With summer in full swing, there’s nothing quite like a scenic drive through the state. Oklahoma harbors a plethora of destinations for your viewing pleasure – whether you want to drive, bike or hike, this list should have you covered on all things picturesque.

Mt. Scott Service Road

Located inside the Wichita Mountain Refuge in Lawton, this service road had some truly stunning views from the top. The paved, three mile path leading to the top has a steep incline, so be prepared to hustle your way up. Be aware that Friday through Sunday, hikers must be off the road by noon, as cars and bikes have exclusive access during that time. 

Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway

Located off Loop W. of Apache on Highways 19, 58, 115 and 49 in Lawton, the byway contains all kinds of beautiful vistas for your eyes and your camera to enjoy. There are also plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, including bison and the endangered black-capped vireo. 

Talimena National Scenic Byway

Located off Highway 1 and 271 in Talihina, this 54-mile route is built for gallivanting through some of the state’s most wonderful locales. On top of all the sights you can take in, there is also camping, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and horseback riding, available year-round. 

Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway

Located off State Highway 82 and State Highway 10 N. in Tahlequah, this location is perfect for anyone wanting to soak in years of history as well as capitalize on some striking photo opportunities. After you’ve taken in the sights, the Illinois River sits right nearby and is perfect for canoeing, rafting or kayaking, all of which are perfect ways to cool off from the summer heat.

Historic Route 66

Located statewide, the well-known Mother Road is perfect for anyone looking for varied points of historic interest. With 426 miles to cover, you’ll have your work cut out for you. Along the road you’ll also encounter museums, more than 120 historic road signs and spectacular views from one of the original highways built in the US.

The Kiamichi Trace

Located off Highway 271 in Hugo, this path was once a military trail connecting Fort Smith and Fort Towson. There are plenty of mountains, rivers and pine forests. The Kiamichi River and the footpath along its banks also serve as a historical reminder of the route that Indigenous people traversed years ago. 

Osage Nation Heritage Trail

Located off Highway 60 in Ponca City, the 70-mile long path contains some of the state’s most magnificent landscapes. Wild horses and buffalo roam the land, just begging to be photographed, and the surrounding hills used to be home to nefarious gangs in the 1920s and 1930s. If you want to see some old estates of historic oil barons like Frank Phillips or Harry Sinclair, those are also in this area and perfect for a quick pit stop.

Main photo cutline: Whether you’re traversing on foot, on a motorcycle or in a car, scenic byways and highways lend themselves to spectacular Oklahoma views. Photo courtesy the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department

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