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Camping in Oklahoma

Cowboy culture and pioneer history converge at the crossroads of the South, Southwest, and Midwest.

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Set in the Great Plains region of the United States, in Oklahoma you'll find camping opportunities among sweeping grasslands, quiet forests, waterfalls, and an abundance of lakes. Much of the state’s expansive natural areas are protected by the state park system, and Oklahoma also has the longest drivable stretch of the famous Route 66, which passes by all sorts of roadside attractions and historic towns, crossing through the state's two major cities—Tulsa and Oklahoma City—along the way.

Where to Go

Western Oklahoma

Characterized by diverse landscapes, western Oklahoma’s popular spots include Little Sahara State Park, which features desert-like dunes popular for off-roading, and Alabaster Caverns State Park, where visitors can explore one of the largest natural gypsum caves on earth. You can even go digging for selenite crystals in the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge or go rappelling in the Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park.

Central and South-Central Oklahoma

In the center of the state, Oklahoma City is a great place to get your bearings, with all sorts of museums. A number of lakes are set around town, including Lake Thunderbird State Park, which offers boating, swimming, and camping just a short drive out. If you're headed toward Tulsa, make a pitstop in the town of Chandler, where you can learn about regional history at the Chandler Route 66 Interpretive Center or the Lincoln County Museum of Pioneer History. If you’d rather just play outside, Turner Falls Park and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in the Arbuckle Mountains offer scenery and camping options.

Northeastern Oklahoma

Oklahoma's northeastern region is characterized by cute towns and numerous Route 66 roadside attractions, not to mention lots of lovely lakes. Lake Tenkiller, Keystone Lake, Grand Lake, and Lake Eufaula all offer plenty of opportunities for watersports and outdoor recreation.

Southeastern Oklahoma

Oklahoma's southeast is all about scenery, with nine state parks and plenty of forest land to get out and explore. The region is home to Antlers, the so-called "Deer Capital of the World," where you can learn about the creatures at the Wildlife Heritage Center Museum. If visiting in fall, make sure to take a drive along the 54-mile Talimena National Scenic Byway, which offers opportunities to check out fall colors. Popular camping areas along the way can be found in the Ouachita National Forest, Talimena State Park, Broken Bend State Park, and the Cedar Lake Recreation Area.

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