The Best Camping in Oklahoma To Pitch Your Tent

The Best Camping in Oklahoma To Pitch Your Tent

Oklahoma is a state located in the South-Central United States. Kansas borders it to the north, Missouri to the northeast, Arkansas to the east, Texas to the south and west, and New Mexico to the west.

It is the 20th-largest state in the United States. Oklahoma boasts excellent camping opportunities within its state parks, which offer a wide range of outdoor activities such as fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking.

Campers of all skill levels can explore the picturesque scenery and trails while enjoying the comfort of cabins, lodges, and yurts. It may surprise some that Oklahoma offers more than just open fields and unpredictable weather; it is also home to forests, mountains, and lakes, with numerous campsites available for visitors.

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In this article, we will discuss the best camping in Oklahoma, including state parks and national forests.

Now let’s explore the new world of Oklahoma full of excitement.

Oklahoma: A Quick Overview.

Oklahoma, a state with diverse landscapes, is home to several national parks, RV parks, free camping areas, and national forests that offer a range of outdoor recreational opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas.

Oklahoma National Parks.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area, located in the southern part of Oklahoma, is situated in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains. The park is well-known for its swimming holes and a large lake, which is ideal for camping trips.

Buckhorn Campground and The Point Campground are popular campsites within the park. Visitors can also explore the park’s bison herd and a well-equipped nature center.


National Forests in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is home to three national forests on opposite ends of the state. Ouachita National Forest, located in the east, offers visitors a view of rolling hills and rock walls with flowing rivers and creeks.

Winding Stair Campground and Billy Creek Campground are popular camping areas in Oklahoma. Rita Blanca National Grassland and Black Kettle National Grassland, located in the western part of the state, are two protected grasslands known for their year-round guests, the prairie dogs.

This region has several camping areas, including Black Kettle Campground in Rita Blanca and Felt Picnic Area in Rita Blanca.

Oklahoma RV Parks.

Oklahoma has several RV parks for visitors who want to explore the state while staying in a comfortable and convenient location.

Twin Fountains RV Park and Road Runner RV Park are popular campgrounds in Oklahoma City that offer several facilities, such as restaurants serving Southern cuisine and barbecue.

Lucky Star Casino also has an RV park for visitors looking for a place to park their RV. Settle Inn RV Park, located near Tulsa, offers a more rural and wooded camping experience.

Free Campgrounds in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma offers several free camping options for visitors who want to experience the state’s natural beauty at no cost.

Atoka Lake Dispersed Camping Area, located in the southern part of the state, provides waterfront campsites with excellent views. Some casinos, such as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, offer free overnight parking for RVs.

The 5 Best Campgrounds in Oklahoma

Oklahoma, a state known for its diverse landscapes, has many scenic camping spots that offer outdoor lovers an opportunity to explore nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

Here are the five best camping spots in Oklahoma.

1. Beavers Bend State Park: A Scenic Camping Destination in Southeastern Oklahoma

Beavers Bend State Park, located in the southeastern region of Oklahoma near the Mountain Fork River and Broken Bow Lake, is a spectacular destination for camping enthusiasts.

Beavers Bend State Park scenic camping site in oklahoma

As you enter the park, you’ll be surrounded by winding roads and dense pine and hardwood forests, indicating that you’re entering an outdoor lover’s paradise.

This stunning state park offers a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy, including horseback riding, fishing, hiking, boating, waterskiing, river floating, canoeing, and much more.

With each turn and bend of the river, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Oklahoma hill country. Additionally, the park’s David Boren Hiking Trail spans 26 miles, running alongside the 14,220-acre lake, and is a popular choice for visitors.

If you’d prefer more organized activities, you can head to the on-site 18-hole Cedar Creek Golf Course and practice your swing. Other recreational activities, including tennis, volleyball, and miniature golf, are also available for visitors.

Camping in Oklahoma with cabins: Once you’re ready to rest for the night, you’ll have various options to choose from, including rustic or modern cabins, RV sites, or tent camping, all nestled within the park’s 3,482 acres.

Broken bow Oklahoma camping: The park also offers the Lakeview Lodge, situated on the shore of Broken Bow Lake, for those who prefer more comfortable surroundings while enjoying nature’s beauty.

Overall, Beavers Bend State Park is a stunning camping destination that offers a range of outdoor activities and facilities for visitors of all preferences. It’s an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the scenic beauty of Oklahoma’s southeastern region.

2. Boiling Springs State Park: A Unique Outdoor Experience in Northwestern Oklahoma.

Boiling Springs State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the unique natural beauty of northwestern Oklahoma.

Boiling Springs State Park: A Unique Outdoor Experience in Northwestern Oklahoma.

