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Wichita Wildlife Refuge

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Charon's Gardens 
Forty Foot Hole 
Ice Box Crag 
Labyrinth, The 
Meadows, The 
Merlin Crack Area 
Mount Scott 
Narrows, The 
Parking Lot 
Roadside Boulders, The 
Treasure Cove 
Rest Day:
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From MP's sister site:

Wichita Wildlife Refuge Rock Climbing 

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Location: 34.7108, -98.6233 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 134,753
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Craig Childre on Sep 11, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Charon Gardens, Wichita Mountains Wildlife refuge....

Access is always an issue here. MORE INFO >>>


Climbing year round. Look for the shade in the summer and sun in the winter. Spring and fall are the 'in' seasons. World Class granite is the name of the game with some nice boulders as well. The ratings are old school, so everything is solid.

No booze and no guns inside the reserve. All areas open at 9 and close at sundown except the Mt. Scott. Be mindful of your speed in the reserve.

Getting There 

15 minutes west of Lawton Oklahoma, look for the Cache exit, head north into the reserve.


Oklahoma Select "A Climber's Guide" is available at Sharpend books. In this 2004 guide book author Tony Mayse covers the best routes at Quartz Mountain and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.


Climbing Season

Weather station 5.2 miles from here

421 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',37],['3 Stars',119],['2 Stars',129],['1 Star',47],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Wichita Wildlife Refuge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Wichita Wildlife Refuge:
One Hit Wonder   V2 5+     Boulder   Charon's Gardens : Wapiti Bouldering
The Oklahoma Panhandler   V6 7A     Boulder, 1718'   Crab Eyes : Crab Eyes Bouldering
Great Expectations   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch   Charon's Gardens : Elk Slabs
The Dihedral   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 60'   The Narrows : Zoo Wall
Atomic Knee Drop   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   Mount Scott : Upper Mount Scott
High Anxiety   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   Mount Scott : Lower Mount Scott
Water Streak   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X     Trad, 2 pitches, 120'   Charon's Gardens : Elk Slabs
Ker Plunk   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   The Narrows : Lichen Wall
Crazy Alice   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 60'   The Narrows : Zoo Wall
Mr. Clean   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Mount Scott : Lower Mount Scott
Foolish Behavior   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Mount Scott : Upper Mount Scott
Repeat After Me   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Mount Scott : Lower Mount Scott
Dr. Coolhead   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b X     Trad, TR, 60'   The Narrows : Zoo Wall
Spaceballs   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport   The Narrows : Lichen Wall
Layaway Plan   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 60'   Mount Scott : Lower Mount Scott
Aerial Anticipation   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 60'   The Narrows : Aerial Anticipation
League of Doom   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R     Trad, 2 pitches   The Narrows : Lichen Wall
Rap Bolters from Hell   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Charon's Gardens : Lost Dome
Lost My Religion   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch   Charon's Gardens : Lost Dome
Tied to the Whipping Post   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Charon's Gardens : Lost Dome
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Wichita Wildlife Refuge

Featured Route For Wichita Wildlife Refuge
Rock Climbing Photo: My lost dome at Lost Dome.  Staring straight at Ra...

Rap Bolters from Hell 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  OK : Wichita Wildlife Refuge : ... : Lost Dome
Climb up 15 feet or so to the first bolt, may want to have a spot, then begin a series of crimps to gain the second bolt. Move up and right and clip the third bolt from a mini-jug. Just past the third bolt is the crux; move through this section to clip a fixed pin and then clip the last bolt and mantle to the chains.One of the best routes anywhere!...[more]   Browse More Classics in OK

Photos of Wichita Wildlife Refuge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Aerial Anticipation 5.11c. In the Narrows.  Matt o...
Aerial Anticipation 5.11c. In the Narrows. Matt o...
Rock Climbing Photo: A male collard lizard getting some morning sun
A male collard lizard getting some morning sun
Rock Climbing Photo: Charons Garden Wilderness Area  Photo: Ryan Ray
Charons Garden Wilderness Area Photo: Ryan Ray
Rock Climbing Photo: Sun set over Crab Eyes (just left of center) as se...
Sun set over Crab Eyes (just left of center) as se...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mount Scott seen from the Lake Lawtonka east campg...
Mount Scott seen from the Lake Lawtonka east campg...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking east while approaching Echo Dome. August 2...
Looking east while approaching Echo Dome. August 2...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pear and Apple in Charons Garden Wilderness Area  ...
Pear and Apple in Charons Garden Wilderness Area ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Definitely a year round destination! We had a grea...
Definitely a year round destination! We had a grea...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bridge has been replaced.
Bridge has been replaced.
Rock Climbing Photo: Objective hazards when driving through the Wichita...
Objective hazards when driving through the Wichita...

Comments on Wichita Wildlife Refuge Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 12, 2016
By adampeters
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jun 13, 2007
That damn Sasquatch!
By Cels
Feb 24, 2009
Need a Climbing Partner from 3/1/09 to 3/7/09. Any takers?
By Steve DiMarino
From: Los Alamos, NM
May 31, 2010
A few things you should keep in mind when planning a trip to the refuge:

It is VERY humid and hot in the summer. All the climbing that we found, except for a cave area found on upper Mount Scott, is in the sun until later in the afternoon. Even The Meadows, which promised to be North facing by the guide book was directly in the sun until about 1:30 pm. (Somebody please list some a.m. shady climbing if you know of any.)

Bring long (20+ foot) slings or cords to build anchors around boulders. There are few anchors on any of these walls and 10 feet of webbing isn't going to be enough.

