Fall in the Ozarks

6 Days - Bentonville, AR
Oct 25 - Oct 30, 2022
Activity Level
Skill Level


Registration deadline: September 1, 2022

Pay a deposit of $750.00 per item

Autumn in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas is truly one of the great scenic wonders of the South. The intention of this workshop is to provide photographers with the opportunity to visit and photograph a variety of features for which the Ozark Mountains are known (e.g. fall foliage and forested landscapes, waterfalls, geologic formations, various macro possibilities, sunsets, and sunrises).


Several photoshoot locations will require some hiking, from pullout/overlook type locations to ~4 miles with greater than 400′ elevation change.  There will be a need to hike with headlamps to arrive at some locations in time to set up and capture the morning golden hour.


The first three days of our adventure will be based in Ponca, AR, where we will stay in a large private lodge with individual private suites.  After exploring all the scenic byways and hideaways we will travel further south to spend two days at Petit Jean State Park where our group will have accommodations in the main lodge.


Come along with photographer David Jaffe as he guides you through the spectacular rolling mountains of the Ozarks and take home stunning captures of autumn scenes.  Due to a lot of dynamic range at shooting locations, we will practice focus stacking, and exposure stacking to create stunning images.

Workshop includes:

  • Pre-workshop webinar
  • Photographic instruction and image review
  • 6 nights lodging based on single occupancy
  • Round trip transportation from Bentonville, AR
  • Park permits and fees
  • Water, snacks, group meal
  • Post-workshop critique

Please be aware that the shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on light and weather.  We want to give you the best photo opportunities possible.


Day 1 – Tuesday, Oct 25, 2022

  • Meet photographers at Bentonville departure hotel for orientation and presentation on Expedition Photography
  • Depart for Ponca with possible shoots along the way, arriving at Buffalo River Outdoor Center in time for lunch.
  • Early afternoon check into our lodging accommodations
  • Mid-afternoon we will stretch our legs and prime our lenses as we take a two-mile round trip hike in the Lost Valley of the Buffalo River region.  This hike has a 400 feet elevation gain and some uneven terrain to photograph colorful leaves, high bluffs, gorgeous water features, natural bridges, and mossy rocks. At the end of the trail, we’ll reach Eden Falls, which drops more than 50 feet into an emerald pool.
  • Dine with some local flair at the Low-Gap Cafe.

Day 2 – Wednesday, Oct 26,  2022

  • Rise early to arrive at Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point for an easy 1.5-mile presunrise hike to one of the most prominent sunrise locations in Arkansas.  After the sun has risen, we’ll see gigantic boulders, colorful trees, and possibly water features depending on prior rains.
  • Return to Buffalo Outdoor Center for lunch.
  • During our afternoon outing, we’ll take a short drive to Mystic Caverns where we will tour two of Arkansas’ most spectacular caves, Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome Cavern, located in the heart of the Ozarks.
  • Return to our lodge via Jasper stopping for photo opportunities as they present and dinner at another local restaurant called the Ozark Cafe

Day 3 – Thursday, Oct 27, 2022

  • Rise early for a short drive to Steel Creek CG where, after photographing the beauty of the Buffalo River and its bluffs, we’ll hike the Buffalo River Trail (~2 miles) between the Stell Creek Campground and Ponca Low-water Bridge, one of the prettiest legs of the entire trail.
  • Return to the lodge for lunch, image download, edit, and critique.
    Late in the day, we will venture out for our sunset shoot.
  • Return to the lodge for dinner. 

