K-Trail Western Half

Clayton, Oklahoma (Pushmataha) Technical Rating: 3-6

Last Updated: 02-18-2017

Img 1573
Status: Closed
Permit Information:
Permit Required - Click Here
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Length: 18.5 Miles
Category: Forest, Iconic, Mud, Overland, Snow Wheeling, Wash
Highest Elevation: 1,867 '
Duration: about 7 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Go: East
Connecting Trails:
Nearest Town:
Clayton
Nearest Town w/ Service:
Clayton
Nearby Trails:
Forest Service Road: # 254
Forest Service / Park District:
Kiamichi Mountains

K-Trail Western Half Highlights

Highlights: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma

Located in the Kiamichi Mountains, near the little town of Clayton, OK and Clayton Lake State Park, is a dirt road named K-Trail (originally known as Kiamichi Trail). Rumored to have been created as a military supply line in the 1800's, it more recently was used by logging trucks, and then as a great place for off-road adventures. Once a 90-mile long scenic adventure that went almost all the way to Mena, Arkansas, the western half is now closed by the private property owners. The portion within the Ouachita National Forest may still be open to public use, and provides a dense forest dirt road with great scenery and the occasional obstacle that can usually be bypassed.

Technical rating: (3-6) Easy-Moderate

Quite rocky or deep ruts. Rocks to 12" and frequent. Water crossings may exceed hub depth with strong currents. Shelves to 6". Mud may require checking before proceeding. Moderate grades to 20 degrees. Sidehill may approach 30 degrees. 4WD necessary and second attempts may be required with stock vehicles. Caution may be required with wider vehicles.

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Directions to Trailhead

The portion of K-trail shown here is now engulfed by private property and should be treated as a private driveway.

You may still be able to legally access more eastern portions of K-trail that are within a Ouachita National Forest.

 

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:

34° 33' 4.22"N
95° 18' 40.49"W

Topo Maps:

GPS Exchange File:

Download

Route Description

This off-road trail once started as Hurd Creek Trail (which is now private property) but continued on as K-Trail all the way into Arkansas. The route shown here is the western half that has been sold off and privately owned. The overland trail was once mostly an easy dirt road accessible to most stock vehicles, but a few areas provided more challenging obstacles and off-camber situations that required four-wheel drive. The most challenging areas typically had bypasses; however, rain caused changes to the trail on a regular basis, and during wet seasons deep muddy areas were present. Fog is also a common occurrence in the area, and often obscured the views from the mountain that are spectacular in some spots.

1: Clayton Lake State Park

K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 1: Clayton Lake State Park K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 1: Clayton Lake State Park K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 1: Clayton Lake State Park

This lake is a great spot for camping with amenities including small cabins.

2: Obstacle

K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 2: Obstacle K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 2: Obstacle K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 2: Obstacle

This is a good example of some of the erosion that could happen on this trail.

3: Scenery

K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 3: Scenery K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 3: Scenery K-Trail Western Half - Waypoint 3: Scenery

These are a few examples of the type of scenery you'd find along this trail.

Access Issues

There is a lot of private land in the area causing western parts of the trail to be closed public access, so be sure to stay on designated right-of-ways. Taking a wrong turn could get you into the most dangerous part of the trail, at the business end of a private property owners gun; as I've heard about a few accounts of just such encounters.

Use of publicly accessible portions of this area requires a Land Use Permit, which can be easily picked up in Clayton, OK at one of the local gas stations. A 3-day special use land access permit can be purchased for only $10.

More Information

Camping and Lodging

Camping & Lodging: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma

Clayton Lake State Park has camping and cabins available. There is also a handful of hotels north of Clayton Lake and within Clayton city. Be sure to also stop by the local hangout, Simple Simon's Pizza, for something good to eat.

Fj trailersummer2016

Seth Hollist

I've been writing for TrailsOffroad since August 2015. Before that I had been off-road in places like central and northern Utah, east and west Texas, and...

