Over the past couple of months, I’ve posted some of my favorite photographs from certain areas: The San Juan Range, the Sawatch Range, the Front Range — all from Colorado — and so forth.
But while I grew up in Colorado, I don’t live there. My home state is Oklahoma, a place outside our borders that is not seen as one of those “outdoorsy” states. I realize it will be a hard sell to change minds. We’re more known for prairie vistas, big oil, college football and so on. But if you’re not from here, you’d be surprised at what you’ll find. So here goes, a sampling (there is so much more I haven’t seen or documented) of my favorite scenes from the Sooner State…
These first few are from close to home, Natural Falls State Park.
On the other side of the state is another state park, Glass Mountains State Park. Far different scenery from a much different ecosystem.
Even farther west are the remains of ancient lava fields that now make up the Black Mesa area of the far western Panhandle. Mesas, hoodoos and more.
No tour of Oklahoma’s natural scenery would be complete without heavy dose of the Wichita Mountains, some of the oldest mountains in the world and a patch of earth known for wildlife, hiking and rock climbing. Unbelievable scenery here.
Even within the city limits of Tulsa, there are some great scene of natural beauty. Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness is a hilly, wooded paradise for trail runners and mountain bikers, and there are even some good bouldering crags inside Chandler Park.
So there you have it. Just a sampling. Not pictured are the Kiamichi Mountains and the Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma (some of the most beautiful countryside you’ll see), Little Sahara and the sweeping natural tallgrass prairie that dominates much of the land.
Come on down. You might be surprised at what you’ll find.