Explore Elk Mountain in Oklahoma

http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=7624

Camping in the Park, and do a day hike climb of Elk Mountain (about a 2 mile intermediate trail) and explore the rock formations near the summit.

http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Wichita_Mountains/

Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Conditions: The trail is well maintained but rocky and steep
Trailhead Amenities: Picnic Area & Pit Toilets
Management: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Maps: USGS Odetta Quad, USGS Quanah Mountain Quad

Rules and Regulations Link


Finding the Trailhead: Take I-44 north of Lawton for 5 miles. Turn west onto Hwy 49 (Exit 45). Continue for 14 miles through Medicine Park , entrance of Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, Mt Scott, and the Visitor Center. At the intersection turn Right (North) to continue on Hwy 49. Continue for 6 miles and turn Left (South) into the Sunset Picnic Area.  Directions

Trail Maps: (Elk Trail is the one we are interested in)

http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/map-trails.pdf#a

Camping Area:

Within the refuge, Doris campground is approximately 8 miles west of the Refuge entrance on the main road (highway 49). It has bathrooms, showers, drinking water, and a telephone. There is a campground host at the entrance.  We'll be in Group Site B.  I am paying $80 to cover both nights, so donations to defray my cost are welcomed but won't be requested of you.

Map of camping area: http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/map-camp-doris.pdf

Lodging if you prefer not to camp, but want to stay overnight: http://www.stardustinn.com/ The fees are all on you for lodging.

 

 

 

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  • cara g.

    great adventure and great guides thanks paul taylor for getting us to places other groups would probably never go really fun group of people. very scenic area

    February 24, 2013

    • Stanley

      Thanks David for organizing the trip. Thanks Paul for guiding us through such amazing path. We had a great time with everyone, and look forward to the next trip together!

      February 25, 2013

    • Paul

      It was great we could do it all together

      1 · February 26, 2013

  • cara g.

    Special Thanks to David for doing a great job organizing this meetup looking forward to the next trip

    1 · February 25, 2013

    • David

      Thanks, Cara, but I just did the paperwork. It was all our friendship that made it good. I'm looking forward to the next one...

      February 25, 2013

  • Nicole

    Hey you all, I stayed out waaaay past my usual bedtime and overslept and am getting a much later start than expected so I'm not going to make it. If I came, I'd get there around 11 and would be afraid that I wouldn't find you all. I hate that, but have fun.

    February 23, 2013

    • David

      Sorry we missed you Nicole. You are right, where we went, it wouldn't have been easy to find us until camp time in the evening, we got into some remote and secluded trails. Maybe next time!

      February 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a blast. I fell on a cactus!! I was fine after David and Paul helped to pull those thorns out of my side. We had some crazy fun experiences climbing through the rock rooms and "cliffhanging". Looks like the cold kept alot of people away. I am so looking forward to the next trip. Thanks, Paul, David, Matt, Cara, Stanley & Leena, had a blast! See you all next time and hopefully more!!

    1 · February 24, 2013

    • David

      new nickname: Dances With Cactus!

      1 · February 24, 2013

    • Matt D

      Mike I happy that your encounter with the Cactus wasn't serious. I can't remember all the times I've fallen on the trail and have been mostly lucky with minor injuries. See you on the next adventure!

      1 · February 24, 2013

  • Matt D

    Very interesting place to explore and hike close to DFW.

    February 24, 2013

  • E. W.

    Something came up.

    February 22, 2013

    • David

      Sorry, E.W.!

      February 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry guys.. Had to return back from half way due to some emergency.. Had almost reached Wichita falls and then returned back.

    @Paul: The pics are awesome..I think I missed the fun big time. :(
    Hope I am able to make it the next time..

    February 24, 2013

    • David

      Sorry we missed you Abhijit, hope for better luck for the next trip!

      February 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I missed you guys. I went up Elk mountain on my own. Hope to catch you at a future outing.

    February 23, 2013

    • David

      Rob, sorry we didn't meet up with you, looking forward to the next time. I hope you had a good time on the mountain!

      February 24, 2013

  • Trinh

    I went to the campground, then climbed Elk Mountain. My friend wanted to go home. I went back to the campground to see if I could catch you. But no one was back yet. Im sorry I missed it. It was a very nice area.

    1 · February 23, 2013

    • David

      Tran, sorry we didn't meet up with you, I hope you had a good time!

      February 24, 2013

  • Paul

    It was great meeting my 6 new friends. Had a wonderfull time :-)
    Posted pictures including Cactus Mike. :-)

    1 · February 24, 2013

  • David

    Had fun, learned a lot, made new friends...might take a couple days for my muscles to recover! Loved it.

    February 24, 2013

  • Trinh

    We're on our way. Stopped to get a bite

    February 23, 2013

    • David

      Fine business, Tran, we are on top heading for the apple/pear formation, after lunch

      February 23, 2013

    • David

      Fine business, Tran, we are on top heading for the apple/pear formation, after lunch

      February 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are you guys at the visitor center or the hq building?

