Just like our trip to Devil’s Den State Park, the Wichita Mountains were an opportunity for Josh and I to break in some of our new hiking gear in anticipation for our trips to Zion and Yosemite National Parks.
The Wichita Mountains are located in Southwestern Oklahoma. You may be wondering why one would go to Oklahoma, and you’d be justified in wondering that. Luckily (or unluckily?) for us, we have family there. No offense to Oklahoma, I am from there and I love the state and the people, but nature-wise, it just doesn’t have much going on. Regardless, we frequently make the drive up from Dallas to OKC to see my family. Since Texas doesn’t have much going on in the nature department either (aside from Big Bend, which might as well be in another state since it’s 8 hours away), we figured that we’d check out the Wichita Mountains on the way back from one of our trips to OKC. It would give us a chance to break in our new hiking boots before any of our bigger trips.
When we first arrived we stopped at the visitor center to pick up a map. Right outside of the visitor center were several bison just hanging around. There were lots of people getting pretty close to the bison, so we follow suit. All of a sudden one of the park employees came running at us, screaming for us to get away from the bison. Apparently, you if you put your arm out with your hand in a fist, and the bison isn’t covered by your fist, you’re way too close. Oops…
We admired the bison a little longer (from a distance), then drove over to our trailhead. With our brand new gear, we started down the trail and began to realize that Oklahoma was a little cooler than we thought.
There were lots of big boulders on the trail we’d chosen, and a little bit of scrambling was required which made the trail feel like more of an actual workout rather than just a casual stroll outside. We also got to explore lots of little ‘nooks and crannies’ in the terrain that made the hike feel more adventurous!
Eventually, we came across a great spot for a break and photo opp, but a lot of other people were thinking the same thing, so we didn’t get to enjoy the scenery in solitude. Still, it was nice to sit and take in a part of Oklahoma that we hadn’t imagined existed.
All in all, the Wichita Mountains exceeded our expectations and we were happy to break in our hiking boots there!