Backpacker Magazine

Tulsa, OK: Winding Stair Trail 

Explore a ragtag slice of Ouachita National Forest on this 7.6-mile route through a sylvan playground of foxes, deer, bears, and wild turkeys.

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Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 9 Mar 2006 3:10:19 PM
Activity: Hiking
State: Oklahoma (OK)
Distance: 7.61 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 3225 ft
Total Loss: 2332 ft
Net Change: 893 ft
Difficulty: 7 / 10
Tags: Muse, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Ouachita National Forest, Tulsa
Rating:   2 rating(s) Rate it

TO TRAILHEAD: US 75 S to US 270 E to Heavener, OK. Continue S on US 270 / US 59. In 14.7 mi., R onto US 259. Go 4 mi.; R onto OK 1 (Talimena Scenic Dr.) for 2 mi.; R into Winding Stair campground. For shuttle, return to
US 259 S; trailhead on R in 3.8 mi.

Position Format: Datum:


Distance: 7.61 mi Points: 3810
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Winding Stairs Trail

Points of Interest


Location: 34.714760, -94.676979
Camp @ Winding Stair campground, then hike .3 mi. NW on Talimena Scenic Drive to trailhead


Location: 34.714619, -94.679848
Turn L off road onto singletrack littered with fragrant needles; it's a steep, 500-foot climb up wooded mountainside


Location: 34.709461, -94.677368
Summit unnamed peak; a foundation of old fire tower sits near top


Location: 34.707821, -94.674606
Boulder seat makes for good game viewing. Ouachita comes from the Native American for "good hunting ground"


Location: 34.704762, -94.674477
Trail ascends sharp switchbacks; S slopes dotted with oaks, black hickory, and wild plum


Location: 34.701710, -94.675903
Pass campsite; keep eyes peeled for region's quartz crystal in a rainbow of colors and shapes (but don't touch or take). Wrap W side of Rough Mountain


Location: 34.695271, -94.673309
Primitive campsite (no water)


Location: 34.686119, -94.658928
Turn L @ Y


Location: 34.679981, -94.656616
Rockslides block trail; cross carefully


Location: 34.669830, -94.653320
The trail runs alongside Big Cedar Creek. Bear in mind that in late summer/fall the creek is dry, bar for some large ponds near the county road 6032.


Location: 34.666759, -94.648689
End @ US 259. Pick up shuttled car or retrace steps to beginning


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