Oklahoma State Parks showcase the diverse landscape of the state. Flyfish in a crystal clear river among towering pine trees and mountains, speed over sand dunes on an ATV, or go spelunking in magnificent caves!
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Oklahoma is a pretty small state, so you might think that it all looks about the same. When I first moved here, that’s what I thought, too. We live on the west side of the OKC metro area right about where the Great Plains really start to show off their stuff. You know…flat land, grass, very few trees.
The first time we drove to the east side of the metro, I was shocked! All of a sudden, big trees and rolling hills overtook the view! Come to find out, Oklahoma has a plethora of geological wonders to explore!
You want mountains? We’ve got that. You want deserts? We’ve got that, too. You want prairies? We’ve certainly got that. Just about the only thing we don’t have is an ocean. But, we do have our very own saltwater lake!
There are 38 Oklahoma State Parks in all! In this post, I’m highlighting a few that showcase the diverse topography of the state.
Make sure you download the new Oklahoma State Parks app!
There are some pretty well-known spots in Oklahoma that people may expect to be state parks, but they’re not. For example:
- Wichita Wildlife Refuge-Not a state park
- Turner Falls-Not a state park
- Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park-Used to be a state park, but not anymore
- Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (former home of the infamous Joe Exotic)-DEFINITELY NOT a state park! 🙂
My Oklahoma bucket list does include an RV and visiting all 38 state parks so I can give you an in-depth look at each one, but that’s still in the planning stages. In the meantime, maybe I can talk the hubby into renting an RV for a few Oklahoma adventures!
So, let’s get to it! Here are some Oklahoma State Parks that show off our state’s natural beauty:
Alabaster Caverns State Park
Alabaster Caverns State Park is one of the world’s largest natural gypsum caves, and it’s the only one in the United States that is open to the public as a show cave. If you are content to experience the caverns and its thriving bat population on two feet, a guided group tour will be the way to go. You can even choose a nighttime Kaleidoscope Cave Tour for a special opportunity to view the cave with black lights!
If you want to get a little more up close and personal with Alabaster Caverns, you might want to try a little wild caving (spelunking). Just make sure you have the right gear (and a permit) for this adventure, because you will be crawling around in tight spaces, and you’re sure to be covered in Oklahoma red dirt when you come out of the cave!
Ever wondered what it would be like to spend a night in a cave? Here’s your chance! This is definitely not a glamping experience, though. Check out the Oklahoma State Parks app to make sure you bring the proper gear to keep your group safe.
Although the caverns are the main attraction at this park, there are a few activities back up on the surface as well. Hiking trails, picnic areas, RV and tent sites, and a gift shop round out this unique experience.
Just a note to check on before you go: From what I’ve read online, it seems that there was a cave-in near the entrance of the caverns back in 2018 and, as of this writing (July 2020), part of the cave is still closed. Might want to call ahead just to make sure you know what to expect before you get there.