Top Ten Scenic Mountain Drives

Arkansas Scenic 7
  |  Gorp.com

While you won't find the same jagged, towering spires that you will in the West, the East's older, gentler terrain still holds amazing opportunities for scenic road tripping. Passing through not one but two national forests (Ouachita and Ozark), Arkansas's Highway 7 offers vistas of high-mountain meadows, rugged highlands, deep hollows, and hardwood forests.

Along the drive, visitors enjoy easy access to fascinating geological features such as Sam's Throne, Pedestal Rocks, and Alum Cove Natural Bridge—a 130-foot-long and 20-foot-wide arch carved from the rock bluff by the forces of nature. Check out the scenic overlook at Buffalo River Canyon, where a short trail leads to a good view of the river against a backdrop of cedar-covered dolomite cliffs. Arkansas even has its own version of the Grand Canyon. Just north of Judea Mountain (2,169 feet), the landscape takes a sharp 600-foot drop, offering a sweeping view across Big Creek Valley for several miles.

Just the Facts

Route: Hot Springs to Harrison.

Length: 160 miles (one day)

Season: Spring through fall.

Ouachita National Forest

Ozark—St. Francis National Forest  


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