What to know
There’s a reason it’s called the Jasper Disaster. Mile for mile, this Ozark route is one of the most difficult in the state, with some 316 turns in 56 miles. But there’s a trade-off, because it’s also one of the most beautiful rides you’ll ever experience, with jaw-dropping views from scenic overlooks and multiple chances for wildlife sightings, including the famous elk herd in Boxley Valley. Beginning in Harrison, take Scenic Byway 7 south 18 miles to Jasper. From Jasper, travel west on Hwy. 74 to Boxley. Turn right on Hwy. 43, and ride north toward Harrison. There are gas stations in Harrison, Jasper and Ponca for snacks and cold drinks. The route is extremely steep and strenuous but also very rewarding. With cabins, campsites and canoe outfitters in the area, make a weekend out of it, and plan a float trip on the Buffalo National River.