Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve

Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve County Road 325
Kenton, OK 73946

Phone: 580-426-2222
Fax: 580-426-2405
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Black Mesa is located in Oklahoma's panhandle along the tri-state border with Colorado and New Mexico. Black Mesa takes its name from the layer of black lava rock that coated the mesa about 30 million years ago. Visitors can hike to the top of the plateau, Oklahoma's highest point at 4,973 feet above sea level, while in the Black Mesa Nature Preserve.  

The nature preserve is operated by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department in conjunction with Black Mesa State Park. The nature preserve consists of approximately 1,600 acres where visitors can hike and enjoy 23 rare plants and eight rare animal species. The unique area marks the point where the Rocky Mountains meet the shortgrass prairie and many species are at the easternmost or westernmost point of their natural range. Approximately 36 RV sites with water and electric hookups and 23 tent sites are available on a first come, first serve basis at Black Mesa State Park.

Black Mesa is located in Oklahoma's panhandle along the tri-state border with Colorado and New Mexico. Black Mesa takes its name from the layer of black lava rock that coated the mesa about 30 million years ago. Visitors can hike to the top of the plateau, Oklahoma's highest point at 4,973 feet above sea level, while in the Black Mesa Nature Preserve.  

The nature preserve is operated by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department in conjunction with Black Mesa State Park. The nature preserve consists of approximately 1,600 acres where visitors can hike and enjoy 23 rare plants and eight rare animal species. The unique area marks the point where the Rocky Mountains meet the shortgrass prairie and many species are at the easternmost or westernmost point of their natural range. Approximately 36 RV sites with water and electric hookups and 23 tent sites are available on a first come, first serve basis at Black Mesa State Park.

Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve are a birder's paradise with golden eagles, scaled quail, black-billed magpies, and pinyon jays frequently spotted.  Other wildlife in the area includes black bear, bobcat, mountain lion, mule deer, bighorn sheep and antelope.

In addition to being an excellent location for wildlife watching, Black Mesa State Park boasts some of the darkest nighttime skies on publicly accessible land in the country. The dark skies draw countless astronomy enthusiasts to the area every year as they make star gazing ideal. The state park is especially popular each August when the annual Perseid meteor shower is visible. It is one of the most viewed meteor showers in the Northern Hemisphere and is best seen from remote areas such as the Oklahoma panhandle.

Located about 15 miles from the nature preserve, Black Mesa State Park is adjacent to Lake Carl Etling and offers RV and tent campsites, picnic facilities, boat ramps, trout fishing in season, a playground, restrooms with showers and a group camp with 12 bunkhouses.

Black Mesa Nature Preserve is open dawn to dusk only. Allow at least four hours to hike to the top of the mesa from the parking area and back. A restroom is available at the nature preserve trailhead. Although camping is allowed within the state park, no camping is allowed within the nature preserve borders. Hikers need to be prepared for high temperatures during the summer and are advised to bring plenty of water.

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  • Facility Amenities: Campsites, Elec. 30 Amp, Grills, Pets Allowed in Park, Picnic Area, Playground, Restrooms, Showers, Site WiFi

  • On-site Activities: Hiking, Watchable Wildlife

  • On-site Lodging: Group Camp, RV Sites, Tent Sites





Open 24 hours


Open 24 hours


Open 24 hours


Open 24 hours


Open 24 hours


Open 24 hours


Open 24 hours

Tent sites: $12

RV sites with electric & water hookups: $20

Premium sites: Additional $5

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the pricing listed above, prices are subject to change without notice.

Located 28 miles NW of Boise City on Hwy 325.

Primary Contacts:

Bruce Divis

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From owner on 09/28/15

Ryan, long story short is a private lodging venture on private lands that never was entirely completed. Since construction, it has sold once. The building is only a facade. Glad you enjoyed the park and our staff.

From owner on 09/28/15

David, camping is available year round. At least one comfort station will remain open also. Hope to see you!

