, supplies, anything you can think of they probably have it and they have wifi, which is huge. There is no cell service in this area so wifi comes in handy when you need to make a call, check the map or post a IG pic. This is where we ran into my friends, friend and he joined us for the weekend. Set up camp and then he was off to to some bouldering/rock climbing. We joined him out to Horseshoe canyon while he did some climbing and then we headed to Steele Creek to capture the Milky Way. This is towards the end of Milky Way season with winter upon us.

This was one of my favorite images I had taken at Steel Creek of the milky way, and it could def be better in may ways. Campsites giving off a nice orange hue and this area is not around any big city’s so you can actually see the milky way without the camera which makes it easy to frame a shot up. Made the mistake of leaving a filter on my lens that softens the image(Tiffen Black Pro Mist 1/4) or this would have been sharper but I still love it. After shooting this for awhile, we decided to get back to camp because we had a very early hike to do.

Our morning hike was to Hawksbill Crag or Whitaker Point Trail, near Pettigrew, Arkansas. This 2.9 mile hike makes for a pretty moderate hike to a very awesome view and if it’s wet and the creek is running, you can even see a waterfall. Which I have never gone down to see my 3 times visiting, as I just found out about it and it was dry this last weekend. This hike is one of the highest used trails in the area and with that said, I would suggest doing this early morning, like leave before the sun is up with a head lamp or flashlight and catch sunrise or catch the sunset. The way the light hits the valley is something else and should be seen to truly appreciate it!

We arrived right before sunrise and caught the sun peaking over the tree line and it was awesome, just like it is every time. Getting up to Hawksbill and just taking it all in really is a nice reset if you’ve been on the go and working and just need a good break. This place is always on my mind when I think I need to get away and go somewhere for a day. The drive that is close to 3 hours away stops me from going most of the time, I won’t lie but it’s always so worth it!

This trip I shot all of my photos(not all shown here) and this little video with my new Canon R6. It is taking some time to get used to, coming from my Canon 5d Mark iv. Learning the buttons and settings are a pain but the more I use it the more I will get used to it. The photos were taken with the Sigma 24mm f1.4 art with a Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter that I usually use for video and just didnt remove which is why the sky in most photos are super soft and glowing in a way. The video was shot in 1080p 120fps handheld and it’s crazy how smooth you can get handheld movements while using the slo-mo/high frame rate video mode.. plus it does have 5 axis image stabilization in body.

A post on the r6 will be coming soon, along with a post over the film photos that I captured on the trip as well.


Published by dereklivingston9

I am a freelance photographer and full-time videographer.

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