Climb at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

 - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Zachary Heiliger

One of the best kept secrets hidden behind rolling plains and waving wheat! Oklahoma's Wichita Mountains is a quiet and secluded personal Joshua Tree in the heart of the Mid-Southern States featuring large granite boulders and great exposure!

The Wichita Mountains is a paradise for those trapped in the flat lands of Oklahoma and Texas! From Oklahoma City it's approx. 2 hours 15 minutes, and from Dallas/Ft Worth (TX) approx. 4 hours.

Talk about a place that holds tons of potential and houses some of the best climbs in the state! Over the many years climbing at the Wichita's, it is still a humbling experience. The quality of the climbs and the technical nature in which the routes were set can challenge even the most advanced climbers. Please use caution!

Climbs in the Wichita's range from 5.5 to 5.13a (Tied to the Whipping Post, Sport). You can find both Trad and Sport climbs, along with a countless number of Bouldering problems just waiting to be discovered! The main Climbing Areas are Charon's Gardens, The Meadows, Mount Scott (Upper and Lower), and The Narrows.

For Sport climbers, check out Echo Dome in Charon's Gardens for a good introduction to the Wichita's. For harder climbs continue to Lost Dome (note, this area gets its name for a reason, be prepare to get 'lost' trying to find it). Follow along Sunset Trail to avoid veering off onto game-trails. Head South towards the hard to miss boulders that make up the formation Crab-Eyes. Lost Dome is hidden Southwest behind the 'Eyes'. Have Fun Exploring!

For beginning Trad climbers looking for a warm-up or introduction, try Upper Mount Scott or Elk Slabs (Elk Mountain, Charon's Gardens). For advanced Trad climbers, the park is yours for the taking! Get the OKLAHOMA SELECT A CLIMBER'S GUIDE By Tony Mayse for detailed descriptions of available climbing.

You can stay overnight at Doris Campground (Primitive, Tent Camping & Full Electric). Backcountry camping is by permit only (available at Visitor Center).

After a hard day of climbing, treat yourself to the famous Meers Restaurant, home of the "Best Burger in Oklahoma" made from local grass fed Longhorn beef, located just outside of the park to the North.

If heading into the Wichita's from the East, you will drive past the Town of Medicine Park. Go ahead and venture North into town and check it out! The historic town at the base of Mount Scott has more to offer than it appears - take notice of the unique cobble-stone houses. And while in town, stop into Basecamp Adventure Outfitters for any gear or to talk to some local climbers that are busy turning the Wichita's into their own personal playground!

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Rock Climbing
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area


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Great Day Hike

Great for a day hike or weekend camp out. A quick fix for your wanderlust.

Wichita Mountains is a great place for a day trip or a couple of days of backpack camping. its a short trip from OKC and there is anything from 20 minute sight seeing hikes to fairly rugged hikes and camping. It's just a good all around outdoor get away no matter what your skills or interests. It's like a miniature Colorado in my opinion , a must see if you haven't yet.

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Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Crab Eyes

    Starting from the Sunset Trailhead/Parking Lot on far west side of the refuge, hike west out of the parking lot a few hundred feet to the trailhead that heads into a well-developed trail through the trees. This is different than the Elk Mountain t...

    4 miles 500 ft gain

  • Summit Elk Mountain

    Elk Mountain is one of the tallest granite peaks in the beautiful Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Its summit is at 2,270 feet, and the Elk Mountain Trail allows hikers to be able to view the Charon Garden Wilderness and the Wichita Mountains Wi...

    2.4 miles 590 ft gain

  • Hike to the Lower Rock Rooms via Charon's Garden Trail

    This hike can be difficult for a dog. There is one area where crossing the boulders can be dangerous. Use caution and turn around if you're not comfortable taking kids or pets over the some of the boulder jumps. They are easy but there is a drop b...

    3 miles 100 ft gain

  • Hike the Wichita Mountains' Bison Trail

    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...

    5.7 miles 829 ft gain