Autumn in Oklahoma is more beautiful than even most Oklahomans realize. When the green, lush foliage of summer turns to brilliant crimsons and striking oranges and golds, the scenic drives in Oklahoma rival many of the Northeastern highways and byways. Day trips or extended weekend getaways along the state’s most scenic roadways are memorable experiences well worth the effort.
Talimena National Scenic Byway
The Talimena National Scenic Byway, Talimena Drive for short, along the ridgeline of the Rich and Winding Stair mountains is not only a must-see for every Oklahoman but for every American. In a 54-mile scenic drive that spans from East Oklahoma to the Western part of Arkansas, you’ll see some of the most beautiful landscapes this side of the Appalachians. In fact, this majestic tour though gorgeous mountain vistas takes you to the highest elevation between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains.
About forty miles of the trip is contained in Oklahoma, and the stops along the way are breathtaking. Nearly twenty scenic turnouts like Castlerock and Sugarloaf will inspire you with the magnificent beauty of nature. The sharp-curved roads, some of which are 13% graded steep roadways, will give you an experience you won’t soon forget. As you look down on rolling leaf-covered hill upon tree-lined hill, you’ll realize that Oklahoma is one of the prettiest and most-cherished places to visit, especially in the fall months.
Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway
Anyone visiting the Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway will be stunned by a jaw-dropping mosaic view of rocky lowlands, golden prairies and tree-filled hills. The meandering road takes you through easy-traveling landscapes with historic communities locked forever in a time gone by. During summer months, travelers experience a kaleidoscope of color from rolling hills covered in wildflowers. In autumn, visitors are welcomed with the changing fall colors by the many species of trees and grasses along the spectacular leaf-covered mountainsides.
Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway
The Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway provides tremendous wildlife for your viewing appreciation. This is the case, no more than anywhere else, than when passing through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. This amazing refuge is home to over 50 kinds of mammals, 240 types of birds, 64 species of reptiles and amphibians, 36 kinds of fish and over 800 varieties of plants, all to be admired. Iconic plains animals such as bison and various endangered species such as the black-capped vireo will provide every lover of the natural world something to admire.
Mountain Gateway Scenic Byway
It may only be 22 miles long, but the Mountain Gateway Scenic Byway is one of the most scenic stretches of road in the country. Open year round except during icy conditions, this highway between Heavener, Oklahoma and the Arkansas state line provides panoramic views of the forests of the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area.
On the north side of the highway is the Black Fork Wilderness, and on the south side is the Robert S. Kerr Arboretum. Black Fork’s centuries-old white oaks, some over one hundred feet tall, tower to the heavens on the north slope, all within view of the highway. Hiking and many other forms of outdoor recreation on the south side in the arboretum make this trip special, no matter where you come from and where ever you decide to stop along the way.
Route 66 may not include views of rolling hills and majestic mountains, but this iconic road is still as scenic as any other highway in the country. Hundred of nostalgic spots, forever preserved in the annals of popular culture history, make a visit on this highway a special treat.
You can pull off the road in Catoosa, Oklahoma and snap a selfie in front of the Blue Whale, placing yourself smack dab into all things Americana. Also visit the Will Rogers Memorial Museums off of Route 66, where you can pay homage to Oklahoma’s Favorite Son, the cowboy, actor and humorist, Will Rogers. It’s a reminder of much more simple days.
A stretch of Route 66 takes you to Vintita, Oklahoma, where you can visit Clanton’s, a restaurant featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Clanton’s serves some of the best chicken fried steak or catfish you’ll ever eat.
All in all, Oklahoma has some of the most unique scenic drives in the United States and for Oklahomans, that means they’re only a stone’s throw away. To help get your vehicle in tip-top shape, whether it’s for one of these scenic road trips or your daily commuting needs, come visit us at Kwik Kar Oil Change & Auto Repair. We are ready to assist you with the routine maintenance, preventative care, and repair services your vehicle needs to get you safely where you’re going. To schedule an appointment or talk to our knowledgeable team, call us at 918-641-4940. Or stop by any time, no appointment needed!