1. Wichita Mountains
The Wichita Mountains are a 60 mile mountain range that extends across the southwestern portion of Oklahoma.
The whole area is called Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 59,020 acres of wildlife refuge with buffalo, elk, deer, longhorn cattle, and other rare plants and animals.
The area is a favorite for hikers, rock climbers, campers, and fishers alike, with multiple small fishing lakes, hiking trails, and camping grounds that are available in the Charon Gardens Wilderness area.
We’ll look more into individual peaks of the mountain range below.
2. Mount Scott
This gem of a mountain lies in the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge just northwest of Lawton, and is the second highest mountain in the Refuge.
You can reach the summit of Mount Scott by car, bicycle, or with your own two legs. There’s also a number of rock climbing areas if you’re trying to get a bit more of a workout.
While there aren’t any formal hiking trails up to the peak, a three-mile paved road is an easy option for getting to the top and enjoying the spectacular vantage point pictured above.
From the top, at 2,464 feet, you can see the surrounding plains and, to the west, other prominent mountains such as Elk Mountain and Mount Sheridan.
3. Elk Mountain
This 2,270 foot mountain in the Wichita Mountains is a great adventure for those who enjoy climbing up massive slabs of granite; in fact, there are four climbing areas altogether: Elk Slabs, The Treasure Cove, Pear and Apple, and Secret Agent Dome (which sounds pretty badass).
The tougher climbing means that Elk Mountain doesn’t get as many visitors as easy ol’ Mount Scott, so it’s a great place to get away from the crowds and enjoy nature.
The Elk Slabs are the most popular set of routes, but there’s really so many different ways to get to the top at Elk Mountain that you’ll be able to come back and have a unique experience every time.
4. Haley Peak
Though the mountain is officially unnamed, the (perhaps) highest point in the Wichita Mountain range has been dubbed Haley Peak by locals.
There’s some dispute whether Haley Peak or Mountain Pinchot is the highest point, but either way it’s one of the tallest points in the Wichita Mountains.
Unfortunately, the Haley Peak is located entirely on private property, so you’ll need to get permission from the landowner before attempting a climb.
If you’re just trying to gawk at the mountain though, the best view from the ground is along a country road on the western edge of the mountain. Or, get to the top of Mt. Scott and have a look across the range to see Haley Peak!
5. Ouachita Mountains
The Ouachita Mountains extend from southeastern Oklahoma to west central Arkansas, and though the highest peak of the range is in Arkansas (Mount Magazine), there’s still some unbelievably sweet places to explore on the Oklahoma side.
The Ouachita Mountains and the Ozark Mountains together form the U.S. Interior Highlands, one of the only mountainous regions between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rockies.
There’s almost an endless supply of activities to embark upon at the Ouachita Mountains; hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, TV, horseback riding, canoeing, rock climbing and even hang gliding.
The 223-mile-long hiking trail through the heart of the mountains, running from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain State Park near Little Rock, is the trip for super hardcore folks, but the Talimena Scenic drive offers a great view (pictured above!) with no sweat necessary.
6. Kiamichi Mountains
The Kiamichi Mountains are sub-range of the Ouachita Mountains, located in southeastern Oklahoma near the towns of Poteau and Albion.
These ancient mountains used to stand as tall as the Rocky Mountains, but now, most are only technically hills, not reaching most geologists height requirements.
Don’t let that stop you from checking out all that the Kiamichi Mountains have to offer in the way of wildlife, with black doves, minks, and bald eagles all being around the area.
7. San Bois Mountains
The San Bois Mountains are a small portion of the larger Ouachita Mountains located in Latimer and Haskell counties.
If you’re going to the San Bois Mountains the obvious place to head is Robbers Cave State Park, which covers more than 8,000 acres and includes three lakes, places to ride horses, fish, boat, and rock climb.
A bonus reason to visit Robbers Cave State Park is the fact that it was used as a hideout by the outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr, along with a number of other criminal fugitives.
8. Quartz Mountain
Also known as “Baldy Point,” Quartz Mountain is one of the westernmost peaks in the Wichita Mountains.
There’s five great camping areas, whether you’re roughing it in a tent or cozy in an RV, at Quartz Mountain park’s campground, about 3 miles from the climbing area.
It’s also a great spot to go eagle watching, with guides available in January and February to help make sure you get a look at what at America’s national bird.
9. Glass Mountain
Known as both the Glass Mountains and Gloss Hills, this epic series of mesas and buttes that extend into northwestern Oklahoma are truly a unique sight to behold
If you’re trying to explore as much of the Glass Mountains as you can, you’ll want to visit Gloss Mountain State Park, just west of Orienta, where you can climb to the top of a mesa via a path and stairs.
There’s also a pond known as Rattlesnake Lake nearby, and picnic tables scattered about if you’re just looking for a gorgeous spot to eat lunch.