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Questions & Answers

Question:

is the trial still open?
By s on August 29, 2017
respond

Answer:

This section is now mostly private property, and thus closed to the public. There are other parts of K-trail not showing here that are part of national forests that are likely still open.
By Seth Hollist Official Crew on August 29, 2017

Question:

Can the western portion be accessed from the Indian highway and come back out the same way? Rob's report indicates it is still ok to be on there as long as your on the ridgeline.
By Norm McNeely on March 24, 2017
respond

Answer:

The best advise I can give you is to check with the local authorities. Check the Permit link for possible contacts. I've hear that some of the property along the ridge on the western side may also be private property.
By Seth Hollist Official Crew on March 24, 2017

Question:

Love light trails with great views. What i dont like is a lot if brush. I love tge trails but hate red neck pinstripes. Is tgat the case here? From clayton east? Thanks
By Christian on December 31, 2016
respond

Answer:

This trail can definitely get overgrown in some areas. It just depends on how recently someone took the time to cut back the growth. You could always take a set of shears and a chain saw with you, but then it could take a couple of days to get through it.
By Seth Hollist Official Crew on January 02, 2017

Question:

Is there a trail map available somewhere? Plan to take my jeep there but have never been. Don't wanna end up somewhere I'm not supposed to be.
By Zach on December 17, 2016
respond

Answer:

I'm not aware of anything in print. The GPS track on this page was open to the public in 2007, but things seem to have changed since then. Check with the local authorities for details.
By Seth Hollist Official Crew on December 17, 2016

Question:

do we take food and stop and eat ? do we drive straight thru ? do I need extra gas ? etc
By Kenneth Hayes on December 07, 2016
respond

Answer:

That depends on how far you want to take it. For a short, partial trip, take a lunch. It can be a multi-day trip if you plan to run the entire route from Clayton Lake, OK to Mena, AR, in which case you would want to bring some extra gas. Personally I've only gone from Clayton Lake to Indian Highway, which took about 7 hours.
By Seth Hollist Official Crew on December 08, 2016

Trip Reports

Missing profile

Rob

Offroaded on 02-18-2017

Status: Closed

Conditions: Cloudy

Low Temperature: 50° F

High Temperature: 69° F

PLEASE NOTE - No One is allow to use the the K trail (or any trail) below the ridge line under any conditions which means there is no way to access (or to exit) the trail on the western end. Anyone that does will be reported and fined when caught. All the land below the ridge line is private property and no access is allowed. It has been this way for many years and any claim otherwise is false. The $10 access permit does not apply to the private property and if caught you will still be fined with or without the permit. Some land owners in the area have installed cameras that transmit photos to the land owner(s). You will be trespassing it you try to use the K trail or other associated trails below the ridge line. There are some sections of the K trail once on the ridge line that is also private property. We know this because we tried to use the trail and talked to several persons. We did not buy the permit because it does not apply to private property. We also met the person responsible for the management of the property for the owner of the section of K trail from the trailhead up to the ridge line. He is under orders to stop anyone and report anyone he finds on the property. There are gates on some of the trails to stop access and some had gates that were destroyed by individuals that must think they have a greater right to access the trail over the rights of the land owner. Enter or Exit K Trail at your own risk.

Prior to 1991 a lot of the land in SE Oklahoma was owned by Weyerhaeuser and access was not a major issue. Since 1991 Weyerhaeuser has been selling off their land which includes the western end of K Trail below the ridge line and includes all the other trails on the western end below the ridge line.

Fj trailersummer2016

Seth Hollist
Official Crew

Offroaded on 07-14-2007

Status: Open

Conditions: Partially Cloudy

Low Temperature: 69° F

High Temperature: 92° F

Camping GPS Coordinates:
34° 32' 14.07"N
95° 18' 22.37"W

Trip Report: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma Trip Report: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma Trip Report: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma Trip Report: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma Trip Report: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma Trip Report: K-Trail Western Half - Clayton, Oklahoma

I camped at Clayton Lake State Park with a group from the Lone Star Land Cruisers club in the Dallas Texas area. It was a fairly easy drive, with a couple of technical obstacles that had bypasses. At the time, I had a stock 2007 FJ Cruiser TRD Special Edition. It was the first off-road 4x4 trip I took in that vehicle. We had a good time, ate lunch on the trail, and I even got a little adventure dent on the rear bumper.

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