From Ryan Blackburn on 09/27/15

I recently was in the area and was wondering what the story was behind the old western looking town thats a new build but now a ghost town. As for the park itself I loved it. It was clean and people was very nice.

From David Vensel on 09/27/15

Is camping available year round?

From Staff on 09/20/15

Charlie, they are in the same general area. Here are directions to the dinosaur tracks: Approximately 1 mile east of Kenton, take the blacktop road marked 'Black Mesa Nature Preserve' and go 5.2 miles north. Turn right on the dirt road just north of the bridge and follow until turn area. Walk down into creek bed. Thank you for using!

From Charlie McIntyre on 09/19/15

is the dinosaur tracks close by to observe?

From owner on 09/17/15

Good morning Zach, we always have tent sites available so you will not have any problems with your camping visit. Glad you are coming.

From Zach Hill on 09/16/15

Does the campground tend to get full on weekends around the okie-tex star party? I'm wanting to drive out and will risk it if there are generally a few open tent sites.

From Staff on 09/03/15

Steve, we're sorry to hear that! While we don't accept reservations at Black Mesa State Park, you are welcome to call 580-426-2222 and check how full the campgrounds are before planning a trip. There are 36 RV sites with water and electric hookups and 23 tent sites. Several RV campsites are typically available every weekend. To see a list of state parks that do accept online reservations, please visit Thank you for using!

From Steve Lehenbauer on 09/01/15

Bummer that they don't allow reservations for campers. Can't risk pulling a 5th wheel 5-6 hrs. just to get there and not have a spot.

From owner on 08/20/15

Hello Arthur. Once you rise out of the park on the north exit, you will be able to get away from most of the artifical light. Continuing further on the county road will enable you to get to a spot you feel meets your needs for stargazing. Glad you are coming.

From Arthur on 08/20/15

I am planning a stargazing trip with my children and Black Mesa is frequently mentioned in a number of forums. What is the best location in the area to set up a telescope based on local lighting?

From Staff on 08/14/15

Trey, there are 36 RV sites with water and electric hookups and 23 tent sites. Several RV campsites are typically available every weekend. For more information, please call the park at 580-426-2222. Thank you for using!

From Trey on 08/12/15

We are planning on coming this weekend. We have never been there. We are just wondering if all the campsites are full and we are self contained, can we stay in one of the far parking lots?

From owner on 07/22/15

Good morning Joe. All of our campsites are first come first serve, but not to worry we usually have several RV campsites available even on weekends. Fees are self payable at the park office. Glad you are coming for a visit.

From Joe on 07/21/15

Coming Aug. 8. What are chances of getting electric for smal trailer.

From Staff on 06/30/15

Corey, there are good populations of largemouth bass, flathead catfish, walleye and small mouth bass. In addition there is a trout season November 1 through April 30. Thank you for using!

From corey on 06/29/15

How is the fishing? And whaytype of fish are in the lake?

From owner on 06/22/15

Janis, You should not have any problems with getting an electric and water RV campsite for one night. Glad you are coming.

From janis on 06/21/15

we are planning on coming to the park on july the 18. we have a pop-up would like to have water and electric.we will be there one night only. any chances of that happening? thanks

From Park Manager on 06/16/15

Rob, We usually have a few tent sites available on the weekends. As we have 15 tents sites in our main area, 3 sites in west canyon and 9 tent sites in our primitive area.

From Rob on 06/16/15

I would like to come and tent camp this weekend. I'm coming from Tulsa and will arrive Friday evening. What is my chance of actually getting a site? How fast do you think the available sites will fill on a friday? Thanks

From owner on 05/27/15

Candy, pets are allowed in both the park and the preserve but must be kept leashed. Glad you are coming for a visit.

From Candy on 05/26/15

I guess I should clarify, are pets allowed in the nature preserve part?

From Candy on 05/26/15

Are pets allowed on the hiking trails or just in the park in general?

From Staff on 05/19/15

Amy, as of right this moment there are no burn bans in effect in Oklahoma, so you're welcome to light a fire in the provided areas within the park. However, before you do, please check for the most up-to-date burn ban status. Thank you for using!

