Pawhuska is a city of 3,400 people (2019) in the Green Country region of Oklahoma. It is a good base for visiting the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and its buffalo herds, plus it serves as the base for the Osage tribal government and is allegedly where the first Boy Scout troop started.
It was named after the 19th-century Osage chief, Paw-Hiu-Skah, which means "White Hair" in English.
The Osage tribal government, which opened offices in Pawhuska in 1872 when its reservation was established in Indian Territory, continues to be based in Pawhuska.
Other than cattle ranches nearby, local employment consisted primarily of a brick plant, a creamery, an ice factory, and a rock crusher. The Osage Nation has opened a gaming casino here, hoping to generate revenue for the tribe.
Pawhuska is served by one U.S. Highway and two state highways.
- US-60 is an east-west highway that enters Pawhuska on the east side of town at the junction of SH-99/SH-11 and follows Main Street. The highway will exit Pawhuska to the west near Elk Lodge Drive.
- SH-11 is a predominantly east-west state highway that enters Pawhuska on the east side of town at the junction of US-60/OK-99 and runs along Main Street. Like US-60, the highway will exit Pawhuska to the west near Elk Lodge Drive.
- SH-99 is a north-south state highway. SH-99 will skirt Pawhuska on the east side of town and run concurrently with US-60 to Main Street, where it will continue south. SH-99 will then overlap OK-11 until the highway exits Pawhuska near Osage County Road 2625.
- 1 Osage Nation Visitors Center, 602 E Main St, ☏ . M-F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. A good place to go to get grounded on the background of the area and things to see. Also there is a Osage Nation gift shop and a veterans memorial and the Wazhazhe Heritage Walking Trail across the street.
- 2 Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. Tallgrass is North America's largest remaining tract of tallgrass prairie ecosystem. What once covered much of the US and Central Canada, remains here to be seen in its most pristine condition in Oklahoma. Keep an eye out for the buffalo herds here as they are one of the nation's largest, and be warned, buffalo can sometimes charge unprovoked. So be sure to keep your distance, especially in the spring when there are lots of buffalo calves around. Free.
- 3 Osage County Historical Society, 700 Lynn Ave, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. Presenting Osage County's past, from the Osage Indian tribal affairs to everyday life and industry. Especially noteworthy is the monument to the first Boy Scout troop in America that was established here in Pawhuska in 1909, under the leadership of John Mitchell.
- 4 Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum, 201 E 6th St, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-6PM. Recounting the cowboy movie star with lots of Western memorabilia.
- 1 Osage Casino Pawhuska, 2017 East 15th Street, ☏ . Su–W 10AM–2AM, Th–Sa 10 AM–4AM.
- 2 Osage Nation Museum, 819 Grandview Avenue, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 8:30AM-5:30PM. Founded in 1938, the ONM is the oldest tribally owned museum in the United States. It is located in a very interesting building that used to be a boarding school. To some it also looks like a church, since it features a steeple and bell. Free.
- 1 The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, 532 Kihekah Ave, ☏ . Anyone who watches the Food Network is sure to recognize the owner of this place, Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman. Browse merchandise here, or have a pastry or full meal in the restaurant.
- 1 Buffalo Joes, 403 E Main St (it's on Main Street, you cannot miss it — look for the huge Buffalo Horned sign), ☏ . M-F 6AM-10AM & 11AM-9PM, Sa 6AM-10:30AM, Su 6AM-10:30AM & 11AM-2PM. Excellent local restaurant, serving American cuisine. Try the stuffed burgers, the pork chop dinner, and their daily rotating specials.
Pawhuska has a number of high end boutique or historical hotels.
- 1 The Pioneer Woman Boarding House, 540 Kihekah Ave. For the carefree spender, not only can you buy a genuine Pioneer Woman dinner next door, but you can also splurge on a room in her boarding house. For those really taken, you can also sign up for a tour of her ranch from here.
- 2 Black Gold Motel, 544 Mathews Ave, ☏ . Pretty basic but a more budget-friendly option.
|Routes through Pawhuska|
|Enid ← Ponca City ←||W E||→ Bartlesville → Vinita|
|Emporia ← Sedan ← becomes ←||N S||→ Jct E → Jct W E → Jct W E → Stroud|