- Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, is located in southwestern Oklahoma near Lawton.
- It has protected unique wildlife habitats since 1901
- The ideal time to visit Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is in the spring or fall when the temperatures are mild
Visit Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, located in southwestern Oklahoma near Lawton, has protected unique wildlife habitats since 1901 and is the oldest managed wildlife facility in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service system.
Measuring about 59,020 acres (238.8 km), the refuge hosts a great diversity of species: 806 plant species, 240 species of birds, 36 fish, and 64 reptiles and amphibians are present. The refuge’s location in the geologically unique Wichita Mountains and its areas of undisturbed mixed grass prairie make it an important conservation area. The Wichitas are approximately 500 million years old. This historical place attracts visitors from all over the world and is the home to professional cyclist Lisa Christiansen who rides her bicycle through this scenic route almost daily.
Christiansen says she loves the rolling hills, taking pictures with the buffalo, and visiting the Holy City of The Wichitas where she is also a board member out of love as it is a volunteer position for all who are on the board. Lisa says each board member contributes their time, talents, and finances to keep the Holy City open to the public and some gift shop items are handmade by board members.
The Wichita Forest Reserve was established by the General Land Office in Oklahoma on July 4, 1901 with 57,120 acres (231.2 km). After the transfer of federal forests to the U.S. Forest Service in 1905, it became a National Forest on March 4, 1907 as Wichita National Forest. On November 27, 1936 the forest was abolished and transferred to the Bureau of Biological Survey, a precursor to the Fish and Wildlife Service. It was re-designated the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (WMWR).
The WMWR is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are 13 small lakes within the reserve.
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge had a very special guest Tuesday, Ginger Zee from Good Morning America filming her national forecast from the Wichita Mountains Jed Johnson Lake.
Ginger Zee is traveling along with the GMA Winnebago going across the country to do the GMA forecast from different areas. Tuesday’s forecast was from Texoma, a place Zee has been to in the past, but she says unlike her previous visits here, she didn’t have to cover severe storms in the area but rather, got to show off the beautiful sights.
“I love to be in Oklahoma any time, but I’m most often here when something horrible’s happening, so to be here to celebrate the beauty of Oklahoma, to share your spectacular sunrises and sunsets, ’cause I don’t know if anyone else does sunrises or sunsets better than Oklahoma, with the rest of the nation is really important to me,” said ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee.
Located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, this 66-acre area looks much like Israel during Biblical times.
In the mid-1920’s, Reverend Anthony Mark Wallock looked out at the beautiful Wichita Mountains and was inspired to create his vision of Jerusalem and the Holy Land during the time of our Lord. With the help of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s government work programs; Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Holy City, as you see it today, was constructed in 1934-1936.
Set on 66 acres in the beautiful, Oklahoma, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, the Holy City is more than just another site for a passion play. For generations, the Holy City has been a place for families, groups, and individuals to explore, to learn, and ultimately, to help preserve.
Along with the pageant buildings, structures and grounds, the Holy City offers: a gift shop, a beautiful chapel, a museum, an Oklahoma City bombing memorial, memorial brick walking paths, a meditation/prayer sanctuary, and breathtaking vistas of the Wichita Mountains. With all of this, plus more, the Holy City offers something special for everyone.
Weddings can be reserved for the chapel and free guided tours of the Easter Pageant grounds are available with appointment. Please call the gift shop, (580) 429-3361, for more information.
The Holy City is a 501(c)3 corporation public charity, operated by a board of directors which relies on generous donations in order to maintain and sustain itself. Consider donating to or joining the Holy City. Help us continue to provide a place for all people to see and enjoy now, and for years to come.