Ouachita Mountain dual sport loop

This is a challenging dual sport ride that includes part of the famous (or infamous, depending on your off-road skill level) K-Trail. If you haven’t ridden the K-Trail out of Clayton to Mena, AR, you should be aware that it can be quite challenging on a big dual sport. KLR’s can make it but they are a lot of work unless you are an expert rider. This loop is best done on a good dual sported dirt bike like a Suzuki DRZ, KTM, or Yamaha WR. Most of the trail is great dual sport riding, but the west end of the K-Trail coming out of Clayton can be quite a challenge on anything bigger than a 450cc dual sport. I have seen expert riders on BMW GS’s make the ride, but most people will not want to take a big bike on the K-Trail.

This loop is 178 miles long. You MIGHT make it in a day but plan for at least two days. There are two great primitive campgrounds nearby, or you can stay at our favorite motorcycle campsite, Clayton Lake State Park.

The K-Trail winds across the spine of the Ouachita Mountains from Clayton, OK to Mena, AR. Many dual sport riders call it the dirt version of the Talimena Drive. While most of the trail is fairly easy, some parts are quite a challenge on anything bigger than a dirt bike.

The K-Trail winds across the spine of the Ouachita Mountains from Clayton, OK to Mena, AR. Many dual sport riders call it the dirt version of the Talimena Drive. While most of the trail is fairly easy, some parts are quite a challenge on anything bigger than a dirt bike.

The K-trail is made up of rocks, big water puddles (not mud, just deep puddles) and more rocks. Most of the K-Trail can be ridden on a KLR but it can be work when fully loaded. We have seen BMW GS's ride the K-trail but you should be an expert rider before tackling parts of the K-Trail on a big dual sport. It is great fun on a 450cc and smaller dirt bike.

The K-trail is made up of rocks, big water puddles (not mud, just deep puddles) and more rocks. Most of the K-Trail can be ridden on a KLR but it can be work when fully loaded. We have seen BMW GS’s ride the K-trail but you should be an expert rider before tackling parts of the K-Trail on a big dual sport. It is great fun on a 450cc and smaller dirt bike.

About James Pratt

I am an Oklahoma based writer, photographer, videographer and adventurer. I love telling stories about people. A motorcycle is my preferred means of travel, and I have over 5,000 hours piloting small airplanes.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the information. The ride looks fantastic! We are going to do it early April.

  2. What is the fuel situation like for the loop?

  3. Fuel in Clayton and Talihina. Not much else around. There might be other fuel around but I wouldn’t count on it.

  4. Adam Pennington says:

    When i click on the “download” link, i get nothing. My buddy and I are planning to ride this loop in the next couple of weeks. Could you email me the gpx file? Thanks!

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