Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, OK

This is the oldest wildlife refuge in the country and is home to thriving herds of longhorn, elk and bison as well as a well-stocked prairie dog town.  We went for the prairie dogs, but were blown away by the scenery.  There is no entry fee, the visitor center is beautiful and full of exhibits with a small store that offers many local ID books.  There is a family campground, (first come, first served), a youth campground that can be reserved and backcountry camping along the trails at Charon’s Garden via permit.

There are miles of trails as well as plenty to see from the road while driving through.  This would be an excellent trip for a family with younger or older who don’t want to walk a long ways, but still want to see animals and scenery.  It’s also an excellent trip for folks who do want to get out and walk a while.  We only planned a day during a road trip in May, but fully intend to return for a much longer stay.  But, even with just a full day, we hiked and saw animals and views galore, it’s well worth the detour on a trip.  It’s not on any major roads, which makes it less crowded.  The ‘worst’ of the crowds (on a gorgeous sunny warm Saturday) were on Mt. Scott, the highest point in the park accessible by driving to the top.

We arrived early, having stayed the night before at an airbnb (our first!) and stayed until late afternoon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The prairie dog town was right near the parking area and there were several more scattered through the park.  They did not seem bothered by the noise or traffic or people.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Charon’s Garden was amazing!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As was the view from Mt. Scott

There’s so much more to see and trails to hike, early May was perfect for the combo of weather, baby prairie dogs, wildflowers and baby bison!

-Magellan

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s