The next morning we decided that I would ride down and collect Milton, while the remainder of the group continued on the planned route for day 2. JT suggested that I stop at McDonald’s and get him a breakfast sandwich, which I thought was a great idea.

As I rode down The Road of Certain Death, encountering one obstacle after another obstacle, I hollered into my helmet “JT, why didn’t you turn around when you reached this rock garden?” “JT, why didn’t you turn around when you hit this deep, rocky creek crossing?” “JT, why didn’t you stop when you had to ride through all these branches growing over the trail?” “JT, why didn’t you run away screaming when Bigfoot tried to knock you off your motorcycle?”

But, eventually, I made it down to the river and found Milton. Alive and well, but a little hungry. He had survived the night.

Milton’s camp site

He looked at me and said, “I guess I should have known not to go down a trail called Certain Death.”

Escaping The Road to Certain Death

Now came the task of riding out of this death hole. Through the trees, over the rocks, across the creek, and around Bigfoot. Once Milton was ready, we set out, moving slowly. I stopped frequently to take pictures – no one would believe my story without them.

I tried to get a picture of Bigfoot but he is so shy…

Finally, we arrived back at the K Trail. In one piece. Relieved to be off the road of certain death. Since no one had actually died on the trail we decided to rename it The Road of Near Certain Death.

Meanwhile, back in Mena, JT and crew were understandably feeling a little guilty about letting me go off on my own to fetch Milton. They decided to follow me to ensure nothing happened to me on my way to get Milton or to either of us on our way out of the hole. What they didn’t know was that I had taken an alternate route after asking the GPS to calculate the most direct route to the trailhead. After exiting the trail Milton and I headed to Mena for fuel and food and we totally missed JT and crew, who were still on their way to the trailhead.

When they didn’t find us at the trailhead JT and crew rode down The Road of Near Certain Death to find us, not knowing we were already gone.

Once Milton had fully recovered and refueled we decided to return to our scheduled ride for Day 2.

Today’s route was vastly different than day 1. Today consisted of all class 1 riding and some fine scenery. Which was quite welcome considering the residual fatigue from the day before.

On the way to Blue hole
An interesting paint job
Denied! This looked to be the most fun road of the day but the forest service had other plans.

Typical day 2 road

The best scenery of the day was Little Mo Falls

Milton at Little Mo Falls

Mena International Airport needs to mow


The End

Once back at the inn in Clayton we loaded our dirty bikes… …took a shower and headed into town for some supper. We finished the evening sitting outside, enjoying a cold beer and some fine conversation about the weekend.

Monday was spent driving back to Austin. JT and I stopped at George’s restaurant in Waco for one of the best chicken fried steaks in Texas. It was very good.

Thanks for reading my story.  Here is one final shot of the intrepid adventure team, minus one, who conquered The Road to Certain Death.  From left to right: Milton, Jon, JT, Taylor, and Jack

Download a copy of the tracks we used during this rideRight click and save to your computer.


Day 2 – Escaping The Road to Certain Death — 21 Comments

  1. Great write up! Thanks for all the effort you put into the photos and writing. I enjoyed it and it brought back memories from my near death ride on the Clayton/K Trail. I did the western part from Clayton to the Indian Highway on a KLR 650 with gear. It was extremely challenging getting that hog up the washed out climbs with scattered loose rocks. I dropped it one time just like you on the class 4 climb except I was alone and struggled badly to get the bike back on the rubber in the 95 degree heat. The tires were on the high side of the big rut with the tank on the low side with gas dripping away. I had to drag the front wheel down the hill and unload my gear before I could even lift the handlebars above my knees. IT WAS AN ADVENTURE and I loved every minute of it!

    • Just did this yesterday on a KLR650. Adventure is an understatement! Can’t believe I got through some of the stuff I did. But hey, you can’t just stay out there can ya? I feel over a couple of times on those big stair steps of doom. A little banged up, but alive to tell the tale.

  2. Richard, a few buddies and I are headed to ride the K trail next Thursday, 11-12-15. Im having trouble downloading the gpx file. Any chance you could help?!?

    Thanks a ton, Zane

  3. Looks like an incredible trip. Thanks for the informative write up. Did you happen to run into any traps or spike strips in the mud puddles? I heard some people were sabotaging the tail to keep people from using it.
    Our club is planning on heading out that way in late May. Can you please send me your GPX file?
    Great pix by the way!


  4. Howdy Richard,

    I’m having problems getting the tracks as well. Any chance you could email them to me as well?

    Thanks and great story!


  5. Great ride report! Thanks for sharing. You mentioned that from about mile 15 to mile 50 the roads were class 2. I’m planning on riding the OAT and would like to know if the K-trail from the intersection with Indian Road east to US-259 are the section of class 2 you were describing?

    • Jerry,

      Yes, when we rode the K Trail the section between Indian Road and US-259 was all Class 1 and 2. The harder class 3 stuff was west of Indian Road.



  6. great write up.If you and your group ever want to do a ride in BC Canada, shoot me an email.
    We have some fantastic adventure trails here.
    No bigfoot though …

  7. Hi Tim,

    Enjoyed your write up. Super job. My wife and I have a jeep renegade trailhawk. Do you think it would make the trip? Would you please e mail any information that would help us.

    Thanks again and keep on biking and sharing your adventures,
    Rick Poole

    • Hi, Rick.

      I’m sorry I don’t know anything about the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk’s capabilities so I can’t advise one way or the other. I know that 4 wheel drive vehicles have travelled the K Trail but beyond that I’m not a good source of info for 4 wheelers on the K Trail.



  8. Is there any way to get a gps coordinates to the road to near certain death? I’ve been on most of the k-trail from claytonto 3 sticks monument but plan on running the rest this next month and would like to check it out. Thanks

      • David, could you let us know where to take the road to near certain death? Do we go from the 3 sticks monument? where did you guys split? Thanks

        • I meant Richard, not David. Sorry guys. “could you let us know where to take the road to near certain death? Do we go from the 3 sticks monument? where did you guys split?” Thanks

          • I’m pretty sure we found this road. From Three Sticks you travel east on the K-Trail for 10.8 miles and turn right on Forest Road 6033 but be prepared if raining it can get deep at the crossings quickly

  9. Somehow I just now discovered this tale. I have been on this road with as similar but different experience. You are right. The road getting in there was rough, rocky mess. When we reached the seemingly impassable river crossing one of the guys in our group of three decided, like Milton, that he, not so much couldn’t, but wouldn’t ride back the way we came. He was just too spent from getting in there. The river was deep and swift but the real crossing deterrent was solid rock vee shaped crevasses in the river bottom coated with heavy green moss. It was in at least 2 1/2 feet of very swift water and we could not even walk across. We surveyed up and downstream for suitable ford. No bueno. Finally we stood at the side of the stream and threw rocks into the water on the downstream side of the crossing to pave the slimy bottom with fresh stones. We threw several hundred stones in until we had an underwater path that gave us footing. One by one we walked each bike across. I pinned the spot on the GPS with a scull and crossbones. I believe I do still have the tracks. I will hunt them up.

  10. Great Story dam near had me crying I was laughing so hard. Great when friends can have a great time, and on motorcycle to boot. I’m looking for this place soon!

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