There is Poison Ivy everywhere--even inside some of the cracks you are jamming. Be prepared to wash exposed skin and separate clothes soon after climbing. You WILL come in contact with poison ivy--at least in the summer time--it really is everywhere you look.

There are lot's of ticks. We didn't have any tick spray and my son and I picked off 30 ticks between us. Bring something for the ticks or you'll need to find good friend to pull ticks off your ass cheeks and possibly beyond.

Some of the trails (as of 6/10) are a bit over grown, destroyed, or unmarked. Plan on doing some wondering to find the walls. It is not that bad, just not the 15 minute approach promised in the guide
This is just a preparation list of the things I wish I knew before climbing at the refuge. The granite is wonderful and solid. It offers great climbing. I found the rangers very nice and informative and there is no charge for parking or park fees. The park welcomes climbers.
Enjoy, but be prepared.
By Tony Mayse
Mar 28, 2011
I've never had to bring 20'of webbing to set up anything. Cams, cordellete, maybe a couple slings if you're toproping stuff.

Poison ivy in cracks? Hmmm.. I have never had that problem.

Ticks. Yea, like any green area there are ticks but in the 20 years I've been climbing in the Refuge I might get one or two if I don't use bug spray.

A good early AM area to climb in the summer is..
West Face of Crab Eyes, Echo Dome, Hidden Wall, Lost Dome to name a few..
By Jon Wood
May 16, 2011
Ha! Get 'em Tony. Thanks for a great book. Make the trip from Tulsa several times a year. It's like heaven down there. A lifetime of beautiful climbs.
By ddupree
Jul 24, 2011
My wife and I are new to the area and are wanting to learn to climb and rappell. we have NO experience but are eager to learn. Please let us know if there is anyone who can teach this in the area.
By ravisurdhar
From: Phoenix, CO
Sep 24, 2012
Accidentally forgot a blue Sterling rope in a black Metolius rope bag at near the anchor ledge of Upper Mount Scott on 9/23/2012. If anyone found it, please message me or email me at ravisurdhar AT yahoo DOT com. Thank you!!!
By Jonathan M
Feb 5, 2013
If anybody is having any trouble finding a certain area I might be able to help, I recently made a trail map with Google maps of some of the areas! shoot me a message and i'll see if I can dig them up for your. Great granite reminds me of my home Wyoming. The wildlife is awesome out there! Stay safe have fun.
By Matt Handley
From: Fort Drum, New York
Jul 11, 2013
Looking for a partner who can lead with a decent trad rack on weekends between Aug 18th and Sep27th. I'll be at Ft. Sill for a class and would love to check out this area.
By J. Pitts
From: the abyss (kansas)
Sep 5, 2013
Anybody out there want to climb with me September 26th through the 30th? Could be any of those days. I'm a experienced climber, and have been to the area before.
By Ryan Sheldon
From: Oklahoma City, OK
Feb 25, 2014
By Caden
Oct 28, 2014
I'm new to rock climbing and want to climb outdoors. I don't know how to and am looking for a guide does anyone have any suggestions?
By RestoredSteve
Sep 22, 2015
Wasn't sure where to post this but... I am pretty new to climbing. I have recently got into sport climbing at the gym, and obviously have done a lot of TR climbing in the gym and at the Wichitas. Basically, I have not got into trad (yet) and have no cams, only a set of nuts that i've never used. does anybody have any suggestions for top rope climbs (up to 5.11) that can be anchored with slings/webbing OR good sport routes at the Wichitas for a beginner? (max climb at a gym was 5.11 TR, and 5.10b lead)
By RestoredSteve
Sep 22, 2015
Also, when the guide book or the mtn project site says trad,sport rather than just sport, does that mean its a mix and I will have to have a trad rack?
By Craig Childre
From: Lubbock, Texas
Sep 22, 2015
Trad Sport - you are correct. Typically these routes have a few bolts along with some gear placements. On rare occasions the gear isn't necessary, like the #2 cam that can be placed on 'Come and Get Your Love' over at Lost Dome. More often you will find a situation like on Dr. Coolhead, where that first placement is imperative, and even with it, if you blow that clip at that first bolt you'll most likely deck. Coolhead is one of the bolder lead IMHO.
By Cfresh
From: Barrington il
Sep 29, 2015
Hey guys and gals I'm gonna be out this way mid oct to do some bouldering and camping I've made a pretty decent guide book for myself but with all the beta that's on here and how many boulders it seems like out there was wondering if there was any spots that still need climbs developed please let me know I'm a pretty decent route setting imo
By Craig Childre
From: Lubbock, Texas
Sep 29, 2015
If you are looking to establish some new problems. In the refuge, I would park at Treasure Lake and hike up around the area below Elk Slabs and Treasure cove. You can also start in the Sunset Pool on the other end. Lots of rock to play on. Plenty of established problems out there... if you can find them. So much good rock around, you are sure to find something that suits you. Good luck.
By Cfresh
From: Barrington il
Sep 30, 2015
Thanks so much Craig! Really appreciate the info and the quick response if ur in the area and wanna meet us out there please be my guest. I'm really excited the place looks beautiful! My cell is 1847seven36foursix17 I climb v3-v5 hmu I'll be with 3 of my good friends who are beginner climbers. Aka pad carriers (;
By Alex R
From: Lawton
Aug 6, 2016
I am living in Lawton for the next few months, and want to get as much climbing in as possible while I am here. I have a full trad rack and lead 5.9 in Yosemite. I want to get as much climbing in as possible so I am not at all picky. I will happily follow a stronger climber or take it easy with a weaker climber.
By Tristan Bradford
From: Oklahoma City, OK
Oct 12, 2016