Talimena Scenic Drive – OK


  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2005)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesScenic
  • LocationOK, AR
  • Length40 of 54 total miles
Byway Visitor Information
Talimena Scenic Drive Association
Statewide Byway Partners
Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Travel Oklahoma
Visitors to the Talimena Scenic Byway can step onto this overlook and feel a part of the world around them.
Dennis Adams Photo


The Talimena Scenic Drive showcases nature's quiet solitude. One breathtaking panorama follows another as this National Forest Scenic Byway winds along forested mountain tops between Mena, Arkansas and Talihina, Oklahoma.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

Visual delights of vistas with shades of green in the foreground's forests to blue haze in the distant mountains. Rocky fields and trees gnarled from winter winds and ice testify to the harsh environment the early settlers encountered in these mountains. The Byway begins in Arkansas at the community or Mena on Highway 1 and travels into Oklahoma with the Black Mountain Wilderness area to the north and the Ouachita National Forest and Upper Kiamichi River Wilderness Area to the south. It falls gently like a ribbon and crests the highest points between the Appalachians and the Rockies Visit the Talimena State Park in Oklahoma as well as the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area which surrounds the byway in Oklahoma. Wildlife is abundant in the area and you may be lucky enough to spot a black bear or a roadrunner crossing the road as you drive across the mountains. Information stations are located at each end of the drive; just outside Mena in Arkansas and the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 271 northeast of Talihina in Oklahoma. Stop to enjoy the view at the 22 designated vistas and learn more with the interpretive panels along the route. Enjoy mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and more which are available year-round.

Driving Directions

Take Highway 1 west from the Arkansas border to community of Talihina, OK.

Points of Interest

  • Ouachita National Forest

    1.8 million acres in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, and more.

  • Upper Kiamichi River Wilderness Area

    9,754 acres of Oklahoma wilderness that is located within the Ouachita National Forest

  • Black Fork Mountain Wilderness Area

    Situated across Oklahoma and Arkansas. 5,140 acres are in Oklahoma.

  • Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture (Poteau)

    4,000-acre ranch demonstrating sustainable horticulture, livestock, and natural resource conservation projects.

  • Pine Mountain

    Towering at 2,613 feet it is located just inside the border with Arkansas, in the Upper Kiamichi River Wilderness and Ouachita National Forest.

  • Wilton Mountain

    Towering at 2,558 feet just 6 miles west of the Arkansas border, it is part of the Ouachita Mountains.

  • Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area

    Covering 26,455-acres, this mountain ridge is part of the Ouachita Mountain Range.

  • Talimena State Park

    20-acres for camping, biking, hiking, and wildlife watching.


  • Panoramic Views and Recreational Opportunities

    Begin at the Arkansas border on Highway 88. The road becomes Highway 1 in Oklahoma. Drive through the Ouachita National Forest with the Upper Kiamichi River Wilderness Area to the south and the Black Fork Mountain Wilderness to the north. Stop along the way at marked pull-offs like Castle Rock Vista and Sunset Vista. Further down the road is Emerald Point Vista and Panorama Vista. Great views, trails, and wildlife watching abound. Look for Wilton Mountain to the south of the byway and Pine Mountain a few miles north of the Byway. Stop into the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture and learn about the latest conservation efforts in the area. Heading northwest on Highway 1, a “must” stop is the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreational Area. Here you can fish, hike, bike, picnic, camp, ride horses (bring your own), and even go mineral prospecting. Continue on Highway 1 to the Talimena State Park where you will find camping, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching. The Byway ends at the intersection with Highway 271. Take 271 south into Talihina where you will find a selection of diners and restaurants and a hotel room for the night

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