The Wichita Mountains are one of Oklahoma's hidden natural wonders. Spread throughout a sizeable area of the state's southwestern corner, these mountains provide visitors with stunning views, rolling, rock and boulder-laden hills, and pleasant backcountry streams. If you're looking to incorporate all of those things into a single hike, the Elk Mountain Adventure is for you.
Parking for this hike is located at its southern end near Post Oak Lake and Treasure Lake. From the trailhead, the trail heads north along the lake through fairly mellow terrain for roughly a mile. In general, the terrain through the beginning of the hike is fairly open, with large mountains poised on both sides of grassy valley bottom. Eventually though, that valley ends in a moderate-to-steep drainage and headwall climbing into the boulder-ridden mountains. After reaching the saddle between two hills, the trail takes a downward turn and provides pleasant, easy hiking to a junction with the Crab Eyes Trail and onward to a second parking area at its northern end.
From this parking area, follow the trail east as it embarks on the second phase of the hike in a summit bid for Elk Mountain. Now on the Elk Mountain Trail, expect moderate to steep grades for roughly a mile as you ascend through rocky outcroppings and patches of woodland. Eventually, the trail reaches a ridgeline, continuing southeast through similar terrain to its end at an incredible view of French Lake.
When you've soaked up your fill of the gorgeous scenery from this viewpoint, turn around and follow the trail home to your car the same way you came.