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

I thought the trail was great. Spooked 4 deer that were bedded down along the trail. The trails are very well maintained.

13 days ago

This is a fun trail but the north loop is pretty much not even a trail. It is very well marked though. Be prepared to crawl over a bunch of downed trees or walk around if possible. Overall I had a good time. Very secluded on the north loop.

23 days ago

This is actually several small trails that connect to form one mega trail. The smaller trails are less than a mile each. I did the archaeology and kid-friendly trails which totaled one mile; both were paved. Great views which included native grasslands, river, and lake. As a reminder- it is a felony to remove artifacts from federal and state lands!

Great trail and the boulder climbs were awesome. I recommend gloves if you're going to enjoy the boulders.

Got caught in a light rain while hiking this trail. steady climb ay the beginning.

We got lost while on the top so we ended up coming down this trail on our way back and it was fantastic. Definitely would recommend this to anyone who wants a good workout.

Great hike, wasn’t hard to follow until we got to the rocks but if you keep going the trail is easy to pick up again, highly recommend this hike

Wear pants. Prickly brush. Awesome trail. Light traffic. Off beaten path. Give yourself 3 hours to complete.

2 months ago

Great hike for the family. My seven year old had no problem. Lots of fun!

A bit rough on the ascent as this portion of the Ouachita Trail goes up 541 ft. at a pretty steep incline. Great to get the heart pumping. It probably should be noted as hard, outstanding views on the way up, if you go all the way to the two peaks you can get 360 degree views in the winter. There are other easier trails that lead away from Winding Stair National Recreation Area, this one is good to get the heart rate up.

went there for a 2nd time has a blast didn't think we went far enough didn't cover the whole trail but still had some fun

3 months ago

3 months ago

Came back with family and hike again. Excellent hike, all of wichita mountains worth the trip. Can spend days here.

Returned and did the trail again. Excellent trail, can backpack by permit

This is one of the best trails in Oklahoma. It's almost constantly up and down and very rocky so expect to spend a fair amount of time on this one. Like many of the trails in the area, it can be a bit tough to follow in spots especially in the creek bed and near Crab Eyes. My one word of advice is to wear long pants. My legs were pretty cut up from thorns as I made the mistake of wearing shorts.

4 months ago

Great Hike.

Good trail that takes you to a valley of boulders that was cool in and of itself. My wife and I were unable to pick up the trail after that and turned back after a while. Poorly marked trail, but likely worth it if you know where you are going.

Love this park and trail. Be aware that most of the trail is frequently closed in fall due to hunting season. I recommend calling ahead to check before planning on hiking the full 18 miles.

Not the greatest trail,but it's pretty rad. There's quite a few places to stop and fish,so that's always a plus.

5 months ago

Nice hike, lessor traveled, which is all the better. Great views, "crab eyes" was fun. Back country backpack camp just beyond if you want to extend trail.

Beautiful hike! Amazing scenery that unfolds as you progress, especially when beginning from the south trailhead. Gorgeous babbling streams throughout much of the hike that require some scampering up and across rocks, so be sure to wear shoes with some traction. Can’t wait to venture this trail again!!

Hiked the south loop of the main trail system in late September. In spite of using bug spray, I still got bombarded with chiggers. No ticks though. That aside, I thought this was an okay hike. The bridge was the main attraction for me. There wasn't too many great views or points of interest throughout the trail.

Moderate hike. The west side of the trail was definitely an easier hike then the east. We hiked clockwise and I think I would agree with a lot of the other reviews that can be found online that counterclockwise is a better bet.

Overall, I did enjoy this hike. I had plans to do the entire trail system as an overnight backpacking trip but after doing a day hike, I've lost interest.

5 months ago

I only hiked from the trailhead to the swinging bridge. Just a short 3 hour hike. I wasn't expecting the trail would lead me to the highway bridge between the trail. Steep in some spots along the lake. It was definitely different than what I expected but still a pretty sight and a great adventure. Unexpected is good.

5 months ago

decent trail, good campground at Marys cove, ticks and chiggers were crazy bad

This is one of the more beautiful hikes in OK that I've been on. However, the signage is almost non-existent, and the signage that is there seems wrong to me: Post Oak Falls, contrary to signage, is straight ahead at the Fork, not a right turn.

