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Map of the Little River watershed showing the Cossatot River
The Cossatot River near Gillham Lake in Howard County, Arkansas
The Cossatot River is a river in the U.S. state Arkansasmarker.

Cossatot is a Native American word for "skull crusher". The Cossatot is known as an extremely difficult (class II - IV+) whitewater stream to canoeists and kayakers and a section at Cossatot Falls in Howard County, Arkansasmarker has been called "the most challenging section of whitewater between the Smokies and the Rockies". An 11 mile (18 km) section including Cossatot Falls is designated as the Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area. Cossatot Falls is a series of back-to-back class III-IV+ rapids that drops around 40 feet in 1/8 of a mile. Rapid names are Cossatosser (class II+), Eye Opener, B.M.F. (class III), Washing Machine (class IV+), Whiplash, (class III+), Shoulderbone (class II), Deer Camp Rapid (class III), Devil's Hollow Rapid (class III+), Devil's Hollow Falls (class IV), and the Esses (class III). Whitewater rapid classes vary depending on water level.

The Cossatot begins in the Ouachita Mountainsmarker southeast of Mena, Arkansasmarker. The river flows through the Ouachita National Forestmarker and then in a generally southerly direction until it empties into Gillham Lake. After exiting Gillham Lakemarker the river becomes leisurely until it joins with the Little River at the sight where it empties into Millwood Lakemarker.

The World War II fleet oiler USS Cossatot is named after this river.

Camping sites are located near the Cossatot Falls area, and at the nearby Brushy Creek Recreation area.

The Cossatot is listed as a National Wild and Scenic River and an Arkansas Natural and Scenic River.

See also




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