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Arkansas > Ouachita National Forest > Caney Creek Wilderness Area
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Caney Creek Wilderness Area

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General Information

Description - Located on the extreme southern edge of the national forest , this 14,460-acre wilderness is one of the most scenic and rugged areas of the Ouachita Mountains. Caney Creek and Short Creek flow from the area into the Cossatot River along the western boundary. Topography is steep, with narrow ridge tops and creek bottoms. Elevations range from 940 to 2,330 feet. Picturesque sandstone rock outcrops and sharp ridge tops accessed by the Buckeye and Tall Peak Trails afford panoramic views of the surrounding pine-hardwood clad mountains. The 9-mile Caney Creek Trail traverses the area east to west along Caney Creek.

Recreation - The primary activities in the Caney Creek Wilderness are hiking, backpacking and viewing scenery.

Climate - Arkansas experiences relatively mild winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The area can offer snow-free outdoor recreation opportunities during the winter months. Be prepared however, for occasional cold weather during the winter, especially at the higher elevations of the Forests.

Location - The Caney Creek Wilderness is located in the Ouachita Mountains, in western Arkansas. To reach the wilderness, go 15 miles south of Mena on U. S. Highway 59 and 71. Turn left (east) on State Highway 246 for 17 miles, turn left (north) on Forest Road 38 for nine miles.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: daddybruce (burleson, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: up front I should say I'm 63 now, an experienced outdoorsman, but some years removed from such a trying outing. One should not underestimate the ruggedness of this trail, some of it actually treacherous because of wetness. If you are determined to make camp a few times along the way as we did ( by choice, but then by necessity) it takes a little planning. There is no place at all to camp on the ascent to the ridgeline from Katy Falls and no water once you're there. The trail grows faint some places along the ridgetop but is mostly readable, tho mist and fog settled on us so thick as to completely obscure the valley below and all the mountains around us for one whole day. I wanted to triangulate our position once(just for practice, mostly) but was denied by the fog. Beautiful beyond words and as desolate as it comes. A worthwhile adventure, but not for the faint of heart.

More Information

Contact Information:
Mena Ranger District, 1603 Highway 71 N. , Mena, AR, 71953, Phone: 501-394-2382

Additional Information:
Mena Ranger District - The Mena Ranger District is located near the center of the Ouachita National Forest, around the town of Mena, Arkansas. The area offers access to both the Black Fork and Caney Creek Wilderness Areas among other attractions.

Arkansas State Parks - Official Arkansas State Parks website.


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