Twin Lakes Dams
The Twin Lakes dams Arkansas motorcycle day trip takes us to Bull Shoals Dam and Norfork Dam and features one of the great motorcycle roads in the country, Push Mountain Road, also referred to by locals as “the Snake.” We start this trip from the Days Inn in Mountain Home and head west on US 62 E for 2 miles and turn right at the light at AR-201/AR-5 N. Follow AR-5 N for 6.2 miles to the intersection of AR-178 and turn left. There is a Dollar General across from the intersection. You will pass through the town of Lakeview and over the Bull Shoals Dam which is the bigger of the Twin Lakes dams. Just past the dam on the left is the James A. Gaston Visitor Center where you can learn more about the dam and the area as well as get a great view of the Lake and the White River, souvenirs and food if you feel like stopping.
Continue on AR-178 for about 4 blocks north to River Cliff Drive and take a left. Follow this for 2.1 miles where it ends at Tower Road. Take a right and a quick left onto AR-178 W/Central Blvd. Follow 178 for 8 miles and turn right on US-62/412 W. Continue on 412 for 15.5 miles and turn left (south) on AR-14 just past the Sonic’s. This portion of the ride south of Yellville is a real joy. The curves are tight enough to be enjoyable but not overwhelming. The scenery is remarkably lush, and the highway’s intersection with the Buffalo National River adds to it’s appeal. Follow AR 14 for 14 mile to AR 268 and turn left (east) for a short detour with a great view. Follow AR 268 for 2.8 miles will you will spot a restaurant on the right (looks like a big log cabin). Take a short walk behind the restaurant to a tall bluff overlooking the river. Just a beautiful site.
Now head back to AR-14 and turn left or south and follow this for 8 miles to AR-263 S. Turn right on 263 S and continue for 11.8 miles to the crossroad of AR-66. Turn left on AR-66 (Main Street) and follow this for 12.9 miles into the town of Mountain View (home of the Mountains, Music & Motorcycles Rally) and stop to enjoy a good breakfast or lunch at PJ’s Rainbow Cafe which will be on the south side of the street. Both AR 66 and AR 263 offer mile curves and elevation changes that wind through farms and forests.
Now that the bellies are full it’s time to find your way to Push Mountain Road. From the restaurant head east on Main Street for 7 blocks and turn left at the crossroad AR-14 W/AR-5 N/AR-9 (Sylamore Ave). Continue 5.4 miles to AR-14 W and turn left. Continue for 16.6 miles and turn right onto AR-341 which is Push Mountain Road. The next 25.2 miles will be some of the most fun you have ever had on a motorcycle. With over 100+ curves, switchbacks, elevation change, and hairpin turns this road is not for the novice rider. Push Mountain Road ends at AR-201 where you will turn right and head east for .8 miles to AR-5N and turn left. After the intensity of PMR we head to one of our favorites rest stops to chill out before heading back to Mountain Home.
Now it’s time to get to the second of the Twin Lakes dams. Continue on AR-5 for around 5 minutes where you will come to a split in the road (you will see a small grocery store on the triangle). Veer right onto AR-177 and continue for 1. miles to the Norfork National Fish Hatchery which is just below Norfork Dam. The Norfork National Fish Hatchery is a cold water hatchery primarily for the production of trout to restock the tailwaters below Norfork, Bull Shoals and other dams. The hatchery raises rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout and you can see all the different phases of development in the holding tanks. They have picnic areas as well as attractive walkways along Dry Creek and it’s just a few minutes ride up to the top of Norfork Dam ( the smaller of the Twin lakes dams)
if you want to take in some great scenery. It’s great place to relax after the Push Mountain Road run. To head back to Mountain Home just head back on 177 to continue for 1.3 miles and take a sharp right onto AR-5N. Continue on AR-5 N for 8.6 miles to the Sheid Hopper Bypass and take the US-62E ramp on the right. In 4 minutes go left at the intersection of US 62 business and then it’s just a few minutes ride back to the hotel making your trip about 4-5 hours on the road not accounting for stops along the way.
The Twin Lakes dams have created a rich opportunity for everyone who enjoys watersports, camping, photography, and other outdoor activities. If you are looking to vacation in the Twin Lakes area there are many resorts surrounding the lakes that offer many amenities.