From Amy on 05/19/15

Hi, Are there any burn bans on the park right now, or can fires be built in the fire rings?

From owner on 05/07/15

Keeley, camping is only allowed in the state park portion. The preserve at Black Mesa is day use only. The cave you have referenced must be on private property as we do not have any in the state park. Glad you are interested in visiting us.

From Keeley on 05/07/15

Can you have tours that take you to see the cave and is it safe for kids and can you camp by the Black Mesa

From Staff on 04/20/15

Valerie, please give the staff at Black Mesa State Park a call at 580-426-2222, and they'll be able to tell you how full the park typically is. Thank you for using!

From Staff on 04/20/15

Jenna, to our knowledge all camping must be done within the designated sites, but it won't hurt to ask the staff at Black Mesa State Park. You can also notify them when you will be hiking and when you will return. Feel free to stop by the park office or call 580-426-2222 for more information. Thank you for using!

From Valerie Shields on 04/19/15

We would love to bring our motor home and do some camping, but noticed you only have 36 sites. Are these sites usually full? Would hate to drive all the way from Spearman, Tx and not be able to get a site.

From Jenna on 04/14/15

I plan to come down in about a month and I was so wondering if y'all allow camping anywhere on the ground ds or if I have to camp at one of the designated camp sites. I would also like to hike and site see by myself instead of with a group. Is that permitted? Thanks so much!

From Staff on 04/01/15

Paula, sorry but there are no horseback riding trails or equestrian camps at Black Mesa State Park. However, you may want to check with the Hoot Owl Ranch or Hitching Post B&B, both of which are also in Kenton. Those properties allow horseback riding, but we're unsure about camping. You can get more information on them by searching 'Lodging within 15 miles' under the map feature on this page. Have a great day and thank you for using!

From Paula Ziegelgruber on 04/01/15

Was curious if you allow horses on the trails and are you allowed to camp with horses using trailers. Or a ranch nearby that allows this. Thank you. Paula from Guthrie, okla.

From Staff on 03/30/15

Wade, thank you for asking. In order to preserve the park's natural resources, we ask that visitors do not collect or disturb any of the animals, plants, trees, rocks, etc, within the park. Please feel free to call the park office at 580-426-2222 for more information. Thank you for using!

From Wade on 03/30/15

is collecting rocks permitted? Basalt rock is the best rock for sweat ceremony.

From Staff on 03/23/15

M. Casey, yes! Fires are allowed at Black Mesa State Park as long as there is no burn ban in effect. Many of the tent campsites have firerings but not all. However, all campsites have at least an upright grill. Before your trip, please check the current burn bans at Have a great day and thank you for using!

From M. Casey on 03/20/15

Are fires allowed in the black mesa state park? Like small fire pits?

From Paul Olney on 02/25/15

In the 50's I lived at Straight OK and in grade school we made trips to Black Mesa and as Boy scouts we went several times. We always found arrow heads and had a great time hiking and climbing the Mesa. There was a ranch there that had a fence in front of the house made out of corn meal making rocks. I wonder if it is still there?

From Staff on 02/05/15

Susie, we're sorry you're having trouble locating the prices for camping at Oklahoma's state parks. Just above this comment box is a tab that says 'pricing.' At all Oklahoma State Parks the base rate for a primitive site with no hookups is $12 per night. For a semi-modern site, which includes electric and water, the rate ranges from $20-$25 per night. If you’d like a modern site, which includes electric, sewer and water, the rate ranges from $23-$25 per night. Some parks offer premium sites, like those at water’s edge, for an additional $5 fee per night. Please keep in mind that not all state parks, including Black Mesa, have sewer hookups. If you have any questions, please call the park office at 580-426-2222. Happy camping and thank you for using!

From Susie Smeal on 02/04/15

I wish you would put on the site the price for camping. I would love to go here but without that bit of information I will pass camping in Oklahoma as I have to budget and don't wish to waste my time calling each place find out the camping prices.

