Oklahoma’s beauty is often overlooked, but those who venture into its southwestern wilderness are in for a captivating surprise. Sweeping plains and serene lakes intermingle with the rugged Wichita Mountains to create stark yet breathtaking natural vistas. The allure of the region is amplified by the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, a 59,000-acre sanctuary to native plants and animals. It’s no wonder hiking Mount Scott and the surrounding area is one of the most popular ways to explore Oklahoma.

Within the untamed beauty of the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, Mount Scott beckons adventurous hearts and nature enthusiasts with majestic allure. It doesn’t stand with the likes of Pikes Peak, Quandary Peak, or other towering peaks of our neighbors in Colorado. Nevertheless, it stands proudly and prominently with accessibility for all to its humble summit. Road trippers, cyclists, and hikers alike can experience a showcase of rugged terrain, a diverse ecosystem, and stunning vistas that define this extraordinary region of Oklahoma on the 2.8-mile paved road.

Whether hiking Mount Scott is on your Oklahoma bucket list, or you are simply a nature lover seeking a memorable experience, this small but Oklahoma mountain is a must-visit destination.

Best Times to Hike Mount Scott in Oklahoma

The best times to hike Mount Scott largely depends on a few different factors – personal preference, weather conditions and accessible hours. Spring and Fall are generally considered the most favorable seasons for hiking as the temperatures are mild and the landscapes are vibrant. In the spring, wildflowers paint the trail while autumn brings colorful foliage. Summertime, however, offers the benefit of longer daylight hours.

If you plan to hike Mount Scott in the summer, it’s important to remember that Oklahoma temperatures can soar into the 90s or even above 100 degrees. Hikers should plan their ascent time accordingly and bring plenty of water and sun protection. In the summer, I highly recommend arriving early in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat.

Summer Wildflowers and Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge

Hiking and Driving Hours

Mount Scott is accessible to hikers Monday through Thursday from sunrise to sunset. On these days, hikers share the road with those opting to drive to the summit. Since visiting Mount Scott is such a popular weekend road trip, pedestrian access is limited to 12 noon on Friday through Sunday and vehicle access is restricted until 12 noon. Regardless of what day you choose to hike Mount Scott, if you want to avoid as many cars as possible, plan a morning hike.

The final consideration, and a particularly important one, is to be mindful of the weather. Rain, wind, snow, and even ice all affects the safety of the mountain. If in doubt, save your hike for another day. If dangerous conditions are suspected, the mountain will generally be closed.

Hiking Hours for Mount Scott in Oklahoma

Mount Scott Hiking Duration and Difficulty

The paved road leading to the summit of Mount Scott is roughly 2.8 miles with 1000 feet in elevation gain. There’s little break in incline but there are a number of spots to pause and enjoy the views. For the average person, this hike would be considered moderately challenging. Since it is paved, you won’t have to worry about uneven terrain or technical skills. It’s really just a matter of endurance capability. If you are worried about being too young or too old, don’t. When you head out, you will see all kinds of folks from young children to the young at heart.

Keep in mind, it’s also not a race, nor should it be. Take your time and enjoy some of Oklahoma’s most splendid views. Bringing a camera, even if it’s your phone, is an absolute must. Depending on fitness levels and taking into account time spent admiring the scenery, allocate about 2-4 hours to complete the round-trip journey. I would consider myself to be at an average fitness level and I completed the ascent in just under 1 hour and 15 minutes and descended in approximately 45 minutes.

Hiking times for Mount Scott near Lawton, Oklahoma.

This is how long it took me to walk up and back down from Mount Scott. I spent about 15 minutes at the summit.

The Hiking Experience

The journey begins at the base of the mountain where visitors can park their vehicles near the entrance. There is not a designated parking area per se. You’ll see vehicles lined up along the shoulder of highway 49. Just find a spot and head to the gate. As you begin your ascent, the winding road gradually reveals captivating vistas of the surrounding area. Designated viewpoints and pull-offs invite both drivers and hikers to stop and marvel at the panoramic views.

While the paved route is the only route for hikers and many would argue its “trail” status, it remains a rewarding experience. As you set foot on the trail, you’ll find yourself immersed in a landscape that effortlessly blends granite peaks, rolling hills, and picturesque plains. The region’s rich geological history is evident in the majestic rock formations that line the path and dot the horizon.

The trail, although challenging at times, is an opportunity to disconnect from the busyness of everyday life and reconnect with nature. The southwestern Oklahoma wilderness and wildlife refuge offers a sense of tranquility that can only be found in the great outdoors. A welcome respite from the hustle and bustle.

Hiking Mount Scott in Oklahoma is an experience that leaves an indelible mark on visitors, especially those with a misconception of the state’s natural beauty. Reaching the summit is a moment of triumph, rewarding hikers with an unparalleled view of the wildlife refuge and beyond. From this lofty perch, the breathtaking panorama stretches as far as the eye can see. Southwest Oklahoma truly is a testament to Oklahoma’s diverse awe-inspiring landscapes.

How to Prepare to Hike Mount Scott in Oklahoma

As with any hike, proper preparation is crucial. While the paved road may not present the same challenges as traditional trails, it’s still important to keep your health and safety at the forefront. Equip yourself with sturdy footwear, ample water supply, and sunscreen. Athletic shoes are fine but if you need more ankle support, throw on your hiking boots. I see a lot of people with just a bottle of water, and I don’t personally recommend that. That’s a fast track to dehydration or worse, a heat stroke.

