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Kiamichi River, Oklahoma
Report by Marc W. McCord

Kiamichi River, Oklahoma

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

The Kiamichi River begins on Pine Mountain in eastern Le Flore County near the Arkansas border and flows about 165 miles in a south-southwest direction to the Red River on the Texas border. Its name derives from the French word for "waterbird". Along its path the Kiamichi River flows through Hugo Lake, which was formed by a flood control dam built about 7 miles east of the Town of Hugo and just north of the confluence of the Red River. Pine Mountain and Rich Mountain, with a peak of about 2,600 feet, create a wilderness area that is home to many species of wildlife and fish. The Ouachita Mountains, of which Pine and Rich Mountains are a part, offers groves of Beech trees near the headwaters and dense forest stands of hardwood and Pine trees lining the steep banks leading down to flat, narrow valleys below. Many creeks drain into the Kiamichi River creating very scenic small waterfalls along the riverbanks. The ridges of the Ouachita Mountains are occasionally broken by glacier-like rock flows that have gouged out the ground to form larger drainage creeks leading down to the Kiamichi riverbed. There are two reaches of the Kiamichi River where paddlers usually go to play. These are the Upper Kiamichi, near the headwaters, and the slightly flatter section near Antlers, that is very popular with recreational canoeists, kayakers and rafters.

The Kiamichi River descriptions are broken into segments of the ipper and lower river separated by the Jackfork Creek access in Clayton where the outflow from Sardis Lake is a major contributor to the flow below that point. Often the river is navigable below this point when it is far too low to paddle above it.


Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Kiamichi River where you want to paddle.

[ NF 6032 to Jackfork Creek (Clayton) ] [ Jackfork Creek (Clayton) to Twin Oaks Access (Hugo Lake) ] [ Big Creek ]

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