Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hiking in the Wichita Mountains: The Narrows.

Hello and welcome!

The Wichita Mountains offer adventurers (that's you) so many hiking opportunities that it's hard to choose. Who doesn't love such an abundance in opportunities.Whether you want to explore off the trail or on the trail, it's all just pretty awesome. We thought it would be fun to do some blog posts on these abundant possibilities, and not just because we're looking for another excuse to go hiking. If you care to stick to the trails, the options range from short and easy to longer and more challenging. We hope to cover them all!

We understand that time isn't always on your side, so we'd like to share some of the trails that give you the most bang for your buck. If you were paying for it, that is. For your time-buck, then. 

The Narrows!

View: Breath-taking
Hiking level: Easy. There's only one steep switchback you need to worry about (not like worry worry, though).
Round-trip walking time: About 30 minutes.
Extra info: If you're a climber, pack your ropes! There are a couple of tie-in points in the narrows. 
Hiking tips: Wear good shoes! And make sure you take water. Keep your eyes peeled because there's always something cool to see (from flowers, to porcupines, you never know!)

How to get there from the Wichita Mountains Visitor Center: Turn right from the Visitor Center's parking lot onto hwy 49, at the stop sign turn right and continue on this road passing Camp Doris and Burford Lake. Turn left onto the next road after Burford Lake. There should be a sign stating Boulder Picnic Area or something of the sort. After a little while, you'll pass the Lost Lake parking lot on your right, and then you'll find two parking areas on your left. The first one has a big gate which is usually locked.
Boulder Cabin

Walk around this gate and stay to the right of the boulder cabin where a trail will pick up. When the trail forks, stick to the left. The trail will eventually lead you into a creek bed, cross over to the other side. The trail picks up again to the left. Follow the trail up the hill and behold the wonders of the Narrows. The trail will continue from the top of the hill and lead you down into the Narrows via a switchback (where the water flows when it rains). The trail branches off to the right which would lead you up the side of Eagle Mountain if you want a view from the top. Following the switchback into the Narrows will deposit you in the creek. Sticking to the right leads to another trail and to the climbing walls if you have more time.We love to climb up to the climbing wall to enjoy the views and some coffee before heading back when we're short on time. There are no official trail markers. At least we've never seen 'em.
This is the view to the left in the creekbed you'll be crossing.

Definitely one of our favorite locations...if we absolutely had to choose.

The view from the top...if you decide to go off the trail

 Happy exploring!

Greetings from Oklahoma,

Dani (Wanderings of a Girl Ryder)

This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

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