The United States Congress designated the Poteau Mountain Wilderness (map
) in 1984 and it now has a total of 11,141 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arkansas
and is managed by the Forest Service.
Extensive folding and faulting of the terrain in bygone days created the steep east-west ridges of Poteau Mountain, a subrange of the Ouachita Mountains. Erosion from many streams has carved deep slices out of the ridges. The streams feed a typical Ouachita forest of dense pines and hardwoods broken by rocky outcroppings that often provide scenic overlooks. This Wilderness has two distinct sections, east and west, which are separated by a wide strip of land along the mountain upon which car traffic is allowed. Within the Wilderness no maintained trails exist, but hikers may find and follow old, overgrown logging roads. The eastern section is dominated by East Poteau Mountain; the western section rises briskly up two drainages, Rock Creek and Posey Creek, and is accessible from a road on the southern boundary.