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The Mountains Are Calling ... from Oklahoma?!

Oklahoma is nice because it's pretty centrally located so logistically you can drive pretty much anywhere in the country in a couple days time. Up until this weekend, I thought I had to drive a minimum of about 9 hours before I hit mountains, but that's where I was wrong. Oklahoma has mountains! And from where we live, we only had to drive 3 hours to reach them.

We decided to make a weekend trip out of our adventure so we could spend the most time possible exploring the Wichita Mountains near Lawton, Ok. We stayed in Oklahoma City which was only an hour from our destination. It's a nice little drive watching the sky open up as the trees become shorter and more sparse and the dirt turns from brown to red. The windmills look like giants in the distance and go on for miles. It's incredible to me how one part of a state can look so vastly different from another.

The Wichita Mountains is a wildlife refuge, so there are bison roaming the land along with all sorts of other wildlife. Among the 652 buffalo, we spotted probably fifteen or so. We also saw prairie dogs, steer and elk, and read about many other animals within the refuge. There are so many trails to hike and lakes to explore there is no way you could do it all in one day. If you are a hiker, definitely plan to spend the entire weekend here. Or better yet, camp there and stay the whole week!

We hit the highlights while seeing as much as we could, and spending time in the spots that we found most interesting. We took a couple short hikes that were super enjoyable - most of the hikes within the area are classified "easy" - so most aren't very difficult at all. The best part of the trip for me was Mount Scott. It is the tallest mountain there and you can either drive up or hike it (definitely not classified "easy"). If you want to drive, the road opens at noon and closes at sunset. If you want to hike, I would do it as early as you can to avoid vehicles, and try to be out of there by noon. The roads are narrow as you wind up the mountain and there is not much off-road space for hikers. 

We drove to the top and once we reached the summit, it felt like we were in an entirely different state. This is not the Oklahoma I've known my entire life. The prairies, the lakes, the trees, the caves - now that is the Oklahoma I know. This was totally different, and it was absolutely beautiful. 

There is a large parking lot up there, but no facilities, so make sure you use the restroom before going up and have all the snacks/drinks you need. We saw one family with a picnic lunch up there, which would be incredible for the views, but remember you're on top of a mountain so the wind is no joke! They spent more of their time chasing down their lunch than actually eating it, but I bet they have some beautiful photos. And certainly a wonderful memory.

There is also a "Holy City" which was really cool, with a monument that has one stone from the Mount of Olives near where Jesus was crucified. Apparently they put on the biggest Easter play in the state out there. It's actually happening there this coming weekend in case anyone is looking for some plans.  I can only imagine how awesome it would be to see that in this setting. 

The kids loved stopping and climbing the massive rocks and being able to see for miles. It's a little boys wonderland as there is nothing off limits and you're completely free to do whatever you want to do. It's nice not to have rules and just be!

There is the cutest little town at the base of the mountains called Medicine Park. They were having some sort of festival there when we went through. There's a river running right through the town and they stock it with trout this time of year, so my husband and kids made sure to spend some time there fishing. I sat and enjoyed one of my own favorite sports - people watching. Even better, festival go-er people watching. 

And finally, you must save your appetite and carve out some time to eat at Meers Store and Restaurant. It is famous for the giant Meersburger that is big enough for sharing, and has been featured on the Food Network and countless magazines. The place is literally in the middle of nowhere so we were shocked to roll up to it and find a line 100+ people deep clear out to the parking lot. We couldn't come all this way and not eat there, and it was somewhere I've always wanted to go, so we planted ourselves in the line and waited for a solid two hours for our table.

I have to be real - the cheese fries, fried peppers & onions with ranch, and cherry and peach cobblers with homemade vanilla ice cream were superb. But, the burger was just okay for me. Let's just say I wouldn't wait in line for 2 hours for one again. I am glad we did it, though. We had a great time and made a fun memory!

Depending on where you live - if you're looking for a fun day trip or weekend getaway, I certainly recommend making your way down to southwest Oklahoma to visit the Wichita Mountains. Even if you're not the hiking type, just driving through would be worth the trip. Sometimes you just need to hit the open road and enjoy something new this beautiful country has to offer. We had the best time! 

I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. My grandparents lived in Lawton when I was little and I can remember going to the mountains when we visited. There used to be a restaurant that was down in a cave. It was so cool. I don’t think it’s open anymore, this was 40 plus years ago. Seeing your post brought back some great memories 😊. I’m just a couple hours away so need to make a trip.

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