Cycling in the Wichitas

With its rocky terrain, exciting elevation changes and unique wildlife watching opportunities, the Wichita Mountains area has become a major destination for cyclists in recent years.

Make the steep climb up Mt. Scott Service Road and enjoy fantastic views of the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge at the top.
Photo Credit: Lori Duckworth/Oklahoma Tourism

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Bring your bike to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge for two remarkable trails that put you right in the center of stunning geographic features and awe-inspiring views.

Before you start:

Gear: Whether you need a new set of tires or plan to rent a bike, venture over to Lawton/Fort Sill for tune-ups, repairs, rentals and more at Terry’s Bicycles. Staffed with cycling experts, Terry’s can even offer trail suggestions and advice for biking tours in the area.

Lodging: If you’re planning an overnight stay, there are plenty of lodging options available in the area. You can also stay on the refuge and under the stars at Doris Campground or set up your tent in Charon’s Garden Wilderness Area. Hotels are also plentiful a little over 30 minutes away in Lawton/Fort Sill.

Dining: After a full day of biking in the Wichitas, a grass-fed, locally-raised burger from Meers Store and Restaurant is just the ticket. Drive 20 minutes east of the refuge for a hearty meal and a Meers Gold Beer, brewed in Oklahoma.

As a habitat for American bison, Rocky Mountain elk, prairie dogs and many other animals, a bike ride through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge brings visitors unparalleled proximity to Oklahoma wildlife. Two major routes keep cyclists coming back throughout the year.

Mt. Scott Fire Road

For a rugged mountain biking experience, bring your bike to Mt. Scott Fire Road, a point-to-point trail that runs between the Meers Gate and the Medicine Park Gate (parking is available on both ends of the trail). This nearly six-mile dirt and gravel route is a moderate challenge with a few steep climbs and plenty of rocks. Those seeking a technical challenge can work on speed training with a variety of slight uphill and downhill changes throughout the trail.

As the only designated trail for mountain bikes within the refuge, cyclists are afforded rare views behind Mount Scott, Mount Wall and Hunting Horse Hill, along with plenty of watchable wildlife. If you’re here in the summer, wear cooling clothing and bring plenty of water – the trail has minimal shade but exceptional, open views. Be sure to have your camera ready, as bison, elk and Longhorn bull encounters are very common. Remember to stay safe and enjoy these experiences from a distance.

Mt. Scott Service Road

For a shorter, more challenging ride, the Mt. Scott Service Road features nearly three paved miles leading up to one of the highest peaks in Oklahoma. A steep climb that curves on the way to the top, this elevated route is a destination for uphill and downhill road biking. Parking is easily accessible at the base of Mount Scott.

With an uphill climb at a consistent 7.5% grade, this short ride is perfect for those seeking a challenge. At 2,464 ft., Mount Scott is the second highest peak in the refuge. Once you’ve pedaled your way to the top, prepare for magnificent panoramic views of plains, area wildlife and scenic horizons. When you’re ready to come back down, prepare for an adrenaline rush, where speeds easily reach 50 mph. The trail doubles as a scenic drive and some areas are narrow, so be sure to stay aware of your surroundings during your ride and use caution when increasing speed.

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