The mountains in Southwestern Oklahoma mirror the changing cultural landscape as well as the state's physical geography. The
Arbuckles, a beautiful small range with waterfalls and natural swimming holes, was the meeting place of Chickasaw, Wichita, Kiowa, and
Comanche Indians. White and black settlers enjoyed the waters and scenery, too.

The Arbuckles are geological wonders as the exposed rock provides a perfect outdoor laboratory for rock hounds. The Wichita range is a
little strange looking; they seem to rise from the prairie out of nowhere. They are the highest hills within the Red River Mountain Tour,
rising as high as 2,200 and more feet.

The Wichita range hugs
Fort Sill Military Reservation, and its hills figure prominently in the history of the Native Americans in the area.
Quanah Parker's ranch is located just south of the Wichita, and the Apache Tribe lives within the mountains. The range extends west over
Altus.

Within these ranges you'll discover the vegetation boundaries that make this area unique - the
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
preserves the landscape that changes from the fertile, timbered meadows and hills of the east, to the arid and scrubby plains of the west.
Turner Falls in the Arbuckle Mountains lies off US 77. The bottom of
the falls contains a natural and deep swimming hole.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area contains beautiful and
intimate scenery.
Turner Falls City Park
The falls are owned and maintained by the city of Davis. They allow camping, and have some cool Tipis to spend the night in. Off of US 77
northwest of Ardmore, southwest of Davis.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area
This national park might not be as spectacular as most, but it has quiet, contemplative beauty. Easy hiking paths surrounding a ghost town,
and very smelly sulphur springs, makes this park a fun family outing. Downtown Sulphur is now home to the Artesian, a high-end resort
(prices are not too bad, though) with spas, massages, gambling, and wine. Sign me up! Located at Sulphur on OK 7.

Fort Sill Military Reservation
Fort Sill has a LOT of history contained within its compounds. You can view the graves of Quanah Parker, Cynthia Anne Parker, Satanta,
Satank, and Geronimo, and enjoy the hills as well. North of Lawton on US 277/281/62 and Interstate 44.

Great Plains State Park
The name fools you - you think you'd see only flat land, but the Wichita Mountains make this park very curvy. North of Frederick on US 183.

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
There are buffalo in them thar hills. And lots of beautiful scenery. Make sure to drive up Mount Scott for breath taking views, then fish,
hike or swim at Medicine Park, one of Oklahoma's famed resort towns that is experiencing a current renaissance. After a day like that, it's
good to grab a burger and beer in Meers. OK 49 and OK 115 north of Fort Sill.
The Wichita Mountains - one of the oldest ranges in North America - rise like large prairie dog mounds out of the plains. The contrasts of colors
- the red earth, the brown hills, and the blue sky - make the Wichita an interesting photo study.
Southwestern Oklahoma - Meet The Plains
Things to See and Do in Southwestern Oklahoma
Medicine Park, a resort town at the base of the Wichitas, is known for its cobble stone architecture.
Mount Scott is considered a holy place by the Kiowas.
The old alignment of US 62, just east of Headrick, beckons to be discovered.
World-famous Meers serves up beer and burgers for fun-loving road trippers.
One of my better pictures: the "castle" at Turner Falls Park. Please ask permission before you use this. robin@redriverhistorian.com
Follow Me on the Mountains of Red River Valley Tour!

The Quachitas & Kiamichis of Little Dixie      Wichita & Arbuckle Mountains    North Texas Hill Country
Questions or comments? E-mail me: robin@redriverhistorian.com