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
This photo shows the 1911-1912 Florence Hospital. The hospital, named for the wife of Cordell doctor A. H. Bungardt, was housed on the second floor of this building until the Cordell Memorial Hospital was built in 1957. Photos of the interior include one of the door to the fathers'Cordell, 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
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
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
The Anadarko Basin Museum of Natural History is located in the old Casa Grande Hotel, which was headquarters for the US Highway 66 Association National Convention on April 27, 1931. Two hundred twenty-five delegates attended the convention and 30,000Elk City, OK Museums