Ouachita Trail Backpacking

Disclaimers first:
This is going to be a complete adventure
I have never hiked this trail
It's going to be 30 miles
There is quite a bit of elevation change (read: lots of hills)
I am a slow hiker (less than 3 mph)
I like to take lots of breaks and lollygag

Itinerary:

0.0 Leave QW:  9:00 am
4.5 miles - QW to OK/AR state line:  3 hrs
  -Last chance for supplies and recovery
3.0 miles - OK/AR state line to Kiamchi River:  1.5 hrs -Lunch
-Water fills
2.9 miles - Kiamchi River to MM 40.9: 1.5 hrs     -Break/Water Fills
1.6 miles - MM 40.9 to MM 39.2:  2 hrs
  -Access point for supplies and recovery
  -Water fills
2.5 miles - MM 39.2 to Wilton Mtn:  3hrs
  -All uphill, 1000ft elevation gain
2.3 miles - Wilton Mtn to Pashubbe TH: 1.5 hrs
  -Access point for supplies and recovery
  -Water fills
3.8 miles - Pashubbe TH to Hwy259: 2.5 hrs
  -Access point for supplies and recovery
  -Water fills
2.3 miles - Hwy259 to Red Spring: 2 hrs
  -Uphill 800 ft elevation gain
  -Water fills
4.2 miles - Red Spring to Winding Stair: 5 hrs

If your confidence isn't completely shaken and you're still reading, then come along on a 4-day/3-night 27.9 mile springtime hike through the Ouachita National Forest near the Arkansas/Oklahoma border.

The plan is to hike from Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas to the Winding Stair Campground in Oklahoma. Going east to west will have us descending the steepest part of the trail as opposed to ascending it. Doing the hike over 4 days will keep the mileage down per day and allow us to take breaks and pictures.

Here are some good trail maps and written accounts:

http://www.ouachitamaps.com/OT-03%20259-QW.html - note we’re going 7 miles further than Highway 259 to Winding Stair Trailhead.

http://friendsot.org/wp-content/uploads/TR-01DETAIL_ONRTSegmentMapsa_000.pdf - Were hiking sections 3 and 2.

How many miles per day? Hike until we’re tired or the sun sets, whichever is first. We can make camp anywhere along the trail, so there’s no need to hike to a particular point.

Do I have to do the whole thing? I reckon not…you could break off at any of the trail heads along the way (there’s at least 3). Or you could join us partway through at those same trail heads if your schedule doesn’t allow a 4-day hike.

Join or login to comment.

  • David

    Couple of items found in my truck...let me know what you are missing, I likely have it!

    April 1, 2014

    • cara g.

      It's mine I was wandering who had they yellow bag with cloths and oatmeal and black trash bag with some stuff but do not remember everything I left in the trash bag

      April 2, 2014

    • Raymond

      If you left any food i think there was a buffet by the river that last night no one wantimg to pack it uo amd down the mountains the last night.

      2 · April 2, 2014

  • David

    April 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just to be prepared, what kind of tape, David? Adhesive or athletic wrap?

    1 · March 31, 2014

    • David

      Do both? Athletic at the skin, duct on top...

      April 1, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      So helpful--thanks to all of you. I love y'all!

      April 1, 2014

    • Della M.

      That is really quite a cool little device. I'm impressed with it!

      March 31, 2014

  • Tiffany S

    The moment I feel even a twinge of a hot spot I use Leukotape

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H94TAQ/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    1 · March 31, 2014

  • David

    Lessons learned for me: tape feet preemptively, waterproof everything (zip lock bags worked well), and get a new backpack, my 35 year old ALICE pack was falling apart and leaving a debris field. Take less clothes and food.

    1 · March 31, 2014

    • Della M.

      Lots of lessons learned over the trek. And you got a snazzy new polo shirt out of the excursion.

      1 · March 31, 2014

  • cara g.

    great adventure with great people Thanks again Della for another great trip wish I could have finished the trip.

    1 · March 31, 2014

    • Della M.

      Glad to have you along Cara. We will work on getting your pack set up to where it doesn't kill your shoulders.

      March 31, 2014

  • Raymond

    Great People and trek. Can't wait until we do the next segment 0.0 to 23.7. Water Shoes will be a requirement......Definitely will plan on sleeping in one of the shelters next time. Need to map them all.

    1 · March 31, 2014

  • Carlos

    I'm stuck at work and looks like I'm not going to be able to drop off the dogs at the vet for boarding before they close. Sorry guys. Have a blast!

    March 26, 2014

    • Raymond

      And then there were 7.......:)

      March 26, 2014

    • David

      Sorry Carlos, you missed a unique and memorable trip. I hope you can catch as good of one soon.

