Explore the most popular birding trails in Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

amazing views and don't let the 1.1 miles fool you. go of trail and explore to make it much longer

Easy trail...not sure why it’s a moderate. The waterfall was nice and the trail had some overgrown sections but fun anyway.

on Bison Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Fun hike! First time in the park and went right to this trail. Rocks, rivers, steams, woods and prairie. Plenty of water for the dogs. Made it in 2.5 hours. Toughest obstacle is 50 yards in. If you can cross that creek you can make the hike. Found some mushrooms on a cow-pie...gnarly.

Gorgeous. Lots of streams, wildlife and climbing.

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
18 days ago

The trails closest to the river are the easiest to follow. Some areas you kinda have to guess where to go but they all lead back to the same place. The trail is absolutely beautiful and has amazing views. We saw all ages of people hiking it and it was enjoyable. It took us about 3 hours to make it down the trail to the next trail head and back (that includes frequent breaks to take pictures and eat some snacks). I would definitely recommend this trail to anyone who is looking for a day hike with great scenery.

hiking
18 days ago

The pup and I enjoyed the trail! Lots of loose rocks to maneuver over both up and down hill, I would say moderate difficulty, can lose the trail in some of the rock formation area. We enjoyed watching a group of people rock climbing by the water! Few spots of water on the trail, waterproof boots would come in handy. Good views, high grass.

We had our 5 year old with us and she only needed help a few times. The water was a little high so crossing the river was tricky for her but fine for us. The view at the almost top was amazing. Some other people went up higher than us and said they saw a rattlesnake. Like everyone else has said, the trail is not well marked and very rocky to bouldery but we just stayed close to the river.

hiking
24 days ago

Heavy rains in Late Sept. had water levels up. The fall has died down in the past two days, but was still nice to see a rush falling. Creek levels are also up so be prepared to get your feet wet or rock hop a little more.

Gabe & Wendy
9/2018

By this outlined trail, it’s very easy. You can take a more difficult path but should not unless you are experienced.

Not well marked. Old cabin was neat to see and we loved creating our own way up the mountain. Nearly put my hand on a rattlesnake. Coming down was tricky as certain routes ended in big cliffs.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail ; great reward at the end if the falls are flowing.

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!

1 month ago

Have only done a few small sections of this trail...nice views but poorly marked in some places.

Not much vegetation, great trail regardless. Signs are not well posted and you may find yourself taking the wrong turn.

Beautiful!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Terrific non-technical trail. Bring plenty of water, especially in the hot months. Plenty of bison, elk, deer, water and other assorted wildlife but especially rattle snakes. Wear gaiters and watch your step. They cover this area pretty well. Loose boulders/rocks can be a concern as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail with lots of trail fingers for exploring! My 9 and 5 year old cruised through this trail. Trail isn’t marked great but is easy to follow due to the traffic. Perfect for younger children!

Started on Kite Trail and made our way to Bison Trail. There are several little side trails off of Kite Trail, which can be a little confusing. For that reason I'd say Kite Trail is not well-marked. However, the Bison and Longhorn Trails are marked very well. To get from the Kite Trail to the Bison Trail, you'll cross over the dam. Then you can follow the Bison loop all the way around or cut it a little short by crossing over the Longhorn Trail. The annoying part about this trail is that (as you see on the map) you have to double-back to the Kite Trail to cross back over at the dam and do the Kite Trail all over again. However, as you make the the turn for the last stretch of the Bison Trail, there's an unmarked trail to your right that will take you to a beach area where you can cross the river very easily. The parking lot is right across from this crossing. Nice little short cut if you don't want to walk up and down the river again!

This was a fun hike although it seems like more of a rock climb. we were up in about 2 hours and down in 1. I should have taken the advice of the other reviewers and worn long pants cause it shredded my legs. Check for tics when you come down, we had quite a few on us. Beautiful scenery and so serene.

hiking
2 months ago

Been living here in the Lawton/Fort Sill area for 6 years and while we’d been out the refuge area so many times, I’d never done a hiking trail until today. I took my 3.5 and 1 year old children with me. The 3.5 year old climbed his way up the bouldered areas and even made it down to the 40 foot hole all by himself! I carried my youngest on back and was able to climb up and down easily enough as well. It was a great first hike!

Just a great trail all around. The Kite section the most scenic. Saw buffalo skeleton along the way.

Lots of bouldering! Was a lot of fun though. Friends and I climbed up the side of the mountain quick enough.

3 months ago

It's not well marked. But it even warns you ahead of time. I'm pretty sure I was off the trail within the first five minutes. But was a lot of fun. Looking forward to going back.

Gorgeous, easy trail. There are some rocks to climb and water to play in along the way. Fairly trafficked, and lots of trash honestly. I carried a lot of what I came across out with me.

Calling it a trail is a bit of a stretch, there’s definitely a trail at the very start but it quickly devolves into just finding a way up and then back down, mainly by climbing around on the boulders. Some precarious little areas depending on the route you take, which makes it even more fun. Definitely a workout and some great views along with it

hiking
3 months ago

The views while walking along this ravine the trail follows was beautiful, but having no shade made this hike very difficult, especially since it was during summer. Pay close attention to the trail because the markings is a bit off and can get confusing. If you get lost just walk along the creek and you should meet back with the trail in no time.

Kite trail is very enjoyable with the family, singles, or couples. The view is beautiful. It's a semi-long trail. You can climb or just follow the trail. It took us 3 1\2 hours to complete from beginning to end (including stop for lunch, and enjoying the view).

This trail is beautiful. However, you should were pants. There is a lot of high grass at the beginning. It is a lot of climbing if you would like to go up on the rocks. The trail is a challenge but enjoyable. I would recommend for adults and kids 10 or older (for climbing).

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