Day 4 – Friday, Oct 28, 2022

  • Rise early, pack up our gear and depart for Jasper for breakfast.  Pending the reopening of the Blanchard Springs Cavern, our group will either venture there for a photo tour of one of the most spectacular caves in the country  or proceed down Scenic Highway 7 to photograph great views of ridges and valleys of fall color.
  • En route, we will enjoy a great photo hike to Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area. This 2.2 hike one-way traverses through the woods for the first mile before arriving at the large jagged rock spires carved away by erosion known as Pedestal Rocks.
  • We will continue our way south down the Scenic 7 Byway stopping for lunch along the way.
  • Continuing on we will stop at the Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge to try our luck searching for and photographing waterfowl and other wildlife.
  • Then we will travel on just a short distance to Mather Lodge in Jean Petit State Park,
  • Dinner

Day 5 – Saturday, Oct 29

  • Our day in Petit Jean State Park will begin with a sunrise shoot overlooking the beautiful Arkansas River Valley.
  • Following our sunrise shoot, we’ll stop at a few prime photo spots before heading out on a trail towards the spectacular 95′ Cedar Falls.  This 2-mile rt brings us to the base of the falls with beautiful bluffs over the falls’ tumbles.
  • Return to Lodge for lunch
  • We will have several options for our afternoon hike/shoot including Cedar Creek Trail, Cedar Falls Overlook, Rock House Cave and the Bear Cave Trail.
  • Our sunset shoot will take place from the easily accessible Palisades Overlook.
  • Return to the lodge for our final dinner.

Day 6 – Sunday, Oct 30, 2022

  • On our last day, we will rise early, for a sunrise shoot at either Mount Nebo State Park or the Arkansas River Overlook.
  • Then we will continue our drive back to Bentonville via the eastern leg of the Boston Scenic Loop, route 71.
  • Along the way, we will make several photo stops along this scenic highway before arriving in Bentonville for our final lunch.

Physical Rating:  Strenuous

Participants should feel comfortable hiking in the dark with headlamps and keen to carry their gear for up 4 miles over uneven-trailed terrain with >400 feet elevation change.  We will be hiking on trails and uneven rocky/root-laden terrain, large boulder-like steps, and micro-topography.   Everyone will need their own headlamp/flashlight to hike in for early morning pre-dawn locations and post-sunset returns. Weather in the Ozarks in the Fall is fickle but should not be too different from most of our adventures.

The workshop begins and ends:

Wyngate by Wyndham
7400 SW Old Farm Blvd,
Bentonville, AR 72712
Tel; 772-763-8940

Participants will meet at the Wyngate by Wyndham hotel in Bentonville a short distance from the Northwest Arkansas National Airport.  The hotel provides free shuttle services.  A courtesy block of rooms is available for the night of October 24th.  This night is not included in your workshop fee.  Our group will meet in the hotel conference space at 8:00 am on October 25th for a brief orientation and presentation before departing for our workshop destinations.

During the Workshop:

Riverwind Lodge
Buffalo Outdoor Center
Ponca, AR

The first part of our photo excursion will be based in Ponca where we will stay in a private lodge with private suites and common living spaces.  This well-appointed lodge has all the amenities for enjoying the perfect getaway.  Three nights lodging is included in the workshop fee.

Mather Lodge
Petit Jean State Park
1069 Petit Jean Mountain Rd
Morrilton, AR 72110

As we move south in the Ozarks we will spend the next two nights in the beautiful Petit Jean State Park.  Two nights lodging based on single occupancy is included in your workshop fee.

David Jaffe
Ron York
Photo Guide
There are a number of reputable companies that provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to www.travelexinsurance.comor contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20
Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following cancellation policy applies – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • 90 days full payment is due
  • 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee.  The voucher is good for 18 months.
  • * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.

* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less the $100 administrative fee.


NOTE:  Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days.  Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can sometimes be unavoidable which is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.


Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel or change any workshop if our minimum enrollment is not met or if situations beyond our control arise that may create unsafe or undesirable travel conditions.  Any cancelation or postponement as a result of situations beyond our control, AHPS does not promise any refunds or credits.  If and when feasible, we will attempt to reschedule the workshop at a later date.  Alternatively, we may decide to issue you credit for a future workshop, or issue a refund, less any non-refundable deposits we have paid to workshop providers on your behalf.

Please note that AHPS is not liable for any additional participant expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations, or any other components booked outside of the workshop.

PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.