Oklahoma’s highest point is Black Mesa, located in northwest Cimarron County. Its altitude reaches 4,973 feet above sea level and is considered the state’s highest point by elevation.
The mesa was formed about 30 million years ago by a layer of black lava rock that coated the plateau. The mesa is also known for its unique ecology, where the Rocky Mountains meet the shortgrass prairie.
This area is a great place to explore and learn about Oklahoma’s unique ecology. It supports 31 state rare species; 23 plants and eight animals.
Besides being the highest point in Oklahoma, Black Mesa is also the driest place in the state. It is also home to Papilio polyxenes, the state butterfly.
A hike to the top of Black Mesa not only gives you a chance to check off your state high point, but it also offers an incredible view of how the eastern and western United States’ topographies interact.
It is a great place to learn about the different types of Oklahoma terrain, from flat plains and rolling hills in the western part of the state to rugged, low mountain ranges in the eastern part.
In northeastern Oklahoma, which is locally called Green Country, the Ozark Mountains are a major physical feature. This region is home to forests consisting of deciduous and evergreen trees.
This area is also characterized by low, 150-200 foot hills capped with 15 to 20 foot layers of gypsum that sparkle in the sun and are sometimes called the Glass Hills. The Gypsum Hills extend west of the Red Beds Plains and run north to the High Plains.