Natural Wonders at Boiling Springs: The boiling springs that welcome visitors at the park’s entrance are a rare and fascinating natural phenomenon.

The springs emit hot water year-round, creating a steamy cloud that rises above the surface.

The water is not boiling, but it is warm to the touch, and the constant flow of water creates an unusual, mysterious, and beautiful atmosphere.

Hiking Trails and Outdoor Activities: Boiling Springs State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. The hiking trails throughout the park offer stunning views of Lake Shaul, the North Canadian River, and the Boiling Springs Well. The park is also a great destination for fishing and swimming, with ample opportunities to cast a line or dip in the water.

Camping and Accommodations: If you’re looking to extend your stay at Boiling Springs State Park, the park offers a variety of camping and accommodation options.

There are 40 RV sites, 12 tent campsites, and four cabins available for rent. The park also has 150 picnic tables and grills, three pavilions with electrical outlets, and water access, making it an ideal destination for group outings and family gatherings.

Northwestern Charm: Despite the semi-arid climate of northwestern Oklahoma, Boiling Springs State Park is an oasis of greenery and natural beauty. The park’s unique scenery, home to water and animal life, contrasts the rural landscape, adding to its charm and beauty.

3. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: An Oasis of Natural Beauty and Wildlife in Oklahoma

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a natural wonderland located in southwest Oklahoma. This 60,000-acre expanse of mixed grass prairie, old granite mountains, freshwater lakes, and streams is home to a wide variety of wildlife and is protected for the benefit of both animals and humans.

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: An Oasis of Natural Beauty and Wildlife in Oklahoma

Wildlife and Outdoor Activities: One of the main attractions of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is the chance to observe wildlife in their natural habitats.

Visitors can see free-roaming herds of bison, longhorn cattle, Rocky Mountain elk, and various other animals like coyotes, bobcats, and white-tailed deer. Bird watching, fishing, and wildlife photography are popular activities in the refuge.

Hiking and Camping: The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging climbs.

Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the opportunity to spot wildlife along the way. Camping is also available in the refuge, with both tent and RV camping options.

Mountain Biking and Rock Climbing: The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge offers mountain biking and rock-climbing opportunities for more adventurous visitors. The park’s rocky terrain provides a challenging environment for experienced climbers, while the network of trails is perfect for mountain biking lovers.

4. Chickasaw National Recreation Area: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a beautiful destination located in Sulphur, Oklahoma. This park is a nature lover’s paradise that offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and swimming.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Water-Based Activities: The park is known for its lakes, streams, and springs. The Lake of the Arbuckles is a popular spot for bass fishing and is considered the best lake in Oklahoma.

Rock Creek provides plenty of swimming spots, and Veterans Lake is perfect for a day of angling. Chickasaw is also home to multiple spring-fed swimming holes, including Little Niagara, a favorite spot for swimming and picnicking.

Hiking Trails:  Chickasaw has several hiking trails that take you through its beautiful forests and scenic bluffs. These trails range from easy to moderate difficulty, offering plenty of opportunities to explore the park’s natural beauty.

The trail leading to Little Niagara is a must-see, as it takes you to one of the most popular swimming holes in the park. Along the way, you’ll find other waterfalls and swimming spots.

Mineral Springs: Chickasaw is also known for its mineral springs, which are scattered throughout the park. These springs provide a unique opportunity to splash around in the water and experience the healing properties of mineral water. The park has several springs, including Bromide and Medicine Springs, which are both popular spots for visitors.

Wildlife Viewing: If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, Chickasaw National Recreation Area is the place to be. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, raccoons, and birds. You may also catch a glimpse of the resident buffalo herd, which roams freely in the park.

Camping Options: Chickasaw has several camping options, including basic tent campsites and three campgrounds with electric and water hookups.

The park’s campgrounds are located near the lake and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a more rustic camping experience or prefer a more luxurious stay; Chickasaw has various options to suit your needs.

5. Black Mesa State Park: A Stargazer’s Paradise in Oklahoma

Black Mesa State Park is a beautiful camping destination located in the panhandle of Oklahoma. With its dark skies and stunning natural beauty, this park is a must-visit for anyone who loves stargazing and outdoor adventures.

Black Mesa State Park: A Stargazer’s Paradise in Oklahoma

Stargazing: One of the main attractions of Black Mesa State Park is its incredible stargazing opportunities. The park has some of the darkest skies in the country, making it a prime location for astronomy lovers.

Visitors can see the Milky Way and other celestial wonders in stunning detail from the comfort of their campsite or while on a nighttime hike.