    February 23, 2013

    • David

      We met at the trailhead at 10am, are on the mountain top now

      February 23, 2013

  • Trinh

    The coordinate posted on this event is wrong.

    February 23, 2013

  • Nicole

    Yay...thanks! Looking forward to it!

    February 23, 2013

  • Nicole

    Yay...thanks! Looking forward to it!

    February 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just moved back to Texas after being in Colorado for almost 9 years. This looks like my kind of fun. I hope I dont have to work so I can go!! Anybody in the Grapevine area heading out early Saturday morning?

    February 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Mike..r u looking for car pooling? I will be leaving from Irving.

      February 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Abhijit, I will be leaving out of Grapevine early am to get there by start. I have a trunkful of camping stuff. I have to leave pretty early on sunday...I look forward to meeting you there!!

      February 22, 2013

  • David

    Group site B

    February 22, 2013

  • Trinh

    Never mind. Got it :p

    February 22, 2013

  • Trinh

    What is our campsite number?

    February 22, 2013

  • Jim T.

    I am leaving from North Dallas around 6 pm if anybody would like to car pool or caravan. I have room for one.

    February 21, 2013

    • David

      I'll make sure they know you are coming...

      February 22, 2013

    • Jim T.

      Stanley, thanks for the message. I am trying to get our of here by 16:30. My number is[masked]-7416. Let's stay in touch.

      February 22, 2013

  • David

    I have several walkie-talkies bringing, so if groups split off to explore, we can keep in touch

    February 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live in Wichita Falls. I can host up to five people at my place Friday night if you can't get into the camp ground before it closes. I have five beds and a couch if anyone is interested. I will be driving up to the Wichita Mountains Saturday morning.

    February 21, 2013

    • Stanley

      Thanks Rob for the offer. We will give it a try at the campground tonight, and we will see you tomorrow morning. :)

      February 22, 2013

  • David

    I'm leaving Fort Worth around noon or 1 Friday, room for one more

    Cell [masked]

    1 · February 21, 2013

    • David

      By the way, am in silver F150 pickup

      February 21, 2013

    • David

      Not bringing canoe this time, Matt, but planning a canoe trip...I'll post details soon

      February 21, 2013

  • Paul

    Im shooting to get there about 6pm

    February 21, 2013

  • Rachel f.

    Sorry, can't make this one afterall. Work commitments. Happy Trails!

    February 20, 2013

    • David

      Sorry, Rachel!

      February 20, 2013

  • Trinh

    Thanks David.

    February 20, 2013

  • Trinh

    Can we have campfire? And is it gonna be a car camping trip?

    February 20, 2013

    • David

      Hi, Tran, yes, campfire...gathering wood is allowed, and I am bringing some, too. Yes car camping and day hiking.

      February 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is my first trek here in US. Can someone tell me what things I need to carry with me?

    February 17, 2013

    • David

      Abhijit, I got the site booked, small donation welcomed not required...Doris Campground, Group Site B. Some of us are camping either Friday, Saturday or both. Best regards, see you there!

      February 17, 2013

    • David

      Camping checklist I googled up: http://www.lovetheout...­\

      February 19, 2013

  • Carmen T.

    Sorry, I'm going to have to bail on you guys.

    February 18, 2013

    • David

      Sorry, Carmen!

      February 18, 2013

  • Maribel A.

    I will have to work this weekend ;-(

    February 17, 2013

    • David

      Sorry, Maribel!

      February 18, 2013

  • David

    Someone asked if comping to camp with the group, but going to see some of the sights instead of climbing the mountain would be okay. Yes, sure. :)

    February 17, 2013

  • Doris F P.

    Everyone might take Snake bite kits & all other camping gear! I grew up near the Wichita Mtns - lots of snakes of all kinds mostly rattlers - may be a little early for them to be out but maybe not! Camp Doris - is one I camped on as a kid! Wish I could make it too! but I cant for this one. Will be up there for Easter instead! If this one goes well - maybe another one then? My hometown is Elgin - just norteact of Lawton! Would love to join you all the next time!

    February 17, 2013

    • David

      Doris, sorry you can't make it, maybe next time. Thanks for the tips on snakes, I have come across snakes out sunning themselves in the winter other places. My last visit to the mountain, I didn't see any wildlife but birds, but there were plenty of signs of boars, deer, so the wildlife is definitely around, probably mostly nocturnal though.

      February 17, 2013

    • Matt D

      Thanks Doris for the heads-up on snakes. I remember that as an issue. Isn't there a rattle snake round-up every year in Oklahoma?

      February 17, 2013

  • Kevin

    Sorry I can't make this trip. I was planning on going, but my great aunt just died in San Antonio and the funeral is set for Saturday, Feb. 23. Have fun everyone.

