Most of Oklahoma is made up of prairie and gently rolling hills, though there are some mountainous areas, mainly in its panhandle region. Riders will find 35 state parks in Oklahoma that contain a variety of terrain, including sand dunes, forests and lakes. Wild bison and coyotes roam its Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, while bighorn sheep and black bear can be spotted in its Black Mesa Area. Riders looking for an escape will find Oklahoma has plenty of open and wild spaces to explore.
One ride on Oklahoma’s Talimena National Scenic Byway will let motorcyclists know that not all of Oklahoma is flat prairie. This very beautiful 55-mile road starts in southeastern Oklahoma in a little rural town called Talihina and ends near Mena, Arkansas. This byway runs along the top of the Winding Stair and Rich Mountains and offers spectacular views, especially in the fall when the trees put on their best autumn finery.
More importantly to some riders, the Talimena Byway contains steep elevation changes, switchbacks, sweepers and lots of nice tight curves. To reach this road from Tulsa, riders take the Muskogee Turnpike southeast to Interstate-40, which they will then take east to Exit 307. Riders then proceed south on US-59. After they pass Poteau, they will turn onto US-271 and head toward Wister. Once riders enter the Ouachita National Forest, they will turn east on State Route 1, which is the start of the Talimena Scenic Byway.
Motorcyclists in the southwestern half of this state looking for another scenic route that has the bonus of twisty, winding sections can head over to the Wichita Mountains Byway. This 93-mile stretch of asphalt carves through the valleys of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, which contains North American’s largest remaining block of cross-timbers and southern mixed grasslands. A herd of approximately 600 bison roam this area, as well as 800 elk and 400 wild turkeys. In addition, the Wichita Mountain Byway boasts a spiraling stretch of asphalt to the top of Mount Scott. This road is located just 25 miles northwest of Lawton. Riders can take I-44 to exit 45 for Highway 49. They will then proceed ten miles to the refuge’s entrance.
The Indian Trail Highway is another stretch of scenic road with sweepers, tight curves and nice elevation changes thrown in. This 21-mile road is located just south of the Ouachita National Forest and stretches from Talihina to Honobia.
Riders who enjoy nostalgia and want bragging rights for having traveled on one of the nation’s most famous roads can point their bikes toward Oklahoma’s 400-miles of old Route 66. Motorcyclists will pass through many charming towns and past quaint roadside diners while cruising along this blast from the past. Interesting attractions along this road include several museums that are dedicated to Route 66. There are also two motorcycle museums on this road -- the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum in Miami, Oklahoma, which includes exhibits about Evil Knievel and Steve McQueen and features over 25 vintage motorcycles, and the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, which was built in 1921 and houses over 65 bikes that range in age from 1908 to the present.
Oklahoma is the site of a number of motorcycle shows, rallies and events, including Bike Week, which is a ten-day rally held in Sparks. Bike Week features live music and lots of games and assorted competitions and is typically held in June.
Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service to motorcycle riders, and the opinions expressed here are subjective. Although we have tried to research this information thoroughly, it is possible that changing circumstances can cause this information to become inaccurate. In addition, the conditions and roads described can change without notice for a number of reasons, including closings, weather conditions and maintenance. Motorcycle events such as rallies and rides may also be cancelled or dates changed without notice, as well. This site is not responsible for these types of circumstances, which are beyond our control, and riders relying on this information will be doing so at their own risk. This site is not liable for any actions a rider takes based on the information provided here. Please consult other sources before heading out on these roads and do not use the directions given here as a map, as again, circumstances may have affected their accuracy.
Comment: Just go back from riding Talimena byway and had a blast. My husband and I try to take 2 rides a year there, a spring and fall ride. If you have never taken a ride there your missing out on some breath taking views.