Long ridges called Pine Mountain and Rich Mountain, with a high point of approximately 2,600 feet, shelter this Wilderness. Kiamichi is derived from the French word for "waterbird." You'll find groves of beech along the Kiamichi's headwaters, giving way to a dense forest of pine and hardwoods. The ridges are steep and the valleys below are relatively flat but narrow. In several places the ridges are broken by rock flows or "glaciers." Several creeks drain the area, often creating miniature and picturesque waterfalls. On the northern boundary runs the Talimena Scenic Byway (Oklahoma Highway 1) with over looks of the area. The Arkansas state line forms the eastern boundary. The western boundary lies along the Kiamichi Electric powerline, and the southwestern boundary begins at a parking lot on Pashubbe Creek where the Ouachita National Recreation Trail has a trailhead. Oklahoma holds a total of about 57 miles of the Ouachita Trail. Stretching nearly 200 miles from Talihina, Oklahoma, to Little Rock, Arkansas, here the trail follows the Upper Kiamichi River all the way across the Wilderness to a second trailhead at Stateline Monument. The Ouachita is the only maintained trail in the area; it crosses through the river several times, so you should plan on getting your feet wet. The Wilderness may be accessed off State Highway 63 near the southern boundary, and there is a parking lot near the southeastern corner where Horsepen Creek flows out of the area.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Upper Kiamichi River Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation and Wilderness Area Act - Public law 100-499 (10/18/1988) To designate certain National Forest System lands in the State of Oklahoma for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, creating the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation and Wilderness Area, and for other purposes