Kay and I were driving in our Jeep north of Enid, Oklahoma and saw a sign that pointed to “Skeleton Creek Ranch”. Thinking this was some type of cool dude ranch or something, we followed the signs to see something. Eventually one small sign pointed down a cow path in an empty field. Huh? We looked around and could see no “ranch” in site, so turned down the cow path. It looked like it was going towards and oil field tank, but then another little sign with just an arrow pointed down an even smaller cow path. Double humm.
Now the going got a bit rough in our Jeep but never requiring 4WD – just bumpy and uneven. A couple of times we had to drive over into the grass to bypass a mud hole. This was now getting quite interesting.
Finally we came to a small clearing overlooking more of a depression than a creek, but with the grain elevators of Enid clearly visible in the background. The only thing around was this marker explaining Skeleton Creek Ranch and how it came to be named.
“The Skeleton Trail Ranch was located at this site overlooking Skeleton Creek. Like other trail ranches, it provided a location where the cattle herds could be contained and provided basic amenities to the drovers.
The creek and ranch got its name from a disaster experienced by members of the Wichita drive following the civil war. The tribe had relocated to present day Wichita, KS during the Civil War from an area along the Wichita River near present day Anadarko, Oklahoma. With the war over the tribe was attempting to return to their former home when they caught cholera from Army troops. Devastated by the disease, they managed to get as far as this creek when they could no longer travel. So many died that those remaining alive could not bury their dead, and for many years skeletal remains lay scattered over the area.”
This is a perfect side trip if you are in the Enid area, and an easy 10 minute jaunt from downtown Enid. Approach from the north and look for the small road signs. Click the Download link below the map to download a GPX file for your GPS.
GPS waypoint: N36 25.700 W97 50.899