Explore the most popular birding trails in Charons Garden Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Elk Mountain Trail

hiking
3 days 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!

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!

14 days ago

Really nice trail with great views and optional rock climbing at the end of the trail. The trail could’ve been better marked, but the all trails map kept me on track.

Nice trail. Gorgeous view.

14 days ago

Great view. Fun climb.

hiking
24 days 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
29 days 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.

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.

This a great hike. The view is amazing.

the path is a little rugged but I guess that is the part of the fun of hiking. when you get to the summit you are rewarded with a great view.

Once you hit summit, this is a real challenge. I’d rate it from difficult to very difficult. It’s more like bouldering than hiking.

Beautiful trail. The hike up was enjoyable. I think it would benefit if it had some trail markers on the main trail. Has a lot of offshoot trails and someone could easily get turned around if they weren't familiar with land nav. I took. couple of them on the way down. One of them led me too a more difficult rocky area. To me made it more enjoyable but could see someone getting hurt. The view from the top was amazing.

Many of the trails at the wildlife refuge are hard to follow but luckily this one is fairly easy to follow. The view at the top is beautiful and I like that it’s a little workout without being too strenuous! We have done this trail many times, it’s my favorite in the area!

Pretty good trail not very well marked but easy to follow. Went in the middle of the day which was a bad idea because it was so hot but the shade on the way up what nice. Once at the top I pretty much just got off the trail and free roamed which was nice. Great view at the top and real fun to boulder jump. One of the best parts about my hike was seeing a huge collared lizard. Overall it was nice easy trail and would definitely recommend going to if in town.

hiking
3 months ago

What a gem tucked away in Oklahoma. I traveled to Lawton for work and found this trail. I was able to hike to the top and back in just under 2.5 hours, although I wanted to keep going. I was racing the sunset since I ventured out after 5p that day. When you get to the top of the trail you can see for miles, and you wouldn’t know at the trail head, but there are some really beautiful rock formations you can explore and climb once you get to the top. Very much wanted to spend more time on this trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Very rocky with vertical gain making it moderate to difficult. However, my 9 year did fine. At the top, the area opens up wide with lots of side trails to explore. from the top go southwest for bouldering fun. take plenty of water.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is beautiful and not too difficult. As you ascend Elk Mountain, the trail is partially shaded by blackjack trees which turn yellow and gold in autumn. The trail up the mountain can be tricky and is very rocky. I suggest good ankle support and extra water.

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely got lost and ended up talking the old waterfall down

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful trail! My only notes:

- Wear sunscreen and/or bring a hat!! This trail has almost no shade the entire way.
- One bottle of water is NOT enough! Please prepare and bring a camelback or a backpack that can hold 2-3 bottles of water.
- There are NO trail markers so you have to pay constant attention. You see a sign at the very beginning and that's it friends.
- I highly recommend hiking shoes/boots for this terrain. This trail has a lot of stair stepping and tons of rocks so you need shoes that have grip and can protect your ankles. It would be so easy to roll/sprang/snap some ankles here - exercise caution!

I just cannot stress the water enough. Maybe 3-5% of this trail has shade. Please, be prepared and take care of yourself, your children and your pets!

Great views

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail, fairly easy, it’s pretty easy to stray from the trail to boulder and then get right back to it. Fun to get pretty close to the wildlife as well.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was long and easy to follow. I did have to whip out my All Trails app to see which trail to take once and I was amazed with how helpful it was! The trail is very rocky and really gets the heart pumping! I wouldn’t bring kids because of how difficult climbing can be after awhile. This trail exceeded my expectations, we plan to go back!

The trail was very well kept even if it was early in the season. Bit cold and windy when I went but it made the boulder hopping a lot more fun that way. Gorgeous views!

hiking
5 months ago

Great moderate hike reasonably close to OKC. My 4 year old daughter conquered this climb today and had a blast. Fairly rocky terrain, so wear proper footwear.

great trail just beautiful

Started at Sunset TH. Nice trail, especially for the hike down the Valley of the Boulders (where you'll also find the 'Apple & Pear'). Before the Valley trail is very obvious. Arriving at the boulders search for the trail at the right hillside (don't start to scramble down the boulders). After the Valley the trail sometimes gets less well defined in certain spots. Follow main trail till parking lot at southern end of trail (various spur trails here). Crab Eyes was part of the trail, I made it just below the eye catching rock.

Short, but beautiful hike in the wilderness area of the refuge. There are no markers (unlike the Dog Run Hollow trail system) but the trail is easy to follow. At the top of the mountain various (gradually disappearing) trails lead to different lookout points.

6 months ago

Nice hike but not as interesting as Elk Mountain Trail, the trail through the Valley of the Boulders/Apple & Pear (both start at the same TH) or The Narrows Trail. Views are beautiful because trail crosses the plain before arriving at the two eyed rock formation.

hiking
6 months ago

We did Elk Mountain twice, Crab Eyes, Kite Trail, and Bison Trail all while carrying 45 lb backpacks. Great conditioning for some of upcoming endurance races. In total our hiking time was 7 hours, we burned over 2700 calories and took 42k steps. The trails were great and the weather was perfect!

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