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Tulsa, OK: Winding Stair Mountain Loop

One of Oklahoma’s best weekend trips, this 21.7-mile loop circles Winding Stair Mountain for an up-close view of the Ouachita National Forest’s most scenic stretch.

Rating

This counterclockwise loop combines three trails, the Boardstand, Old Military Road and the Ouachita, to form one of Oklahoma’s best 2-night trips. Seven different trailheads provide plenty of customization options and easy-access water cache spots during hot, dry summer months.
Beginning in Holson Valley, the first several miles of this loop roll westward through several forested ravines and then turn uphill toward Talimena State Park, cresting Winding Stair Mountain’s western flank at mile 6.4. Stop to read the historical marker at the end of Old Military Road and dip downhill before slowly climbing again along the ridge’s southern slope toward the route’s high point near Panorama Vista at mile 11.5—there are several developed backcountry sites to stop on day 1.
The second half of the loop begins with spectacular views of the Chancellor Mountains as the trail dips downhill to Bohannon Creek and rises to Deadman’s Gap where it again crests the mountain’s ridgeline and turns sharply downhill. Rejoin the Indian Nation Trail just before mile 16. The last several miles of trail roll over small hills in the forested Holson Valley heading west to loop end and the 0.7-mile spur to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Charlie Williams

To Trailhead

From Poteau, OK, drive 13 miles south on US 59/US 271. Turn left to stay on US 271 and drive 12.3 miles. Turn left onto Holson Valley Road. The trailhead is 3.1 miles ahead on the right.

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