In southwestern Oklahoma the golden shortgrass prairie extends for mile after undulating mile, mirroring the sky in its vastness. Less than a century and a half ago, the Southern Plains were the domain of the Kiowa and Comanche, who hunted buffalo on horses bridled with Spanish silver and traded with the Wichitas, farmers who lived in grass houses. To the Kiowa, the earth was sacred, and the Wichitas believed their ancestors lived on in the 650-million-year-old granite boulders of the Wichita Mountains. Travelers exploring the region today may encounter moments of similar reverence -- watching the sun set from atop Mount Scott in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, for instance, or watching an eagle soar in winter. A rowdier spirit lives endures in the area, too: Teddy Roosevelt created the wildlife refuge after he traveled to Oklahoma Territory to hunt wolves. Bison now graze on the 60,000-acre preserve, along with longhorn cattle, antelope and elk -- rugged mountain biking, hiking, camping and backpacking are permitted in some areas.
Explore Great Plains Country
The National Hall of Fame of Famous American Indians was established to recognize famous Indians. It was a chance to provide a portrait in bronze bust for people to touch and see the famous people in a three dimensional likeness that they read about in history books. Formed in 1952Anadarko, OK Halls of Fame
Mount Scott is one of Oklahoma's most prominent mountains, rising 2,464 feet above sea level. Located on the eastern edge of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, it is a legendary site which boasts tales of ancient spirits, Spanish gold and buried outlaw loot.Lawton, OK Natural Attractions
Red Rock Canyon features two wonderful nature trails. The Rough Horsetail Nature Trail is located in the Caddo Maple Conservation Area portion of the park at the bottom of the steep entrance hill. This 0.4 mile loop trail is marked with interpretive signs. Trail difficulty is mild., OK Hiking Trails
Comanche Chief Quanah Parker had stars painted on the roof of his home to mimic those on the uniforms of the U.S. military officers. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Cache, OK Famous Homes
The Jackson County Courthouse was built in 1910 of native granite. A noticeable feature of the structure is the artful contrast of the red granite foundation, and most remarkable is the size of the granite blocks which undoubtedly has given the structure its stability throughout the years.Altus, OK Historic Courthouses
At the Museum of the Great Plains, the natural and cultural history of the Great Plains of north America is studied and shown in many exhibits and programs that will be enjoyed by all members of the family. Special events include a twice-yearly encampment of 1830Lawton, OK Museums