Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Something that many of you might already know about me is that I am a photographer, as well as now being a blogger. I take many types of photos. My passion with photography all started with my drive to bring confidence and joy to other people’s lives. It’s amazing when you see a senior look at their photo and feel confident the way that they look or to see when a family feels joy from looking at the photo of everyone together.

So this past weekend it only made sense for me to combine my love of sharing personal stories and my love of photography into one. I recently had a client inquire about taking their engagement photos in mountainous landscapes and I thought, “of course I can make that happen, but where??” Then it dawned on me that I live within driving distance of the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma, so why not take them out there? (You should also know this about me, before a photo shoot I sometimes get anxious because I want the location to be perfect. Therefore, a lot of my free time involves driving around photo scouting to ensure I give my clients new and wonderful locations). The reason I didn’t think of the Wichita Mountains instantly is because I honestly haven’t been out to that location in a very long time. Also, I decided to have my friend and fellow photographer, Shaynah, join me on my location scouting escapade. Thankfully she was in for the adventure and we decided to make a day of it by scouting, photographing, and eating at Meers Store and Restaurant.

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was created to protect indigenous species from becoming endangered or even extinct. It’s really cool because driving through the Refuge, you will see buffalo, longhorn, prairie dogs, wild turkeys, owls, and depending on where you hike you may even find otters, beavers, or porcupines. The hiking trails are amazing and easy to navigate and are open from sunrise to sunset. My favorite hiking trail is Narrows Trail to Boulder Mountain. This trail can be somewhat difficult but offers great rock climbing opportunities as well as having a creek run through the trail. While you are there, be sure to check out the Holy City and Mt. Scott! I was unable to take pictures due to the areas being closed because it was Sunday (these areas are gated off until 1pm on Sundays), but I will definitely be stopping back by those areas when I’m there in a couple of weeks. Camping is allowed but in designated areas only.

The Holy City is a peaceful area that is constructed of buildings made out of cobblestone and the chapel can be used for wedding (my aunt actually got married there). Reverend Anthony Mark Wallace created the Holy City based on his vision of Jerusalem and the Holy Land back in 1934. It is simply breath taking to see in person. They still perform Easter Pageants called “The Prince of Peace,” there every year.

Mount Scott is an observation mountain with an elevation of 2,464 feet. You are able to drive, bike, or hike to the very top (there is no specific trail for hiking to the top though). Once at the very top you can park your car, get out, and take in a beautiful sight.

Meers restaurant is most famous for their meersburger that has been around since 1976 and, oh boy, is it delicious! Seriously you guys, if you take a trip to the Wichita Mountains you must stop at Meers, you will thank me later. Sidenote: Meers only accepts cash, but they do have an ATM available.

Refuge Address: Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, Lawton, OK 73507

Meers Address: 26005 State Highway 115 Lawton, OK 73507

Hours: Monday-Saturday (Sunrise-Sunset), Sunday (1 pm-Sunset)

Price: Free

With Much Love, Reba

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