11 Best State Parks Near Oklahoma City Ranked + Map to Find Them!

11 Best State Parks Near Oklahoma City Ranked + Map to Find Them! by Stephanie Craig
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We live in OKC, and one thing I noticed when we decided we wanted our family to visit every Oklahoma state park in the next five years is that there aren’t that many state parks near Oklahoma City.

Unlike Tulsa, which has a lot of state parks you can reach in under an hour, the average drive time to a state park from OKC is 2.5 hours.

This means you must carefully plan your visit if you want a day trip from OKC, or you must set aside an entire weekend to explore.

And while we love spending weekends at state parks, it’s not always possible. Sometimes you just want to get in the car and go somewhere new-to-you for the day and still be back in your own bed at night.

Or you want to be able to start hiking before the heat hits without having to leave your house at four AM to get there in time.

So I made this list for myself, but I think a lot of you can use it as well. These are the state parks near OKC, including drive time, organized from best to worst.

I’m only including parks you can drive to in two hours or less, making them true day-trip possibilities.

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11 Best State Parks Near Oklahoma City Ranked + Map to Find Them! by Stephanie Craig

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Map of State Parks Near Oklahoma City

This map has the closest state parks to OKC numbered by drive time. While some of these might look rather far, because of their locations near major highways, these parks are all two hours away from OKC or less.

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State Parks Near Oklahoma City Ranked from Best to Worst

To help you decide which one to visit, I’m listing them here in order of ranking from worst to best. Below this list, I have another list of parks by drive time.

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To rank the parks, I’m using an average of the ratings by parkgoers on Trip Advisor, Google, and All Trails.

Lake Texoma State Park

Lake Texoma State Park - State Parks close to Oklahoma City - photo by Stephanie Craig

Park Score: 12/15 stars

Built around Oklahoma’s second-largest lake, Lake Texoma State Park is packed with amenities, including newly added equestrian trails.

With RV sites and tent sites to choose from, campers are happy to stay here overnight to get as much use out of the park as possible.

Canoe, kayak, and pontoon rentals are available for those who don’t want to BYOB – Bring Your Own Boat.

There isn’t much hiking, but the Heart Health Trail is a 0.4-mile out-and-back trail that is rated easy.

Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park (Formerly Arrowhead State Park)

Arrowhead State Park - Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufala | state parks near OKC
By Corey Taratuta – Sunset at Arrowhead State Park, CC BY 2.0

Park Score: 12.25/15 stars

While it’s still listed as Arrowhead State Park in most places, the newly christened Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park has its own park manager and separate amenities, so you don’t want to gloss over it!

Sitting on the shores of Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma’s largest lake, Arrowhead is perfect for watersports like wakeboarding and waterskiing.

Featuring six miles of hiking trails that are considered challenging, this is a good place to come out for a day hike.

Visitors who want to stay overnight can book the tent campsites and RV sites in advance.

There’s an 18-hole Par 72 golf course on site that is open daily. Book your tee time in advance.

Lake Thunderbird State Park

A senic view of the clouds reflecting in the water at Thunderbird Lake in Oklahoma.

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

The closest state park to Oklahoma City, Lake Thunderbird State Park is just about thirty minutes from the city. Yet not nearly enough of us go and visit this nearby state park!

With two marinas, nine boat ramps, and two swim beaches, it’s set up to handle a bit of a crowd.

There are tons of family-friendly activities here, from archery to a playground to a nature center. Plus there are equestrian trails for those who want to bring their equine friend.

See also
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Fort Cobb State Park

The beautiful and tranquil side of Fort Cobb lake in Oklahoma.

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

Located near Fort Cobb on Fort Cobb Lake, this park features an 18-hole golf course, multiple cabins that can sleep up to six and allow pets, and a 3.8-mile out-and-back hike that has reviews stating it’s a hidden gem hike in the state park system.

The boating here is the big draw, and they have fishing boat rentals as well as pontoon rentals if (like me) you don’t have your own boat.

Lake Murray State Park

Oklahoma - Aerial view of Tucker Tower on Lake Murray in Ardmore Oklahoma on a summer day with a houseboat in the distance

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

One of my earliest travel memories is fishing at Lake Murray State Park when I was little, so I can personally attest that it’s a great place to start making family state park memories!

This is fitting as well since Lake Murray State Park was Oklahoma’s first state park! Earlier even than other new deal parks like Greenleaf, Quartz Mountain, and Robbers Cave.

LMSP has over fifty cabins, many more than most parks, so this is a great place to book a vacation if you want to stay in a cabin overnight. They range in size from small cottages to cabins that can accommodate a large family.

