If you ever travel to Oklahoma you’ll realize that it is made of flat terrain, bumpy hills, and scenic mountains. It consists of three mountain areas which include the Wichita Mountains, Ouachita, Mountains, and Granite Arbuckle. On your hike, you’ll be captured by the state’s natural beauty that will take your breath away. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you’ll be able to explore the different levels of recreation these trails have to offer.
You’ll have many areas to choose from in the several thousand miles in Oklahoma among the towering pines and heavy open prairie lands. While hiking in the mountains you’ll be able to hike over boulders, peaks, and sometimes streams. In many of these trails, you’ll even get to see a glimpse of the wildlife which may include deer, elk, and even bison.
Whether you prefer a trail that has endless areas of wildflowers, peaceful lakes, or rocky boulders, you’ll be sure to find them in Oklahoma. Grab your hiking boots, and water, and come see what Oklahoma has to offer. Here are our top different hiking trails in the state of Oklahoma.
**Please Remember: Before arriving at any trail, please make sure to check the weather for your planned hiking day. Pack plenty of gear such as water-resistant hiking boots, ponchos, plenty of water, snacks, a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, a map, and a hiking pole. Many of these trails seem to run out of water around midday so if you’re bringing a pet make sure you bring plenty of water for them too. If the trails have a parking area, check to see if you have to pay a fee to park as many trails do not have free parking.
16 Best Trails in Oklahoma
1. Travertine Creek Trail
Credit: Jimmy Emerson
Travertine Creek Trail is a great hike for those who are experienced in all skill levels. During your hike, you’ll come across a small waterfall that is named Oklahoma’s Little Niagara. It’s one of the most peaceful waterfalls you’ll find in Oklahoma and has the perfect water temperature.
This trail is open all year long and has a lot of shaded areas, so even on a hot summer day, this would be a great hike to go on. If you’re hiking after recent rain, be sure to bring waterproof boots as trails can become muddy. There are a few inclines on this trail, but it still has an easy rating. You’ll also get to pass over bridges along the way.
Based on reviews, visitors say this trail takes about an hour to complete.
Distance: 2.8 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 150 Feet
2. Sutton Wilderness Trail
Sutton Wilderness trail is an easy hiking trail that is small, narrow, and will lead you through woods to a lake. Families love to go hiking on this trail to spend a day at the lake fishing. If you’re thinking about bringing your furry friends, this is the spot for you. During your hike, you’ll be able to see birds, deer, reptiles, and so much more! If you’re looking for a peaceful hike, you’ll want to check this trail out early or during a weekday. Weekends can become very crowded on this trail.
Based on reviews, visitors say this is a great hike to explore with kids. You’ll even be able to find some side trails to view some nice scenic stops.
Distance: 1.4 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 36 Feet
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3. Elk Mountain Summit Trail
Credit: Thomas Shahan
The Elk Mountain Summit Trail is a moderate hiking trail that will give spectacular views of the plains and mountains. The main trail consists of blocks of rock that are in the form of a staircase. This trail isn’t well-marked with your typical hiking signs, but rocks are placed as stairs and borders that you can follow.
Even though there are water sources along the trail, you’ll want to make sure you bring plenty of water. You also may encounter poison ivy so take extra precautions. Based on reviews, visitors say this is a great hike with inclines. They say this trail has rocky terrain, but a beautiful view once you reach the top.
Distance: 2.3 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 570 Feet
4. Rough Horsetail Nature Trail
Credit: Living…Maedeans Style
During your hike on the Rough Horsetail nature trail, you’ll encounter much of nature’s natural beauty. It is rated a moderately challenging hike because of its steep stairs for climbing so make sure you bring a sturdy pair of hiking boots. During the hike, you’ll venture across bridges, rock stairs, and a creek. Remember that if you decide to hike this trail after rainfall that it may be a bit muddy.
One tip we’d like to give is to make sure you wear an old pair of clothes. This trail has plenty of red rocks that could stain them. After you’ve completed the trail, you can stop by Red Rock Canyon to check out the pool and picnic areas. Based on reviews, even with its moderate challenge, this trail is family-friendly and visitors are allowed to bring their dogs along for the hike.
