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
Medicine Park, unique with its eccentric cobble buildings, was originally founded on July 4th, 1908 by Oklahoma Senator Elmer Thomas. Medicine Park was Oklahoma's first planned tourism resort located in the Wichita Mountains that drew state legislators, journalists and gangsters. Listed on the <Medicine Park, OK Historic Buildings
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