Bored? Explore the Medicine Bluffs at Fort Sill
I believe it was a cold, brisk January morning that I first laid my eyes on the Medicine Bluffs at Fort Sill. Critter and I had been out to the Polar Bear Plunge & 5K event out at LETRA (Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area). No doubt, it was cold that morning. As we waited for the event to kick off, I remember watching steam come off the lake as I stood there looking at Mount Scott. Some of the best views of the Wichita's can only be seen from Fort Sill, but that's a different story for another time. This is all about Medicine Bluff.
After the crazy cold-weather runners kicked off their 5k, Critter and I meandered our way back towards Scott Gate to go have our regular Saturday. We ended up driving past the Medicine Bluff area and decided to have a look. I'm not 100% on this, but I'm fairly confident this is where the outdoor sports center is. Like where you get a permit to hunt and fish on post and whatnot. There's also an animal rehabilitation area there where you can often see native Oklahoma animals recoup from whatever their ailment is. It's pretty neat.
Behind all of the fence enclosures and cages, there's a trail that leads over to the Medicine Bluffs. Easy to walk and a vista to see, it's remarkable. It's also full of legend. These bluffs are considered sacred to the indigenous peoples of this country. It's a place where the sick and weak would come to heal. It's also rumored that Geronimo, when fleeing the military, jumped his horse off these cliffs exclaiming "Geronimo!" for his freedom, but nobody can find an actual account of that happening. Truth be told, Medicine Bluffs is where Fort Sill was founded. In fact, before it was called Fort Sill, it was called Camp Medicine Bluff. During a period of unrest along the Red River in the mid 1800's, Native Americans were moved to this location, later to be renamed in honor of US General Joshua W. Sill, who was killed during a battle in the Civil War.
I cannot tell you how beautiful this area is this time of year. Normally, most people think winter puts a dull on the landscape, but when the trees go bare you're able to see everything normally hidden behind them. This is one place you should really experience with your own two eyes.
Full transparency, I haven't been to Fort Sill since last January, so I couldn't tell you whether they're allowing citizens in or not... or if you have to be military. If you don't want to walk into the visitor center and ask, call ahead.