Boston Mountains Scenic Loop/U.S. Highway 71 and Interstate 49
Two very different roads crossing the highest part of the Ozark Mountains combine to make the Boston Mountains Scenic Loop one of The Natural State's most interesting driving tours and most scenic motorcycle rides.
Following a former stagecoach route, U.S. 71 rises and falls, twists and turns through the Boston mountain range, allowing travelers to intimately experience the rugged terrain. Starting in the small community of Dean’s Market outside of Alma (35.537872, -94.220818), you’ll travel U.S. 71 North coming first to the town of Mountainburg, home of Lake Fort Smith State Park and Artist Point. Cabins, fishing, hiking trails and more are available at the park or you can continue on through Winslow, West Fork and Greenland before getting to Fayetteville.
The town of Fayetteville has much to offer, including the University of Arkansas, biking trails and a portion of the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, a vibrant local food and brewery scene as well as charming downtown square featuring a year-round farmers market.
After you explore Fayetteville, find your way to I-49 South (36.028038, -94.187591). Kessler Mountain will be on your right as you exit town and you’ll pass through the west side of Greenland, West Fork and Winslow, where you’ll find Devil’s Den State Park off the Interstate on your right. Hiking, backpacking and biking trails are popular attractions at Devil’s Den and cabins are also available. Follow I-49 South back to Dean’s Market, your starting point.
Both routes offer impressive mountain vistas. I-49 offers a good look at the countryside while scaling high-span bridges and the state’s only highway tunnel; the Boston Loop on U.S. 71 offers many locations to pull off the road and commune with the mountains. There are also plenty of opportunities along the route to go hiking in the Ozarks.
Route: U.S. 71: 42 miles; I-49: 38 miles
The Boston Mountains Scenic Loop consists of two state-designated scenic byways, U.S. 71 and Interstate 49 I-49, both of which run between Alma and Fayetteville in Northwest Arkansas.
Things To Know:
This route can be combined with the West-Northwest Scenic Byway, which can be started at U.S. 71 South in Fort Smith.
Area Attractions, Lodging & Dining:
listed from south to north:
Regional Tourism Associations:
Western Arkansas's Mountain Frontier Tourism Association
Northwest Arkansas Tourism Association