This is also one of the few state parks that has both an 18-round golf course and a mini-golf course, so no matter what time of links you want to hit, Lake Murray has them!

Of course, boating, swimming, and other water activities are popular here.

You can visit Tucker Tower, one of the most iconic spots in any Oklahoma State Park, but check their schedule for openings before making your way down there.

Because of its location near I-35, many travelers going from OKC to Dallas make their way here for a nice picnic before moving on with their drive.

Lake Eufaula State Park

Oklahoma - Lake Eufaula sunset, Oklahoma, USA

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

A park with great swimming, boating, hiking, and archery, a day out here offers a real escape from the city.

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And while you can easily reach Lake Eufaula as a day trip from OKC, you might want to extend your stay. Those visiting overnight can book a spot in one of the park’s three yurts!

Previously referred to as Fountainhead State Park, Lake Eufaula State Park is located near Checotah, so Civil War buffs will want to set aside time to visit the nearby site of the Battle of Honey Springs, one of Oklahoma’s Civil War sites.

Learning opportunities extend to the park itself, where you can visit the Deep Fork Nature Center, though some families might opt for the disc golf course while more serious golfers might prefer the Fountainhead Creek Golf Course.

There truly is something here for everyone!

Great Plains State Park

Walking path along the shore of Tom Steed Reservoir inside Great Plains State Park in Oklahoma

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

Located in the foothills of the Wichita Mountains, this is a great place to base yourself to explore the park and take a day trip to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

Hikers will enjoy the park’s 6.4-mile loop trail which boasts impressive scenery, especially along the lake shore.

The swim beach at Tom Steed Lake in the park is one of the best beaches in Oklahoma, perfect for cooling down after a long hike or a venture out into the mountains.

Roman Nose State Park

Park Score: 13/15 stars

The second-closest Oklahoma state park to OKC, Roman Nose State Park offers a great change of scenery.

Accommodations here range from campsites and RV sites to the park’s famous lodge and cabins to…teepees. That’s right, you can book a teepee stay here from April through October.

There are extensive activities here, including specific children’s programming and numerous rentals. You won’t run out of things to do at Roman Nose State Park!

One of the state parks where you can book a horse ride, so horse lovers who don’t BYOH (bring your own horse) can still participate in the equine fun!

See also
7 Things to Know about Greenleaf State Park Cabins + Review

Keystone State Park

State Parks near OKC - Keystone State Park
Pattie, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Park Score: 13/15 stars

Keystone State Park is located west of Tulsa, but those coming from OKC will find it easy to get here as well.

Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and hiking the 1.3-mile family-friendly trail.

Travelers staying in the park overnight can add a day trip to the Keystone Ancient Forest just ten minutes away.

Good to know: If you want a state park to visit on your honeymoon or for a romantic retreat, nab the Keystone cabin with a jacuzzi.

Foss State Park

Park Score: 13/15 stars

This unheralded state park is a true Oklahoma hidden gem, complete with a sandy beach and even a shelter resembling a tropical palapa!

They don’t have much in the way of rentals available (with the lone exception of kayaks). This keeps the crowds down somewhat as anyone who wants to get out on the water needs to bring their own boat or watercraft.

Similarly, horse rentals are not available, so the horse trails are for those who travel with their own horsey companion.

All of this helps the park keep a high rating since parkgoers get a somewhat private experience.

Though beware, while Oklahoma doesn’t have any prominent national park disappearances at our national parks, Foss Lake does have some spooky state park disappearances. Don’t worry though, they happened decades ago!

Gloss Mountain State Park

Oklahoma - Fairview - Gloss Mountain State Park Entrance Sign

Park Score: 13.5/15 stars

Gloss Mountain State Park is a unique experience in Oklahoma, offering a small taste of Utah’s national parks or Sedona. It doesn’t look or feel anything like visiting the lake paradises that make up the rest of this list.

That might be why it is one of my personal favorite Oklahoma state parks.

Once here, you can hike the Cathedral Mesa hike to the top of the mesa for 360-degree views of the area. The views from the top are stunning!

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The park is located near the small towns of Fairview and Okeene.

There are no overnight amenities, as this park is meant for day use only. You can enjoy a picnic here, utilizing the grills and picnic areas. However, make sure you’re out of the park before the gate is locked at sunset!

Oklahoma State Parks Near OKC by Drive Time

Oklahoma - Fairview - Gloss Mountain State Park - Lone Mountain and Stephanie and Valentine - photo by Stephanie Craig
Gloss Mountain is the highest rated, but it’s not the closest state park to OKC!

