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Trip Planner:   USA  /  Oklahoma  /  Pawhuska  /  Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Pawhuska

4.6
#2 of 24 in Wildlife in Oklahoma
Must see · Park · Wildlife Area
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The Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, in Osage County, Oklahoma near Foraker, Oklahoma, is protected as the largest tract of remaining tallgrass prairie in the world. Managed by The Nature Conservancy, the preserve contains 39,000 acres (160 km2) owned by the Conservancy and another 6,000 acres (24 km2) leased in what was the original tallgrass region of the Great Plains that stretched from Texas to Manitoba.
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Tallgrass Prairie Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
243 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • I had never heard of the preserve until I started looking for things to do around Pawhuska. It was so calming and relaxing just slowly driving the dirt/gravel roads, watching for bison. And there... 
    I had never heard of the preserve until I started looking for things to do around Pawhuska. It was so calming and relaxing just slowly driving the dirt/gravel roads, watching for bison. And there...  more »
  • We drove the Buffalo loup that is not far from Pawhuska. It is part of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve where you get to see herds of buffalo (and cows in the road, at least on our trip!) It was a a... 
    We drove the Buffalo loup that is not far from Pawhuska. It is part of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve where you get to see herds of buffalo (and cows in the road, at least on our trip!) It was a a...  more »
Google
  • We were fortunate to see many groups of the Herd scattered along the road to the Visitor's Center. It's a scenic drive from Pawhuska to the original Ranch House with lots of prairie to view. The facilities were closed and a steward who was passing through told us it has been closed since the Pandemic but he was gracious enough to share some quick history and made us feel welcome. How nice! We signed the guest book and took a quick walk around the property. Many cars were coming and going while we were there and we saw a few hikers using the hiking trails.
  • Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Pawhuska Oklahoma: "WOW!... or OH WOW!" just doesn't do this amazing place justice.  With almost 40,000 acres the property itself is massive.  When you look out across the Prairie it is more than you can imagine and truly represent the words "God's country" and put yourself in the shoes of the settlers that crossed this with only the hope of what was on the other side. If you choose to take the ride through this wonderful landscape be sure you take the bison loop which is approximately 15 miles long. Getting to that loop however can take an hour or better if you're stopping and really enjoying the views, but there are scenic pull-outs with signs describing some of what is there to help break up the drive. Be WARNED, there are no gas stations so fuel up first and you might want to take some water and granola bars just in case.  The chances of not seeing another vehicle for long stretches of time is a reality. Also be aware that your vehicle will come out the other end of this fantastic trip filthy dirty but it's worth it!  This is basically gravel and dirt the entire time so depending on whether or not it has rained your vehicle will either come out full of mud or completely covered in dust. But did I mention... It's worth it! Some reviews mentioned that they drove this whole thing (which for us took over 3 hours) and never saw a single bison.  That was not our experience at all. As a matter of fact we were within 20 ft of these giant creatures. We easily saw hundreds of them roaming all around us! When one mama in particular seemed to be getting a little edgy and moving towards us we realized it was time to move along!  Our campsite host warned us that multiple people that stayed in our Campground have had their vehicles attacked, so remember these are wild animals and you are warned at multiple spots along the way. Don't let that scare you, just use common sense and go see this once in a lifetime miracle!

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