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Ouachita Trail Backpacking - Mile 8.0 to 23.7 ★★★+

Backpack the Ouachita Trail in Oklahoma from Winding Stair Trailhead to Deadman's Gap Trailhead 15.7 miles.

The schedule and hike length have been modified since the original posting.

This will be a 2-day/1-night trip covering about 8 miles per day over moderately rough terrain.

To cover those miles requires a tight itinerary
5:00 am - wake up/breakfast/break camp
7:00 am - hit the trail
11:00 am - lunch/rest
12:00 pm - hit the trail
4:00 pm - arrive at destination

Please take into consideration this is a very tough hike.  If you're just starting out, or have a physical limitation, this is probably not the event for you.  There will be uneven footing with rocks and boulders.  Quite a bit of elevation change too, (about 1500 ft total) mostly downhill.

Starting at Winding Stair and heading west will put us headed downhill, making the hike a little easier.  With the shorter hike, we will be fully packed (everything in the pack for overnight).  I will stash 5 gallons of water at Horsethief Springs TH.

We will overnight in the Holson Valley Vista trail shelter at 7 miles.  You could do without a tent and sleep in the shelter.  There is no water at the shelter, the nearest water source is 2 miles away.

If you have a no-show history, or if I've never hiked with you, I'll be contacting you directly starting September 1 before moving you to the confirmed YES list.

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  • Nicole C

    Thanks for a great weekend everyone!!

    October 13, 2014

    • Della M.

      You're welcome. If you have the time, consider doing the David Boren hike Oct. 23.

      1 · October 14, 2014

    • Nicole C

      I'll be there :)

      October 16, 2014

  • David L.

    Thank you everyone for the great time, i really learned a lot about what to bring in my pack and i enjoyed the hilarious jokes made by everyone.

    October 16, 2014

  • Levi c.

    Good challenging hike.

    1 · October 13, 2014

    • Della M.

      It was a challenge. Glad to have you out. Everyone learned a lot about their gear this weekend. We can do big mileage later.

      October 14, 2014

  • jemy m.

    Along with the trail, I really enjoyed the company. Not likely to ever forget Peaches (even if I want to!). It was great to see familiar faces and meet new folks : )

    October 13, 2014

    • Raymond

      Zack was pretty cool and i am pretty sure he will hate being called peaches so M. E. might be better.

      October 13, 2014

    • Della M.

      Zach is a rad guy. Don't get to see enough of him. I want to hear some more 'tales from prison'. He's hearing those second hand, of course.

      October 14, 2014

  • Wes

    It was great meeting everyone. Thanks Della for the time and effort to put this together.

    1 · October 14, 2014

    • Della M.

      You're welcome. Hope to see you at the David Boren hike in a couple weeks.

      October 14, 2014

  • jemy m.

    Great trail except for the rocks :)

    October 13, 2014

    • Jason

      I concur. It was very challenging but you get tired of negotiating those rocks after a point.

      October 13, 2014

    • +1

      The rocks were definitely a challenge, but it kept everyone on there toes.

      1 · October 13, 2014

  • jemy m.

    Great trail except for the rocks :)

    October 13, 2014

  • Wes

    I am heading out of mckinney at 2 pm I have room for two more or there's two of us to ride with someone.

    October 8, 2014

  • Betty

    Whoa! I just saw this trip. I've been away for a little while. Can I still sign up?

    October 9, 2014

    • Della M.

      Sure you can come. I'll IM you with some details.

      October 9, 2014

    • Wes

      we have room for 1 more, leaving around 2

      October 10, 2014

  • Jason

    So I just loaded my pack and its tight! I'd like to learn more tricks on space management. Not so much on weight but space. I've figured out many things but I know there's so much more to learn. My goal is to have my 60 liter suffice as my winter pack. If I can fit it all in that, I'll be good.

    October 9, 2014

    • +1

      Compression sacks are your friend. I was trying to get away with my 40l but the sleeping bag took up too much room so I switched to my 70l. I could of probably got away with a 50-60 l but had to pack for rain.

      October 9, 2014

    • Steven

      I know the rain gear. Oh I will be trying out new rain paints. We will see?

      October 9, 2014

  • Jim T.

    I'm expecting to leave North Dallas around 5 pm in case anybody wants to caravan or needs a ride.

    October 9, 2014

  • Raymond

    Weather report...

    Thursday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s.

    Friday...Showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

    Friday Night...Occasional showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.

    Saturday...Showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

    Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s.

