So, I started on the south side entrance. It is extremely easy to find and easy to follow the trails. But if you want a more challenging and adventurous trip. Get to where the the lane splits and you can either go to the trail or the waterfall and go to the trail. Shortly after the little water basin with the little overflow the trail crosses a creek. After that stay to the right and start climbing. Anything you can do to stay away from the beaten trail. Lots of challenging climbs and descents. Makes you think and plan a route. And if u ever get lost make sure u have your trail app on and it will give you the general idea of where u are. I spent a good 3 hours just walking the rock walls and exploring the rock rooms. Than I took a detour on my way back to the start and hit the waterfall. It's small but still really cool to see. I won't say that I swam in the hole at the base of the waterfall cuz that would be wrong...
Did most of this trail on Easter and it was virtually empty besides our group. Absolutely stunning views of the reserve! Definitely didn't expect to be going through a canyon in Oklahoma. The boulder field towards the end was tricky and took some fairly difficult navigating, but it was a blast! Next time, we'll make sure to finish it up and summit on the adjacent trail.
Strenuous? Yes. Rigorous? Yes again. Fun? Yes again. Someone please tell me what animal is leaving large piles of dung deep into the wilderness trail. There's no way a steer is getting down there. Can steer fly? Would definitely recommend to hiking enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to have a common garter snake slither over their boots.
Very fun trail with lots of backcountry options. From the sunset trail head you can access the backcountry and get great views with options to continue on and see things like the Crab Eyes (two boulders on a ridge that look like their namesake). You can continue to follow the trail towards the Treasure Lake campground but beware that there is a massive boulder field in the middle of the trail. We've never gone through them because we take our dog hiking but if your up for it I've heard scrambling through it is lots of fun (be careful for snakes hiding or bees/wasps). Once your past the field (or if you start from the treasure lake trail head) the southern part of the trail cuts through a canyon and is gorgeous. Several side trails take you to a waterfall or the top of Mt. Lincoln. Trail is vey rocky, lots of cacti, and I've heard snakes are an issue in warmer months (though I haven't seen one yet). Be aware, be careful with your footing and you'll be fine.
My kids and I had a great time hiking here and exploring. There is not a potty there which would have been nice but the HQ wasn't to far away and they let us use theirs. I hope to get back before we head out of town and explore and climb a little more.
Hiked this on April 3rd. Trail well marked for the most part. It's not what you expect for Oklahoma , but neither is the rest of the Wichita Mountains. The views and exposed large granite rocks are awesome. It would be nice if the backcountry permits were a little easier to get. I was told they were booked but yet I saw not a single tent. Obviously I did not cover all 5000 acres though. The uneven terrain can make for a moderately strenuous hike. Be careful of getting rim rocked if you go off trail.