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Oklahoma City, OK: Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge

ok

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Distance: 3.7 miles


Watch for bison, elk and other migratory species on this easy 3.7-mile lollipop loop through oak forests and grassland in southwest Oklahoma's Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge.
  • Cache Lake
  • Map
  • Fawn Creek
  • Outcropping
  • Flower
  • Prairie
  • Descent
  • Shoreline
  • Bluff
  • Bluff
  • Cow
  • French Lake
  • Structures
  • Shoreline

This easy route combines the Longhorn and Buffalo trails for a trip to French Lake. Beginning at the Dog Run Hollow Trailhead, follow the Longhorn Trail east, crossing Fawn Creek and rolling uphill then down through an open oak forest. After a moderate descent, turn north onto the Bison Trail. Ahead, the path winds through grassy prarie and passes a stock pond before turning right at the next trail junction for an eastbound descent. The descent ends at Cache Creek—if the water is low, cross the creek to a 40-foot bluff offering great views of French Lake and Elk Mountain to the west. The trail skirts French Lake for 0.4 mile before gradually turning south past an alternative trailhead, closing this route’s loop, and backtracking through the prairie.

The wildlife refuge is home to many species including bison and elk—look for signs of the park’s 650-head herd of bison and listen for elk bugling in the fall. For more information visit the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

-Mapped by Chris Jennings

Trail Reviews & Comments

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Steve J.
Nov 01, 2013

This is an awesome trail with lots of natural sights. I used these trails to condition my children's legs and feet for longer summer hikes we do as a family. They love the ability to see the bison and elk (normally early morning or early evening in the fall) and allows my wife to take many photos. These shorter trails also give us the opportunity for my kids to learn how to use their equipment like water filters, backpacking stoves to boil water, etc. If you are near SW Oklahoma, it is worth the trip and for those who are less experienced backpackers. If you are not a novice backpacker, this trail would not be for you. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge does also offer a few back-country camping passes each night as well.

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