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
While you're in the Refuge, be sure to visit the Holy City of the Wichitas, an interesting manmade intrusion that is historic in its own right. Built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the 1930's, the Holy City is located on 110 acres and features 22Cache, OK Historic Sites
At one time Hackberry Flat was a large isolated wetland that in the wettest of years may have been more than 3,000 acres in size. Thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds once used this wetland as a stopping place during both fall and spring migrations. In the early 1900Frederick, OK Wildlife Areas
Altus Army Air Field began training pilots to fly twin-engine aircraft in 1943. At the end of World War II, the Army stopped using the field and it was closed in 1945. The Air Force activated Altus Air Force Base in 1953. A Tactical Air Command troop carrier wing operated from Altus for 10Altus, OK Military Bases
Breathtaking natural beauty is probably the most distinguishable feature of Quartz Mountain Golf Course. Located at the base of rocky Quartz Mountain on the western edge of the Wichita mountains range, the course is surrounded by a sea of sage and prairie grass.Altus, OK Golf Courses
Proudly placed on the front lawn of the Kiowa County Courthouse are two statues of a "Doughboy" and a sailor. Originally cast in 1929, these military figures had once stood as a war memorial on State Highway 9. In February of 1969, Hobart resident, Vernard Holbrook, "found"Hobart, OK Memorials
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