    Sunday...Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. May need to keep all of our gear in the shelters to keep it dry.

    http://www.findlocalweather.com/pinpoint/us/ok/winding+stair+mountain+national+recreation+area/current53845.html

    October 7, 2014

    • Raymond

      Woohoo. Need to learn how to sew so i can get some silnylon rain gear packing this nuclear nylon is thick and it sucks

      October 8, 2014

    • Della M.

      @Raymond - Yeah the radiation suit is pretty gnarly, but makes for great pictures.
      @Jason - Most likely you'll get a little pruney, little chance of melting.

      October 9, 2014

  • Steven

    Hey I will be heading up Friday around 2. The trip there is about 4.5 hours. I have done this trip to Winding Stair about 20 times. If you want a long beautiful ride go up through Broken Bow. If you want more sorter go Highway 75 to 43 over.
    I have room for one more in my car. I do have my dog in the back set he is great in the car.

    October 4, 2014

    • Shreyas K.

      I am not sure yet if I can leave by 2 pm. I'll update you on Monday/Tueday if the offer is still open. Can you message me your #?

      October 5, 2014

    • Shreyas K.

      I can leave only late on Friday (earliest would be 6 pm for me) from Dallas (home) or Arlington (work). I can car pool or drive out on my own.

      October 8, 2014

  • Jim T.

    If the group is stashing water, do we need to carry water for the two days or can we count on enough water for the evening and the second day being there?

    October 7, 2014

    • Steven

      I am going to have three 5 gallon jugs of water we can stash.

      October 7, 2014

    • Della M.

      Don't carry water for 2 days. Between the stashing and the forecasted rain, water won't be a problem.

      October 8, 2014

  • Barb

    Had to back out. :-( Della I left you a long message. My mother has Alzheimer's and has taken a turn for the worst! We are having to check out homes & get her in a memory care unit asap. Needing to help my dad for sure! Ya'll be safe & have a blast!!

    October 7, 2014

    • Steven

      Oh sorry to hear this. Take care of the family!

      1 · October 7, 2014

  • Della M.

    For those who have never slept in a shelter, the most important thing you can do is cook, eat, and stash food away from the shelter.

    Critters have learned people are careless and have food. Scraps and trash are magnets for vermin and they will eat a hole in your pack to get to it. Food attracts bears (which are in the area), and raccoons. No one wants to deal with those guys in the middle of the night.

    We will set up a 'kitchen' away from the shelter and cook and eat there. Any spills or scraps wont draw in critters to our sleeping area.

    Before bed, take all food, trash, and anything that smells out of your pack and put it in a stuff sack/ditty bag OR a bear canister. I'll arrange to hang food and trash in a tree away from the shelter.

    September 9, 2014

    • Raymond

      Kristie makes a great BWS in case the bigger critters get to close.

      September 18, 2014

    • Kristie

      Raymond's snoring will scare away any critters left over after David's towel snapping ninja moves..... ;)

      1 · October 6, 2014

  • Della M.

    Who can leave their car at Deadman's Gap on Friday night so we can get folks back to Winding Stair on Sunday? Pickups preferred! Of course, someone will follow you to Deadman's Gap and take you back to Winding Stair.

    1 · October 6, 2014

  • Bobby T.

    I am driving a full size pick up with two open seats if anyone wants to carpool. I will be leaving around 3pm from Grand Prairie.

    October 5, 2014

  • Jason

    Are we going to have (or do we need) a pre trip meeting to discuss it. Like a planning meetup? This will be my first "real" hike and want to make sure I cover all my bases. Thanks.

    September 7, 2014

    • Raymond

      I would like to hike 0-8 but i cant leave here until 830 from here

      September 28, 2014

    • Shreyas K.

      This is my first hike in this region and with this group. I have read that some of you are trekking up there or driving up there on Thursday or Friday night. 1) Is anyone carpooling? 2) More importantly, from the end/destination, what is the plan to get back to the vehicles. 3) How do you all plan your camp cooking and gear? 4) I have read here that some people are carrying water, but water is also being stashed at a location.

      October 4, 2014

  • Bobby T.

    Will there be a potable water source at the Saturday camp site?

    September 30, 2014

    • Jason

      There isn't. We're stashing water near by for our supply.

      October 1, 2014

  • Bobby T.

    Sorry to hear that Christy. Hope business trip goes great!

    September 30, 2014

  • Christy D.

    Looks like I am going to have to back out of this one that I have been looking forward to since our last Ouachita hike in March. I have a business trip scheduled now that will overlap. :(

    September 29, 2014

  • Bobby T.

