Lost Lake Dam Loop via Bison Trail
1 review Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge #4 hike out of 10 in
3 hrs 4 min
This is a moderate loop trail to Lost Lake in Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.
This trail goes by West Cache Creek and French Lake Dam.
Sights to See
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Track (12/31/21, 9:29:46AM)
Well, our tradition of hiking on New Year's Day HAD to be changed b/c Jan 1, 2022 is supposed to be BAD! Thankfully, Happy Hiker members are very flexible & were willing to make the hike on New Years Eve. Thank You!! We 16 met at French Lake at 9:30am with light jackets & good attitudes. We were happy to see some hikers who rarely get to hike with us. Also Bonnie's hubby, Billy, was back from Germany for a couple of weeks so it was good to have him hike with us. Different ones led the Bison Trail loop in a counter-clockwise direction. Temps during the 6.3 mile hike were 52-58 cloudy degrees, so in 20 minutes we were shedding our jackets. Once on the trail we quickly recognized that the WMWR volunteers (FOW) had been very busy at work weed-eating the brush at the trail. Thank you SO MUCH! We stopped occasionally for water breaks & to change leaders. At Flintstone House (Cathy Emerson's name for the rock formation) we were lucky to have "Roger" happen by & took a pic of all 16. We hiked on pass Forty Foot Hole...water level very low. As we stared down into the creek, who would we see but Willie. He had climbed down into the 40-foot hole area & stayed down in the creek bottom for 1/4 mile or so. We just could not keep up with Willie's antics. At the Lost Lake Dam we took 20 minutes to have lunch & take some pics of the last cobblestone dam at the Refuge. Stephanie, not to be outdone by her spouse, Willie, climbed up some of the cobblestone on the dam. Good times there. We saw 3-4 of the 7 dams that were built during the Depression to give young men jobs. (The Lost Lake Dam is one of the 7). The dams create what I've heard call: " The Fish Lakes,” or “Chain of Lakes.” Most of us walked out to view the Spiral Fish Ladder. Once again, Willie walked across that dam (it is narrow and slanted, not flat!!!) & we had to marvel. About 7 fish ladders were built on west Cache creek with the purpose of being a way for fish to return to French Lake to spawn after the dam was built, but they didn't really work as OK has few or no migrating fish. We arrived back at our vehicles at 1:15pm for one last pic & a lot of "Happy New Year" verbal salutations. SO HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! Hikers today were: Sun Beaudoin, Kim Gregory, Peggy Bertelli, Cynthia Usher, Carol Gardner, Judy Neale, Pam Hurst, Kelly Sullins, Peggy & Ronnie Avants, Bonnie & Billy McMahon, Willie & Steph Threet, & Eddie & Teddy Worthington. Thanks for coming.