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I was a little disappointed with this trail. I hiked the Rough Canyon Tail before and even though it was a much shorter hike, it was more enjoyable.

This was stated in another review but I will say it too: "Don’t use the trail maps provided by the State Park they are in no way accurate with the trails." I started at Deep Ford Campground and followed the blue blazes. I was very quickly off from the state park map. Blazes were easy to spot and follow though so I continued on. Took me to the Lake Carlton overlooks but I never got close to Lake Wayne Wallace so my way back, I attempted to stick more to the state park map. Following the yellow blazes (horse trail) kept me closer to the lake but even those did not follow the state park map. It did get me to a very nice overlook over Lake Wayne Wallace but I got turned around in a few places and had to bushwack a few times to get back to the blue blazes or I would of ended up on the wrong side of the lake and nowhere near my car.

Regardless, that is not the reason for my low rating. I don't mind getting a little lost. The trail was loud - walking near Lake Carlton, you can hear the highway the entire time. The overlooks were not that great in the sense that you never really felt completely surrounded by nature. You could see the campgrounds, cars, bridges, buildings...

Total at the end was 8.6 miles for me.

hiking
9 days ago

Tons of fun. Opens up to a very wide, rocky summit allowing you to Boulder over some very large pieces. Great time and not too challenging for a leisurely afternoon.

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail with an amazing view. Fantastic for beginning hikers and campers like myself.

Hiked 4.8 total miles including this trail. Hard to navigate with overgrowth and downed trees in many areas. New owner plans to fix it up. Perfect weekend with gorgeous fall color. Nice water on the trail and a lot of diversity from sandstone and prairie grass to cedars, maple and big oak trees.

Great hike! However, we lost the trail a couple of times, but we were able to find it again quickly. There were a lot of hikers. Beautiful scenery!

I enjoyed this ride. I didn’t get to ride the whole trail by any means. I took the #4 trail at first because it is the first trail you come to. I followed it in a good sized circle then when I came back to the main road I decided to follow it wherever it went. To head out I went back to an inlet to part of trail #4. The trail comes to a T right takes you back to the main road (right follows trail #4) left takes you down the rest of the main trail (unknown territory for me).

hiking
23 days ago

great hike! trails are a little difficult to find at times. but you will find your way! beautiful views from up top.

hiking
24 days ago

I went out by myself. I had been before. It was a perfect day to hike or rock hop. I traveled around the perimeter of the mountain. Super fun if you’re up to the challenge. I had to backtrack a couple times when my trail didn’t pan out. I drank 1.5 liters of water (it’s all I took) 2.5 liters would’ve been better it it was hot outside more. Spent 4.25 hours up on the mountain.

tried trail 1 again, ended on 4 until it ran into 1, turned the wrong way and ended up back at the trailhead. oh well, enjoyed it anyway and each time we hike it I figure it out even better.

hiking
26 days ago

It's a short gentle climb that is easy to combine with the longer Charon's Garden trail. The scenery along the mountain and at the top is nice. The views are ok at the top. There are areas where the trail is a bit difficult to follow because of criss-crossing side trails.

My husband and I had so much fun on this trail! There are plenty of large boulders to climb and see amazing views, rock formations, and two waterfalls. We took our time with this trail because we were enjoying going off the trail and doing our own thing.
There are multiple places where the trail is a little difficult to follow, and the trail map doesn't help a whole lot. Also, there are some places that would be very challenging for elderly people or children. Overall, so much fun!

Took Trail 1. Many changes of topography and a slight incline. Went with my kids. Beautiful day. Great trail.

on Elk Mountain Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. We’ve had rain so the trail is pretty wet/muddy in places. 10/14/18. Lots of kiddos on the trail and elk to watch from and on top of the mountain. Get outside and enjoy this Oklahoma hike!

Took trail 4. It was okay but too much of it is on a gravel road. On the road the trail markers are few and confusing. Will go again in the future and use trail 1.

I started later in the day I wanted to...it got hot out there! I started from Sunset and took the trail south all the way to the Post Oaks trailhead. The trail was easy to follow to the boulder field and I saw two deer on the way. I didn’t realize there is supposed to be a trail around the right (west) side of the boulder field so I climbed over the boulders in the way down the trail. If you’re not careful you can slip and fall and get hurt, so make sure you stay within your abilities.

Once I left the boulder field the trail started to become hard to follow at times. There are a few side trails and no markings at all. I had a tool map and limited gps reception on my phone, so once I ended up off course for a way I would backtrack and find the right path. That turned out to be the theme of the day. I saw what I assume to be parts of a buffalo skeleton in a small creek. Once I neared the Post Oak falls the trail(s) kind of went all over the place. I knew if I continued to follow the creek downstream I would end up at the other trailhead.

