“Each fresh peak ascended teaches something.” – Sir Martin Conway
Why This Mountain?
Tami has selected mountains that would represent different ranges and states in order to see as much as she can in a short time. She selected Magazine Mountain because it is the highest peak in Arkansas and also to have an opportunity to see park of the Ozark Plateau.
Mountain & Route Facts
Mount Magazine, officially named Magazine Mountain, is the highest mountain in the state of Arkansas and the site of Mount Magazine State Park. The mountain is a flat-topped plateau with a sandstone cap rimmed by precipitous rock cliffs. Two peaks are situated atop the plateau, Signal Hill, which reaches 2,753 feet (839 m), and Mossback Ridge, which reaches 2,700 feet (823 m).
Magazine Mountain sits in the midst of the Ozark National Forest in the Arkansas River Valley approximately 17 miles (27 km) south of Paris, Logan County, Arkansas, on Highway 309 (also known as the Mount Magazine Scenic Byway). The most scenic route to the top is a 10 miles (16 km) drive north from Havana, Arkansas. Views of Blue Mountain Lake will be enjoyed throughout the journey.
The Signal Hill loop route to the summit is 1.5 miles. Tami added the North Rim trail (trail head at the Visitor Center) to add another 4.5 miles to the hike. The elevation gain is minimal (about 400′ total). This is a nice hike that most people can do in order to attain a state high point. I recommend hiking around the summit loop to The Lodge and having lunch or even better stay a night at the lodge – it’s amazing!
Historical and Cultural Information
Magazine Mountain gets its name from when French explorers were traveling through the area and a landslide occurred on the mountain. The noise from the landslide was so great that one explorer described it as the sound of an ammunition magazine exploding. The explorers then named the mountain “Magazine”.
Mount Magazine State Park (2,234 acres) is a well-developed state park, complete with a full array of services, campground, and recreational activities. The park offers 18 campsites, hiking trails, pavilion and picnic area with restrooms, and assorted scenic overlooks. The visitor’s center maintains an exhibit gallery and gift shop. Interpretive programs are presented by the park staff on a regular basis. Rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, ATV trail riding, and hang gliding are available activities. Mount Magazine is the site of the annual “Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival”. The mountain is also home to black bear, whitetail deer, bobcat, and coyote as well as other species.
In 2006, the multimillion-dollar Lodge at Mount Magazine and 13 cliffside cabins were opened. The 66,617 square feet (6,189 m2) rustic-style lodge offers 60 guest rooms, a grand lobby, a conference center, a business center, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a gift shop, and panoramic views from every guest room. The Skycrest Restaurant offers traditional Southern cuisine, a two-story fireplace, and a view of the Petit Jean River Valley and distant Blue Mountain Lake.
Arkansas is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osagedenoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state’s diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
Arkansas is the 29th largest in square miles and the 33rd most populous of the 50 United States. The capital and most populous city is Little Rock, located in the central portion of the state, a hub for transportation, business, culture, and government.
The Territory of Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state on June 15, 1836. Arkansas withdrew from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Upon returning to the Union, the state would continue to suffer due to its earlier reliance on slavery and the plantation economy, causing the state to fall behind economically and socially. White rural interests continued to dominate the state’s politics until the Civil Rights movement in the mid-20th century. Arkansas began to diversify its economy following World War II and relies on its service industry, aircraft, poultry, steel, tourism, cotton, and rice.