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Wichita Mountains Overnighter
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Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Wichita Mountains Overnighter on 05/15/2009 10:47:55 MDT Print View

I got one of the Monday thru Wednesday slots early this week for the Backcountry area of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The backcountry area is specifically called Charons Garden. It was very rainy, windy, and cloudy all day Monday and into Tuesday afternoon.

I arrived at the parking area around noon and headed up to Twin Rocks Mountain.

Twin Rocks Mountain

The trail was cut off by this guy, who I had about a half hour conversation with trying to convince him of my sincerity that I offered him no harm. Each step I would take off my protected highpoint he would either turn in my direction or even take a step towards me.


Once he was a safe enough distance I sprinted to a rock across the trail to another safe rock high enough to be protected.

After a quick scramble up the weather cleared a little while upon on top Twin Rocks.

Scramble up Twin Rocks

View From Twin Rocks

View From Twin Rocks 2

After an hour or so up top I found a sheltered campsite among the calf high wet grass and buffalo sh*&.

Fly Creek and UL60 Quilt

Cooked dinner on my stove and promptly fell asleep when the sun set. Woke up late due to rain and the fly left open, wiped off my quilt and tent floor and fell right back to sleep.

In the AM followed the unnamed stream (river with all the rainfall) south down to Treasure Lake.

Unnamed River

Treasure Lake

Had breakfast and then head back north from the Treasure Lake trail into the Boulder Fields.

The trail follows the drainage into Treasure lake back uphill slightly.

River Trail


Back to the parking area again I hiked up Elk Mountain.

Elk Mountain

Temps hit about 90 around 4PM, got bored and forgot my book, pulled 2 ticks off of me, wussed out and headed home.

Edited by FatTexan on 05/15/2009 11:28:09 MDT.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Wichita Mountains Overnighter on 05/15/2009 11:23:33 MDT Print View


How beautiful IS that place?!!

I haven't heard of it until now. Lucky you.....and who hasn't bailed before!!??

Great pics.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Wichita Mountains Overnighter on 05/15/2009 12:25:52 MDT Print View

Nice pics Chris. I still have yet to get up there. Missed a trip a couple months ago out there.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Wichita Mountains Overnighter on 05/16/2009 12:12:59 MDT Print View

Chris, thanks for the pics. I've been by the WMLR many times. But I've never made that hike. Now, I'll be waiting for the fall to come and have those trails on my list of places to explore.

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Witchitas on 05/19/2009 14:59:01 MDT Print View

The Wichitas have some great rock gardens. I just wish the park was larger. You can't really get away from everyone else. Me and some friends did a day hike up to Twin Rocks (a.k.a. "The Crab Eyes"). There are some great views of the plains from on top.

There is also some rocks that have formed a cave by Elk Mountain. Trip Report for that scramble

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Wichita Mountains Overnighter on 05/19/2009 17:29:15 MDT Print View

Wow, Chris! That is beautiful country. Thanks for sharing the photos. I can relate to your encounter with the bison because I had a similar situation with a moose. When I got back to town I told a friend that I was changing my trail name to "Dances with Moose". She replied that "Runs from Moose" would be more appropriate.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Wichita Mountains Overnighter on 05/22/2009 12:52:08 MDT Print View

Chris, you go to lots of very cool places. Thanks for posting!