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Wheeling and Camping around the Clayton and K Trail OK/AR

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Wheeling and Camping around the Clayton and K Trail OK/AR

Old 03-20-2019, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Hunt County Texas
Posts: 497
Year: 1995
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0L
Default Wheeling and Camping around the Clayton and K Trail OK/AR

My good buddy and I decided we were going to do a multi-day/night trip up to the Ouchita Mtns with the kiddos. This was my daughters first camping trip and she was great. Rarely complained and seemed to really enjoy herself. My buddy is in the Red 2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4X which is their off road package with different wheels/tires, skid plates, and a most importantly a rear locker. This was the truck I wanted before used Texas truck pricing convinced me I wanted another XJ haha.

The night before we leave, Jeep is packed and ready to go.

Start of the Clayton Trail justoutside of Clayton, Ok, this will eventually link into the famous K Trail and will be the first real dirt this PRO4X has seen as far as I know, and judging by how decent the paint was on my XJ before the trip probably the same for my Jeep.

First good overlook we came to on the Clayton Trail right before we get to the bulldozed part.

The mighty XJ.

Gotta take the cooler out everytime I want to get the kid out of the Jeep. Her carseat is strapped into the center position.

Nice little creek on the Clayton Trail. This is about 1 mile before it links into the K-Trail. There is a new wind turbine project going in up here and they are basically bulldozing a 4 lane wide dirt "superhighway" into the mountain sides where the Clayton and Western K Trails currently exist I'm not sure if they will be destroying the entirety of the Clayton trail but as of these photos they had destroyed a 1.5 mile section from the junction with the K-Trail in the east going west. I hope not because the Clayton trail was a lot of fun and somewhat challenging compared to a basic FS road. As you can see from the last photo to this one my Jeep is much muddier. The Dozers have ripped up parts of the trail to the point that they were mudholes. Not impassible but messy.

Camp the first night. We wanted to make the fire tower but due to construction delays we wound up stopping at this point about 6.5 miles west of the Fire Tower. THe Nissan also suffered a punctured tire so the next morning we backtracked and went around to Mena to the Wal Mart some 65 miles away to get a new tire for him, We returned to the K trail via a side county road instead of Hwy 259 that went from nice and graded to totally maintained requiring a low range first gear crawl for over a mile before linking back into the K trail.

The Hilton on wheels as long as you are no taller than me (5' 8")

She found my old Sears binoculars and pretty much never let go of them the rest of the weekend.

She insisted on putting her own chair away I had to convince her to put it here instead of the driver's seat.

Enjoying the view.

K Trail USFS firetower (Abandoned) climb at your own risk, hasn't been maintained in what looks like a very long time.

Campsite view.

Firetower garage still standing and in really good shape.

I stayed on the upper tier and my buddy stayed on the lower. Night 1 was fine night 2 turned out to be quite chilly, and noisy for them as they were staying in a large tent cabin type thing. He said he had to wake up twice during the night to resecure the rain-fly. The wind was strong enough to make the Jeep rock back and forth.

Some semi underground structure close to the garage. Not sure what it was for. equipment storage maybe or storm cellar? It used to have a door which was long gone.

Pano view from my camp site.

My site setup. I stacked to rocks under the rear wheels to level the Jeep as there wasn't much except the interior of the garage that was level on this hill side.

Poorman's awning deployed. Really liked how it worked out and it's WAY lighter and cheaper than the big money alternatives, if a bit slower to setup.

The box at the top of the tower was rotted out and had basically no floor left. The last landing was the best place to sit and look at the view. Would be neat to go on a trip one day hauling a trailer of wood and hardware to semi restore it at least to the point of having new steps and floorboards

It was St Patty's day so Zippo insisted I have pictures of her in green clothes.

Love my little cheap LED string lights

Pano view from the firetower

Not much like a cartoon movie at the end of a long day.

3 Sticks monument at the junction of the K Trail and Hwy 259

Can't escape a Ntl Forrest area without a pic of the sign.

On the Oklahoma Adventure trail outside of Broken Bow, Ok on the way back home. People are disgusting. A whole road turned into a garbage dump. Looks like someone started dumping there a long time ago and each truckload of garbage got closer and closer to the road.

Nice roads able to maintain good speeds and make good time. Probably wouldn't be much fun in the rain judging by the ruts I saw along the roadsides.

Ellie standing on the OAT just outside of Hugo, Ok. 4 or 5 miles after this picture we were back on pavement heading south at best possible speed back to the house to unpack and clean up which took the rest of the day.
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