In southwestern Oklahoma, bison roam and deer dance across the prairie while Texas longhorn cattle forage among the blackjack oak woodlands. Their home is Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, a 59,000-acre mixed grass expanse that was originally established as a forest reserve in 1901 and is now the oldest managed refuge in the United States. Elk, red-tailed hawks, prairie dogs and collard lizards are among the more than 400 animal species found in the refuge, and they’re joined by 806 plant species.
Hikers and bikers can make their way around Quanah Parker and Lost lakes, through a rocky canyon or up Elk Mountain on one of eight trails. Take in views of the surrounding terrain from the top of Little Baldy Mountain, and then settle in at Doris Campground, which offers 23 RV sites with 30-amp electric service.
For more information, call 580-429-3222 or visit www.fws.gov/refuge/Wichita_Mountains.