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I have to laugh with my "off the beaten path' tip, because this whole place is off the beaten path. However, one type of person likely to show up here is a "highpointer". They have a goal of achieving the highest elevation in as many states as possible. An area on the flat top of Black Mesa is in fact the top of Oklahoma. Just to the east and north of Kenton, you must drive several miles before coming to signs directing you to the parking lot for Black Mesa's summit, which is the high point. Once parked, you must go over a stile and enter ranch property. This will allow access to the portion of the park that contains the summit It will be a 4 mile hike (one way) to reach the marker indicating you have arrived at the summit. Most of the hike is flat, except for the area where you go up the side of the mesa. The strenous part does not last too long. On top, it will be half a mile or so to get to the marker. I think it is a nice hike, even if this was not the high point of the state. Bring lots of water and some sunscreen. Also bring a camera. you never know what you will see up there.
One thing you need to be aware of. This trail and the summit is not in the main section of Black Mesa State Park. Rather, it goes through the wildlife preserve. If you are coming west from Boise City, which likely you are, make sure you follow the signs to the section containing the summit if you are doing the hike. If memory serves correct, you will pass the state park with the lake and campgrounds before you even reach the mesa itself. There were signs guiding me to the mesa just before reaching Kenton.
Updated Dec 28, 2004