The Elk Slabs are located on the rocky western flank of Elk Mountain not far from Treasure Cove and the Pear & Apple formation. The approach through the Charons Gardens Wilderness Area is a bit longer than other Wichita destinations, but the hike is pleasant and the crowds are minimal. It's a great destination if you are looking to escape the weekend zoo in the Narrows or on Mount Scott. The wall faces west / southwest and receives great afternoon sun on cooler days. There are a number of excellent moderate trad lines, as well as a handful of more difficult lines (including one aid route). Protection is generally good on the more popular lines, but is sparse or non-existent on others.
Park at the Treasure Lake parking lot on the south side of the Charons Gardens Wilderness Area. The slabs are visible in the distance to the north east. It’s best to locate them prior to leaving the parking lot in order to get your bearings. Look for the Phillip Mitchell memorial on the east side of the parking area and pick up the trail behind it. Follow the trail along the west side of Treasure Lake and past the Post Oak Falls where the trail splits. Follow the right branch which angles up towards the base of the slabs. The trail will appear to dead end at a large boulder in a wooded area. Scramble under the boulder, and follow a faint trail to the base (be prepared for a little bush whacking if you miss the trail). The slabs will be visible during the majority of the approach.
Browse More Classics in Elk Slabs
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Elk Slabs:
Great Expectations 5.5 Trad, 1 pitch
The (Other) Dihedral 5.6 Trad, 1 pitch
Water Streak 5.7 X Trad, 2 pitches, 120 feet
Nike Rout 5.8 Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 180 feet
Buns Up 5.8+ Trad, 1 pitch, 20 feet
Featured Route For Elk Slabs
Great Expectations 5.5 OK : Wichita Wildlife Refuge : ... : Elk Slabs
Great Expectations climbs the prominent crack just to the left of the tiered dihedral system. Climb the slab using the crack for protection until the crack disappears. Head up and right to another lone tree and a two bolt rap anchor located on the wall. The route protects well all the way to the anchors – bring a good assortment of stoppers and cams. You can either rappel from the anchors with two ropes or continue up a second easy pitch. The second pitch climbs the easy flake above the anc...[more] Browse More Classics in OK