Beyond that, the trail to keep on to the Wilderness Trail doesn't seem to exist from where I saw it; I turned around at the falls because of it.

Husband and I did this loop with another couple back in November 2016 as an overnight. We started from Hwy 1 and went counter clockwise, which I highly suggest, setting up camp at Cedar Lake. We didn't have any problems with trail markers as others have described, except for one spot on Snake Mountain in the tall grass/briars. Thankfully another couple were coming through in the opposite direction to lead us back to the trail. We hadn't veered very far from it, though. Completely agree with everyone about water. If it hadn't been for the water access at the camp grounds we wouldn't have had enough water for the hike out. It was an unusually warm fall with very little rainfall, so there was no water to be found on the trail. If scenic vistas with horizon views that stretch for miles is what you are looking for, you may be disappointed with this trail, but the pine forests and rock gardens are beautiful by their own right and make this strenuous hike well worth the effort.

8 months ago

Trail was great, but if you plan on running the whole trail and being back before dark, get there super early

8 months ago

Trail was anticlimactic. After checking into the rangers station we headed out on the trail. We used bug spray as suggested. We didn't have any issues with bugs but the trail was closed after the swinging bridge. No views and swinging bridge was just ok.

First and foremost...spray for ticks and bring the spray along! The area is so infested with ticks, we could not stop without them crawling up our legs! Second, this trail is beautiful, but deceptively NOT easy. I would suggest doing it counterclockwise as the toughest climbs are there and not clockwise. We did clockwise and the steep hills on the outside loop kicked our butt! Also, I would suggest signing in at box in the park and actually parking at the bridge fishing area! You have to walk along a highway to actually access this trail. Good to also note that at Mary's Cove, you only know you're there because of picnic tables. At the first table the trail to the left keeps you going up the trail...at the second table, the trail to your right takes you to the crossover to go back. This area, for about a mile, is not traversed much! LOOK FOR THE ORANGE FLAGS or you will get lost! Thank God for the trail angel who placed the flags all along the entire trail!

9 months ago

No one in my hiking group had ever been to this trail and relied pretty heavily on the info and trail reviews here. We all felt like the descriptions and reviews of this trail need some updating. Our primary activity is overnight hammock backpacking.

The trail description and map is missing an important piece of the trail. There is a cross over trail at mile marker 5 making this a figure 8. The bottom is roughly 11 miles and the top loop 6 miles making the entire trail loop 17 miles. These distances are based on the map from the park office. This is important because it became evident (more below) that the top loop is rarely hiked and I can only assume that some of these reviews are based on only hiking the bottom loop.

The bottom loop is well traveled and clearly marked most of the way. Big mile marker posts are nice to tell you where you are. They are placed for a clockwise hike. The suspension bridge is cool and very springy. There is a well established camp area called Mary's Cove at mile 5. There are about 5 separate camp sites with rock fire pits, flat ground for tents, lots of trees for hammocks, one site even has a nice picnic table! If you gather water, there are few spots where you can get to the lake. My gut tells me most people never make it past this spot. It would be a nice overnighter to hike the bottom 10 mile loop spending the night at Mary's Cove and taking the return trail.

On day 2 we planned on hiking the upper trail to spend the night in the wilderness area. The trail was infrequently traveled and over grown. In places I would guess it hasn't seen feet in months. The further we went the worse it got to a point where you could not see a trail on the ground. Heavy tall grass, downed trees, large rocks in the pathway making for some technical hiking in places. There are the same trail makers along the way but it is so heavy we relied more on red tape tied to branches marking the "trail" about every 20-30 yards. Without that it would have been impossible to see a trail. I would rank this as a primitive trail better suited for experienced hikers. At the peak of the trail there is a designated camp site on the map but we decided to cut over to the return trail and head back. It took us 3 hours to hike 3 miles. If you like a primitive hike, this is a good one but be prepared for slow going and put on plenty of DEET. Heavy ticks and chiggers. Wish we would have known all this and planned better.

The main park area is nice, park management very helpful, and there is no cost to park for an overnight hike. Great hiking close to the lake.

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