Take A Scenic Drive On The Talimena National Scenic Byway

Traveling is always an exciting adventure, no matter where the destination may be. If you’re in for breathtaking views and scenery, a drive on the Talimena National Scenic Byway is something you wouldn’t want to miss.

Where Is The Talimena National Scenic Byway?

Located in Oklahoma and Arkansas, the Talimena National Scenic Byway is a 54-mile highway that features spectacular views of the Ouachita Mountains. With the Ozarks on the east and the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains to its west, the byway is an excellent option for locals and tourists who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy some peace and tranquility.

The Route

The Talimena National Scenic Byway is a winding road that stretches from Talihina, Oklahoma, to Mena, Arkansas, and passes through some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the region. It is also part of the Ouachita National Forest, a 1.8 million-acre forest that spans across eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.

The drive begins at Talimena State Park, where you can relax, have a picnic, or take a hike through the nature trails. Then, the byway winds its way through the Ouachita Mountains, showcasing stunning views of the valleys below.

The Best Views On The Byway

Throughout the byway, there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy the breathtaking views. Here are a few of the best locations.

Queen Wilhelmina State Park

Located at the top of Rich Mountain, Queen Wilhelmina State Park features a stunning lodge made of stone and wood, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. On a clear day, you can see for miles.

Panoramic Vista

As the name suggests, the Panoramic Vista provides a wide-angle view of the Ouachita Mountains. It is located near the halfway point of the Talimena National Scenic Byway and is one of the best places to stop and take pictures.

Winding Stair Mountain

Winding Stair Mountain is located on the Oklahoma side of the byway, and it’s the highest point on the drive. The winding roads carve through the dense forest, and from the top, you can see for miles, making it one of the most scenic points on the byway.

Activities Along The Byway

Aside from the beautiful scenery, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy on the Talimena National Scenic Byway.


The Ouachita National Forest is home to several hiking trails of various lengths and difficulty levels. From gentle strolls to challenging treks, you’ll find a trail that suits your level of fitness and interest.


The Talimena National Scenic Byway is a very popular route for motorcyclists and bicyclists. The winding roads and jaw-dropping views make for an unforgettable experience.


The Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area is an excellent spot for fishing enthusiasts. You can catch trout, bass, and catfish in the clear streams and lakes.

Tips For Driving The Talimena National Scenic Byway

Here are some tips to make your drive on the Talimena National Scenic Byway as enjoyable as possible.

  • Take your time: There’s no need to rush through the byway. Relax and take your time to enjoy the breathtaking views.

  • Check the weather: The byway can get treacherous in icy or wet conditions, so be sure to check the weather forecast before you go.

  • Bring a camera: The Talimena National Scenic Byway is a place of extraordinary beauty, so make sure to bring a camera or a phone with a good camera to capture the stunning scenery.

  • Stay safe: Drive carefully, wear your seatbelt, and obey traffic laws. Be aware that wildlife may be present on the road.

Final Thoughts

The Talimena National Scenic Byway is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for stunning views and outdoor adventure. Whether you’re driving, hiking, or biking, you’ll discover some of the best landscapes and views in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Take the time to experience the beauty of this stunning scenic byway and create unforgettable memories.

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