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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.

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.

1 month 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.

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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

hiking
1 month ago

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

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.

2 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.

This was an amazing trail. We got there around 3 and it was beautiful. We saw a lot of wildlife including bison antelope a fox or bobcat and longhorn. We had fun navigating around the trail and rocks. The views looking down into the Narrows are amazing. We only saw one other couple hiking out so we had it to ourselves which is always cool.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike, good for kids. The signs are a little sketchy.

Little Baldy is fun to climb around, and thought he trail is hard to discern (there’s a trail?), its easy to see where you going. The Damn you cross at the start of the trail offers a nice view. Cool, but short hike.

hiking
2 months ago

easy trail to hike with lots to see. Very rocky so wear good supportive shoes. My 6 year old had no problem hiking this trail. Online it says its 6 miles but the signs on the trail itself say 8 miles so not exactly sure how long it is. some parts of the trail are hard to follow and you can easily get off track if you are not careful. cant wait to go back and hike the opposite direction.

This was a perfect first-time hike for our family of 5. We took a 9, 5, and 2 year old. Took us about an hour, with off-and-on carrying of the 2 year old.
The kids loved getting to see the "castle."

This trail was great! We found it easy to maneuver through! However, I can see how it would be difficult for others! Just be prepared to climb over and hop to boulders!

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