Elk Mountain Trail

MODERATE 197 reviews

Elk Mountain Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Indiahoma, Oklahoma that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
580 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

From I-44 take Highway 49 (exit 45). Go west 10 miles to the Refuge gate. If coming from Highway 62, take Highway 115 (Cache exit) north to the Refuge Gate.

1 day ago

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.

15 days ago

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!

21 days ago

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
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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
2 months ago

Definitely got lost and ended up talking the old waterfall down

hiking
2 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
2 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!

hiking
3 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.

4 months ago

great trail just beautiful

4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 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!

4 months ago

I love this trail because of the view- not just from the top either! Well traveled, but still easy to get off on a side trail, so be careful. The rocks can be slick when damp... we average 1.5 hours (more with a toddler)...

hiking
4 months ago

more people than you would excpect but still nice, not super long but a good climb to bring along the dog or kids

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome trail... I go up all the time...

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail, very well marked for the most part. You can get off the trail slightly on the rock flats, but just use the map feature of the all trails app to get back on course. Amazing views at the top!

6 months ago

Enjoyed this climb up the mountain very much. Beautiful scenery the entire way, and at the top the views were spectacular in every direction. Next time I go, I will allow for more time at the top. There is so much to see, but I wanted to make it to the bottom before dark. Lost the path on the way down, but that was due to nothing less than just not paying attention. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for sure! Can’t wait to go back!

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail! Clearly marked in most places and well hiked with moderate traffic on a Saturday morning. Very doable for families, dogs, etc.

6 months ago

My favorite in the wildlife refuge! Great views!

hiking
6 months ago

I’ve done this one several times, very moderate. Some awesome rock formations at the top that are fun to explore. There’s a cave up near the top as well, filled with just a little water...but definitely worth poking around in.

hiking
7 months ago

Great half-day hike! The terrain will work your ankles so make sure your boots are laced up. I would not recommend in Nike’s or other tennis shoes.

The top was beautiful and gave plenty of opportunity to explore and wander.

A lot of the reviews said it was tough finding the trail on the way back down. I did not have this issue at all and thought the trail was easily identifiable.

Great time investment and exercise.

Resting heart rate to start was 43 bpm, maxed at 131 bpm. Good days work.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Steep climb but worth it. Great views, great rock formations, a lot to explore when you get to the top.

rock climbing
8 months ago

Great hike! It’s easy to go off trail but there’s a lot of bouldering and rock climbing opportunities if you hike up the mountain area. Wear long pants, there’s a lot of stickers.

9 months ago

Great trail. Straightforward. Beautiful. Great views await you at the top.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome trail! Can be a little tough to stay on it in spots on the way up as there are few trail markers but overall not too difficult to figure out. All uphill on the way out but the effort is worth it for the amazing views at the top!

10 months ago

Great hike. Great views. Sometimes it's hard to stay on the trail on the way down. Fun afternoon!

hiking
11 months ago

Firstly this is a great hike. Hands down. The views are great Oklahoma really shows up for you and if you can do it early in the morning you'll get great shade almost all the way up.

Now the trail is pretty overgrown. So be careful. You can end up in a mess of cacti really quickly. We always take our pack (aka our three dogs) with us and we were picking needles out of feet for 30 minutes till we found the trail again.

We've done Machu Picchu and I 100% wish I'd known about Elk Mountain BEFORE going we'd have visited a few times to train, I think it would have made Peru easier. Then all you have to do is take away the oxygen and you've got Peru.

Elk Mountain is almost 100% steps. You will be kissing your knees almost the entire way up and then it's a great core control workout on the way down. Pack a nice snack and rest at the top, but go early and don't let the mountain defeat you, also it's probably less a mountain and more a rock formation...but it's semantics at this point.

Lastly it get 4 stars solely due to the cacti....

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