Black Mesa is located in Oklahoma's panhandle along the tri-state border with Colorado and New Mexico. Black Mesa takes its name from the layer of black lava rock that coated the mesa about 30 million years ago. Visitors can hike to the top of the plateau, Oklahoma's highest point at 4,973 feet above sea level, in Black Mesa Nature Preserve. The nature preserve is operated by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department in conjunction with Black Mesa State Park. The nature preserve consists of approximately 1,600 acres where visitors can hike and enjoy 23 rare plants and 8 rare animal species. The unique area marks the point where the Rocky Mountains meet the shortgrass prairie and many species are at the easternmost or westernmost point of their natural range. Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve are a birder's paradise with golden eagles, scaled quail, black-billed magpies, and pinyon jays being frequently spotted. Other wildlife in the area includes black bear, bobcat, mountain lion, mule deer, bighorn sheep and antelope. Located about 15 miles from the nature preserve, Black Mesa State Park is adjacent to Lake Carl Etling and offers RV, tent campsites, picnic facilities, boat ramps and a mooring buoy, trout fishing in season, a playground, restrooms with showers and a group camp with bunkhouses. Black Mesa Nature Park is open dawn to dusk only. Allow at least four hours to hike to the top of the mesa from the parking area and back. No restrooms are available in the nature park and no camping is allowed. But both are available at Black Mesa State Park. Hikers need to be prepared for high temperatures during summer and bring plenty of water. NOTE: There is no boat access to Lake Carl Etling at this time. For specific lake conditions, please contact the park office.

If you are looking a picturesque hike like you might find in the rockies, this is not it, but it does have its charm. Worth going if it is convenient on your travels even if you don't have any interest in bagging a state highpoint. The end of the hike is a little anti-climactic as you can see taller things in the near distance in other states and is functionally a slightly higher spot in a very flat mesa/field, however the midpoint of the hike up the mesa wall offers a gorgeous vista of the other small mesas in the area. For us, this was a perfect spot to camp to break up a trip to Taos and get a little exercise.

GPS said 8.4 miles, 755 feet elevation gain, and 3 hours 7 minutes. Weather was great. The hike up the mesa left us briefly winded but overall is a pretty easy hike (if you're a hiker this is an easy trail - do keep in mind that this is 3-4.5 hours of moderate exercise - decide for yourself if you are up for that).

Random note - take a picture at the top of the hike and bring it to the 93 year old gentlemen at the museum in Kenton (along the highway, there is a sign) and he will give you a certificate of achievement!

If you're looking at my map, my gps got confused and lost us for a second and then picked back up closer to the trail head. We came back the exact same way as we came in. So no, we did not cut through the prairie on the way back like my map says. Don't do that! Stick to the trail. The hike was absolutely gorgeous and fairly easy except for mile 2 to mile 3. The incline starts at mile 2 and gets pretty strenuous. But the miles before and after that are very flat. To those of you coming from within Oklahoma from the east, make sure you stop in Boise City for gas/food if you need it! There is nothing past that! I would definitely recommend this hike if you are a history buff and hiker like myself. We are 6 hours away but we came on Friday and camped in the park until our hike on Sunday. Definitely worth it!

Completed this the day after Christmas. The trail is very well marked. Most of the hike was easy except for about a half mile stretch after mile 2 where you start the incline. The views during the incline were my favorite part.

I would definitely recommend this trail if you have never been before. It was a 5 hour drive for me though, I would not make the drive again just for the hike.

Went up on New Years Day with a buddy. My first hike. was flat for the first 2 miles, pretty steep incline up for the next mile, then flat the last mile. amazing view from the top.

I did this almost 15 years ago and for being really young (10) it was quite difficult. Today I don't think it would be very hard. The trail is quite long and the climb to the top of the mesa was somewhat hard. The views were good and the satisfaction of being at the highest point in the state was great too. Watch out for cactus!

Not hard except for a short bit while actually climbing the Mesa. Otherwise it's pretty flat. Easy to follow the trail. It was very windy on top of the Mesa. It's probably not always like this, though We got sand-blasted a little, but the hike was fun, and the view from the top was pretty cool.

hiking
Sunday, July 24, 2016

A nice quiet trail, easy at the bottom, moderate incline at mile 3, easier incline near the top. The surrounding landscape has a true old west feel. Best in the spring and fall.

hiking
Sunday, May 29, 2016

hiking
Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fantastic view from the top. Been up 2 times, once with my son and his Boy Scout troop, and once with a Trail Life USA troop! Great times, and gave the boys one more adventure under their belt!