Lake Thunderbird State Park: 33 minutes

Roman Nose State Park: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Fort Cobb State Park: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Keystone State Park: 1 hour and 33 minutes

Foss State Park: 1 hour and 34 minutes

Lake Murray State Park: 1 hour and 37 minutes

Lake Eufaula State Park: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Gloss Mountain State Park: 1 hour and 54 minutes

Great Plains State Park: 1 hour and 57 minutes

Arrowhead State Park: 2 hours

Lake Texoma State Park: 2 hours and 8 minutes (but only 2 hours from South OKC, so I’m counting it!)

All OKC to Oklahoma State Parks Drive Time

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Lake Thunderbird State Park: 33 minutes

Roman Nose State Park: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Fort Cobb State Park: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Keystone State Park: 1 hour and 33 minutes

Foss State Park: 1 hour and 34 minutes

Lake Murray State Park: 1 hour and 37 minutes

Lake Eufaula State Park: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Gloss Mountain State Park: 1 hour and 54 minutes

Great Plains State Park: 1 hour and 57 minutes

Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park: 2 hours

Lake Texoma State Park: 2 hours and 8 minutes

Little Sahara State Park: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Salt Plains State Park: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Quartz Mountain State Park: 2 hours and 16 minutes

Greenleaf State Park: 2 hours and 17 minutes

Sequoyah State Park: 2 hours and 17 minutes

Boiling Springs State Park: 2 hours and 21 minutes

Sequoyah Bay State Park: 2 hours and 21 minutes

Tenkiller State Park: 2 hours and 21 minutes

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McGee Creek State Park: 2 hours and 31 minutes

Alabaster Caverns State Park: 2 hours and 34 minutes

Osage Hills State Park: 2 hours and 36 minutes

Robbers Cave State Park: 2 hours and 38 minutes

Cherokee Landing State Park: 2 hours and 39 minutes

Disney Area at Grand Lake State Park: 2 hours and 39 minutes

Cherokee Area at Grand Lake State Park: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Little Blue Area at Grand Lake State Park: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Spavinaw Area at Grand Lake State Park: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Natural Falls State Park: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Bernice Area at Grand Lake State Park: 2 hours and 48 minutes

Clayton Lake State Park: 2 hours and 51 minutes

Twin Bridges Area at Grand Lake State Park: 2 hours and 54 minutes

Talimena State Park (gateway to the Talimena National Scenic Byway): 3 hours and 2 minutes

Honey Creek Area at Grand Lake State Park: 3 hours and 3 minutes

Lake Wister State Park: 3 hours and 5 minutes

Raymond Gary State Park: 3 hours and 11 minutes

Beavers Bend State Park: 3 hours and 47 minutes

Black Mesa State Park: 5 hours and 48 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions about State Parks Near Oklahoma City (FAQ)

These are the questions travelers ask the most often about visiting state parks close to Oklahoma City.

What is the most popular state park in Oklahoma?

Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow and Hochatown is the most popular state park in Oklahoma.

What national parks are in Oklahoma City?

There are six national parks in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City National Memorial is the only National Park Service site located in Oklahoma City.

The other NPS sites in Oklahoma are the:

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Fort Smith National Historic Site

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site

What is the closest state park to Tulsa, Ok?

The closes state park to Tulsa is Keystone State Park.

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What is the prettiest state park in Oklahoma?

The prettiest state park in Oklahoma depends on what type of scenery you like. Broken Bow State Park, Robbers Cave State Park, and Gloss Mountain State Park are all contenders.

What is the largest state park in Oklahoma?

The largest state park in Oklahoma is Lake Murray State Park, which is also the state’s oldest park.

How many Oklahoma state parks are there?

There are 32 Oklahoma State Parks. However, two parks (Lake Eufaula and Grand Lake) have multiple disconnected sections which operate somewhat independently.

What is the newest Oklahoma state park?

Natural Falls State Park is the newest Oklahoma State Park. It was added in 1990.

Does Oklahoma have a state park pass?

Yes, you can buy a $75 annual state park pass. This covers parking but does not cover camping or cabin fees.

This is similar to the America the Beautiful national parks pass.

What is the best state park camping near Oklahoma City?

Almost every state park near Oklahoma City, except Gloss Mountain State Park, offers camping in some capacity. The best-ranked parks near OKC with camping are Foss State Park, Keystone State Park, and Roman Nose State Park.

Pin this Guide to the Best Oklahoma State Parks near OKC for Your Oklahoma Adventures!

11 Best State Parks Near Oklahoma City Ranked + Map to Find Them! by Stephanie Craig

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