Oklahoma State Parks
Get a sense of the natural allure of Oklahoma by visiting one of our 35 state parks. In addition to relaxing in the beautiful surroundings - lakes, mountains, sand dunes, and forests - you can hike, bike, fish or participate in organized park activities. Then rest in a comfortable lodge or cabin, or camp in your own tent or RV.
In the heat of summer cool down and chill out at Alabaster Caverns State Park where visitors can enjoy the 55-degree temperature inside this unique Oklahoma attraction, the only gypsum cave in the world that is designed for touring. Here you will learn about the history of the area and the migration of bats that live in the cavern during the summer season.
The highlight of the 200-acre Alabaster Caverns State Park is the ¾ mile cavern formed of alabaster, a rare form of gypsum, making it the largest natural gypsum cave in the world that is open to the public. The cavern recently underwent an extensive lighting overhaul and the park also features RV and other camping areas as well as hiking trails, picnic areas, group shelters with electricity, grills, water, a horseshoe pit and a volleyball court. Wild caving is a unique adventure also available at the park.
Daily guided tours of Alabaster Cavern are available on the hour from 9am-4pm.
Great Salt Plains State Park is one of Oklahoma's most unique state parks because it is the only location in the world where you can find the one-of-a-kind hourglass shaped selenite crystal. The barren landscape of the Great Salt Plains is comprised of salt left over from an ocean that covered Oklahoma in prehistoric times, and the saltwater lake in the park, Great Salt Plains Lake, is about half as salty as the ocean.
Visitors can take their pick of activities in the park, such as swimming in Great Salt Plains Lake or trekking along bike trails. Equestrians can bring their horses to Great Salt Plains State Park to ride designated trails, and there are nature trails to enjoy while taking in the scenery. Fishing at Great Salt Plains Lake is fun for the entire family, whether in a boat or on shore. Varieties of fish such as catfish, saugeye, sand bass and hybrid striper can be found in these salty, shallow waters. Canoeing and kayaking are also available in the park.
At the Great Salt Plains Wildlife Refuge, on the west edge of the lake and only a few miles from the park, visitors can dig for selenite crystals on the actual salt plains from April to October. Located just under the surface of the salt plains, these crystals usually form into an hourglass shape. Oklahoma is the only place in the world where this type of crystal can be found. While searching for crystals, look for some of the over 300 species of protected birds that live in and can be seen in the refuge.
Visitors can enjoy a multi-day stay at Great Salt Plains State Park in one of the newly renovated, eco-friendly cabins. Each cabin has its own bed, refrigerator and stove, among other amenities. Also, RV and tent sites are available with full hookups. Comfort stations with showers are located near the sites and throughout the park for the convenience of visitors. Picnic pavilions and outdoor grills are also available.
Red Rock Canyon State Park, located in west central Oklahoma near Hinton, is an outdoor adventurer's dream. With the backdrop of red canyon walls formed millions of years ago, visitors are invited to reconnect with the natural world while exploring the park's trails. Take a serene walk on one of the park's two nature trails, or enjoy a more strenuous hike through the rocky terrain on a hiking trail. Hikers can still see wagon wheel ruts left by settlers traveling to California on one of the trails, as the park was once a stop along the historic California Trail.
Rappelling down the canyon walls is a favorite activity at Red Rock Canyon State Park. Visitors should bring their own rappelling gear to enjoy a day of challenging descents down the walls. For the most adventurous visitors, the highest point of the canyon walls goes up to 80 feet. Start from this point for spectacular views and thrills on the way down.
Visitors will enjoy trying their luck with rod and reel at the fishing pond, and the on-site playground is an instant hit with kids. A visit to nearby Sugar Creek Canyon Golf Club is a must for golf enthusiasts and has a unique twist: the back nine holes are built along a canyon. Golf club rentals are available.
Visitors to Red Rock Canyon State Park in the fall will get a special treat. In addition to the always beautiful scenery, from mid-October through the first part of November the foliage in the park puts on a show. The Caddo maple tree, which is native to the area, is especially stunning, producing beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow.
A day trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park can be fun, but an overnight stay is even better. Book a stay at the state park and watch the colors of the canyon change as the sun rises and sets. RV sites, tent sites and picnic areas are available in the canyon year-round. Also in the summer, the park operates a swimming pool and bathhouse, which are great ways to cool off after rock climbing or hiking.
A prime example of Oklahoma's diverse terrain is Little Sahara State Park which opened to the public in 1960 and boasts over 1,600 acres of sand dunes, ranging in height from 25 to 75 feet. The vast dunes have formed over time from terrace deposits, remnants of prehistoric times when the Cimarron River flowed over the entire area. Located south of Waynoka in northwest Oklahoma, the park offers amenities such as RV sites with water and electricity, tent sites, picnic areas and showers.
The main attraction at Little Sahara State Park is dune buggy and ATV riding across the sand dunes. Visitors can either bring their own ATV or rent one off-site by a private vendor. Either way, visitors will have a blast in this mini-desert atmosphere, known as one of the best riding spots for ATVs in the Midwest.
Little Sahara State Park hosts events throughout the year, including Snake Hunt Weekend when rattlesnakes are captured, measured and weighed. Then, prizes are given for various categories including longest snake and heaviest snake. SandFest, another event held in the park and in downtown Waynoka, offers drag racing, off-roading and ATV demonstrations on the dunes. Kids will be delighted to play in the giant manmade sandbox on Main Street in Waynoka or participate in the sand castle building contest. A duck race, hot dog contest and lawnmower race are other unique activities to take part in or watch during SandFest.
To plan your Oklahoma State Park getaway, visit travelok.com/State_Parks.