It's this time of year when the mornings start on the cool side and gently warm in the afternoon that you should be out in the Wichita Mountains taking in the outdoors.

Not long ago, the refuge was mostly closed due to high temperatures. While some called foul, it was understandable given this past summer's calls for emergency response, search and rescue. As the temps continue to fall, it's prime time to be out in it.

Some people like to camp this time of year. I'm one of them. Let the hardcore people have the 80°-90° overnights in a rayon tent, I prefer cool evenings and cold nights warmed by a campfire.

Of course, that's predicated on Southwest Oklahoma getting some desperately needed moisture and rain, which isn't likely with the current forecast models, for the time being, so pack the mummy bag rated for the 40s.

If you want to explore the mountains, but don't know really where to start, there are resources available to help guide you through every maintained trail offered... though as you cross trails off your list, some like to go exploring in the truest sense of the word.

Until you become familiar enough with the refuge, it's best to stick to designated trails for now. You can find maps and more information at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, or by doing a little DIY research provided by Friends of the Wichitas or via

The Beauty Of Southwest Oklahoma

Too many people spend too much time complaining about being in Southwest Oklahoma. If only they'd shut their mouths and open their eyes from time to time, then they'd see the true beauty of this place.

The Frozen Wichita Mountains

When Southwest Oklahoma gets a rare blizzard with serious snowfall, the mountains take on a fresh and stunning look. It's something we all get to experience thanks to the video and camera work of a few awesome locals with a stellar YouTube channel, The Pemberton Boys. They flew their drones and explored the mountains across SWOK while the views were grand, putting it online for everyone to enjoy.

Where To See Fall Colors In Oklahoma

Whether it's the feeling you get when you see falls warm colors in the trees, or the comfort of a memory you recall from a younger time in your life, there are places in Oklahoma to see the beauty of autumn.

Oklahoma's Venomous Snakes

If you spend any amount of time outdoors in Oklahoma, it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the natural world around you. While only seven of Oklahoma's native 46 species of snake are venomous, it's those seven species that are seen the most in the wilds of the Sooner State.



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