From its magnificent rivers to its rolling landscapes, Oklahoma is one of the most naturally stunning states in the U.S. To best experience what this beautiful state has to offer, escape to Gloss Mountain State Park. With its opportunity for hiking, biking, fishing, and birdwatching, plus area attractions worth making a weekend getaway out of, you’ll have plenty to enjoy. Gloss Mountain is one of the true gems of Oklahoma. Here are the best things to do in and around the park.
The Gloss Mountains are located near Fairview, Oklahoma. Sometimes, they’re called the Glass Mountains, because of the selenite content that makes these mountains appear to have a shiny, glass-like exterior. The park has restroom facilities, and public water and grills. Climbing to the top of Cathedral Mountain gives you a spectacular view across the landscape. Bring your camera to take home your memories!
The Wildlife Department recommends taking Loop 8 around the area to experience the mesas that glitter with bright hues of green, gold, and blue. Take Highway 412 between Orienta and Bouse Junction for a scenic route that is also a great birding route. You might see road runners, turkey vultures, and eagles.
Park in the lower parking lot. Follow the trail to the top of Cathedral Mountain. The trail is 1.2 miles in length. The park has brochures available which point out the interesting facts, but you’ll see many rock formations, working oil pump jacks, ponds, wildlife, and stunning views along every step of the hike. There’s a stairway system in place to help you get to the top.
About 30 miles northeast of the park, you’ll find a museum that was once a Harvey House. It’s a nice place to get some history about the area and see what it might have been like riding the train in the late-19th century.
This authentic German restaurant is a great place to get dinner. It’s been serving Bavarian food, like jaeger schnitzel, pretzels and authentic German beers since 1998. While this is an Oklahoma favorite all year long, the German cuisine is particularly excellent during the colder months.
At one time, sod houses dotted the Oklahoma landscape. This sod house in Aline, about 20 miles from the state park, is the only one remaining in Oklahoma that was built in the late-19th century. This museum has preserved early artifacts from a homesteader’s life. It’s a great exhibit to experience what life might have been like in early statehood.
The state park doesn’t offer campsites, but this ranch, just a few minutes away from the park has campsites, RV sites, and a lodge. They have a stocked farm pond, just bring your license and equipment. From May to September, the wildflowers are in bloom and truly a sight to see. The light pollution is limited, making star gazing a great evening activity!