My mother-in-law moved to Tulsa earlier this year, so my husband and I went to visit over Memorial Day Weekend. On Sunday, we took a little road trip to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. What a pleasant surprise it was!
The preserve is just outside of Pawhuska, OK. Just a small, cute little Oklahoma town. It’s also the hometown of Pioneer Woman. When we drove through the gates of the preserve, which is totally free to enter, it was clear that we would see the prairie as nature intended it – uninterrupted and wild.
The preserve is a 40,000 acre prairie land that allows bison to roam free. There are some fences up because there are areas with cattle as well. They keep the cattle and the bison separate so that they don’t breed. This land has never been plowed or cultivated because of it’s rocky soil. The prairie is the largest protected remnant of tallgrass on earth!
If you look in the background, there are black spots on the landscape. Those are some of the 2500 bison on the land. It was pretty cool to see them so close to us. We saw lots of bison on our Yellowstone trip, but there were SOOOO many people/cars/RVs around. I think we saw 5 cars the whole time we were on the preserve.
Again there are bison in the background, but the foreground shows you the tallgrass. This grass will get up to 7 feet tall, but the area has been in a drought for a couple of years. It keeps the grass from growing to it’s full potential. While we were there (end of May) it was about 3 feet tall.
They also burn 1/3 of the preserve each year. It’s split into sectors and through a lottery they burn the lucky winners. It’s random.
We were able to get out at a few stops and walk around. Tucker loved the prairie!
There are a couple of spots within the preserve that are still private. We came across one area where the owner was raising longhorns.
There were other animals on the preserve besides the bison and cattle. As we drove through, I kept noticing small birds on the short branches in the grass. It was really cute, so I was able to grab a picture of one of them.
We also stopped to walk along a trail.
There was some pretty flowers along the way that my mother-in-law and I stopped to admire.
See the pretty orange flowers in the picture next to Tucker below?
Once we made it to the top of the hill, there was a surprise waiting for us.
Thankfully, we didn’t meet any real bison at the top! But we did see them a little farther along the road.
There is a gift shop/museum in the park. We had such a lovely time talking with the guide. She was very knowledgeable and really nice.
I highly recommend visiting the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. It was a wonderful way to spend the beautiful day.