Talimena Scenic Drive

Talimena Scenic Drive is an awe-inspiring road through the Ouachita Mountains

Talimena Scenic Drive is the name of a very scenic drive running through the Ouachita Mountains, in southeastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, in the USA.

How long is Talimena Scenic Drive?

The stunning road is totally paved. It’s 87km (54 miles) long, running from Talihina (in Oklahoma) to Mena (in Arkansas). It comprises Oklahoma State Highway 1 (SH-1) and Arkansas Highway 88 (AR 88). The road was constructed in 1969 expressly for grand views.

Is Talimena Scenic Drive challenging?

Running as a roller coaster through the Ouachita National Forest, the 2-lane curving rugged road features sharp curves and steep inclines. There are at least 13% hill grades along the route. Its remote location, and wilderness characteristics should stand as a warning to the less adventurous or experienced riders. Watch out for icy road conditions in winter. Inclement weather can make for a stressful drive, though, so check the weather forecast before you start. Thunderstorms may develop rapidly which is often followed by fog on the mountaintop. Watch your step when exploring, snakes may occasionally be present so please stay alert.

Is Talimena Scenic Drive worth it?

This breathtaking route provide visitors spectacular views and affords outstanding scenery of the seasonal beauty. The drive will take 2 hours without any stop if you can resist stopping to enjoy the many vistas and attractions along the way. However, the drive will take much longer due its beauty. It features 22 scenic vista pull-outs. The scenic drive runs through scenic natural beauty, historic sites, and natural wonders. Plus, surrounding the road, you’ll find historic gateway towns with open arms and outstanding events to fill your days. Located along the crest of Rich Mountain and Winding Stair Mountain in the Ouachita National Forest, traffic on the road usually peaks during the fall, when the forest's colors draw tourists by the busload. The spring and summer months are less popular, but still well worth the trip. On a rainy day, you are likely to have the whole road to yourself, and the mist gives the mountains a remote, mysterious look. The route offers mountain vistas unsurpassed in mid-America of forested peaks and valleys, lakes and streams. The drive is especially picturesque when the surrounding mountains are clad in spring and autumn foliage and when it sits above clouds and fog in the lower valleys.



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