    It has been a while since my last major hike, but I feel I'm ready. I participated in a join nation 100 mile road march know as Nijmegen in Holland. http://www.army.mil/media/354911 Please let me know as soon as possible if I've made the list. Would love to be part of active hiking group post military life. Thanks!

    September 28, 2014

    • Della M.

      That's pretty darn impressive! I've messaged you regarding available slots for this hike.

      September 28, 2014

  • Norman W

    I backpacked the complete Eagle Rock Loop in 2 days in July.

    I'm very physically fit and confident I can do this hike plus an extra day if another hiker is interested.

    Hope to make the list! My profile pic was taken at the point where the Big and Little Missouri Rivers merge on that trip...It was awesome!

    September 28, 2014

    • Della M.

      Norm, just messaged you regarding available slots for the hike.

      September 28, 2014

  • Della M.

    September 10, 2014

  • Levi c.

    I am going to do more mileage. Going to start at talimena state park state park day before at mile 0. Going to do between 75 to 100 miles. Haven't decided how much yet. Wanting to see if any one else would want to do more miles with me. Was going to leave car at end where I finish up. Was wanting to see if anyone would be willing to pick me up from end and drive me to mile 0 thursday so I can do straight mileage. Will pay for your gas to have to pick me up. If interested text my cell. # is[masked]

    September 10, 2014

    • Levi c.

      Am starting at mile 0 at talimena day before and doing first 8 then do mileage with group then keep going forward. Doing at least 50 probably more.

      September 18, 2014

    • Raymond

      My plan is to do the following: Drive to Talimena and start from 0.0 and hike to Deadmans gap at 8.0 then hopefully when the group meets they can pick me up to get my car at Talimena and leave at Deadmans gap with some of the rest of the cars and transport me to Winding Stair so I can hike with the group. If anyone wants to partake then feel free to message me and I will send you my cell. I can take Friday off after I drop off my son at school but not Monday as well. So at least I will have completed 0.0 to 52.6 this year and next year I can do another 50 miles of this trail

      September 18, 2014

  • Steven

    Hey who is bringing there dog? I am.

    September 10, 2014

    • Della M.

      I'm bringing at least un perro.

      1 · September 11, 2014

  • Raymond

    Based on the schedule are we planning on 1 mile per hour for 8 hrs each day or 2 miles per hour and doing it all at once?

    September 9, 2014

    • Della M.

      One mph average is realistic. More than likely we will get there faster. But you never know, we might have more fantastic weather like last time...

      September 9, 2014

  • Della M.

    I'd recommend hiking Cedar Ridge Preserve to get the feel of the terrain. Maybe participants can get together and walk it one Saturday? Shoot for 8 miles with loaded packs.

    1 · September 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would like to get on the waiting list for this event. I'll be out of the country until mid September.

    August 23, 2014

    • Della M.

      You're confirmed yes for the event.

      September 3, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks. I'll be driving down from Kansas City so we'll have to work out where I will meet you.

      September 4, 2014

  • Lea

    Wish I could come! I would love this!! Hopefully another year when I am done with school…..

    September 2, 2014

    • Steven

      Will miss you. Hope school is going good!

      September 3, 2014

  • Raymond

    Woohoo Cant wait to get out there again I guess I need to hit the Fort Worth Nature Center with a pack to get ready.

    2 · September 2, 2014

    • Della M.

      Welcome back, Raymond.

      September 3, 2014

  • Ben

    Any suggestions on local trails to train on? Looking for some hills...

    September 2, 2014

    • Jason

      I'm thinking cedar hill state park. Great trails.

      September 3, 2014

    • Princess

      Yes, Cedar Hill is excellent! Let me know when you are going!

      September 3, 2014

  • Jason

    Thumbs up!!!

    September 2, 2014

  • Princess

    Yahoo. We are going to have a BLAST!

    September 2, 2014

  • Barb

    Yay!!! can't wait!!

    September 2, 2014

  • Lea

    I would like to be added to the wait list, though I cannot seem to figure out how. I will have more of a firm idea of whether I can do this by 9/1. I've been backpacking in mountains before but would like to get in better shape by then so I don't slow everyone down!

    June 25, 2014

  • Raymond

    I may jave to bail this weekend it is my +3 birthday that saturday and she might not be happy if i am not there. :(

    April 18, 2014

    • Kristie

      Bring her! :)

      April 18, 2014

    • Raymond

      She is 7 i wouldnt have to pack much

      April 18, 2014

  • Raymond

    Jun 13-15, jun 27-29 or 9/26-9/28 works for me

    April 7, 2014

17 went

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