Guymon Convention and Tourism Bureau: 580.338.5838, www.guymonok.org, Address: 802 NE 6th Street, Guymon. Directions: West of AutoZone on Hwy 54.
Beaver Dunes Park (2-14) 580.625.3373, www.travelok.com. Directions: Located in the town of Beaver. From intersection of West 3rd Street and US Hwy270/ SH 23 in Beaver, go north on US Hwy 270 for 1.4 miles to state park.
Lodging: Guymon: (9) motels, www.guymoncofc.org, 580.338.5838; (2) RV parks; (1) B&B, The Willows Inn, 580.338.1303. Hooker: Cole Family Inn 580.652.2951, (2) lodges - www.pheasantridgehunting.com, 866.486.8637; The Bunk House, email@example.com, 580.778.3697. Beaver: Hillcrest Motel (580.625.4561; Beaver Motel (580.625.4543) Camping & RV Hookups: Beaver Dunes Park (contact info above).
- As rainfall events occur infrequently in this area, please contact the Optima Wildlife Management Area biologist at 806.339.5175 to find out if playas are holding water.
One-Day Outings/ Birding Routes: Pack a picnic lunch or enjoy lunch at any of the local cafes.
Playa Lake Route:
route is approximately 75 miles long and begins on Hwy 136 north out of
Guymon. Continue north to County Road 7 and drive east (approximately 9
miles) to the first stop, McKinley Playa (2-2).
Head east into Hooker to the next stop south of Hooker on Hwy 94,
Balzar Playa (2-3). Continue south to Hwy
412. Go east (left) on Hwy 412 to Road 49 east of the town of Hardesty and
turn north (left) to visit Optima Lake (2-6)
for an overview of the “lake”. Off the Beaten Trail: Travel east of
Hooker ~ 11 miles to county road (NS57). Travel south 1 mile, turn east and
follow signs to the Lunceford Playa (2-9).
Travel east 1.3 miles to Flynt Playa (2-10).
Go left on NS59 road and view the prairie dog town beside Hwy 64. Travel
west on Hwy 64 to road (NS58). Go north 4 miles then turn west one mile to
the Old Railroad Crossing (2-11). Walk the
old railroad right-of-way overlooking the Laverrase Playa.
Optima Lake (2-6): Go east (left) on Hwy 412 to Road 49 east of the town of Hardesty and turn north (left). Low-water levels have kept this impoundment from becoming a lake but is instead an outstanding wetland and very important for migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl. The road and parking areas along the Optima Lake (2-6) provide an excellent overview of this wetland. Return to Hwy 412 and travel east to County Road 53. Turn north and travel to Road T (~7 miles). Turn west and follow to County Road 49, follow south into Optima WMA (2-4). This area covers over 8,000 acres of sagebrush, buffalo grass, sand plum thickets, mixed-grass prairies and cottonwood trees. The many gravel roads within the WMA will take the visitor to different access points. Caution: After a rain these roads can be difficult to drive. Turn left onto Hwy 94 to visit Optima NWR (2-5) which traverses through bottomland hardwoods and prairie grasslands. Visit Shultz WMA (2-7) by following Road 47, 5 miles south of Hwy 412. This is a walk-in only WMA which offers creek-side habitat, mixed-grass and shortgrass prairies, and sandplum thickets.
Please Note: there are no restrooms on Optima Lake.
Sunset Lake & Game Reserve (2-1): Pack a picnic and spend the day relaxing at this exceptional park, maintained by the city of Guymon. Named for its view of beautiful sunsets, the 32-acre lake offers a 1 mile concrete walking trail around the lake through a diversity of trees and shrubs which provide an oasis for songbirds. Fishing in winter for trout and year-round for catfish is exceptional and fishing licenses can be purchased at City Hall and other locations in Guymon (580.338.5838). Just north of the Lake across the dam is the Wild Game Reserve. Drive around the enclosure around the Reserve to view bison, prairie dogs, elk and exotic wildlife.
Beaver Dunes Park (2-14): Offers a variety of family recreational activities including a 1-mile interpretive hike through the dunes, horseshoes, volleyball, picnicking areas and of course there is the Off-Road Vehicle dune area for motorcycles, dune buggies, ATV’s and 4 x 4’s. Park Permit Required. Contact Information above.
Beaver River Wildlife Management Area (2-15): With a high-clearance vehicle a traveler can truly experience the sagebrush and shortgrass prairie, the classic western river bottom and the shrubby sand dunes within this 17,000 acre area. For travelers without a high-clearance vehicle, drive the main north-south area road (11 miles west of Beaver, south side) through this amazing wildlife area. Note: No Public Restrooms.
Pheasant Ridge (2-8)
is a 2000-acre working farm and ranch which will transport a visitor back to
the old west setting including bison. This premier hunting lodge offers
spectacular lodging (accommodates 18) and good food along with
wildlife-watching and a quality hunting experience. Contact: 866.486.8637,
Flynt Farms Upland Hunting (2-12) is 3,400 acres of diverse terrain of grain fields, both irrigated and dry land, CRP grassland, tree rows, playa bottoms, and more than 10 years of wildlife shrub and tree plantings. This farm offers excellent wildlife watching opportunities and hunting experiences. Contact: 580.778.3556, http://www.flyntfarms.com/.
High Plains Hunting and The Bunkhouse (2-13) is a working farm located in the middle of agricultural fields, CRP grassland, and shortgrass prairie. The lodge offers lodging (sleeps 13) with complete amenities, walking trails, camping and pheasant hunting opportunities. Contact: 580.778.3697.
updated June 19, 2012 09:32 AM