Hike to Forty Foot Hole



1.3 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type


Added by Kevin Abernethy

This is an amazing hike in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Take a quick dip, relax underneath one of the waterfalls, or bring your climbing gear to scale the canyon

Park your car at the Boulder Picnic Area and the trailhead will be at the northwest corner of the parking area. Follow the well marked trail for about a quarter of a mile until you reach a fork. If you want to land at the top of the canyon go right, if you want to swim at the bottom of the canyon head left. Both paths are easy to navigate so don't sweat it if you head the wrong way. Once you are in the canyon there are a couple of entry points into the water. You can also continue north and follow the river to a couple of small waterfalls. There are some nice spots for rock climbing on the east and west side of the canyon, so bring your gear if you are equipped to climb.

Make sure you are back at your car before sunset, the road to the Boulder Picnic Area has a gate that the refuge closes at sunset. If you are unaware of this there is a chance you will get locked in for the night if you are late getting out.

Most people stop at the canyon, but the Kite Trail continues on for about another mile to Lost Lake.

Forty Foot hole is a well known area in the refuge so go the extra mile and grab a few pieces of trash laying around on your way out. Also, if you are hiking during warmer months keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. 

Be sure to stop in Meer's for a great burger when you leave the refuge. Last time I was there they didn't accept credit cards, so bring some cash. 

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Known for

Rock Climbing
Easy Parking
Swimming Hole



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Love this hike

Ive done this hike several time, this is probably one of my favorite trails in the refuge.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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