10. Boston Mountains
The Boston Mountains form the southwestern part of the Ozark plateau, a rugged portion of the Ozarks.
Though the Boston Mountains are primarily located in northern Arkansas, the western edge of the range extends into eastern Oklahoma.
The steep mountaintops of the Boston Mountains are abundant with forests and rivers, making them a great place to escape from the noise of society for a while.
11. Cookson Hills
Located in east-central Oklahoma, the Cookson Hills are the southernmost portion of the Boston Mountains.
A rugged range of dissected plateaus with countless peaks of varying heights, the Cookson Hills are heavily wooded with black walnut, hickory, and oak trees.
The Illinois River flows southwest through the northwest corner of the Cookson Hills, and is the major water system operating in this area of Oklahoma.
12. Arbuckle Mountains
The Arbuckle Mountains, located in south-central Oklahoma, are the most ancient formations in America between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, and contain the most diverse mineral resources in the whole state.
There’s really an endless supply of fun at the Arbuckle Mountains, with three main recreation areas to visit: Turner Falls Park, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and the Lake of the Arbuckles.
Turner Falls (pictured above) is just 6 miles south of Davis, and, at 77 feet, is the tallest waterfall in the state.
If you’re closer to Sulphur, OK, you can head to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, which has the Lake of the Arbuckles for fishing and woodland trails complete with camp sites.
13. Antelope Hills
Once a major landmark for Plains Indians and Spanish explorers, the Antelope Hills once marked the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico.
They’re an impressive sight to behold in the western plains of Oklahoma, located in Roger Mills County.
The highest peak in the hills is 2,585 feet, and the Canadian River bends around them.
14. Mount Pinchot
Haley Peak might be the highest point in the range, but Mount Pinchot is the highest peak within the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, reaching 2,476 feet.
It is located at the western edge of the refuge, but, unfortunately, access is currently closed to the public.
However, the refuge does run special wildlife viewing tours near the base of the mountain, so you can still enjoy the diverse wildlife standing in the shadow of Mount Pinchot.
15. Black Mesa
Located at the very northwestern tip of the Oklahoma panhandle, Black Mesa extends into New Mexico and Colorado, and marks the point where the Rocky Mountains meet prairielands.
Black Mesa offers a truly unique landscape and is home to 23 rare plants and eight rare animal species, since many species are at the westernmost or easternmost of their natural range.
On top of that, it’s also the highest point in Oklahoma at 4,973 feet, so if you’re the competitive type you’re OK hiking days aren’t finished until you’ve visited Black Mesa.
But the whole area is truly beautiful, with unbelievably cool rock formations (pictured above), over 1,600 acres for hiking, 36 RV sites complete with water and electricity, and 23 camp sites, all at the Black Mesa State Park.
16. Rich Mountain
All the way on the opposite side of the state from Black Mesa is Rich Mountain, which straddles the Arkansas-Oklahoma state border just 45 miles from the western end of the Ouachita National Forest.
Outside of the panhandle, Rich Mountain is the highest point in Oklahoma, but the highest peak of the mountain is actually in Arkansas, so you may have to cross some state lines if you’re feeling adventurous.
(There are actually six peaks on the Oklahoma side of things vying for the title of highest point, so you’ll have to hit them all if you want to be sure you’ve reached the tippy-top)
17. Cavanal Hill
Located near Poteau, poor old Cavanal Hill is one foot shy of being a mountain (1,999 ft.), but that actually gives it the distinction of being the world’s highest hill!
Cavanal Hill is often used as a site for foot and mountain bike races, but if you’re not into all that, then the four and half mile walk up to the top offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Poteau River valley and the surrounding landscape.
18. Lookout Mountain
Located in West Tulsa, the peak of Lookout Mountain offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Pawhuska, Bird Creek Valley, and Osage County.
It’s only 932 feet high, so it’s a lower intensity hike than most of the other peaks on this list.
19. Wilton Mountain
A summit in the Ouachita Mountains in Le Flore County, about 6 miles east of the Arkansas state line, Wilton Mountain is a less-traveled peak in Ouachita National Forest.
Reaching 2,543 feet above sea level, Wilton Mountain is just shy of being in the top ten tallest mountains in Oklahoma.
20. Lost Mountain
Lost Mountain is a part of the Kiamichi Mountains located approximately 10 miles northwest of Antlers, Oklahoma.
Lost Mountain is somewhat of a Lonely Mountain, being pretty much completed isolated from its fellow mountains by a river that flows around its base and Spirit Lake, and ancient channel of the Kiamichi River.
Sounds pretty magical, eh?
21. Big Mountain
You’ve gotta appreciate a straightforward name like “Big Mountain,” even if at 1,145 feet high, it isn’t nearly the biggest one in Oklahoma!
Big Mountain is also part of the Kiamichi Mountains, and is the entry point to an area locally known as the “Kiamichi Wilderness,” an almost completely secluded area of Oklahoma.