- Hiking in the Wichita Mountains
- Enjoy live music in Medicine Park
Oklahoma may not be well known for its rigorous hiking or outdoor excursions, but the mountains of Wichita allow for some great exploration and adventure opportunities in this state earlier. Just 70 miles from the hustle and bustle of Oklahoma City, the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma is a perfect getaway for locals and visiting tourists looking to spend a day in the great outdoors.
Hiking in the Wichita Mountains
Nestled just west of Lawton, Oklahoma and the quaint town of Medicine Park are the Wichita Mountains. This 60,000-acre wildlife refuge is literally where buffaloes roam, while also home to a variety of other wildlife including longhorns and Rocky Mountain elk.
Although the peaks don’t quite rival the mountains of Colorado, there are several opportunities to drive and hike on varying levels of terrain. Visitors are very likely to see wild bison – Oklahoma’s official state animal since 1972.
Mount Scott is Oklahoma’s highest peak, located just at the eastern end of the Wichita Mountains. With three miles of paved roadway and plenty of parking, this makes it a great place for less experienced hikers and families to drive and explore while taking in the breathtaking beauty of Oklahoma Valley ci -below.
Mount Scott may be the “biggest mountain” in the area, but travelers looking for a more tenuous hiking experience can drive a little further to Sunset Peak. Park in the hiking or picnic area and follow the bridge toward Sunset Trail. This mile long hike goes through winding trails and paths. You are likely to see deer and small wildlife along the way. The hike ends at a magnificent giant rock structure and is the perfect place to eat a bag and see the buffaloes roaming below! It’s also, of course, a wonderful place to watch the sunset over the Oklahoma plains.
Swim in Lake Bath
Oklahoma’s heat can get the most out of travelers. Although Oklahoma is a landlocked state, there are still many beautiful lakes and opportunities to cool off in the water. Bath Lake offers beautiful views and places to swim. Waters flow in from nearby Medicine Creek, keeping this area cool and clear, with a small waterfall to enjoy. During the colder months, it is also a great place to fish for trout!
Camping is permitted near the Medicine Creek Primitive Campground for those who want a longer experience in Oklahoma’s wild and beautiful wilderness!
Enjoy live music in Medicine Park
Medicine Park is a charming community and was founded in 1908 as Oklahoma’s first resort town! The city prides itself on its opportunities for local food, arts and entertainment; and the local community is working hard to make it a tourist destination for visitors to Oklahoma and beyond. With that, there are plenty of opportunities for live music, events and fun for the whole family!
Travelers should also visit the famous holy city. This sixty-six acre experience resembles Israel in biblical times and is also home to the oldest passion game, Prince of Peace. The area includes a temple with beautiful murals and ceilings. This attraction has been drawing visitors to the area for decades!
Eat at Meers!
A few miles north of the Wichita Mountains is an Oklahoma staple, visited by Oklahomaians since 1901 to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and enjoy the famous longhorn burgers and barbecue. Meers Store and Restaurant has been around since this gold mining town was founded, even before Oklahoma became a state in 1907. This place is well worth the visit for the history and the burgers!
Other Things to Enjoy
While in the Lawton area, visitors can grab an ice cream cone from the locally owned Cobblestone Creamery, with seasonal flavors and all the toppings one could want!
Support another local restaurant by stopping by the authentic ’50s drive-in, Wayne’s Drive Inn. Here you will find everything from neon lights, cool cars cruising and a great burger and fries!
Finally, grab a sweet treat from Mrs. Chadwick’s Bakery! This cute little bakery is a great stop for cinnamon rolls, muffins and more.
Oklahoma has a lot to offer, with an abundance of nature, wildlife, natural water, and hardworking locals to make the community a vibrant and thriving place for tourism. After spending the day in the Wichita Mountains, head north to explore Oklahoma City, hop on Route 66 to head further west, or stick around and see the other amazing things that Oklahoma City has to offer. Oklahoma has to offer!