      March 30, 2014

  • David

    Ready for more, let's go! Nice job organizing this, Della, you not only got it together, but kept it going all the way! Thanks to Scott for the supporting role, your being there was a morale boost when it was needed. Kristie gets the trooper acknowledgement. powering through injured knees and poison ivy to go the whole way. Another trooper acknowledgement for Christy Dawn for picking such a challenging trip for your first backpacking challenge. Raymond worked the whole thing like a pro, and Cara got a lot of good experience for her new puppy. I think it was a terrific trip, with some challenges we'll remember for a long time, and some valuable learning that I personally appreciate a great deal!

    1 · March 30, 2014

  • Kristie

    Never trust a green rock or under estimate poison ivy.

    4 · March 30, 2014

  • Paul

    I'm am enjoying looking at pictures!

    March 29, 2014

    • Raymond

      Rain Made the river crossings fun

      1 · March 29, 2014

    • Paul

      Adds to the adventure

      March 29, 2014

  • Michael C.

    I'm going to have to back out of the backpacking trip as Tiffany's +1. Without saying too much, I caught a bug and will be in no condition to hike. Sorry about the rather short notice.

    March 25, 2014

    • Della M.

      Too bad, we will certainly miss you! Look forward to seeing you next time.

      March 26, 2014

  • Della M.

    Itinerary:

    0.0 Leave QW: 9:00 am
    4.5 miles - QW to OK/AR state line: 3 hrs
    -Last chance for supplies and recovery
    3.0 miles - OK/AR state line to Kiamchi River: 1.5 hrs
    -Lunch
    -Water fills
    2.9 miles - Kiamchi River to MM 40.9: 1.5 hrs
    -Break/Water Fills
    1.6 miles - MM 40.9 to MM 39.2: 2 hrs
    -Access point for supplies and recovery
    -Depart 9:00 am
    -Water fills
    2.5 miles - MM 39.2 to Wilton Mtn: 3hrs
    -All uphill, 1000ft elevation gain
    2.3 miles - Wilton Mtn to Pashubbe TH: 1.5 hrs
    -Access point for supplies and recovery
    -Water fills
    -Lunch
    3.8 miles - Pashubbe TH to Hwy259: 2.5 hrs
    -Access point for supplies and recovery
    -Water fills
    2.3 miles - Hwy259 to Red Spring: 2 hrs
    -Uphill 800 ft elevation gain
    -Water fills
    4.2 miles - Red Spring to Winding Stair: 5 hrs

    1 · March 25, 2014

    • gavin

      Did this just become a two day marathon??

      March 25, 2014

    • Della M.

      No marathons. This is still a 3/4-day hike. These are approximate times between points with mileage. It doesn't take into account rest stops or stops for the night. This is a leisurely hike and I want the flexibility to say, 'This is a nice place, lets camp here for the night', so stops were omitted.

      March 26, 2014

  • greg r.

    I'll be leaving Wednesday, correct week I think, duh, any ideas on best town to stay in Wednesday night?? I leave from Irving if anyone would like to car pool/share driving and fuel cost.

    March 24, 2014

    • Paul

      Dave, I was told winding stair wasn't open yet. I however didn't drive down the entrance road to find out.

      March 25, 2014

    • David

      Thanks, Paul. That prompted me to check the website, there are 3 different features at Winding Stair. This one shows status OPEN: http://www.fs.usda.go...­

      March 25, 2014

  • greg r.

    something cam e up today and I can not make this trip. Sorry to all for this late notice......

    March 25, 2014

  • Lisa O

    Oh, I wish I could do this!! I've been a hiker all my life, but I'm just now getting into backpacking so I'm obviously not ready for an adventure like this quite yet. This area is beautiful, esp in the fall. Y'all will love it...and hopefully want to go back. I'll certainly join you then! Have a great time !

    March 21, 2014

    • David

      Lisa, it's wisdom to wait until you are ready. Della has lots of easier trips planned for us, so build up to it, and then get in on the bigger trips when you are ready!

      March 25, 2014

  • mowgli

    is anyone getting back to dfw by 1700ish on sun & has space for 1? i have an event that eve. i dont want to sign up & take a spot from someone if i cant score a rideshare back in time.

    March 21, 2014

    • Della M.

      Unfortunately, I don't have a ride to share, but I do have timing info.

      I'm anticipating an early finish to this hike. Sunday morning if not Saturday evening. If we leave Sunday by 12:00 pm, we should be back to DFW by 5:00.

      March 25, 2014

  • Radley Nathan C.

