Tucked away, about an hour’s drive west of Enid, you’ll find one of Oklahoma most stunning public recreational spaces – the Gloss Mountain State Park.
Sometimes referred to as the Glass Mountains, on account of the high Selenite content which creates an effect that brings to mind shiny glass, this park is renowned for its incredible natural beauty.
Open 365 days a year, this Oklahoma park is an excellent spot to take in the sunrise or sunset.
Unfortunately there are no campsites or overnight lodges there, so you’ll have to stay either at a motel in Fairview, or one of the other nearby campgrounds.
However, if that isn’t an issue for you, then you will be able to immerse yourself in a landscape so beautiful, you could be looking at someone’s screensaver.
About Gloss Mountain State Park
Gloss Mountain State Park is a recreational-educational park that operates under an alliance between the city of Fairview and Oklahoma’s Department of Tourism and Recreation.
Together they formed an agreement which saw the state provide the land, and the local residents manage the park.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset and there are no fees for using it. However, it does have a gatekeeper, who is responsible for opening and locking it up every day and night.
It is characterized by miles of prairie floor that expand into the horizon, which contrasts impressively with the lush green foliage and striking native red dirt. This produces a truly breathtaking landscape of geography, history, Selenite gypsum, geological formations and wildlife.
The park was named ‘Glass Mountain’ by the explorer, Thomas James. When you get to Gloss Mountain State Park, if you think the area looks familiar, there is a good chance you might have seen it before.
That is because it has served as the backdrop for several TV and film productions, including ‘The Jurassic Games’ and the Starz television series ‘American Gods’.
The park is a fairly easy destination to get to from most major cities in the surrounding area.
It will take you about 2 hours to drive north from Oklahoma City, whilst from Tulsa it will take you about 2 hours and 30 minutes. This means you can easily visit the park as a day trip destination from both.
From Wichita in Kansas, it will also take about 2 hours and 30 minutes, and from Amarillo in Texas, it is closer to a four hour drive.
The park itself is situated about 5.5 miles west of Fairview on the US Highway 412, and about 6 miles north of Fairview on US Highway 60.
Vehicular traffic is allowed into it between 7:30 am and 5 pm.
Rising imperiously out of fairly level surroundings, the 1600 foot Gloss Mountains are the big drawcard here.
Whether you hike towards them, photograph them, picnic by them, or simply take in the magnificent views of it at sunrise or sunset, the spectacular scenery will captivate you.
Hiking at Gloss Mountain State Park
The mountain’s major hiking trail is the Cathedral Mountain Mesa Trail. This runs from the parking lot, all the way to the top of the Cathedral Mountain before stretching across the mesa.
It showcases fantastic panoramic vistas of prehistoric mesas and buttes, the valley floor, and the nearby Lone Peak Mountain.
Overall, the year round trail is a 2.4 km loop that is considered moderately challenging. It can be completed from sunrise to sunset and should take you around 40 minutes to traverse.
Although the trail is a very popular one for walking and hiking, you can still enjoy plenty of solitude whilst walking on it.
As there is no shade anywhere on the trail, the best time to hike it in the summer is at sunrise, or sunset. During the winter you should be fine in daylight hours.
Birding at Gloss Mountain State Park
The park is home to a diverse range of birdlife. This includes various birds of prey like buzzards and eagles.
In addition, you’ll also find plenty of other species of birds including painted buntings, rufous-crowned sparrows, and rock wrens.
Nature & Wildlife
Throughout the park you are likely to encounter a range of wildlife. This includes the likes of coyote, jackrabbit, whitetail deer and the western meadow lark.
You will also most likely see lizards, snakes and small rodents like harvest mice too.
The semi-arid conditions feature plenty of buffalo grass, red cedar, cactus, sand bluestem and mesquite trees, cactus, buffalo grass.
Pets at Gloss Mountain State Park
Dogs are welcome, at Gloss Mountain State Park but with restrictions. One of which involves them being kept on a leash at all times.
To find out more information, it is worth calling the park’s main office.
Camping at Gloss Mountain State Park
There are no campsites or other overnight accommodation options in the park.
If you are looking for a place to stay you will need to either book a motel in Fairview, or camp at one of the other campgrounds near the park.
One of the best of these campgrounds is the Gloss Mountain Outfitters which is located in Waynoka, about a 30 minute drive from the park.
This park offers six 50-amp sites with potable water for RV or equestrian camping. There are also six tent camping sites available as well, that all have fire rings, firewood and log seating.
Amenities at the campground include full kitchens, laundry service, TV, Netflix and Internet access.
Facilities at Gloss Mountain State Park
Facilities at Gloss Mountain State Park are quite limited. But they do include a restroom, public water supply, picnic areas, grills and pavilions.
Gloss Mountain State Park
North of Fairview off Hwy 412
Fairview, OK 73737
Below is a brief YouTube video showcasing different things to do at Gloss Mountain State Park: