HomeRVThe High 4 Scenic Byways in Oklahoma

The High 4 Scenic Byways in Oklahoma

The High 4 Scenic Byways in Oklahoma

Let’s be trustworthy: for a lot of vacationers, Oklahoma is just not prime of thoughts in relation to highway tripping. Properly, except you’re simply zooming via on the three main interstates that intersect in Oklahoma Metropolis: I-35, I-40 and I-44. However for those who get off the freeways, decelerate and drive the smaller roads, you’ll uncover the state has a various topography with prairies, forests, mountains and lakes, in addition to many state parks that present entry and facilities to take pleasure in nature. Oklahoma additionally has a very advanced Native American and pioneer historical past. Beginning within the 1830s, the U.S. authorities drove the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole off their lands within the southeastern states. Known as the Path of Tears, the grueling, lethal compelled relocation led to land that turned Oklahoma. Then, in 1889, the Oklahoma Territory was opened to pioneer settlement via land declare races. Those that jumped the gun when the pistol was fired have been known as Sooners. At the moment, the Sooner State’s heritage is showcased in some ways alongside the byways, and Oklahoma’s meals and music scenes are fairly satisfying, too. One main byway not included is Historic Route 66 which travels via an enormous a part of Oklahoma on its means from Chicago to Los Angeles. That highway journey is so revered that we’ll profile Route 66 in its entirety in a separate upcoming article. 

  1. Talimena Scenic Drive – Nationwide Scenic Byway
  2. Cherokee Hills Byway – Nationwide Scenic Byway
  3. Wichita Mountains Byway – Nationwide Scenic Byway
  4. Black Mesa

Talimena Scenic Drive – 54 miles, from Talimena State Park east to Mena, Arkansas + 27 miles if beginning at Choctaw Capitol Museum in Tuskahoma

Winding road in the Arkansas Ouachita National Forest on Talimena Drive.Winding road in the Arkansas Ouachita National Forest on Talimena Drive.

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This brief however very fairly Nationwide Scenic Byway straddles two states with about two-thirds in Oklahoma and the opposite third in Arkansas. “Talimena” is derived from the cities on both finish: Talihina, Oklahoma and Mena, Arkansas. Particularly constructed within the Nineteen Sixties to point out off the realm’s greatest views, the paved route begins in southeastern Oklahoma and leisurely winds east via the Ouachita Mountains. The ridges and valleys are thickly lined with pine, oak, dogwood and different species that make up Ouachita Nationwide Forest, the biggest and oldest nationwide forest within the southern US. So, understandably the drive is especially beautiful and widespread throughout spring bloom and fall colour change.

start line for this highway journey is in Tuskahoma on the Choctaw Capitol Museum. One of many main tribes compelled by the US authorities to depart its lands within the 1830s, the Choctaw adopted the Path of Tears from the southeastern US to Oklahoma. The museum has displays on the tragic transfer in addition to different cultural and historic shows that includes conventional pottery, clothes and tribal paperwork. It’s positioned within the restored constructing that housed the Choctaw Nation’s authorities from 1884 to 1907.

From the museum, drive 27 miles east on US 271 via the city of Talihina to Talimena State Park close to the byway’s official begin. Many climbing and backpacking trails via Ouachita Nationwide Forest take off right here, too. The park additionally has 10 RV websites, seven designated tent campsites, a picnic pavilion and present store. Dust bikes and ATVs are permitted, too.

Then, simply previous the park on US 271, take a proper onto State Freeway 1 and the official begin of Talimena Scenic Drive. You’ll additionally discover a customer data station right here. The byway heads east via Winding Stair Mountain Nationwide Recreation Space with extra tenting and climbing trails. There are quite a few pullouts with expansive views of the rolling terrain. About 22 miles from the byway’s begin, stretch your legs and study in regards to the forest on three brief interpretive trails on the Robert S. Kerr Arboretum and Nature Middle

From the character middle, it’s 13 miles to the state line the place the byway crosses into Arkansas and turns into State Freeway 88. About three miles farther, the graves of two dozen homesteaders are positioned in Pioneer Cemetery. One other 1.5 miles is The Marvel Home, a stone residence constructed within the Thirties that’s listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. Situated in Queen Wilhelmina State Park, the home could be toured with a information. The park has tenting, picnicking and climbing however one of the best identified attraction is the lodge, the third lodge on this spot. The primary was constructed to accommodate railroad passengers and because the railway was primarily funded by Dutch traders, the luxurious lodge was named in honor of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. The “Citadel within the Sky” opened in 1898 however then closed in 1910 and rapidly deteriorated. In 1963, a smaller lodge was constructed on the positioning however burned to the bottom ten years later. The present facility opened in 1975, was renovated in 2015 and options 40 rooms, Southern delicacies within the Queen’s Restaurant and excellent views from atop Wealthy Mountain. At 2,681 ft, it’s the second highest peak in Arkansas and nice for stargazing; thus, Queen Wilhelmina can be a registered Darkish Sky park.

For one thing extra down residence, from the lodge go 2.5 miles east to Wealthy Mountain Nation Retailer, following Freeway 88 after which veering left onto Freeway 272. Serving breakfast anytime plus burgers and ice cream, the store sells souvenirs and has an RV park.

Again on the byway and Freeway 88, go a few miles to the Wealthy Mountain Fireplace Tower, the best level on the drive. You may’t climb the tower, however the views are nonetheless improbable. 

With names like Grand View, Spherical Mountain and Blue Haze, the previous couple of vistas make a memorable ten mile drive from the hearth tower and into Mena, the biggest city alongside the byway. Native historical past is on show on the Kansas Metropolis Southern Historic Depot & Museum, a restored practice depot that’s additionally residence to the chamber of commerce. Mena has many eating places, a creating artwork scene with a number of galleries and even the close by Board Camp Crystal Mine the place you’ll be able to dig for quartz crystals and take residence what you discover.

Cherokee Hills Byway – 93 miles, from West Siloam Springs south to Gore

Pettit Bay on Lake Tenkiller
Pettit Bay on Lake Tenkiller

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Two options stand out with this Nationwide Scenic Byway: First, it fronts the western facet of one among America’s most well-known mountain ranges, the Ozarks. This route in northeastern Oklahoma runs via the Ozark foothills, the place the grasslands of the Nice Plains meet the Ozark Mountains. The panorama options prairies, rivers, lakes and cliffs because it meanders north to south. Second, there’s plenty of Native American historical past right here. The byway is within the Cherokee Nation, residence to folks whose ancestors have been compelled by the US authorities within the 1830s to depart their homeland within the southeast, touring west alongside the Path of Tears to “Indian Territories” that finally turned the State of Oklahoma.

The Cherokee Hills Byway begins in West Siloam Springs at Oklahoma’s border with Arkansas, 31 miles northwest of Fayetteville and 82 miles east of Tulsa. Following US 59 west, from West Siloam Springs it’s six miles to Pure Falls State Park the place the namesake attraction cascades 77-feet over a rocky bluff right into a pool under. Pure Falls is Oklahoma’s highest waterfall, and the park provides picnicking, tenting and 5 yurts for lease. The luxurious setting helps ferns, mosses and liverworts whereas maples, oaks and dogwoods develop within the forest, so it’s additionally a hiker’s and botanist’s paradise.

From Pure Falls, proceed west on US 59 for seven miles after which head south on State Freeway 10, the place the byway curves via the Cookson Hills close to the Illinois River, thought of one of many prettiest waterways in Oklahoma. The river can be prized for canoeing, kayaking, rafting and tubing. About 20.5 miles down Freeway 10, search for Illinois River Outfitters which rents gear and riverside tent tenting websites.

Persevering with south on Freeway 10 after which west on US 62, it’s 7.5 miles to Tahlequah, a small metropolis that’s additionally the capital of the Cherokee Nation. After Congress handed the Indian Elimination Act in 1830, the Cherokee have been compelled to maneuver west. Now with a worldwide inhabitants of greater than 450,000, the Cherokee Nation is the biggest tribe within the US. Greater than 141,000 residents dwell inside the Cherokee Nation’s reservation boundaries in northeastern Oklahoma. 

At the moment, Tahlequah has a various inhabitants of 17,000. You’ll discover a wide range of eating places, from burgers, BBQ and pizza to Italian, Chinese language, Mexican, Cajun and Creole. There are quite a few lodges and RV parks within the space. Genuine Cherokee arts and crafts could be discovered on the Cherokee Nation Reward Store and on the Cherokee Arts Middle’s Spider Gallery. Relationship again to 1842, Tahlequah additionally has the oldest primary avenue in Oklahoma, and so it figures there are a couple of historic websites price testing. Situated within the fantastically restored Cherokee Nationwide Capitol constructing, the Cherokee Nationwide Historical past Museum has galleries and displays masking lots of of years of tribal historical past and tradition. In-built 1844, the Cherokee Nationwide Supreme Court docket Museum is the oldest authorities constructing in Oklahoma with many historic objects, photographs and furnishings. The Cherokee Nationwide Jail Museum is one other attention-grabbing cease. It opened in 1875 and held “essentially the most hardened criminals in Indian Territory.” There have been even plantations on Cherokee land. At the moment, Hunter’s Residence is a Nationwide Historic Landmark and dwelling historical past museum that demonstrates what life was like at Oklahoma’s solely remaining pre–Civil Conflict plantation residence. 

Leaving Tahlequah, the byway then visits a collection of fantastic state parks. Heading south on US 62 after which Freeway 82, it’s 13.5 miles to Cherokee Touchdown State Park. Sitting on a peninsula, the park lies on the north finish of Lake Tenkiller, thought of probably the most stunning lakes in Oklahoma, if not the nation. Rocky bluffs and a woodsy 130-mile lengthy shoreline encompass almost 13,000 acres of emerald blue water. Although it’s a smaller park, Cherokee Touchdown has very fascinating tenting as a result of it juts into the lake, so the views are notably terrific. Watersports, climbing and birdwatching are prime actions. The park additionally has a volleyball court docket and 9-hole disc golf course.

From Cherokee Touchdown, the byway and Freeway 82 comply with the lake’s japanese shore 18 miles south to Tenkiller State Park. With 38 cabins, 10 campgrounds, 172 picnic tables, an outside swimming pool, volleyball and basketball courts plus the Driftwood Nature Middle and floating Clearwater Café, Tenkiller is so much busier than Cherokee Touchdown! Situated on the southern finish of Tenkiller Lake, boating, waterskiing, tubing, fishing and climbing are massive. And since the water is extremely clear, scuba diving is a serious draw. Tenkiller Scuba Park has a sunken airplane, helicopter, college bus, two boats and plenty of fish. Away from the scuba park, there are pure underwater areas to discover in addition to the stays of homesteads and artifacts lined when the reservoir crammed round 1950. For scuba gear rental, coaching and certification, Gene’s Aqua Professional and Nautical Adventures are two outlets positioned shut by.

From Tenkiller the highway journey veers away from the lake about 12 miles west to Greenleaf State Park. This magnificence is much less busy than Tenkiller but in addition provides a mess of pastimes, from climbing and tenting to miniature golf, volleyball and basketball. The park’s 16 cabins and a number of other different services are manufactured from native stone and have been constructed within the Thirties by the Works Progress Administration. The park lies on Greenleaf Lake, a reservoir that drains into the close by Arkansas River. So, there’s plenty of water round right here and fishing is a serious interest and sport.

Which brings us to Gore, the ultimate cease on the Cherokee Hills Byway, 9 miles south of Greenleaf State Park. Known as “The Trout Capital of Oklahoma,” the city lies close to the place the Illinois River flows into the Arkansas and attracts fishermen who additionally search striped bass, walleye and paddlefish. Gore has a small primary avenue with a couple of outlets and eating places. Then, cross the Arkansas River and go 4 miles to I-40.

Wichita Mountains Byway – 44 miles, from Lawton to the western boundary of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – 138 miles driving the total byway to Carnegie and again to Lawton

Bison buffalo grazing in the Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma
Bison buffalo grazing in the Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma

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This Nationwide Scenic Byway explores the numerous terrain of southwestern Oklahoma, highlighted by the Wichita Mountains, a wildlife refuge and the museums of Fort Sill and Lawton. This small metropolis makes a superb residence base with eating places, shops, lodges and a few casinos. There are RV parks, too, however you would possibly need to look ahead to tenting alongside the scenic byway.

Oklahoma has a captivating historical past and Lawton’s Museum of the Nice Plains gives a superb overview chronicling historical occasions to pioneer settlement and modern-day. The area is residence to the Comanche Nation, too, and a few 7,000 members dwell within the tribal jurisdictional space round Lawton and close by counties. A 5 minute stroll from the Museum of the Nice Plains is the Comanche Nationwide Museum and Cultural Middle with artifacts, historic and cultural shows and the world’s most full assortment of Comanche high quality artwork. The present store is fairly cool, too.

Straight north of Lawton is Fort Sill, a military base notably well-known for artillery coaching. There are two on-site museums. The gathering on the U.S. Military Artillery Museum dates again to 1775 and consists of weapons, gear, ammunition and uniforms. Close by, the Fort Sill Nationwide Historic Landmark and Museum encompasses 38 buildings containing some 235,000 objects. Shows deal with the fort’s founding, mission and evolution, from the 1860s ahead. One other worthy web site inside Fort Sill is Geronimo’s Grave & Beef Creek Apache Cemetery, the ultimate resting place for Apache POWs together with chiefs, warriors, scouts and their households. Geronimo can be buried right here. Recognized for fiercely defending his folks, the Apache chief and medication man spent the final 23 years of his life as a prisoner of conflict earlier than he died in 1909. As a result of all of those websites are on the navy base, anybody 16 and older should full FS Type 118a and go a background examine earlier than getting into.

From Lawton and Fort Sill, head north on I-44 about six miles to State Freeway 49 and the byway’s official begin. Drive west one other six miles to Medication Park. The Plains Indians have been first to benefit from the space’s tranquility. Then, in 1908 the oasis turned a city and Oklahoma’s first resort neighborhood, attracting gangsters, celebrities and politicians. At the moment, leisure remains to be the main focus with eating places and buying. Native purple rocks give a lot of Medication Park’s buildings a particular look. The city’s centerpiece is Tub Lake, a man-made swimming gap with waterfalls. The Medication Park Aquarium and Pure Sciences Middle has greater than 90 native and non-native fish, reptile, amphibian, hen and mammal species and a six-acre botanical backyard. For lodging, there are cottages, cabins, mattress and breakfasts, in addition to nice tenting simply to the north at Lake Lawtonka. With 21 miles of shoreline, it’s one other widespread swimming spot with a seashore, boating, fishing and different water actions.

The lake’s water flows from the Wichita Mountains, lumpy granite-topped hills that rise from the rolling grasslands northwest of Lawton. Driving west of Medication Park, Freeway 49 instantly enters Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge the place herds of bison, Rocky Mountain elk and Texas longhorn roam. However lots of of different species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, bugs and crops dwell on the refuge’s 60,000 acres, too. One of many refuge’s greatest overlooks is from the highest of two,464-foot Mount Scott. It sits simply west of Medication Park so about two miles from the aquarium, search for Mount Scott Street to the fitting and take the brief detour for wonderful views.

Again on Freeway 49, go three miles west after which take a proper onto Freeway 115 north. In a few mile, search for the Parallel Forest, a weirdly peaceable (some would say haunted) 16-acre plot of purple cedars, rising precisely six ft aside from every one other in parallel traces. It’s mentioned the 20,000 timber have been planted to reasonable the consequences of the Mud Bowl. Rumors abound about this odd fabricated forest, together with why there’s a mysterious round stone construction positioned close to the again.

Along with this unusual forest, the Wichita Mountains are additionally identified for his or her rocks, reminiscent of these purple cobblestones utilized in Medication Park’s building. From Parallel Forest, probably the most spectacular architectural shows made out of native stone is 2 miles away. Returning a mile to Freeway 49, go proper after which take one other proper to Holy Metropolis of the Wichitas, a 66-acre duplicate of historical Jerusalem. Many of the buildings have been constructed within the Thirties and excursions are supplied by appointment. There’s additionally a chapel, museum and present store. And each spring, Holy Metropolis places on North America’s longest constantly working Easter pageant.

A mile south of Holy Metropolis, a brief path results in the Lake Jed Johnson Tower, one other construction manufactured from indigenous rock. When you can not climb the 60-foot commentary tower, it’s a horny function of the lake, which provides boating and fishing. Returning to the principle freeway, needless to say the Wichita Mountains Byway is basically a loop route, with spur roads. Later, we’ll drive north on the loop, however now, proceed west on Freeway 49/115 and look to the fitting for the Ingram Home after which a brief distance farther for Ferguson Home, two extra attention-grabbing buildings manufactured from cobblestones. About 5 miles after leaving Holy Metropolis, you’ll see the doorway to the Quanah Parker Nature and Customer Middle. Constructed on the shores of Quanah Parker Lake, this space is the heartbeat of the refuge with restrooms, a present store and data on tenting, picnicking, climbing, fishing, mountain biking, mountaineering and rappelling. The customer middle additionally has displays on geology, wildlife and habitats in addition to periodically providing nature and wildlife excursions. Close by, the Doris Campground has 47 tent and 23 RV websites.

From the customer middle, it’s one other 10 miles on Freeway 49 earlier than the route exits the wildlife refuge. Alongside the way in which are extra climbing trails and a prairie canine city. The colony has just lately been repopulated after falling on onerous occasions so examine situations on the customer middle. A couple of mile previous the prairie canine, search for NW Indiahoma Street the place a left flip results in the Bison Path, maybe the refuge’s greatest hike the place a six-mile loop leads via forests, grassland, throughout a river and previous a canyon. Again on Freeway 49, for extra tenting and leisure alternatives, proceed west (drive straight when Freeway 49 turns into E 1570 Street on the intersection with Freeway 54) for 12 miles to Nice Plains State Park on the banks of Tom Steed Lake.

For those who’re heading farther west in Oklahoma, take into account touring alongside Freeway 44 north from Blair to Lone Wolf, about an hour west of Quanah Parker Nature and Customer Middle. This drive passes via the Quartz Mountains, an extension of the Wichita Mountains. Lake Altus-Lugert is the route’s gem attraction and Quartz Mountain State Park gives numerous water- and shore-based actions in addition to wide-ranging lodging. One among Oklahoma’s authentic seven state parks, Quartz Mountain has a lodge, restaurant, cabins and 5 tenting areas. 

So, again to the looping a part of Wichita Mountains Byway which we referenced earlier. Return east on Freeway 49 after which go north on Freeway 115 to the Parallel Forest. Persevering with north, the byway meanders previous Saddle Mountain, named for the dip between two peaks. In 32 miles, Freeway 115 useless ends however the byway continues seven miles east on Freeway 9 to Carnegie the place you’ll discover gas, meals and the Liberty Theater, Oklahoma’s oldest frequently working cinema that also reveals first-run movies whereas serving topnotch scorching canine. From Carnegie, the byway heads south on Freeway 58 via the Slick Hills towards Lawton, about 42 miles away.

Black Mesa & the Oklahoma Panhandle – 108 miles, from Boise Metropolis to Black Mesa State Park and Image Canyon, Colorado then again to Black Mesa State Park

Beautiful View of Lake Carl Etling from the Scenic Overlook in Black Mesa State Park in the Panhandle of Oklahoma
Beautiful View of Lake Carl Etling from the Scenic Overlook in Black Mesa State Park in the Panhandle of Oklahoma

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This scenic drive within the Oklahoma Panhandle is a treasure hunt for dinosaur tracks, geological formations and American Indian rock artwork so it makes a enjoyable tour for youths. Earlier than you head out, mark a map after which begin amassing websites. First cease is Boise Metropolis, an remoted little city the place a number of main highways converge. The closest massive metropolis for miles is Amarillo, Texas, about two hours south. Exterior the Cimarron Heritage Middle sits Cimmy, an 18,000 pound, 65-foot-long and 35-foot-high iron dinosaur that’s a scale mannequin of an Apatosaurus. Close by is a large duplicate of the Tin Woodman from the Wizard of Oz. The realm’s lengthy historical past is instructed via displays on dinosaurs, ranching, the Santa Fe Path and Mud Bowl. There’s additionally the lone bomb that didn’t explode in 1943 when Boise Metropolis was mistakenly focused by a B-17 bomber throughout a World Conflict II coaching train. The opposite 5 observe bombs did explode however nobody was killed. The heritage middle can be a superb place to ask questions and decide up maps and brochures for this highway journey.

After grabbing a chew at Farmhouse Café, head west on State Freeway 325 about twenty miles and cease to learn the plaque indicating the place the Santa Fe Path handed by. Connecting western Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the path functioned primarily as a business route from 1821 to 1880. Then, proceed driving north on Freeway 325 a brief means earlier than taking a left and following the indicators or GPS one other seven miles to Black Mesa State Park. This pinyon pine and juniper oasis lies in rolling hills with Lake Carl Etling at its coronary heart. Tenting, boating, kayaking and fishing for largemouth bass, flathead catfish, walleye and smallmouth bass are widespread. The park can be categorised as Bortle 1, that means it has a few of Earth’s darkest skies for stargazing and astrophotography.

From the park, proceed north about 4.5 miles the place the highway reconnects with Freeway 325. Go proper and as you’re heading east, search for two uncommon eroded sandstone formations: The Outdated Maid to the north of the freeway and shortly after, The Marriage ceremony Social gathering to the south. In one other three miles, a fast hike results in selfie alternatives with a life-size dinosaur femur. The concrete copy stands sentry over a quarry the place an Apatosaurus was excavated within the Thirties. Dinosaur fossils are plentiful on this space: over time, eighteen tons of bones have been quarried.

To see actual dino footprints, return west seven miles west on Freeway 325 to Black Mesa Street. A proper flip and 5 miles result in one other proper flip the place a brief drive on gravel alongside Carrizo Creek arrives at a dinosaur observe web site. Some 150 million years in the past a theropod left footprints which might be nonetheless clearly seen within the sandstone. It’s thought the enormous reptile was an Allosaurus though the precise species is unknown. The tracks are on personal property, however you’ll be able to take a look at them throughout daytime.

In close by Colorado, an historical volcano exploded about 30 million years in the past and one of many lava flows resulted in Oklahoma. Black Mesa is called for the layer of black lava rock that coated the flat-topped hill, and it looms a brief distance from the dinosaur tracks. Black Mesa is the eastern-most extension of the Rocky Mountains and boasts the Sooner State’s highest elevation at 4,973 ft. As the realm the place the Rockies meet prairie shortgrass and the Nice Plains, crops and animals are at their westernmost and easternmost ranges. This distinctive setting is a 1,600-acre nature protect that’s a favourite with birders. You may additionally spot bighorn sheep, black bear, bobcat, mountain lion, mule deer or pronghorn. There’s no tenting on the reserve however you’ll be able to hike. A favourite path results in the highest of Black Mesa the place a pillar marks Oklahoma’s highest level.

From the Black Mesa parking space, it’s about 5 miles north to a different distinctive spot, the tripoint the place Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico meet. Whereas automobiles and cattle roam via the hilly panorama in the present day, within the mid-1800s this area was a sanctuary for outlaws. Because the official web site of the Oklahoma Senate describes it, “In 1850, Congress established the boundaries for Texas, Kansas and New Mexico. Once they completed, they have been shocked to find a parcel of land unclaimed by any territory. Congress declared it ‘impartial’ or ‘No Man’s Land’ and promptly forgot about it. The consequence was a strip of land 167 miles lengthy and almost 35 miles broad with none form of authorities or regulation.” At the moment, this No Man’s Land is a part of the Oklahoma Panhandle, and on the tripoint there’s one other pose-worthy pillar the place you’ll be able to stand in three states.

Most of this highway journey unfolds in Cimarron County, the western-most county in Oklahoma that kinds the tip chunk of the panhandle. It’s additionally the one county in America that borders 4 states: Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas. Whereas there are plenty of enjoyable information to share with the youngsters, the treasure hunt ends in Colorado with historical art work. Utilizing your GPS and following a collection of paved and grime roads located principally in Colorado, it’s 24 miles north, east after which south to Image Canyon, a tremendous location that appears extra just like the American Southwest than Nice Plains.

Image Canyon lies only a few miles north of the Oklahoma border within the Comanche Nationwide Grassland. 13 miles of climbing and horseback trails discover shallow sandstone canyons, rock formations, pure springs and rolling hills. It’s one other nice space for hen and wildlife watching. For 1000’s of years, folks have thrived on this space as evidenced by rock artwork, stone instruments, charred bones, dwelling rubble and the remnants of early twentieth century homesteads. Among the most intriguing examples are a simple hike from the parking space to a canyon wall. Relationship again to the 1600s or early 1700s, Plains Indian cultures carved petroglyphs and painted pictographs of animals, human figures and summary designs some imagine would possibly signify the celebs. Sadly, plenty of graffiti has been carved into the rock, too, so it’s each a marvel and sobering expertise. There’s no tenting in Image Canyon and so it’s about 31 miles again to Black Mesa State Park.

Study extra in regards to the thought, analysis, planning and promotion that goes into the designation of our stunning Scenic Byways.