Ouachita Mountains

The Ouachita Mountains Ouachitas or ( pronunciation [ wɑʃiɾə ], " wah - tah - chi " ) are a mountain range in the west central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma ( Kiamichi Country ). Under the surface they expose yourself to Central Texas continues, perhaps even further to the marathon Uplift. Along with the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains form the U.S. Interior Highlands area of ​​, the only major mountainous region between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Appalachians in the east. Its highest peak is the Magazine Mountain with an altitude of 839 m.

Geology and surface shape

The Ouachita Mountains is part of the physio geographic region Ouachita, the Ouachita Mountains and both the valley of the Arkansas, and includes turn is part of the larger U.S. Interior Highlands.

The Ouachita Mountains are a range of fold mountains like the Appalachian Mountains in the east, and originated in causal relationship with them. During the Pennsylvaniums in the Carboniferous, ie about 300 million years ago, crossed the coastline to the predecessor of the present-day Gulf of Mexico to the central part of Arkansas. Due to the northward drifting South American Plate here was a subduction zone. The South American oceanic crust was pushed under the less dense continental crust of North America. This collision is called by geologists Ouachita orogeny and placed in the larger context of Acadischen Gebirgsbildungsära. The collision resulted in folding and thrust faulting, and thus produced the fold mountains of today's Ouachita Mountains. At the time of their creation, the Ouachitas were a high mountain, at a height comparable to today's Rocky Mountains. Due to the age of the Ouachitas the high peaks have long been removed, now there are only low hills present, which once formed the heart of the mountains.

In contrast to most other mountain ranges in the United States, the Ouachitas in east-west direction rather than run from north to south. They are also distinguished by the fact that volcanism, metamorphism and intrusions essentially absent. However, they are known for the occurrence of quartz crystals, which are found around the Mount Ida, as well as deposits of the Arkansas novaculite - whetstone ( Arkansas ).

Plant world

The Ouachita Mountains provide habitat for at least 15 endemic plant species, including Sabatia arkansana, Valerianella nuttallii, Liatris compacta and Quercus acerifolia.


In the Ouachita Mountains are both the forest area Ouachita National Forest and the National Park Hot Springs National Park as well as numerous state parks and scenic byways. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail, an approximately 360 km long trail through the heart of the mountains, connecting the Talimena State Park in Oklahoma with the Pinnacle Mountain State Park near Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a well -maintained trail for hikers and parts for mountain bikers accessible.

The Battle of Devil's Backbone 1863, fought on the same ridge.