As mentioned on my Instagram, I had been working long hours at work to the point that my mental health was deteriorating. I realized that I needed a break from emails, Slack, and work assignments so I took a week off. My husband wanted to visit his family in Oklahoma so I told him we could go with two conditions: I get some rest and we visit the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
I went to the refuge on my first trip to Oklahoma to visit Josiah’s family, and it became one of my favorite places to visit. I enjoyed getting semi-close to animals in a natural habitat and seeing them interact with nature.
With over 59,000 acres, the refuge contains various animal and plant species to keep you on your toes. Not only can visitors enjoy the beauty of the sanctuary, but they can hunt, fish, and have a great time.
Things To Do
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has many things to do for the entire family. We went with Josiah’s grandparents and sister. Other than driving through the park, we did some other cool things.
Mount Scott is located in the Eastern part of the refuge and is one of Oklahoma’s most well-known mountains. People can get up the mountain via motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, or even hike it.
We went on Labor Day, which meant that people filled up the roads trying to get to the top. I have never tried going up the mountain as I am not a very experienced hiker, and the altitude gives me headaches sometimes. We usually just drive up and explore the rocks.
Many people think the view isn’t worth the drive or the hike, but I don’t see it this way. There is just something beautiful about being high up the ground, and that is coming from someone afraid of heights.
I have only visited the Visitor Center once, and it was super informational. The center included maps, checklists, exhibits, and so much information about the terrain, environment, and refuge. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the center was closed on my recent visit, and I have no pictures from my previous trip.
I highly suggest stopping here first before going on your adventure.
I have never been to the lakes, but I have heard stories about how refreshing the water feels when the heat is taking over. There are many lakes to choose from, so you can find something secluded if needed.
The Holy City of the Wichitas contains full-sized buildings and structures that are compared to Israel during Biblical times. You can explore the area finding yourself near watchtowers, the Lord’s Supper building, and much more. Fun Fact: the site is known to be the home of the nation’s longest-running Easter passion play.
You don’t have to be religious to stop by. The beauty of the buildings, architecture, and environment make it a must-stop while visiting the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. I didn’t get the chance to stop by during this most recent time due to COVID, but hopefully, it will open up soon.
Prairie Dog Town
Prairie Dog Town is probably my top favorite place in the entire refuge. I enjoy watching the prairie dogs communicate and play with each other in the wild. I will say that there is a barrier between humans and the prairie dogs so that the animals won’t feel like they are in danger. But honestly, I can look at them for hours.
Honestly, if you don’t feel like stopping, you can always drive around the area to find wildlife doing their thing. The first time I visited, I spotted a Longhorn with her baby. The roads are not filled with vehicles and there are signs everywhere to let you know where you are located.
You honestly never know what you will find when you are at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
Here are a few other photos taken by my husband or by me.