Hiking: Another popular activity at Black Mesa State Park is hiking. The park is home to the highest point in Oklahoma, which can be reached via a scenic hiking trail. Along the way, visitors will see stunning rock formations and unique flora and fauna native to the area.

Fishing and Wildlife Viewing: Lake Carl Etling, located within Black Mesa State Park, is a popular spot for trout fishing. Visitors can also enjoy wildlife viewing in the park, with opportunities to see rare animals like black bears and mountain lions.

Camping: Black Mesa State Park offers a variety of camping options, including RV sites with full hookups, tent campsites with water and electricity, and cabins for larger groups. The park also has picnic grounds and other amenities to make your camping experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

What to Pack for Your Camping Trip in Oklahoma

Planning a camping trip in Oklahoma? Whether you’re headed to the mountains, forests, or lakes, there are a few essential items you’ll want to bring along for a successful camping trip.

Here’s a list of must-haves for your next best camping in Oklahoma.

Tent: When camping in Oklahoma, a good quality tent is essential. Look for a lightweight, waterproof tent, and easy to set up and take down. Make sure it’s large enough to fit all your gear and keep you and your camping companions comfortable.

Sleeping Bag: Whether you’re camping in the summer or the winter, you’ll want to be sure to bring a sleeping bag. Look for a bag that’s rated for the temperature you’ll be dealing with and is waterproof in case you get caught in a downpour.

Camping Stove: A camping stove is essential for cooking hot meals and boiling water for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Look for a stove that’s lightweight and easy to use. Be sure to bring plenty of fuel, too.

Lanterns/Flashlights: Even when camping in the middle of nowhere, you’ll want to ensure adequate lighting. Bring lanterns or flashlights to help you find your way around in the dark.

Matches/Lighter: You’ll need matches or a lighter to light your camping stove and lanterns. Be sure to bring plenty if you need a few extras.

First-Aid Kit: It’s always a good idea to bring a first-aid kit with you. You never know when you might need it.

Clothing: When camping in Oklahoma, be sure to bring various clothing for all types of weather. Pack layers, including a waterproof jacket and some Merino Wool shoes.

Oklahoma is a state with a lot of diverse landscapes. You can find forests, plains, mountains, and more, all within its boundaries. And with all that variety, you will want to ensure you’re prepared for whatever the weather.

Oklahoma can have extreme temperature changes, so you’ll need to be prepared for both hot and cold weather. One fabric that is perfect for Oklahoma’s climate is merino wool.

Merino wool is soft, lightweight, and extremely temperature-regulating. Merino wool can keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather, making it the perfect fabric for Oklahoma’s unpredictable climate.

If you are looking for the best Merino wool for your Oklahoma trip, look no further than Merinoprotect. We offer a wide range of Merino wool fabrics that are perfect for various applications. From shirts and pants to socks and base layers, we have everything you need to stay comfortable in Oklahoma weather.

Bug Spray: Bring along some insect repellent to keep the mosquitos and other bugs at bay.

Camping Chair: If you plan to sit around the campfire, it’s a good idea to bring a camping chair. Look for a lightweight, comfortable one that’s easy to carry.

Cookware: Don’t forget the cookware for your camping stove! Pack a few pots, pans, and utensils, as well as a few dishwashing supplies.

Plates/Utensils: You’ll also need plates, mugs, and utensils for meals. You might want to bring paper plates and plastic utensils if you’re roughing it.

Toiletries: Don’t forget the basics: toilet paper, soap, and toothbrush/toothpaste.

These are just a few essentials for a successful camping trip in Oklahoma. Be sure to pack these items and any other items you might need for your trip.

Final Thought on Best Camping in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has many beautiful camping spots allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty of the region. From state parks to national forests, there is something for everyone in Oklahoma’s camping spots.

Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities while camping in the state’s most beautiful locations.

FAQs About Oklahoma Campgrounds

What Are the Most Popular Campgrounds in Oklahoma?

There are many popular campgrounds in Oklahoma. However, some of the most popular campgrounds include options such as Robbers Cave State Park, Beavers Bend State Park, Greenleaf State Park, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Illinois River, Sequoyah State Park & Fort Gibson Lake, and Ouachita National Forest.

Is Oklahoma Good for Camping?

Yes, Oklahoma is a great state for camping. There are many beautiful camping sites located throughout the state.

Where Can You Camp for Free in Oklahoma?

There are many places where you can camp for free in Oklahoma. However, some of the most popular places include:

Verdigris River.

Felt Picnic Area in Felt, Oklahoma.

American Horse Lake.

Lake Carl Blackwell.

Blue River Campsites.

Fred’s Fish Camp at Atoka Lake.

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