    February 17, 2013

    • David

      Very sorry for your loss, Kevin!

      February 17, 2013

  • Matt D

    Since it's Doris campground then are we staying in the group camp or do we need to get individual campsites?

    February 6, 2013

    • David

      Group, Matt

      February 6, 2013

    • David

      Matt: Group Site B, see you there1

      February 15, 2013

  • Trinh

    I will pitch in as well. Thank you.

    February 14, 2013

    • David

      Fine business, Tran, looks like it will be a fine weekend

      February 15, 2013

  • Nicole

    Yay...thanks! Looking forward to it!

    February 13, 2013

    • David

      Unlike someone I know, I won't be wearing ankle weights!

      February 15, 2013

  • Paul

    Has anybody called to see if we can reserve the group area?
    http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Wichita_Mountains/activities/camp/doris.html

    February 7, 2013

    • David

      Yes, it is for both Friday and Saturday. I should be there by around 4pm Friday. Will leave out toward the trail head by 9am Sturday to greet those coming out in the morning. Should start the hike between 10 - 10:15am. Late arrivals can catch up, we'll likely explore near the summit for a few hours, getting back down well before dark.

      February 14, 2013

    • Stanley

      Thanks David, We plan to drive up Friday and will also camp Sat. night.

      February 15, 2013

  • Frunk

    Anybody interested in carpooling? I would like to meet close to I35E, north of Lake Dallas.

    February 12, 2013

  • Robyn

    Something came up last minute, so unfortunately I have to change my RSVP to no. Very disappointed. I was really looking forward to going.

    February 10, 2013

    • David

      Sorry, Robyn, maybe next time!

      February 11, 2013

  • David

    The GPS coordinates to the entrance of the Rock Rooms are: N[masked] W[masked]

    February 10, 2013

    • David

      Ha, we can put a bandana over your eyes, spin you three times, and let you go....that ought to renew the challenge!

      1 · February 11, 2013

    • David

      Yes, Paul, some of the crags and ravines up there, arroyos and so on, make it an definitely interesting place, and you won't see it all in one trip. Seems like you have been there more than I have; I know I got in some areas where I wasn't prepared to climb a boulder, so had to back track and find other routes.

      February 11, 2013

  • Ellen

    Can't do moderate hikes with my little ones.

    February 10, 2013

  • Robyn

    Anyone planning on heading up on Friday?

    February 6, 2013

    • Stanley

      We plan to head out Friday night from N. Dallas. Is it possible to meet up somewhere mid-way?

      February 7, 2013

    • Robyn

      I'm planning to hit the road around 2, hoping to miss most of the heavy traffic.

      February 8, 2013

  • February 8, 2013

  • Carol­ removed the location. It was Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

    February 8, 2013

  • Linda W.

    I am new to this group. Would I be able to bring my 14 year old daughter and a friend?

    February 6, 2013

    • David

      Responded by email

      February 7, 2013

  • David

    Things I like to bring for the day hike component:
    Whistle, Jacket appropriate to the weather forecast, sunglasses, hat, energy snacks and lunch, at least 3 liters of water, camera, binoculars, piece of rope and gloves if climbing rocks, helmet if serious climbing. Cellphones seem to work after you get about half way up the trail. Pocket FRS radio if you have one. GPS, compass if you have one. If exploring, keep in mind this is a big place with lots of easy areas to explore, and some that will challenge even a skillful rock climber. Know your own limits, there's something for everyone. If separating at all from the group, use the buddy system. Keep those exploring excursions short, keep looking back so you know the route back. Boulders and ravines can obscure your view and get you turned around, but not if you're reasonably careful to watch the trail behind as well as the trail ahead, so you recognize the way. Any other ideas?

    February 6, 2013

  • Matt D

    What is the name of the campground we'll be staying at?

    February 3, 2013

    • David

      Doris Campground, Matt, per Paul's suggestion below

      February 3, 2013

  • Carmen T.

    How many miles with our Packs? I'm still a beginner but would love to do another trip.

    January 29, 2013

    • David

      About 5 miles round trip, or a little less, but hill. Some exploring time too. I've seen teenagers with nothing but a bottle of water do it, but I like to take my stuff. A daypack with water, lunch, snack, camera or binoculars. A trekking pole or walking stick is nice to have. I went up with a camelbak and ran out of water, but a buddy had spare and helped me out. However, we were really exploring the rock rooms and doing some strenuous stuff I probably won't do on this trip.

      January 30, 2013

    • David

      The actual summit trail is only about a mile long so 2 mile round trip plus exploration time.

      February 3, 2013

  • David

    Like Feb 9? If not, what date is better?

    January 31, 2013

    • Della M.

      The 23rd is good, I agree. Gives everyone time to make plans, or change existing ones!

      1 · January 31, 2013

    • David

      Works for me!

      February 1, 2013

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