King Mountain from Quartz Mountain
At 2,411 feet, King Mountain stands proudly over Lake Altus-Lugert and the Quartz Mountain Massif as the highest point in a 40 mile radius, the fourth highest point in Oklahoma’s Wichitas, the third most prominent peak in the Wichitas, and the Kiowa County high point. As State Highway 44 passes below the base of the mountain and there is a radio/television tower on the summit, it can hardly be called an isolated peak, however in the two times that I have climbed it I have seen only one other party on its slopes.
The route I have used is a class 2 easy scramble with possibly some minor class 3 moves. It is about 1 mile round trip and 900 feet of elevation gain. The summit provides excellent views of the surrounding area, including Quartz Mountain, Baldy Point, Lake Altus-Lugert, Hicks Mountain, Williams Peak, Mount Lugert, and Flat Top Mountain.
Approximately 200 acres of the south side of King Mountain were burnt in a fire on Friday, December 3rd, 2004. The fire was allegedly started by lightning.
Getting ThereKing Mountain is located in extreme southwestern Oklahoma 17 miles north of Altus and 45 miles south of Interstate 40. From I-40, take exit 66 at Clinton/State Hwy 183. Drive 45 miles south to the town of Hobart. At Hobart, turn west on state highway 9 for 10.2 miles to the town of Lone Wolf. Just before Lone Wolf, turn south on state highway 44 and drive for 9.5 until you come to a bridge that crosses a small canal. I park just northeast of this bridge. From Dallas/Ft. Worth, take U.S 287 northwest to Vernon, Texas. At Vernon, go north on U.S. 283 to Altus, OK. In Altus, 283 changes to state highway 44. Go 17 miles north of Altus on state highway 44. About a tenth of a mile past the entrance you will arrive at a bridge that crosses a small canal. Park just past this bridge.
Much of this information is courtesy of Alan Ellis
Red TapeKing Mountain is located in Quartz Mountain State Park. No fees are required to climb.
Quartz Mountain State Nature Park, Rt. 1, Box 40, Lone Wolf, OK 73655. Phone: (580) 563-2238. Email: [email protected]
Roped climbing is not allowed on King Mountain.
Thanks go to Mid-Life Jung-Man for the following--
"According to the Quartz Mountain Nature Center, the north slope belongs to the State of Oklahoma. The west slope belongs to the Oklahoma (State) Bureau of Reclamation. The south half of the mountain is private property.
The radio tower is private property and is fenced off.
There is a "No Trespassing" sign on the east side of the mountain where a quarry is located.
There is a "No Trespassing" sign, to the south property, at the base of the west slope, directly across from the Quartz Mountain entrance at highways 44 and 44A.
Finally, at the 44 and 44A intersection, there is a memorial to a young man that perished in the canal in 1980 due to a flash flood. The sign has a very strong warning about crossing the creek."
When To ClimbLate fall to early spring is probably the best time to climb King as summers can be extremely hot. Winters in Oklahoma can be very harsh, but there are also many warm days as well. The first time I climbed King was in late December and the temperature was in the seventies. Also, this mountain is susceptible to overgrowth in places and you will have much less brush to deal with during the colder parts of the year.
Thanks to Mid-Life Jung-Man for pointing out that April and may are not good times to climb King Mountain because that is when the rattlesnake population is coming out of hibernation. The snakes like to sun on the rocks, and are particularly aggressive on King Mountain due to the low traffic that this mountain receives. Do not provoke them. They have a reach of 3-4 feet. The best advice is stay out of harm's way and wait until cooler weather.
CampingCamping is available at the Quartz Mountain State Park campground. There are tent sites, RV hookups, bathroom facilities, and a grocery store near the campsites. Tent sites are $7 per night.
Photo of UN 2153 courtesy of Mid-Life Jung-Man. Please click for full size picture.
UN 2153 is located half a mile east of King Mountain’s summit, and can make an entertaining traverse. About 450 feet of descent from the summit of King will bring you to an overgrown saddle. A brief bushwhack will bring you to more easy scrambling before arriving at the summit of UN2153. From its summit you can enjoy excellent views of Flat Top Mountain, Mount Lugert, a number of small subpeaks, and a valley containing a pretty pond and miles of mountain bike trails.
Flat Top Mountain
Panorama of the broad summit of Flat Top Mountain.
Quite befitting its name, Flat Top Mountain's summit plateau covers more than two square miles. Characterized by steep walls of rock and overgrowth, it dominates the landscape east of King Mountain. It quietly peers out from behind King Mountain in pictures taken from Baldy, such as this one by attm or this one, but is seldom noticed due to its somewhat unflattering profile.
It is seperated from UN2153 by an overgrown valley which is laced with mountain biking trails, and from this valley is somewhat more intimidating than from a distance. It rises 600-700 feet from the surrounding plane, although an ascent of those 200+ yards would most likely require some fairly intense bushwhacking combined with some Class 3 scrambling.
Once the summit plateau has been attained, the fun has merely begun. To the east, abundant rise and fall will eventually lead to a grassy plain, with Wisdom Canyon falling off to the right, or south. Various false summits, some in the form of 30 foot boulders atop smaller rises litter the terrain, with the true 2,205 foot summit situated in the extreme southeast overlooking Devil's Canyon and Soldiers Peak. I have never actually been to (seen?) the true summit.