One of the most influential geographical features in the state of Oklahoma is the Cross Timbers. Spanning northeast from the central Texas panhandle into southeastern Kansas, the Cross Timbers are a dense forest of post and blackjack oaks, which have historically been impenetrable: even in the nineteenth century, American author Washington Irving had coined the timbers as “forests of cast iron.” Although natural barriers to migration, the Cross Timbers were favorable and habitable, supplying Oklahomans with an abundance of resources for thousands of years. This photograph was taken of the Cross Timbers found in Osage County, where nineteenth century outlaws, most notably the infamous Dalton Gang, would hide.

Most generally, the eastern portion of the state bordering Arkansas and Missouri experiences greater precipitation and a more temperate climate that is defined by woodlands. Featured here is the summit of Turkey Mountain; coined an “Urban Wilderness,” Turkey Mountain is a popular hiking destination within the Tulsa metropolitan area.

For millennia, the Arkansas River has been essential to Oklahomans. The earliest evidence of extensive river trade has been found at Spiro archaeological sites, where commodities indicate trade as far as Wisconsin and Florida. As a result, present day Tulsa seated along the Arkansas River became one of the most populous villages, experiencing a golden […]