Hike the Wichita Mountains' Bison Trail

Oklahoma Bison Trailhead

Added by Korey Taylor

Explore the unique, rugged landscape along the Bison Trail. You'll likely catch a glimpse of a few as this is home to a herd of nearly 650 buffalo.

The Wichita Mountains rise rather dramatically from the flat plains of Southwest Oklahoma that surround them. In 1901, the roughly 59,000 acres of land were established as a wildlife refuge to preserve endangered species and to reintroduce animals that had once been eliminated from the area. Today, this is a wonderful spot to observe wildlife, hike, and camp.

Bison Trail is the longest in the refuge, and it offers spectacular views of lakes and the surrounding area. Shortly after you begin the hike, you will come to a fork – you choose either direction, since it is one large loop. The hike will take roughly three hours, which leaves you plenty of time to set up camp at Doris Campground.

Doris Campground is the perfect set up, whether you're looking for single-units with or without electricity, or a semi-primitive area to pitch your tent. The campground is situated near Quanah Parker Lake and is also an awesome spot to watch the sunset. Don't forget to grab some firewood for after sunset, and a cooler to ice down your beverages. This a great spot for weekend getaways!

Getting there: In order to reach the Bison Trailhead, turn off of Highway 49 onto NW Indiahoma Rd. You will begin to see signs for the parking lot that leads to the trail.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Firewood
  • Cooler
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Camping, Hiking

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



5.7 Miles

Elev. Gain:

829 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

about 14 hours ago

Weekend Trip

The trail is a great option for anyone in the area looking for a short weekend trip. Doris campground isn't too busy if you visit outside of a holiday weekend, but either way I would recommend looking for the primitive sites to stay away from the crowds. As Korey mentioned in the description; catching a sunrise or sunset on the lake is well worth the trip

about 14 hours ago

Great Hike

This is one of favorite hikes in the refuge.

3 months ago

7 months ago

A great hike

This is one of my favorite hikes from my childhood. A few fellow hikers but not many, this is one of the places where one can really achieve some solitude in the wilderness...for a spell, at least. Stay on the trail and beware of snakes and centipedes. Wear gaiters. Enjoy.

7 months ago

11 months ago

Wichita Mountains is incredible!

The Wichita Mountains is quite a gem in Oklahoma, and it's got fantastic hiking trails from the novice to the expert hiker. The Bison Trail is family friendly and on it there are definitely lots of wildlife to see with great views of the mountains! Doris Campground is a well kept campground and it situated on Quanah Parker Lake, which is convenient for fishing and kayaking.

11 months ago

Added by Korey Taylor

The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

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