A good rule of thumb to stay adequately hydrated is to drink 2 cups per hour or a liter per two hours. I carried about 1.5 liters in a camelback and had a little bit left at the end. In heat and humidity, you should bump that up. So, if you insist on a bottle, make it a big one.

Sunscreen is important anytime, but essential if you’re hiking Mount Scott. There is no shade on the trail and the Oklahoma sun can be brutal. Before you head out, protect any exposed skin with sunscreen. If you sunburn easily, you may want to toss some in your backpack.

Finally, be mindful of your physical limits and choose a pace that allows you to fully enjoy the experience. Listen to your body, break when you need to, and never be ashamed to turn around if it gets to be too much. The mountain isn’t going anywhere. You can always drive up to enjoy the views safely and come back another time to try again.

Precautions and Tips for Hiking Mount Scott

Before embarking on a hike to Mount Scott, it is essential to be well-prepared. This list summarizes some precautions and tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Carry plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the hike, especially during hot weather.
  • Wear proper shoes and comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. You may also want to consider a hat.
  • Check the weather and avoid attempting to hike during storms or any other adverse conditions.
  • Stay on the trail or, in this case, the paved road. Be mindful of any signage or instructions from the wildlife refuge authorities.
  • Pack light snacks to enjoy at the summits or during breaks on the trail in case you get hungry.
  • Leave no trace. If you have trash, hang on to it until you can throw it away properly.
  • Don’t rush! Take time and enjoy the stunning views of southwest Oklahoma.
Me on the top of Mount Scott overlooking the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge.

Where to Eat after (or before) hiking Mount Scott

After hiking Mount Scott, you will probably be hungry and ready to refuel. Fortunately, there are plenty of local restaurants nearby.

Eat in Meers

One of the most well-known places to eat when visiting the area is in Meers, Oklahoma. The Meers Store and Restaurant has been serving their famous burgers since 1901. It’s widely considered to be the best burger in Oklahoma.

Of course, everyone has their own opinion, and the Meersburger can be somewhat of a controversial topic with burger fanatics. The best thing to do is just try it sometime and decide for yourself. Meers is located about 15 minutes from Mount Scott and the restaurant is the only thing that remains of the town.

Eat in Medicine Park

Another option is to make it a day trip and hop over to Medicine Park, Oklahoma. Along with a number of places to eat, you” find a few shops to wander in and out of and a town swimming hole if you feel like cooling off. If you need a caffeine charge, Mrs. Chadwick’s Bakery is home to the coffee slurry. The slurry is kind of like a milkshake made with coffee ice-cream and espresso topped with chocolate, caramel and whipped cream. It’s delicious!

If you do eat in Medicine Park, be sure to double check the hours of where you want to eat. Medicine Park is pretty busy on the weekends so many restaurants close for a day or two during the week for their “weekend.”

Things to Know About Mount Scott, Oklahoma

Where in Oklahoma is Mount Scott?

Mount Scott stands tall in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, located 10 miles north of Lawton and 90 miles south of Oklahoma City. To reach Mount Scott, visitors can access the refuge via Highway 49.

How tall is Mount Scott in Oklahoma?

Mount Scott in Oklahoma has an elevation of 2,464 feet (751 meters) above sea level. However, its actual height, or prominence, above the surrounding area is about 1,190 feet (363 meters).

Can you drive up Mount Scott?

Yes. There is a paved road that leads to the summit of Mount Scott, making it accessible by vehicle. This road provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy the scenic views without the need for hiking. It’s worth noting that the road may have some steep grades and tight curves, so caution should be exercised while driving.

Is Mount Scott Oklahoma’s tallest mountain?

Mount Scott is not the tallest mountain in Oklahoma. The highest peak in Oklahoma is Black Mesa, located in the far western part of the state. Black Mesa has an elevation of 4,973 feet (1,516 meters) above sea level, making it the highest point in Oklahoma. Mount Scott, on the other hand, has an elevation of 2,464 feet (751 meters) above sea level.

When is Mount Scott open?

Mount Scott in Oklahoma is generally open year-round for visitors to explore, but accessibility and specific areas may be affected by conditions or circumstances. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, where Mount Scott is located, has designated operating hours from sunrise to sunset, allowing visitors to access the mountain and its trails. However, it’s advisable to check with the refuge directly for current information on closures, restrictions, or special conditions that may impact access.

Is hiking Mount Scott hard?

Hiking Mount Scott can vary in difficulty depending on your individual fitness level. The paved road leading to the summit is roughly 2.8 miles one-way with an average grade of approximately 7%. Heat and humidity can also impact the ease or difficulty.

How long does it take to walk/hike up Mt Scott?

Again, this will vary based on your health and fitness. For most people, hiking Mount Scott’s paved access road will take somewhere between one and two hours. Hiking back to the base of Mount Scott will likely only take about half of that time or a little more.

Jenna Walker

Hey there! I’m Jenna, a proud Oklahoma with an insatiable curiosity for the world. Writing has been my compass on a journey to understand and share the Oklahoma experience. Join me as we uncover the layers of history, culture, and hidden tales that make Oklahoma truly special.