Hike the Wichita Mountains' Bison Trail

Details

Distance

5.7 miles

Elevation Gain

829 ft

Route Type

Loop

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.

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Know for

Camping
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

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Reviews

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Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years 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

Great Hike

This is one of favorite hikes in the refuge.

🥈 Contributor

almost 5 years 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.

418 total saves

4.7/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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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