Distance: 0.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 22 Feet
5. Belle Star Loop Trail
Bello Loop Trail is one of the most unique trails in Oklahoma that is filled with natural beauty. It’s located in Red Rock Park which is famous for its caves. This trail is moderately challenging and takes about an hour to complete. Some parts of the trail require an uphill hike on rock formations so make sure you have a good pair of hiking shoes. One unique feature this trail has to offer is exploring through the caves since they’re located above ground.
Once you reach the top of the trail, you’ll get a view of the natural green forest. Based on reviews, visitors say this trail is very well-marked, very peaceful, and not overcrowded.
Distance: 2 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 288 Feet
6. Black Messa Summit Trail
Credit: Jimmy Emerson
Black Messa is the highest point in Oklahoma. This is a moderately challenging trail due to parts of incline, takes about four hours to complete, and is pet-friendly. When you arrive, you’ll be able to park in a small parking facility that also has restrooms available. The beginning of the trail starts flat and is surrounded by grassland. Parts of this hike can also become windy due to its high point so make sure you bring appropriate gear.
Based on reviews, visitors say this is a very well-marked and fun trail. If you want to avoid a very hot day, we recommend going early in the morning. This trail is considered a hidden gem and is well-maintained.
Difficulty: ModerateDistance: 8.5 MileTotal Elevation Gain: 734 Feet
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7. Lakeview Lodge Trail
Credit: Trip Advisor
Lakeview Lodge Trail is one of the well-maintained trails in Oklahoma. When beginning your hike, make sure you go in a clockwise direction. While mostly peaceful, you will hear the occasional car pass by on the road. The trail is mostly dirt-paved and well-shaded by high trees. During your hike, you’ll go across rolling hills that go along Broken Bow Lake.
Based on reviews, visitors say this trail should take you around an hour and 15 minutes. Not only can you go hiking at this location, but you can camp and go fishing. If you’re coming here with an RV, there’s an RV park located close to the trail.
Distance: 3.5 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 249 Feet
8. Turner Falls Park Trails
Turner Falls Park trails is a moderately challenging trail that is open all year long for families and solo travelers. If you’re planning on a hike, you’ll want to check out their famous waterfall. The waterfall is seventy-seven feet tall and is great for cooling off on a hot day. When beginning your hike, you’ll have three trails to choose from. These trails include Fire Break Trail, Honey Creek Trail, and Two Mile Trail.
These trails offer amazing nature experiences and rocks for amazing views. If you want to experience a more challenging hike, you climb the rocks next to the waterfall. Based on reviews, these trails take about an hour and twenty minutes to complete. You’ll need to leave your dogs at home sadly, as they’re not allowed on these trails. Visitors have also said that the trails aren’t marked very well, so make sure you prepare your maps ahead of time.
Distance: 3.5 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 344 Feet
9. Narrows Trail
Credit: Larry Smith
Narrows Trail is a moderately challenging hike that will take you to the top of Eagle Mountain. During your hike you’ll move across boulders, so make sure you bring a good pair of sturdy hiking boots. This trail has little to no shade so make sure you bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Along the way, you’ll pass over some water, so hiking poles will be helpful on this trail. If you’re looking for a peaceful trail, this one is a hidden gem in Oklahoma and rarely crowded.
Based on reviews, visitors say this trail will take you around an hour to complete. This trail is not very well marked so make sure you prepare your map before you make the trip. Visitors' favorite part of this trail is the amazing scenery.
Distance: 2.7 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 262 Feet
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10. Clear Bay Trail
Clear Bay Trail is a moderately challenging hike in Oklahoma that has a sandy path. There are different levels of trails which is why we averaged these to be a moderate hike. When planning your hike, also be aware that visitors also come to this location for mountain biking. The trail is well-maintained and dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed.
Based on reviews, visitors recommend packing bug spray for the hike. You may encounter sand mites and ticks. Along the way, you’ll want to take precautions as you may run into some wildlife. Before making the trip you should know there is a parking fee so make sure to have cash on hand.
