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brent howard
(gbh110) - F
HELP!!!! PLACES TO PACK IN TO A CAMPSITE IN OKLAHOM on 11/09/2011 19:24:48 MST Print View

I'm looking for a good place to take my family where we can pack in to a campsite. All I can seem to find are places to drive in to camp. We want to haul some gear and not look like dorks to all the cars passing by. Anybody know some good places in Oklahoma, preferably 1-2 hours from OKC?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
One idea on 11/09/2011 19:35:19 MST Print View

I don't know Okalahoma real well. Should be some areas in the east for example along the Ouchita Trail.
I did a day hike in the Ouchita Mtns. on the Arkansas side. I think it was called the Eagle Rock Loop. About a 24 loop with nice scenery and several access points.

Edit - Okay I checked a map. The closet area I know of would be in the Ozarks. I think there's good hiking along the Buffalo river in same areas, probably a few others.

Edited by Cameron on 11/09/2011 19:39:26 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
HELP!!!! PLACES TO PACK IN TO A CAMPSITE IN OKLAHOMa on 11/09/2011 19:41:44 MST Print View

There is a place south of OKC, I'll call my buddy and ask him a name. I worked in Tulsa 6 months, and didn't have much luck finding anything.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Witchita Mountains on 11/09/2011 19:48:04 MST Print View

I think the Witchita Mountains will be your best bet. I'm not sure how much backpacking but its good hiking from what I hear. That would probably be the closest, the Ozarks are farther but its a bigger area so more options.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Places to backpack in OK on 11/09/2011 19:57:43 MST Print View

(a) I haven't been there but the closest to OKC is probably Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, where there is an area for backcountry camping:

(b) It would be about 3 1/2 hours or so to the Lake Fort Smith TR for the Ozark Highlands National Trail, where you could do an out-and-back.

(c) About the same distance to Talimena State Park in OK, where you can start the Ouachita National Trail as an out-and-back. There are 2 detailed books about each of the National Trails above by Tim Ernst, which you can get at Backwoods.

(d) You could drive to the Black Kettle National Grasslands, near Cheyenne, OK.

(e) Maybe too far, but Black Mesa in the far corner of the panhandle is the highest point in OK. Depending on your children's ages, this might be something to look into.

All the above will have websites that might be a good place to start, or stop by Backwoods and ask there.

Good luck!

Edit: Luke beat to it!

Edited by saparisor on 11/09/2011 20:09:42 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Permits for Witchita Mountains on 11/09/2011 20:00:25 MST Print View

I just googled it. Apparently you have to get permits for the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to backpack and the number is limited so you might have to plan ahead (on the other hand this might be the less busy season so you might get lucky). On the other hand you'll have more solitude if you do get in. Don't know if there area other areas in the vicinity where you can do without the permit or not.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Wichita Mountains on 11/09/2011 20:00:29 MST Print View

There's definitely wilderness backpacking in the Wichita but not sure of the mileage. It's near Lawton/Ft. Sill and the backpacking is in part of the Wildlife Refuge. If I ever live for several months in the nearby Metroplex (DFW) for certification classes, my plan is to do the Wichitas and the Quachitas (southeastern part of the state).

The pics I saw would warrant a few trips in fact (if in season like most places).

Edited by hknewman on 11/09/2011 20:04:55 MST.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Wichita Mountains on 11/09/2011 21:29:02 MST Print View

I live about an hour from the Wichita Mountains, across the border in Wichita Falls. I'm gonna take my oldest girl up there this weekend for some day hiking. I'm also in a Geology class at MSU and gonna put my new found knowledge to the test.

This Wichita Mountains trip report is from a couple years ago.

Edited by FatTexan on 11/09/2011 21:31:18 MST.

Ty Hardiman
(tyhardiman) - MLife
Wichita Mountains on 11/10/2011 10:02:49 MST Print View

I have been to the Wichita Mountains many times. I feel like it's a wonderful family trip.
The backcountry camping is limited to the Charon's Garden area. There are only 20 individual permits per week allowed there - 10 permits for the fri/sat/sun period, and 10 for the mon/tue/wed period. One permit per person and a $2.00 fee each. My experience is that you must acquire permits in advance, sometimes several weeks. I have had no luck obtaining permits when I arrive.
You may want to take climbing helmets for kids as they always seem enchanted by the enormous boulders along the trail.
If your family loves animals plan on spending time at the Prairie Dog Town. Kids can't get enough of it. The point is, your family probably isn't going to let you drive past the buffalo calves and prairie dogs without some stops.
I have maps and other advice I would be glad to pass on to you - I'm here in Edmond, OK. PM me if I can help!
Otherwise, I think you need to consider the Ouachita National Forest. The go-to website for that area seems to be

brent howard
(gbh110) - F
Re: One idea on 11/11/2011 15:31:45 MST Print View

I hope this is the right place to say- Hey thanks Luke, the Ozarks sound great!

brent howard
(gbh110) - F
Re: HELP!!!! PLACES TO PACK IN TO A CAMPSITE IN OKLAHOMa on 11/11/2011 15:35:06 MST Print View

Ok, I'll just thanks to everybody from here at one time. Thanks everybody!

brent howard
(gbh110) - F
Re: Re: HELP!!!! PLACES TO PACK IN TO A CAMPSITE IN OKLAHOMa on 11/11/2011 15:41:36 MST Print View

I mean I'll just "say" thanks to everybody (add smiley face here).

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Thanks Bret on 11/11/2011 15:45:17 MST Print View

No problem hope your trip works out, I'm a big fan of family trips. If you want to try something else there's good canoeing on the Buffalo River, its a fun place to do a leasurely trip and swim as you go.