    I am still going on this trek. It may be solo, but will not be able to arrive to trailhead until early Friday morning. I will not be able to get away until about 2p Thursday, and will probably stay in mena late Thursday night. Any idea on where the group will be early Friday so I can possibly meet up?

    March 22, 2014

    • David

      Maybe try the tracking links I posted to find us, if you have a smartphone...

      March 24, 2014

    • Della M.

      Find us Friday morning at mile 39.2 near the intersection of FS6031 and the Kiamichi River. Approximately these coordinates:

      N[masked] W[masked]

      March 25, 2014

  • Paul

    Well I was gonna post some trail and water crossing pictures but I don't see the button to do it. Maybe I am not allowed until the meetup actually happens. :-)

    March 24, 2014

    • Kristie

      If you are on your mobile phone, scroll down to the very bottom and click on "view desktop site", the share photo link should be available then. I was banging my head on the desk until I figured this one out!

      March 24, 2014

    • Paul

      My pictures are on laptop

      March 24, 2014

  • Paul

    Just finished to Trial hiking from West to East and have the GPS with some campsites marked if anybody is interested. There are a lot of crossings of Kiamichi River and I managed to only fall in once! :-) Several places for water this weekend but it did rain a bunch Friday night.

    March 23, 2014

    • Raymond

      I know you took pictures Paul.....You should post them.

      March 24, 2014

    • Paul

      I will post them this evening. Was tired when I got home and taking a shower took precedence. Lol

      March 24, 2014

  • Roger M.

    Guys...was down in this area over the weekend and we did have a few tick issues which surprised me. Just a heads up.

    March 24, 2014

    • David

      Thanks for the heads up!

      March 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    :-( Wish I could go, but I think I need to work up to this.

    1 · March 19, 2014

    • David

      Good call, Dee: it's wisdom to build up to it in skill and confidence, rather than to put yourself or your fellow campers into an inconvenience or unsafe situation. We'll be working on lots of opportunities, so join in when you're ready!

      1 · March 24, 2014

  • Steven

    Okay I am going to have to cancel the trip. My coworker wife is not getting better so I will have to cover his shifts. Have fun guys.

    March 24, 2014

    • David

      Sorry, Steven. Take heart, there will be plenty more opportunities.

      March 24, 2014

  • David

    Backpacking Team Tracker: https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=91a053304a0176bd8

    These reports will be transmitted by a SPOT Satellite Tracker, probably starting 9am-ish Thursday morning.

    2 · March 24, 2014

  • David

    Trail Crew Truck Tracker (Scott +1 will be providing the driving while the backpackers are out on the trail). https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=91a553304f8e98cf3

    These reports will be transmitted from a GPS enabled Ham Radio on the truck.

    No reports will be seen until the trip begins Wednesday evening.

    2 · March 24, 2014

  • Steven

    Very happy to get the chance to go with this group. I will be bringing my dog Dakota.

    March 24, 2014

  • Mario o.

    I was planning for this hike but other comments have come to place, you all have fun and be careful. Sounds like a adventure to be reckon.

    March 20, 2014

    • David

      Sorry, Mario! Hold out for a next time!

      March 24, 2014

  • john t.

    hurt right rotator cuff, going to have to cancel and recoop

    March 22, 2014

    • David

      Sorry John, that sounds painful! Get well soon.

      March 24, 2014

  • Lisa O

    Oops! Sorry. Twitchy finger.

    March 21, 2014

  • Lisa O

    Oh, I wish I could do this!! I've been a hiker all my life, but I'm just now getting into backpacking so I'm obviously not ready for an adventure like this quite yet. This area is beautiful, esp in the fall. Y'all will love it...and hopefully want to go back. I'll certainly join you then! Have a great time !

    1 · March 21, 2014

  • Mario o.

    sorry meant to say commitments, have fun at the hike,

    March 20, 2014

  • greg r.

    Hey folks, I'm trying to leave Irving at 2 pm, plan on spending the night in Mena, if your up there let me know, maybe dinner my cell is[masked]

    March 19, 2014

    • Paul

      I plan on stopping at Greatful Head pizza in Hochatown afterwards.

      March 20, 2014

    • Della M.

      Oh that place was soooooo good....

      1 · March 20, 2014

  • Steven

    Hey everyone, I may have to cancel. My coworkers wife is pregnant and her kidneys are failing. Every say a prayer, it is to early for delivery for the baby.

    March 20, 2014

    • Della M.

      Yikes, okay. I understand if you have to cancel.

      March 20, 2014

  • Greg O

    Are dogs allowed on this trip?

    March 20, 2014

    • Della M.

      Yes. dogs are welcome

      March 20, 2014

  • greg r.

