Overview Eagle Mountain
is located in the south central area of the Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge near Lawton OK. The mountain is situated near the end and just to the east of Boulder Camp/Lost Lake Road. This is the same road that terminates at the Forty-Foot Hole trailhead and picnic area.
Traveling west on Route 49 through the refuge, after passing the Doris Campground entrance, you can see Eagle Mountain peeking above the southern horizon with its extremely rocky contour and jagged boulder covered flanks.
As far as elevation is concerned, Eagle Mountain is not as prominent as other notable peaks in the refuge, having only an elevation of 1759 feet. Nevertheless it is still a mildly challenging hike over some of the most scenic boulder outcroppings in the park. From the summit you have a commanding view of the refuge terrain from Phantom Mtn to Baker Peak/Mt Pinchot in the west all the way to Mt Scott in the east. For a video-pan from west to east, click on the YouTube link below under External Links.
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 passing the turnoff to Meers OK (Rt 115). Shortly after you pass the Visitor Center Rt 49 will turn to the right and continue westward through the refuge. Turn left on the road to Lost Lake (Boulder Camp Turnoff). Follow this road past Lost Lake to the Boulder Camp picnic area. You will probably have to park just outside the locked gate. Be sure not to block the gate or trash pick up area. The trail begins just to the right of the Boulder Camp native stone open-air building.
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. Continue west on Rt 49 until you reach the Lost Lake (Boulder Camp/Lost Lake Turnoff) sign and turn left. Follow this road to the Boulder Camp Area. (Refer above paragraph)
From the West:
Enter the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge on Rt 49. Continue east past the Sunset turnoff. Look for the Lost Lake/Boulder turnoff. Turn right and follow the road past Lost Lake to Boulder Camp. (Refer above paragraph)
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 ticket you for violations. I know from first hand experience!
Climbing Routes1) BIG ROCK ROUTE:
Take the Lost Lake road past Lost Lake to the Boulder Camp picnic area. Park at the Boulder Camp gate. (Be sure not to block the gate or trash pick-up area.) In the Boulder Camp area you will find a native stone open-air building. To the right of this building the Narrows trail begins. Follow the trail a short distance until you come to a fork. Take the right fork and head in a southerly direction toward the main body of the mountain. If you look up to the ridge at the top you should see Big Rock which resembles the shape of a shovel pointing upward. Follow the trail until you come to Cache Creek. For this route, after crossing Cache Creek, you should trek upward and generally around the right side of Big Rock. Once on the top of the mountain where you can see the south Oklahoma prairie, begin hiking toward the east around and behind Big Rock. Shortly you should see the actual summit. The summit is not clearly visible from Cache Creek or from the Boulder Camp area. Depending on your exact trek, this route is a Class II/III and may require some scrambling.
2)BOULDER WASH ROUTE:
For this route, start your hike at the Boulder Camp area mentioned above. When you get to the fork in the trail, take the left fork. This will again bring you to Cache Creek and a scenic pool area on the creek.
Here you have to cross the creek to the east side because of the rugged terrain on the west side. Immediately after crossing the creek, look toward the mountain for a boulder strewn wash steeply leading up the mountain. Follow this boulder wash all the way to the top (15-30 minutes, depending on your physical stamina). Once at the top you can get a visual sighting of the higher part of the mountain and head in that direction toward the summit. You may not see the actual summit immediately upon reaching the top of the boulder wash.
Take the same trail (above). Following the left fork until the trail ends at Cache Creek. After crossing the creek, instead of going up the boulder wash (above), follow the trail at creek level to the east a short distance. When you come to the massive wall of rock that prevents you from following the creek, climb steeply up the mountain paralleling the wall of rock to the left. Upon reaching the top you will pick up the trail again and be in a position to overlook the Narrows. If you look back toward the west you should be able to see Eagle Mountain. You can bushwhack your way to the summit from this location. It will require some up and down trekking over several small ridges. Allow at least 1 and ½ hours to reach the summit of Eagle Mountain via any of the above routes.
See Route Map Image below.
There 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
The 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. 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 Safety
Depending 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.
External LinksWichita Mountain - History
Here is a YouTube link to a pan-video taken from near the summit of Eagle Mountain, OK.
WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE Website
US WILDLIFE AREAS Website
WICHITA MOUNTAINS COBBLESTONE GAZETTE