Distance: 14.8 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 1,066 Feet
11. North Blue River Trail
In Southeast Oklahoma, there’s a place called Blue River. It has one is the only streams in Oklahoma that is fed by natural resources. The North Blue River trail is located off of Highway 7 and has a small parking lot for visitors. This is an easy hike that the whole family will enjoy, even small children. The trail has a dirt-gravel path with no elevation. If you’re bringing small children, they’ll love the wildflowers and butterflies.
Based on reviews, visitors say this is a relaxing hike that the entire family can enjoy. They also recommend wearing long pants as this trail does have poison ivy.
Distance: 1.8 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 22 Feet
12. Arcadia Lake Trail
The Arcadia trail is an easy hiking experience that has multiple access points. This hike will take you around four hours to complete and is perfect for hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and walking. It is also pet friendly as long as your dogs are leashed. The first half of the trail is twisty and marked by arrows. The red arrows are easier routes while the blue arrows take you on harder routes.
Based on reviews, this trail is very well-maintained and not very crowded. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see plenty of deer and horses.
Distance: 12.6 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 567 Feet
13. Bison Trail
The Bison trail is an easy hike in Oklahoma that will take you around two hours to complete. Bison Trail is one of the longest in the area and offers spectacular views of the lakes. Along the way you’ll come across a lot of rocks to navigate through, so make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots. Bison trail even has wildlife you’ll get to see such as bison and longhorn cattle. This trail offers very little shade so bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
Based on reviews, visitors this is a great scenic trail with plenty of wildlife. The trails are well-maintained and easy to navigate.
Distance: 6.1 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 416 Feet
14. Horse Thief Spring Trail
Credit: Larry Smith
If you want to take on a very challenging hike, you’ll want to check out Horse Thief Trail. The trail is well-marked and one of the most beautiful trails in the area. Make sure you bring a pair of waterproof hiking boots or shoes as you may need to cross streams. Dogs are allowed here, but they must be on a leash. Given the difficulty level of this trail, we’d recommend leaving your pets at home even though they are allowed. Hikes like this can become strenuous on pets.
Not only is this trail great for hiking, but you can also go camping, backpacking, horseback riding, and bird watching. This scenic hike will take you through Ouachita National Forest. Before making the trip, this trail has a $3 parking fee which is a lot cheaper than other areas in the state.
Based on reviews, visitors say this lives up to its hard rating, but has great views. There are certain spots with no water so make sure you have plenty of water-packed along the way. There are lot of steep climbs so be prepared.
Distance: 13.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,984 Feet
15. Charon's Garden Trail
Credit: Larry Smith
Charon’s Garden trail is a hard hike that is for experienced hikers. This trail has an abundance of wildlife that you may see which include bison, elk, deer, and longhorn herds. For the experienced hiker, this hike will take you around two hours to complete. Charon’s Garden Trail is a part of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge that has a rugged landscape, rocky cliffs, narrow canyons, and wildflowers to see.
Along the way, you may need to walk over some ankle-deep water so make sure to pack a pair of water-resistant hiking boots or shoes. There’s little to no cell service, but you’ll want to bring your camera along on this hike to capture the gorgeous views.
Based on reviews, visitors say dogs are allowed on this trail, but due to the rocky terrain, you may want to keep them at home. The trails are not very well-marked so before making the trip make sure you have a detailed plan on which route to follow. One visitors recommend starting at the Elk Mountain trail side where there is a picnic area and restrooms.
Distance: 5.8 MilesTotal Elevation Gain: 498 Feet
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16. Orange Dot Trail
Credit: Valerie’s Photography
The Orange Dot Trail is an easy hiking experience located in Hinton, Oklahoma. This is a very short trail so it will only take you around thirty minutes to complete. This trail has lots of ups and downs and some roots so you’ll want to make sure you watch your footing.
Based on reviews, this trail seems to have areas of high grass. The trails are well-maintained, easy to follow, and have areas of shade to rest from the sun.
Distance: 1.5 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 150 Feet