    I'm going to stay in a hotel tonight

    March 19, 2014

    • Raymond

      Your calendar has a day light weekly Savings Time spring forward a week

      1 · March 19, 2014

    • greg r.

      Raymond, no kidding. Kirstie, thanks for the heads up, you saved me a lot of pain, I owe ya one, really.......... :):):):)

      March 19, 2014

  • Steven

    Hey just checking the weather. We may have a bit of rain on Friday. Good thing we are on the south side of the mountain. The wind is not as bad on the south. We should be good just bring your rain gear.

    1 · March 19, 2014

  • Della M.

    March 10, 2014

    • Steven

      Hey Della what was that app you where telling me about that I can import way points

      March 12, 2014

    • Della M.

      MotionX-GPS. It's for iPhone, don't know about Android compatibility...if you need help using the application, let me know.

      March 14, 2014

  • Steve M.

    Bummer. Something has come up. I have a council meeting the 27th so I will have to pass. I was really looking forward to this trip. I hate it when my career interferes with my recreation schedule.

    1 · March 14, 2014

  • Steve M.

    I do not have time to chat now. will upload a photo later. Would like to do the Ouachita backpack and would help in any way needed. Been backpacking most of my life. Della will try to contact you tomorrow.

    March 12, 2014

  • David

    Looks like bears need to be considered in the planning.
    http://www.arkansas.com/outdoors/birding/wildlife/bear/

    I've had a few encounters with then in Tennessee, and they can be relentless if they think they can get to your food. None were interested in people whatsoever in those encounters, but very focused on getting the goodies, but that alone could spark a dangerous situation.

    Bear bags that can hang out of bear reach and NOT IN YOUR TENT, bear cans that seal in food aroma, and they can't open, bear spray that encourages them to leave you alone....these kind of things might be of interest to you.

    February 26, 2014

    • David

      Steven told me he is familiar with this trip, that bears are usually only seen at a distance, and if dogs are on the trip, bears will not get anywhere near us.

      March 10, 2014

    • Raymond

      Stainless mesh bags are cheaper and are effective against coons. Easier to pack in bag as well.

      March 10, 2014

  • Kristie

    Www.austinkayak.com has their wise company dehydrated food on clearance for less than $5 for double serving packs and all the other dehydrated food is cheaper than any local store. They have free shipping on orders over$39 too! I just bought 13 meals and a bear vault bv450 (bv was $58, cheaper than amazon) for under $135 with tax and shipping.

    February 26, 2014

    • Paul

      I like some of the stuff on freezerbagcooking.com

      March 6, 2014

    • Paul

      Hawk Vittles has yummy stuff too.

      March 6, 2014

  • Radley Nathan C.

    I am completely still into this. Della, are you making this trek? Let us know. If not, I will gladly help organize if it means that we still get to take this adventure. Every backpacking trip I have ever been on..... I make a rule that everyone brings a 'special surprise' to share in the trail. Haha. I've got mine planned and ready to go

    February 16, 2014

    • Della M.

      Yes I am making the trek, when I tried to add +1 to my RSVP, it kicked me to my own waitlist.

      March 3, 2014

  • Raymond

    Are we going to share gear.......some people carry stoves some fuel and some water filtration to allow for more water by everyone?

    1 · January 30, 2014

    • David

      I will have for group usage:
      1. a shovel (military entrenching tool) and
      2. machete. I will also have
      3. a First Need XL microfilter for purifying water.

      February 26, 2014

    • Della M.

      Yes this is a perfect topic for the discussion board. I have stuff I can share.

      March 3, 2014

  • Michael C.

    I'm on the waiting list as Tiffany's +1. Hoping to make the group as this would be my first as part of NTO, but looking forward to backpacking again regardless.

    1 · February 21, 2014

  • Brittany R.

    I had to join the wait list, just in case there is a last minute opening ;) The more I scroll past this meet up the more I want to be a part of it

    February 11, 2014

    • Gary M.

      Same here. I just saw this meetup and bummed I didn't see it earlier. Hope I get to go too.

      February 20, 2014

  • Tiffany S

    Hope someone else agrees to be another lead. A friend and I are on the waiting list and would like to try a short low altitude hike before we hit the Colorado trail this summer. Be more fun with a large group than by ourselves.

    February 17, 2014

7 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Imagine having a community behind you

Get started Learn more
Henry

I decided to start Reno Motorcycle Riders Group because I wanted to be part of a group of people who enjoyed my passion... I was excited and nervous. Our group has grown by leaps and bounds. I never thought it would be this big.

Henry, started Reno Motorcycle Riders

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy