Cowboy culture and pioneer history converge at the crossroads of the South, Southwest, and Midwest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oklahoma is an excellent destination for camping, offering a diverse landscape that includes forests, lakes, and prairies. The state boasts numerous state parks, national forests, and private campgrounds that cater to both tent and RV campers. Some popular camping locations in Oklahoma include Beavers Bend State Park, Ouachita National Forest, and Robbers Cave State Park. Whether you're interested in hiking, fishing, boating, or simply relaxing in nature, Oklahoma has a variety of camping options to suit your needs.
The best month to camp in Oklahoma is typically October, when the weather is cooler and more comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 75°F. This time of year also offers beautiful fall foliage and lower humidity. Late spring (April and May) can also be a good time to camp, but be aware that Oklahoma experiences its peak tornado season during these months. For more information on camping options in Oklahoma, visit Hipcamp.
In Oklahoma, you can find free camping in some of its national forests and wildlife management areas. Dispersed camping is allowed in certain areas of the Ouachita National Forest and the Black Kettle National Grassland. Some wildlife management areas also offer free camping, but it's essential to check local regulations and restrictions before setting up camp.
Camping fees at Oklahoma State Parks vary depending on the type of campsite and amenities provided. On average, tent campsites range from $12 to $20 per night, while RV campsites with electric and water hookups range from $22 to $30 per night. Some parks may also offer full hookup sites or premium sites with additional fees. To explore Oklahoma State Parks and their camping options, visit Hipcamp