Beaver Mountain is the highest point of Cherokee County, Oklahoma. The centerpiece of the Cookson Wildlife Management Area and a fire lookout tower site, the peak has had regional significance for many years. The top of the mountain is most notably known for its fire lookout, a 100' tall Aermotor tower constructed during 1950 and officially used until 1997. A 7' x 7' metab cab is on top of the tower. A couple of housing structures are nearby. A large empty stump can also be found near the summit, which used to contain a visitor register logbook while the fire lookout was in service.
Beaver Mountain LO
Old housing structures
Beaver Mountain is the major peak located on the Cookson Wildlife Management Area (WMA), shown on some maps by its prior name Cookson Hills State Game Refuge. An abundance of wildlife and wildflowers can be found on the mountain. Bear, deer, elk, foxes, rabbits, coyotes, bobcats, turkeys, quails, doves, and waterfowl are all common and are major reasons why the peak is most regularly visited by hunters.
The peak has over 18 miles of isolation, allowing for far-ranging outward views. Prominent peaks such as Cavanal Mountain and Sugar Loaf Mountain can be easily seen located over 40 miles south of Beaver Mountain. The peak can be approached as a drive-up or road hike, depending on which roads are permitting access during time of visit.
Driving DirectionsStarting at Exit 297 along I-40 in Vian, OK
1) Head north along Highway 82.
2) After 9.1 miles, in the community of Blackgum, turn right on Highway 82/100.
3) After 9.0 miles, near the community of Cookson, veer right onto S. Bluetop Road.
4) After approximately 5.2 miles, reach the Cookson WMA headquarters and entrance.
Beaver Mountain is accessible via roads but type access depends upon current gate openings, Cookson WMA operations, and active controlled hunts. Many times, the summit is accessible as an open-gate drive-up via a combination of Walnut Road and Beaver Mountain Road.
At intersection of Walnut & Beaver Mountain Roads
Hikers have also been known to ascend the peak via Beaver Mountain/Tower Roads from the southwest. This approach begins at a gated road near the triangular-shaped road entrance (shown as Point 892 on topo maps) along S. Bluetop Road, offering a very direct and straightforward route to the peak. There are some good views and exposure to wildlife along this approach. Total roundtrip distance and elevation is 3.6 miles with approximately 700' of gain.
At intersection of Beaver Mountain & Tower Roads
Technically, an Oklahoma state hunting license is required to visit Cookson WMA. Although this is state land, nearly all of Oklahoma's wildlife conservation and management is funded by purchases of hunting and fishing licenses. Game wardens have been known to fine visitors who do not have licenses. For current and specific information regarding license and visitation requirements, call the Cookson WMA: 918-260-8959
When to Climb
Beaver Mountain is accessible during any season of the year.
There is a primitive hunters camp located within Cookson WMA.
A great map showing the various roads of the area is shown on the Cookson WMA website: http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/maps/Cookson%20WMA.pdf