Beaver Bend State Park river view with lush forest in the background. Image credit Jordons Edits via Shutterstock.


Ark-La-Tex is a unique cultural area of the southern United States that refers to where the states of Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana meet. The region is large (even more extensive than the whole state of Maryland), with many National Parks and other natural wonders. 

The parks allow visitors to enjoy the great outdoors, swim in clean lakes, and in one even dig for diamonds. This article will go into details on the area and what to look forward to upon visiting.

Where Does Ark-La-Tex Get its Name? 

Shreveport, Louisiana, USA skyline over the Red River at dusk.
Shreveport, Louisiana, USA skyline over the Red River at dusk. Image credit Sean Pavone via Shutterstock. 

Ark-La-Tex is a nickname for a region in the southern United States. The area includes Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana, which might not be surprising given its name. Sometimes, the tri-state area also includes the eastern tip of Oklahoma. Some prefer to call Ark-La-Tex-Oma to give credit to Oklahoma since it is usually part of the region. Although, the three-point name is the most popular. It was popularized in the 1930s as the region’s economic standing fell due to the Great Depression. The name helped draw tourists to the area. It also helped make the states feel more unified since they saw themselves as sharing heritage, culture, and economic pursuits. 

Size of Ark-La-Tex

Mountain Fork River at Beaver's Bend State Park II. McCurtain County, Oklahoma.
Mountain Fork River at Beaver's Bend State Park II. McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Image credit Silvio Ligutti via Shutterstock.

Ark-La-Tex is a total of 40 counties across four states unless disqualifying Oklahoma, then it is 39 counties across three states. Most accept Oklahoma into the region, making the area more than 36,000 km2 (14,000 square miles). It is a large region that has just under 1.5 million residents. Most of the area is rural, with large portions of farm and forested land. 

Geographic Features of Ark-La-Tex

A landscape with trees along the water at Sabine National Forest, Texas
Sabine National Forest, Texas. Image credit Piotr Kalinowski Photos via Shutterstock.

Conifer and deciduous forests are the most common natural features of the Ark-La-Tex region. These forests make up the Davy Crocket, Angelina, and Sabine National Forests are the largest wooded areas in this tri-state area. The Red River is the largest body of water flowing through these states. It begins near the Texas-Oklahoma border and flows down into the Arkansas. The river ends in the Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. 

Climate of Ark-La-Tex

Hurricane over Louisiana. Storm clouds and rain over the Mississippi
Hurricane over louisiana. Storm clouds and rain over the Mississippi. Image credit Konoplytska via Shutterstock. 

Since Ark-La-Tex spans 3-4 different states, the weather can vary depending on which area visitors are in. However, Ark-La-Tex is considered a humid subtropical region, which makes sense given how close it is to the Gulf of Mexico. The gulf sends warm, humid air into the area, but it can also send hurricanes and tropical storms there. While most tropical storms and hurricanes travel east toward Florida, it is not uncommon for the area to experience one or two storms yearly. 

Ark-La-Tex is also not far from Tornado Alley, a portion of the U.S. known for heavy rains, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Although most of the year, the region experiences warm, pleasant weather that makes for a suitable environment for outdoor adventures. 

Must See Places in Ark-La-Tex

The Sign for Lake Claiborne State Park in Homer, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
Lake Claiborne State Park entrance sign. Image credit Norm Lane via Shutterstock.

Angelina, Sabine, and Davy Crocket National Forest

These three forests are commonly lumped together thanks to their proximity. All three can be found on the eastern border of Texas, not far from Louisiana. This puts these forests right in the middle of the Ark-La-Tex region. 

These forests were purchased and added to the national forest preservation initiative in the 1930s. Archeological discoveries revealed that humans have resided in these forests for over 8,000 years, making them a national historic site. 

The forests have many wildlife like white-tail deer, squirrels, bald eagles, and turkeys. Some parts of the forests are hunting grounds in the fall, so if you like hunting, you may want to visit.  

Lake Claiborne State Park 

Lake Claiborne is located in Homer, Louisiana, on the state's northwestern border. Its best known for the large lake in the area, Lake Claiborne, from which the State Park gets its name. 

This forested park is a favorite spot for fishing, boating, biking, and hiking. It’s a popular spot for families taking their kids on a day trip, but you can also rent a campsite for between $18-$65 each night. 

Beaver Bend State Park 

Beaver Bend State Park is located in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. It is located in the state's southeastern region, along the border of Arkansas. 

The state park is a popular site for anyone who enjoys fishing. The various lakes in the park are stocked year-round, thus making them a rich spot for any outdoor enthusiasts. 

If fishing isn’t your thing, though, don’t worry. You can also go scuba diving and boating along the beautiful rivers. 

Crater of Diamonds State Park 

Crater of Diamonds State Park is in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. It is near the state's southern end, not too far from Louisianna. 

As the name implies, this beautiful state park is known for its supply of raw diamonds. In fact, people have found over 35,000 diamonds in the area, making it one of the best supplies in the world. It’s also the only diamond mine open to the public, who are allowed to keep whatever diamonds (or other rocks) they find. 

They also have a campground and clean lake where visitors like to stop by to cool off after digging all day. 


Ark-La-Tex is a beautiful, warm, and sunny region of the United States. While not an official state or region of the U.S., it’s an accepted cultural region by those living within its borders. If you’re looking to explore and experience the great outdoors, Ark-La-Tex is a good place to go. 


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