Established in 1901,the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Measuring about 59,020 acres, the Refuge hosts a great diversity of species: 806 plant species, 240 kinds of bird, more than 50 mammals, 36 fish, and 64 reptiles and amphibians are present. The refuge's location in the geologically unique Wichita Mountains and its areas of undisturbed mix grass prairie make it an important conservation area.
The 59,020 acre Refuge hosts a rare piece of the past - a remnant mixed grass prairie, an island where the natural grasslands escaped destruction because the rocks underfoot defeated the plow. The Refuge provides habitat for large native grazing animals such as American bison, Rocky Mountain elk, and white-tailed deer. Texas longhorn cattle also share the Refuge rangelands as a cultural and historical legacy species.
Driving Directions: From I-44 take Highway 49 (exit 45). Go west 10 miles to the Refuge gate. If coming from Highway 62, take Highway 115 (Cache exit) north to the Refuge Gate.
Fort Sill remains the only active Army installation of all the forts on the South Plains built during the Indian Wars. It has been designated as a national historic landmark and serves as home of the U.S. Army Field Artillery and the Field Artillery Training Center (FATC). It was once the running ground of Geronimo and the Apache Indians and there are several burial sites in Fort Sill including Geronimo's Grave. Be sure and also check out the Fort Sill Stables and Museums, Artillery walk and Missile park.
The School of Fire for the Field Artillery. was founded at Fort Sill in 1911 and continues to operate today as the world renowned U.S. Army Field Artillery School. At various times Fort Sill has also served as home to the Infantry school of Musketry, the School for Aerial Observers, the Air Service Flying School, and the Army Aviation School.
Located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, this 66-acre area looks much like Israel during Biblical times, and is the site of the nation's longest running Easter passion play, "The Prince of Peace." Attendance reached an all-time high in 1939 when 225,000 visitors jammed Audience Hill for the sunrise performance. Other attractions include a memorial for the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing (see picture on the right). Carved in each brick at the base are the names of all who died. Also be sure and check out the Veterans Walkway, and the World Chapel, which has become a popular wedding locale.
Driving Directions: Located approximately 22 miles NW of Lawton, or 10 miles W of I-44.