OverviewLawtonka Mountain (Peak 2040), officially unnamed, is located to the NW of Mount Scott, OK. The author of this page chose to give Peak 2040 the name "Lawtonka Mountain", primarily because of it's proximity to Lake Lawtonka. From the top of Lawtonka Mt there is a panoramic view of Lake Lawtonka and the surrounding Oklahoma plains to the north. Lawtonka gained its name in the early 1900's. According to the Wichita Mountain Cobblestone Gazette, in June 1911, the Daily New Republican reported that Lawton's Board of Commissioners proposed the name "La-ton-ka" as a name for the lake. La-ton-ka was an indian word meaning pure and clear water. The Commissioners said the name suggested the name of the town (Lawton) but also incorporated Indian words. It was later changed to Lawtonka.
From the summit of Lawtonka Mountain there are also commanding views of Hunting Horse Hill, Mount Wall, and the west face of Mount Scott.
Getting ThereFrom Lawton OK:
If you are visiting the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge from the Lawton area, you will most likely enter the park on Rt 49 from the H.E. Bailey Turnpike (I-44). It is approximately 8 miles from I-44 to the park. Once in the park continue on Rt 49 West. Turn right onto the Mt Scott Road. Follow the road around the mountain (approx. 1.9 miles) to the NW Observation Turnout. Look in a northwesterly direction and you will see Lawtonka Mountain. Immediately to the north of Lawtonka Mt you will see an east-west dirt road in the forest below beyond which is Lake Lawtonka.
From Cache OK:
From US Rt 62, take Rt 115 N from Cache. It is about 6 miles from Cache to the WMNWR gate. Follow Rt 115 to Rt 49. Turn east on Rt 49 passing the Visitor Center. Continue east of Rt 49 until you pass the Meers exit (Rt 115) and come to the Mt Scott Road turnoff. Turn left onto the Mt Scott Road. (Continue by referring to directions in the first paragraph of this section.)
From the West:
Enter the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge on Rt 49. Continue east on Rt 49 for several miles. About mid-way in the park you will make a left turn on Rt 49 afterwhich you will pass the Visitor Center. Continue east passing the Meers exit (Rt 115) until you come to the Mt Scott turnoff. (Continue by referring to directions in the first paragraph of this section.)
From the North (Meers Entrance):
Leaving the town of Meers, drive south on State Highway 115 in to the WMWR. Watch the curves and oncoming traffic on this road as it can be rather dangerous if your speed is excessive. After entering the park continue until you reach Route 49. Turn left and go to the Mt Scott turnoff. (Continue by referring to directions in the first paragraph of this section.)
Distance to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge from various cities:
Amarillo TX, 214 miles
Dallas TX, 205 miles
Fort Smith AR, 263 miles
Oklahoma City OK, 86 miles
Tulsa OK, 191 miles
Wichita KS, 246 miles
Wichita Falls TX, 68 miles
Observe posted speed limit signs, especially at night. Park authorites will not hesitate to ticket you for violations. Believe me, I know from first hand experience!
Hiking RoutesFROM THE MT SCOTT ROAD:
Getting to the summit of Lawtonka Mountain is not too difficult if you are willing to hike through a few small areas of thick brush, briars, and trees. The easiest and most accessable way to Lawtonka Mt is to follow directions to the NW Observation Turnout on the Mt Scott road. (Refer to the "Getting There" section of this page.) You can park here and hike down the west side of Mt Scott into the valley gradually turning to the northwest and then up Lawtonka Mt. There are no marked trails other than possible animal trails.
There is a narrow boulder field down the west side of Mt Scott. If you can find this boulder field the hike down the valley can be somewhat easier than going through the trees and brush. As you hike downward you should look for the long clear area angling up the east side of Lawtonka Mt. Once you reach this clear area (after crossing the creekbed in the valley) the hike to the summit is quite easy. On the return trip from Lawtonka Mt the boulder field on Mt Scott is easier to see and is a good way to ascend back toward the Mt Scott Rd. A round trip hike from the Mt Scott Observation Turnout will take a minimum of about three hours.
NORTHEAST REFUGE BOUNDARY ROAD:
A secondary way to reach Lawtonka Mt is to enter the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge from the east on Rt 49 and drive to the NE Refuge Boundary dirt road entrance(about a half mile past the cattle guard on the right side of Rt 49). You must park on the side of Rt 49 and walk (no vehicles allowed) this road which will take you between Mt Scott and Lake Lawtonka. After a 2 1/2 mile walk you should be near the base of Lawtonka Mt. You will have to hike through a large section of trees to reach a clearer area that leads to the summit.
(See Google Map Image in the photo section.)
The SummitThe summit of Lawtonka Peak is relatively flat with several rock outcroppings. The large boulder on the west side of the summit appears to be the summit highpoint.
CampingThe Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge offers a fully developed camping facility.
Doris Campground is located about 1 1/2 miles to the west of the Visitor Center on Route 49. This campground is fully developed with water, fire grills, picnic tables, sanitary dump stations, shower & restroom facilities, tent sites, some electrical hookups, and trailer spaces. Sites are first come - first served. There is limited group camping by reservation only. Fees are charged.
Backcountry camping (by permit only) is available in the Charon's Garden Wilderness Area further to the west.
Hiking Health and SafetyDepending on what season of the year that you hike in the Wichita Mountains you may need to be concerned with ticks, chiggers, and other potential insect threats. Insect repellent is always a good idea. Upon returning home, be sure to wash your clothes and check your body for ticks. They will often show up a day or two later. Always treat any insect bite with concern. If sickness, fever, aching, etc, follow an insect bite you should seek your doctors care.
Beware of the animals in the refuge. Buffalo and Longhorn Steer can be dangerous if cornered or threatened. Snakes are also plentiful. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. Remember, a good hike is a safe hike.
Red TapeThere is no fee to visit the Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. There are several picnicking areas throughout the park. There are opportunities for general camping, backcountry camping (Permit only) and there are numerous trails for hiking and backpacking. Boating is permitted but there are special rules that apply. Fishing is in accordance with state and federal regulations. Hunting is by lottery through the OK Department of Wildlife Conservation. There are tours and special programs provided by the park service. For specific rules and regulations and/or additional information, please check with the WMNWR Visitor Center or visit the site below.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Route 1, Box 448, Indiahoma, OK 73552 (580) 429-3222
External LinksWICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE Website
US WILDLIFE AREAS Website
WICHITA MOUNTAINS COBBLESTONE GAZETTE