Want to see the greatest light show on earth? Look to the night sky at one of Oklahoma’s secluded stargazing hotspots. Enjoy awe-inspiring views from the back porch of a resort lodge with all the comforts of home, or take in the show from your backcountry campsite at a state park. Whether you join one of the orchestrated “star parties” in remote corners of the state or strike out on your own stargazing adventure, come to Oklahoma and see the universe in a whole new light.Learn More
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge & Visitor's Center
Hwy 115 & 49 Junction
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a one-of-a-kind destination in southwest Oklahoma. Located near Cache and Lawton, the refuge spans over 59,000 majestic acres and is home to free range buffalo, Texas longhorn cattle, prairie dogs, elk and deer. Hikers and photographers will be astounded by the amount of incredible scenery offered within the refuge.
Recreation opportunities include mountain biking, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, camping, picnic areas and fishing. The on-site Quanah Parker Nature and Visitor Center features exhibits on wildlife and habitats of the Wichita Mountains, as well as interactive and changing displays, artwork, videos, films and a bookstore. Periodically throughout the year, guests can schedule nature and wildlife tours that depart from the headquarters office either by foot, on bus or a combination of both.
Skilled hikers will enjoy the challenge of bouldering at Charons Garden Wilderness Area, which consists of just over two miles of rocky, rugged landscape, and there are a variety of trails for all experience levels. While visiting the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, drive to the top of Mount Scott, which stands 2,464 feet above sea level. A parking lot is available at the top of the mountain, so you can get out and enjoy the view.
Additional attractions located within the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge include the Holy City of the Wichitas, Quanah Parker Lake and the Parallel Forest. The Parallel Forest, which consists of large cedars planted exactly six feet apart from one another, stretches as far as the eye can see. Located just over one mile north of the intersection of Cache Meers Road and Meers Road, the entrance to the Parallel Forest has a small parking lot near the edge of the forest. The trees were originally planted in the early 1900s, but before they were large enough to harvest the area became a refuge.
The Forty-Foot Hole is another interesting and beautiful geographic feature of the Wichita Mountains. Near Lost Lake, Cache Creek flows through this small gorge creating several waterfalls as it tumbles over rock formations. It is located at the northwest end of the Narrows Canyon and is a great spot for hiking in the summer months.
Overnight camping within the refuge is available at the Doris Campground, which offers 47 tent sites, 23 RV sites with electric hookups and 20 sites located a short walking distance away along a trail. Backcountry camping is also available within the Charon’s Garden Wilderness Area.
Front Desk hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.
Sites with electric: $20
Primitive sites (no water or electric): $10
Park & walk to primitive sites: $8
Backcountry camping at Charons Garden Wilderness Area available by advance reservation only. The permit costs $2 per person. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the pricing listed above, prices are subject to change without notice.
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