Overall, this is a rewarding hike and it offers unique opportunities that you won’t get in other parts of Oklahoma. Make sure you’re familiar with the trail before you start and keep an eye out for the landmarks to remember where you’re headed!

Nice trail. Gorgeous view.

Good experience! No ticks but we got chiggers. Dog loved it. Got a bit lost the trail markers are not very helpful, thank goodness for GPS. Will definitely use again.

The Kite Trail travels on top of a neat little gorge, although the numerous offshoots can make it a bit difficult to follow at times. The dam crossing had some water flowing over it, but if you’re careful you can cross it if it is t too high. The water was only an inch or so deep in the middle past if the dam, but any higher than that and I wouldn’t do it. The water covered part was a little slick, and a misstep would have sent me 15’ down the spillway into some rocks or off into the deep side with nothing to grab onto.

Once I hit the loop it was pretty easy going. There are trail markers but at times it isn’t entirely clear which direction you need to go. There isn’t a lot of cell service there (Verizon) so make sure you have a map or a gps app on your phone.

I decided to cut my trip short because I didn’t feel like crossing the dam and taking the Kite Trail back to the trailhead so I went off trail near the 40-foot hole and headed east. An animal trail followed the creek towards the parking lot and I was able to cross the creek across one of the parking lots where bushes and other debris piled up and the creek was able to spread out and get shallower. I’m not sure if that would have been wise following heavy rains though.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great little hike with lovely views of the refuge. By far my favorite for elevated views. It’s a relatively short hike but be prepared for a lot of elevation gain quickly — so make sure to bring adequate water.

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely trail, really. Hubs and I never saw anything clearly marking the trail though, so maybe we didn’t really hike this one. I read the reviews and lots of folks say it’s marked, but we seriously only saw one white fence post with red spray paint that said “SLT”. That’s it. I also never saw anywhere to refill water, like another poster mentioned. We did get some beautiful views and pictures.

hiking
2 months ago

Sam and joe and I hiked to the top and back quickly. Trail disappeared and reappeared many times. The top was fantastic with large boulders to climb and jump around on and a great view in all directions.

This was a great hike up to the top of the Elk Mountain. This area is kind of unique because most of the surrounding area in Oklahoma is relatively flat. The trail was well kept and in good condition. The view at the top is great! Go slow and use caution for the uneven terrain, especially on the way back down. During the summer months be sure to wear a hat and bring plenty of fluids because of the heat and elevation gain going up the mountain.

2 months ago

This is a tough one (for me anyway). Long and lots of ups and downs. 1 full mile was a steady up hill clime. Beautiful sights though. My phone died with 4 miles left to go so map does not show all. It also says its a loop and it is but you must walk the road about 1 1/2 miles to get back to your car.

Have been many times. After the first steep part, the top is pretty level. You meet some nice folks but not usually a place to go for solitude. I have never been asked for my hunting/fishing license but looks like others have had to pay fines. For seniors, you can get a lifetime hunting/fishing license for a one-time fee; a lot cheaper than paying a fine.

We camped at Dogwood campgrounds then jumped the road to start at Cedar Bluff then we took a right to finish the Skyline Trail. Amazingly marked except the last mile or so when it comes to a dead end at the power lines and then you pretty much keep going straight into some over your head grown grass but there is a trail in there that takes you back to the path. Be sure you will have plenty of water with a filter as it is has some pretty steep parts that make you work. We only came across one very nice campground about 4 miles in from Cedar Bluff start. A black bear did end up running us out of our campsite so they are there and please bring bear spray! We also walked the four mile road back to the campsite vs turning around and going back through the trail so keep that in mind also. Enjoy :)

hiking
2 months ago

There are seed ticks! You will get hundreds or so on you! Otherwise great trail, well maintained, the dogs had fun.

Nice trail with some good ups and downs, but not well marked, especially at the top. I expected more views of the river, but there were only a couple. We both got bad chigger bites in spite of using bug spray. You definitely need a hunting/fishing/conservation pass. We got approached by a ranger.

Kite Trail has a lot of off-shoots that can be confusing, but Bison Trail is very well marked. We saw buffalo (2), lonhorns (3), a snake, (1) black widow, and 5 other people (that's it!). I was surprised how few people were out there, given that we hiked it on Labor Day. When we arrived a little after 8 AM, we were the only car in the parking lot. It was great!

There were tons of tiny ticks. Bring lots of bug spray and water. This trail took about 2 miles an hour due to all the twists and turns. It's very easy to get going in the wrong direction. Parts of the trail are hard to determine if you are on the right one. There are so many trails to choose from. I will definitely go back in the fall once the tick have gone.

Worth the hike, definitely a lot of uneven terrain, took my five year old up and she made it, but she had to scoot down a lot of parts on her backside or me holding her hand. A couple of spots in the trail that cause you to zig when you should of zagged to get to the top of the trail, this app helped a lot when it came to those situations. Not much shade either so plan accordingly.

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