Rock shops line the highways in and around Mount Ida, but that is to be expected in a town that proclaims itself the "Quartz Crystal Capital of the World." Private quartz mines, usually associated with rock shops, allow visitors to dig their own crystals for fees.
Though renowned for the quality and quantity of the quartz crystal deposits found in the surrounding Ouachita Mountains, Mount Ida is also celebrated because of an abundance of nearby outdoor recreational opportunities.
To the east, the 40,100-acre Lake Ouachita offers such activities as fishing, camping, swimming, houseboating, sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, power boating, and viewing of wintering bald eagles. The lake is home to private resorts and marinas, where visitors can find a variety of accommodations, meeting facilities and restaurants. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' recreation areas on the lake provide campgrounds, swimming beaches and boat launch ramps. Striped bass topping 50 pounds, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and bream are among the game anglers haul from the lake. Fishing guides are available.
Floating and stream fishing are available near Mount Ida on the upper Ouachita and Caddo rivers. Cabins are available near both streams.
The Ouachita National Forest provides numerous recreational amenities close to Mount Ida, including campgrounds, day-use and scenic areas such as Little Missouri Falls, hiking and backpacking trails, and many miles of backcountry roads for touring.