Oklahoma is home to some of the finest camping in the United States. The state’s parks offer every outdoor activity imaginable, from fishing and horseback riding to mountain biking and hiking, and the park campgrounds feature beautiful scenery, trails for campers of all ability levels, and conveniences like cabins, lodges, and yurts.
Here are nine of the best places to camp in Oklahoma.
1. Chickasaw National Recreation Area
If you’re ready for a water-based Oklahoma camping adventure, you’ll want to check out Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The park is located near Sulphur, Oklahoma, in the lower central portion of the state, where you’ll find springs, lakes, and streams aplenty. The large Lake of the Arbuckles offers the best bass fishing in the state, while Rock Creek provides beautiful swimming spots. If angling is more your thing, camp out at Veterans Lake for a day.
Chickasaw also offers beautiful forested hiking trails, including one leading to Little Niagara, a popular place for swimming and picnicking. If you take to the trails, you’ll find other waterfalls along the way, as well as multiple spring-fed swimming holes. Splash in some mineral springs, walk along the scenic bluffs, or sneak a peek at the resident buffalo herd.
There are basic tent campsites as well as three campgrounds with electric and water hookups in the park.
2. Beavers Bend State Park
Beavers Bend State Park is a fantastic camping spot in the mountainous region of southeastern Oklahoma near Mountain Fork River and Broken Bow Lake. As you enter the park via winding roads lined with pine and hardwood forests, you’ll immediately see that the rugged terrain is an outdoorsman's paradise.
You can enjoy horseback riding, fishing, hiking, boating, waterskiing, river floating, canoeing, and a variety of other outdoor activities in and near the park. Each river bend affords another striking view of the glorious Oklahoma hill country. The park's popular David Boren Hiking Trail is 26 miles long and runs along the 14,220-acre lake.
If you’d prefer a more organized activity, you can grab your golf clubs and head to the on-site 18-hole Cedar Creek Golf Course. Tennis, volleyball, and miniature golf are also available.
Once you’re ready to settle in for the night, you can relax in one of the park’s rustic or modern cabins or your own RV or tent at any of the many campsites in the 3,482-acre park. If you’re not one to rough it, you can book a room at the Lakeview Lodge on the shores of Broken Bow Lake. But you still won’t be far from the beauty of nature -- there are views of the water from every room.
3. Boiling Springs State Park
Another state park that you’ll want to add to your Oklahoma bucket list is Boiling Springs State Park. The park, which sits outside of Woodward, Oklahoma, in the northwestern portion of the state, is named for the natural “boiling” springs that greet visitors at the welcome center. The hiking trails throughout the park curve around Lake Shaul, the North Canadian River, and the Boiling Springs Well.
The park is home to timber forests, lakes, and streams; it’s an oddity amidst the sparse vegetation of northwestern Oklahoma’s semi-arid terrain. The springs are an oasis in the dry land and provide visitors with plenty of hiking and bird-watching opportunities. Fishing and swimming are also popular activities at Boiling Springs.
The park offers 40 RV sites, 12 tent campsites, and four cabins for rent. There are 150 picnic tables and grills around the park, along with three pavilions with electrical outlets and grill and water access.
4. Greenleaf State Park
In the hills of northeastern Oklahoma, you’ll find some beautiful camping at Greenleaf State Park. The mountains of the region are lush and green, offering visitors some of the prettiest scenery in the state.
During the day, you can hike one of the many trails, play some miniature golf, swim in Greenleaf Lake, enjoy a picnic, take the little ones to the playground, go mountain biking, or brave the swinging bridge over the lake.
The terrain of the park is stunning, and the conveniences of the campgrounds make Greenleaf State Park one of the more comfortable camping experiences on this list. The park features 16 cabins with full-size appliances, fireplaces, and satellite television. For the more outdoorsy folks, there are 98 RV campsites and 100 tent sites.
5. Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park
If you’re looking for something a little different from the standard campsite experience, the Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park might interest you. The former state park, located just 30 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, consists of 300 acres of red rock cliffs from prehistoric soil deposits. It was a major landmark on the California Road, a route prospectors used to get to the West Coast during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s.
Today, visitors can hike up the trails for splendid views of the surrounding landscapes, climb or rappel the cliffs, or swim in the seasonal swimming pool. The park's fishing holes, picnic shelters, bird-watching opportunities, and beautiful California Road Nature Trail are other highlights. Be sure to exercise caution on the slippery canyon rim trails.
The adventure park contains 30 tent campsites with full amenities as well as 30 campsites without fire rings.
6. Black Mesa State Park
If you love stargazing, Black Mesa State Park is the Oklahoma campsite for you. The park not only provides beautiful picnic grounds and RV and tent campsites, but it also offers some of the darkest skies in the country for stargazing.
Black Mesa is located near the Oklahoma-Colorado-New Mexico border in the state panhandle, just outside Kenton, Oklahoma. During your time there, you can hike through the black lava rocks coating the mesa to Oklahoma’s highest point, nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. While hiking or picnicking on the grounds, you’ll discover rare plants and animals, and you can enjoy trout fishing on Lake Carl Etling.
Black Mesa State Park offers RV sites with full hookups, tent campsites with water and electric, and bunkhouses for larger groups.
7. Robbers Cave State Park
Robbers Cave State Park in southeastern Oklahoma near the Sans Bois Mountains is the campsite of choice for history lovers, rappellers, and equestrians alike. The infamous outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr once hid from the law in one of the caves nestled into the park's sandstone cliffs.
Robbers Cave features miles of hiking and horseback-riding trails as well as rugged cliffs suitable for climbing. Visitors can fish or swim in Lake Carlton or Lake Wayne Wallace or explore the park’s 250 acres of ATV trails. The state park is also home to an amphitheater, group picnic shelters, and two indoor community rooms for large gatherings, and the seasonal swimming pool, mini-golf course, rental bikes, and paddleboats add to the fun. The area also offers some incredible foliage during the autumn months.
Robbers Cave's accommodations include RV sites with full hookups and an equestrian campground for horse trailers with corrals and holding pens. If you’re interested in something a little less traditional, you could rent a rustic yurt. A lodge, several cabins, and bunkhouses are also available.
8. Lake Eufaula State Park
Lake Eufaula State Park near Checotah, Oklahoma -- about 2 hours from Oklahoma City -- is the perfect campground for mountain bikers. The park offers a plethora of mountain bike trails, beautiful foliage, and plenty of wildlife-viewing opportunities.
There’s also a 102,000-acre reservoir perfect for activities on land or water. Hiking, biking, and equestrian trails -- bring your horse or book a ride -- make up much of the property, while Lake Eufaula, a popular boating, fishing, and swimming spot, makes up the rest. The younger members of your party will love the 18-hole disc golf course, the playground, and the fishing pond.
If you happen to have your own plane, you can fly into the park using the landing strip there.
The campgrounds include full RV hookup sites, partial RV hookup sites, and nearly 100 tent campsites. There are also three yurts available.
9. Natural Falls State Park
Near the Oklahoma-Arkansas border in the scenic Ozark Highlands region of northeastern Oklahoma, you’ll find a 77-foot waterfall cascading through the rock formations of Natural Falls State Park. At the bottom of the falls lies a serene pool in a V-shaped valley, complete with an observation deck and vantage points with seating.
The state park also offers picnic grounds with grills, wildlife-viewing opportunities, hiking, fishing, disc golf, horseshoes, and a basketball court to keep everyone outdoors and active.
Camping options include five yurts, RV sites with full hookups, and multiple tent sites.