Refuge Regulations


  • No fees are required for visiting the Refuge.
  • The Public Use areas of the Refuge are open to visitors during daylight hours.
  • General camping is permitted only at Camp Doris. A fee is required.
  • Backcountry camping requires a permit and is allowed only in certain designated areas.
  • Swimming is not allowed in any Refuge waters.
  • Off-road bicycles are restricted to the Mt. Scott trail.
  • Alcoholic beverages, including 3.2 beer, are prohibited on the Refuge.
  • All pets must be kept on a leash at all times while on the Refuge


  • Technical rock climbing is allowed throughout the Public Use portion of the Refuge during daylight hours, with the following exceptions:
  • Sport rappelling is prohibited in the area popularly known as the “Narrows”, which is defined as the area along West Cache Creek downstream of Boulder Cabin.
  • Placement, removal, or replacement of fixed anchors, including bolts, pitons, rivets, coldshuts, and chains, is prohibited without prior approval of Refuge Management through the Advisory Bolting Committee (ABC) of the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition. Any climber desiring to add, remove, or replace any fixed anchor must submit a “Fixed Anchor Application” for review by Refuge Management and the ABC. Applications are reviewed quarterly, and the reviews are based on aesthetic and natural resource criteria. Applications are available at Refuge Headquarters.
  • Commercial or instructional operators who charge for their services while on Refuge lands are required to obtain an annual Special Use Permit from the Refuge Manager. Fee required.


Wildlife, Weather and Climbing Cautions

In order to ensure that your visit to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is both safe and enjoyable, there are a number of important things to remember.

  • Buffalo, longhorn and other big game animals freely roam the Public Use area, and should be considered extremely dangerous. Visitors are advised to keep safe distances from these animals at all times.
  • Rattlesnakes are abundant and active on the Refuge, and they are very poisonous. Visitors are advised to pay close attention when traveling on foot, especially in the backcountry areas of the Refuge.
  • Thunderstorms containing heavy rains, strong winds, and lightning can develop quickly and without warning. Visitors are advised to be aware of changing weather conditions during any trip to the Refuge. Always carry foul-weather gear, and be prepared to seek shelter.
  • Seasonal temperatures at the Refuge can vary from well-below freezing in the winter to more than 100 degrees in the summer. Visitors are advised to wear the necessary protective clothing, as dictated by the weather, and to always carry an adequate supply of drinking water.
  • Solo traveling in the backcountry areas of the Refuge, even for the experienced adventurer, has numerous risks and dangers. Visitors are advised to leave notice with a friend, at your vehicle, or at Refuge Headquarters of your intended destination and length of stay before venturing out on your own.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Route 1, Box 448
Indiahoma, OK 73552

Statement of Non-Liability for Climbing and Fixed Anchors

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition (WMCC), and the WMCC’s Advisory Bolting Committee (ABC) review fixed anchor applications and make recommendations concerning fixed anchors based upon aesthetic and natural resource criteria. The USFWS, WMCC, and ABC make no representations or warranties regarding the safety, reliability or suitability for use of any fixed anchors or other hardware, currently existing or installed in the future, on any climbing route in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). Moreover, the USFWS, WMCC, and ABC make no representations or warranties regarding the degree of hazard or danger involved, or lack thereof, on any rock climbing route in the Refuge. Rock climbing is a dangerous activity and the individual climber must personally make all decisions regarding his or her own safety while climbing.