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Difficulty I-II+(III)
Length 28 Miles
Gauge Mountain Fork at Smithville, OK
Flow Range 250 - 4000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 38 minutes ago 15.3 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 12/12/2009 7:59 pm

River Description

Upper Mountain Fork River is a seasonal stream that holds levels best during the late fall, winter and spring. It forms near Hatfield, Arkansas, southwest of Mena along US Highway 59 and Arkansas SH 246, then flows about 28.6 miles southwest to Broken Bow Lake in McCurtain County, Oklahoma.

This is a wide river with occasional ledges and long pools -- classic pool-and-drop river. It flows down shallow gradient of 8-10 fpm in a riverbed consisting of rock ledges that create small drops and long pools of flatwater. The stream is very popular with kayakers and canoeists because of its remote feel, excellent scenery and potentially exciting whitewater.

The listed run can be split as three sections, the most popular section being a run of about 9 miles between US Highway 259 at Smithville, Oklahoma through "The Narrows" at the top of Broken Bow Lake, where the larger drops are situated. This begins with the Toilet Bowl and ends with several ledges before the takeout.

Below Broken Bow Lake, it becomes the Lower Mountain Fork as it flows out of the dam below the lake at the power plant. The river slows considerably for about 5 miles between the power plant and the rereg dam, where the whitewater section of the Lower Mountain Fork begins.

Rapid Descriptions

Alt. 'short run' put-in

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Kevin Blackwood provides (2007-07-08):
If you wanna do just the last set of whitewater there is a side road near the river and a little bridge that goes over Eagle Fork Creek. Just drop in there and it will give you a short run straight to the whitewater. Pull out at the low water bridge and you have shuttle back up to run the sets again with tons of time on your hands.

To the listed take-out, this makes a run of 5.2 miles.


Gage Descriptions

Gage is located at the Hwy 4 bridge just east of Smithville.

Optimum flow: 500-1000 CFS. Can be run down as low as 250 but may be scrapy in a few spots. Max is a guess and could be higher or lower depending upon equipment and experience.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




David McDonald




Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192367 08/26/08 David McDonald n/a
1196882 12/12/09 Rob Move/change comment to be an alt.access (in 'rapids' tab).