nature trips



wild flowers


dogs on leash

kid friendly





trail running


Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has been a protected area since 1901, making it the oldest managed wildlife facility in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge was also instrumental in rescuing the American buffalo from extinction, making it an interesting player in North America's history. It covers almost 60,000 acres of rocklands, aquatic landscapes, mixed-grass prairie, and cross timbers that serves as a home for plants, birds, fish, and reptiles. Bison, longhorns, elk, river otter, burrowing owls and, prairie dogs are some of the highlights. The Refuge also houses Mount Pinchot which is the tallest mountain in the park at 2,479 feet. Mount Pinchot was named in honor of Gifford Pinchot who served as the first Chief of the United States Forest Service. A close second is Mount Scott, at 2,464 feet. There refuge is free to the public. A visitor center and bookstore on the refuge is open seven days a week. Public areas complete with 15 miles of hiking trails total 22,400 acres of the refuge while the remaining 37,000 acres are only accessible through guided tours as they serve as essential wildlife habitat. The most popular outdoor activities at the refuge are hiking, camping, fishing, bird and wildlife watching, and photography. Doris Campground (first come first served), Fawn Creek Campground (for organized educational groups), and backcountry camping in the Charon's Garden Wilderness Area are all available options. Contact the help center for reservations.

Easy hike, wish the tower was open and able to get inside for the view.

It was an extremely pretty trail. Great views, friendly folks, and an overall nice experience. The trail can be a bit hard to follow in some places, but it was well worth it.

This was a very enjoyable hike we did with our 23 month old in a pack.. The terrain goes from rocky to grassland to woodlands. However the Bison Trail is 8 not 6 miles. We cut off some of the bison trail by taking the Longhorn Trail where they intersect then getting back on the Bison trail on the other side... That was 7 miles exactly,
We did not see any buffalo except for two dead ones on the trail, however in our drive in and our drive out we say multiples, along with turkey, longhorn, multiple migrant birds.

Great Trail and will go back again.

My husband and I did this trail carrying our 15 month old in a pack and absolutely loved it! We did however skip the bouldering section as it was too risky with the little one. I would also highly recommend treking poles if you are carrying a little one. While the water level was low and we had no issue of crossing, I found it very helpful using the poles for extra balance throughout the trail with our daughter on my back. One thing that would make it a bit easier would be more clear signage (maybe cairns). There are several forks in the path and although we did get to our final destination just fine, having clear signs could limit damage to the habitat. We loved the views and will definitely return to this trail soon.

Temperatures were low and winds high but we enjoyed the hike. We didn't follow the trail as marked n hiked along the stream instead.

So if you stop at the visitor center, they can point out Narrows Trail. However, it is likely they will not point out Boulder Mountain. Leaving the Visitor Center, turn right. Once you get to the stop sign, turn right again. Head on that road until you see the sign for Lost Lake and follow that road. None of the trails are labeled. On the left side of the road, you will see Boulder Picnic Area (it was gated when we went). The sign outside will say reservation only. You can’t park there, but if you drive like .1 miles, there is an area that you can park on the side of the road. Anyways, you will see the Boulder Shelter (for us, behind the gate), and the trail starts right behind it. Everywhere I looked said different lengths for the trails. Some said about a mile round trip, up to 1.5 miles round trip. Don’t underestimate this. Only probably .2 of the trail is a trail, the rest is Boulder climbing. When you start the trail, take the first right. If it forks again, stay right. Cross over the creek. Once you get to the other side, follow the river until you see a trail breaking off to the right. After that, you will see the Boulders that you are going to climb. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail while we were up there, so it is known for solitude. Once you make your way up the boulders, you will be able to see pretty far out. You will get to see a small river, as well as land for a few miles. It was an awesome hike. Definitely wear hiking boots, long pants, and long sleeved shirts. Otherwise, you will get torn to pieces by thorn bushes. Warning: Coming back down is much harder than coming back up. Try to remember the route you took up. (We didn’t). It took us about 2 hours to complete, but we stopped a lot and enjoyed the area.

It was a great hike! Definitely one of the hardest hikes that I have been on. It was worth all of the work, and I will say that it’s definitely harder if you don’t follow the trail the whole way. Definitely a hike that you should take!;)

Good hike, I couldn’t have stayed on the trail if I hadn’t had the app, best trail yet

Makes for a great day adventure. Wonderful Canyon views A long with plenty of bodies of water to explore. Bring your camera

Easy to follow once you’re in. Once you get to the rocky portion HARD to follow just kinda made our own way around. Very beautiful scenery.

1 month ago

Lots of fun, easy hike fire the kids.

Some of the prettiest landscapes in the Refuge. Boulder hopping kinda hard in the knees but well worth it.

1 month ago

The trail can be a bit rocky but nothing too extreme. Saw several bison on the trail. I can't wait to explore the other trails in the park.

Love this trail, some seriously boulders at the end toward the peak. Would not recommend bringing a small dog if you plan on finishing lol

One of my favorite parks and trails! 10/10 would recommend, dog friendly and the wildlife is incredible. Easy trail with insane views and worth the memories.

Great hike, short, but fun. Cool seeing the old tower at the top.

It's an overall easy trail but there is not always a clearly defined path so try not to get lost. We never made the full circle and had to just turn around a little ways after crossing the creek because the path just disappeared.

3 months ago

Enjoyable Trail. I spent half a day on this trail and encountered 3 Longhorn and a deer. Some parts have a sudden “raise” in elevation, but i don’t seen it as a problem to beginners. Trail got a little hard to read near the Lost Dam, but other than that I loved it.

3 months ago

We camp here regularly and this is a must do trail each time we come. Beautiful views all the way around. You can also access it from the campground.

3 months ago

Good little hike ,easy. Seen a bunch of deer an beaver.

Moderate hike but kinda tough to see the trails in the fall.

3 months ago

Great trail with special scenic areas which you can spend a lot of time exploring. Recommend hiking clockwise.

3 months ago

A lessor trail at Wichita, but all should do. the Falls would be spectacular when running. Need to couple this with the Wilderness trail.

Returned and did this trail again. Absolutely the best. I spent and you should spend hours exploring the mountain top. fabulous views, rock formations.

Nice and Quiet, beautiful!!

I loved this trail. The falls was not too far away from the start point and was a perfect place to relax before ending the hike. However, if you get bit by mosquitoes easily like I do bring your bug spray. Also be careful if you go off the trail a little bit because there is poison oak. Granted this is if you decide to go past the falls and on the trails behind it.

Simple, but rugged trail with some loose gravel. Moderate inclines. Falls were barely flowing today. Not recommended for kids under 5 or those with limited mobility. No facilities at trailhead, so plan accordingly.

Easy hike, short hike. We took our baby in our hiking backpack with us. Great views and the castle at the top was fun.

4 months ago

as a newbie to hiking this trail kicked my butt, its a rocky terrain and my feet and ankles were done in. the scenery was beautiful. We will be back now that we've had more experience.

Load More