Nature August 05, 2017
The 10 Best Backroads In Oklahoma For A Long Scenic Drive
If you’re looking for a way to spend your spare time, maybe a long scenic drive is just what you need. Oklahoma is home to many backroads, scenic roads and byways that are perfect for an afternoon getaway. Here are the 10 best roads that will show you the Sooner State unlike any other. Who’s ready to begin exploring?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Highway 325
Enjoy the rugged beauty of Western Oklahoma along Highway 325 from Boise City to Kenton. This 38-mile drive will take you to the beautiful mesas that meet the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and to Black Mesa - the highest point in the state.
2. Route 66
Route 66 travels through 400 miles of Oklahoma's diverse communities and countryside ending in Quapaw in the north and near Texola in the south. You will travel through small towns, across historic bridges, alongside lakes and through breathtaking scenery.
3. Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway
Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway travels through southwest Oklahoma's historic towns of Medicine Park, Meers, Mountain View and Apache and onto the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The drive begins on OK-49 at exit 45 off I-44, an hour south of Oklahoma City. The drive is approximately 30 miles long and shows you some of the best scenery in Oklahoma.
4. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Road
This scenic route on public county roads takes you through the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and across neighboring ranches. The drive starts and ends in Pawhuska, and is approximately 50 miles long. You should allow about two hours to take the drive at a leisurely pace, including time for stopping.
5. The Cherokee Hills Cultural Byway
The 88-mile byway follows Highway 10 north of Interstate 40 to U.S. Highway 412 winding through Sequoyah, Cherokee, Adair and Delaware counties. Highlights of the drive include Lake Tenkiller and the Illinois River that are carved out by blue-grey flint stone, encased by towering bluffs and lined by some of the most picturesque foliage in Oklahoma.
6. Highway 412
Highway 412 in northwestern Oklahoma is known as the loneliest highway in the Sooner State and the straightest highway in America. The first portion of this lonely, straight highway runs from Boise City to just west of Guymon and is straight for 47.7 miles. The second section picks back up again from Hardesty to just east of Slapout for another 65.5 miles.
7. Talimena Scenic Byway
The Talimena Scenic Byway winds 54 miles along the crest of Rich Mountain and Winding Stair Mountain in the Ouachita National Forest. Without stops at the many vistas and attractions along the way, the route takes 1 hour and 10 minutes to drive. A leisurely drive can take all day. It is the most popular scenic drive in the state of Oklahoma.
8. The Mountain Gateway Scenic Byway
The Mountain Gateway Scenic Drive in southeast Oklahoma follows U.S. Highway 59/ 270 for 22 miles between Heavener, Oklahoma and the Arkansas state line. This state highway is a two-lane paved road with some steep grades and sharp curves. Drive through the forested valleys of the Ouachita Mountains, one of America's oldest land masses.
9. Road To Cavanal Hill
Cavanal Hill in Poteau, Oklahoma, stands at 1,999 ft. tall and is just 1 foot short of being classified as a mountain. Not only can you hike up the hill, but you can take an unforgettable drive to the top of it. The drive to the top of the hill will take you about 45 minutes. Stop along the way and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. The road is paved the entire route, but be careful of steep grades on your way down the hill.
10. Highway 60
This beautiful 70-mile drive along Highway 60 in Oklahoma will show you stunning scenery, historical places and world-class attractions. You’ll travel from Bartlesville and end your drive in Ponca City (or vice versa) and enjoy a relaxing afternoon getaway.
Have you seen our waterfalls road trip excursion in Oklahoma? Check it out