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Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge


category : Wildlife Refuges
Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge Salt Plains was established in 1930 "as a refuge and breeding ground for birds." It provides habitat for approximately 300 species of birds and 30 species of mammals. The 32,030 acres is divided into almost equal parts of nonvegetated salt flat, open water, and vegetated land (marsh, woods, grasslands, and wetland). Many ponds and marshes have been built to encourage the growth of wild millet, alkali bulrush, smartweed, and other moist sold plants that waterfowl use for food.

A large diversity of birds and mammals are found on the refuge year round. Species such as the white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, and the cardinal are likely to be observed anytime. Winter seasonal visitors include ducks, geese, cranes, and bald eagles. Summer brings endangered interior least terns, egrets, herons, and pelicans among others. Peak fall and spring migration of ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes on the refuge can number nearly 100,000 birds.

Abundant channel catfish are present in the lake and streams for the avid angler. All activities on refuge lands and water are strictly controlled; please consult regulations.

From the 20 foot tall Salt Flat Observation Tower, thousands of gulls, pelicans, cranes, and waterfowl can be observed during winter months. The lake shoreline is a favorite resting area for endangered whooping cranes during migration.

Activities on the refuge are strictly controlled with many areas closed from October 15 through April 1. Please contact the office for assistance in determining allowable activities.


Address: 12 miles E of Cherokee, Jct SHs 11 & 38
Phone: 580-626-4794
Our Email: fw2_rw_saltplains@fws.gov
Our Website:www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/oklahoma/saltplains/
Great Salt Plains State Park
Rt. 1, P.O. Box 76
Jet, OK 73749-9718

Come visit us in Cherokee, Oklahoma

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Salt Flats and Selenite Crystals

The salt plains are a unique geological area. Visitors may enjoy viewing the near perfectly flat 11,000-acre barren area with the wafer thin salt crust or dig for the Famous Salt Plains selenite crystals with the hour-glass sand inclusion.

Cherokee, OK Natural Attractions

Artesian Well

An ever-flowing "Artesian well" spring is located northeast of Cherokee, Oklahoma, and provides a cool drink for travelers and a "fill-your-own-container" source of water for many homes of the area. In 2003

Cherokee, OK Natural Attractions

Centennial Wall

The Cherokee Strip Centennial Wall is inlaid with bricks etched with names commemorating the first homesteaders and pioneers who settled this area during the 1893 Land Run and contributed to the growth of our city.

Cherokee, OK Memorials

Alfalfa County Museum

The Alfalfa County Museum occupies the 1929 National Historic Cherokee Hotel, that to this day is the tallest four story building in Alfalfa County. Currently the museum'

Cherokee, OK Museums

Alfalfa County Courthouse and War Memorial

The Alfalfa County Courthouse was built in 1921

Cherokee, OK Historic Courthouses

Things to do Wildlife Refuges near Cherokee, OK