From Staff on 01/27/15

Richard, sorry, but there are no horse trails at Black Mesa. However, there are hiking trails and overnight tent and RV campsites. For more information, please call 580-426-2222. Have a great day and thank you for using!

From Richard Moss on 01/27/15

does this camp have horse trails and overnight camping.

From Arlene W on 01/18/15

Black Mesa just has a draw for me, theres just something about it, all the history, the life of the people in that area, the amazing views. Am a photographer and have taken many photos in that area....

From V. Modeland on 12/03/14

While I've only enjoyed a few stays at the park, I always leave planning in my mind for the next. Thank you for maintaining and keeping open this awesome and educational place in time as well as piece of Oklahoma that is like no other.

From belinda on 11/04/14

I spent a week camping at Black Mesa many years ago and it is still one of the best times and memory I have of my youth. Thank you for creating such a wonderful family destination

From Staff on 10/19/14

Judson, we've just received the state park winterization notices and wanted to let you know that all park facilities (including restrooms) at Black Mesa State Park will remain open this winter. Have a great day and thank you for using!

From judson davis on 10/06/14

No bathrooms open during winter months. Guess they expect you to go on the ground when trout fishing during winter months. Camp host get to park trailer all summer long but is never there guess it free camping for him. They state needs to have a ranger living on site full time. Contacted the state about above but no reply guess i need to ask the governor to find out.

From Tony W on 03/23/14

Saw lots of wildlife. The view from the top was worth the climb. RV camp was set by the stream and lake.

From Richard C on 11/22/13

I had always been curious about this part of the country and it surpassed my expectations. This is a great park to spend some time in. It's remote but worth making the effort. The road 325 crosses into NM and becomes NM456. It's a wonderful drive to take to Raton.

From Shery Rogers on 06/29/13

I love Black Mesa State Park for the remoteness of it. It's just a nice place to leave the rest of the world behind. The wildlife is great too. Don't ever close this state park!

From Steve Davis on 05/14/13

I'm not too worried if six of your photos are duplicates, but it seems like you fixed it anyways! I wonder what other useless criticisms David can come up with now. I love and you do a wonderful job keeping up with all of the great destinations Oklahoma has to offer. Here's hoping David March can remove the stick from his butt and log off the internet long enough to actually visit some of Oklahoma's great resources.

From Staff on 04/11/13

David, we're sorry to hear about your negative duplicate photo experience on our site. We've passed along your thoughts to the appropriate division. We love it when tourists send pictures our way, so please feel free to share when you visit Black Mesa State Park! Best wishes and thank you for using!

From David March on 04/11/13

I may not have been to your park, but clearly have been to your website, which would have been a far better experience had there actually been 63 pictures available via the link above. There are only 57 or so, given the duplicates. I hope this does not reflect on other aspects of park administration.

From Matt Engel on 02/27/13

I go to Black Mesa at least 4 to 5 times a year. Last time was December and the lake was the highest I've seen it. Id say about 50-100 yes from group camp. I have a ton of pictures and I plan to work on an Oklahoma Wildlife Documentary this spring starting up there. If anybody loves the area as much as I do, and is interested in helping or just going to camp. Let me know. As for the Photos you can see a select few at click on wildlife gallery

From Wes the Carpathian on 01/23/13

Tent camped many times. This is a very scenic part of the state with breathtaking views. If you have not been this should be at the top of your parks to go to list. If you're lucky enough to see it rain expect active wildlife during and shortly after the rain. Not at all a fisherman's paradise, but there is great sightseeing which the ranger can direct you to. Plus it's close to dinosaur tracks! How cool is that?

From Ryan on 11/26/12

Love love love this place! The preserve is several miles away from the state park. The park is so quiet and we've gone several times around Thanksgiving to camp and there's been only one or two others and us. If I could move out there I would! Clean park and restrooms as well. Definitely you should go here if you get the chance.

From HDSundowner on 05/14/12

Rode through on the 5-STATE MOTORCYCLE RUN and it was so beautiful and the Lake ranger was so kind and helpful.The Black Mesa is so cool. HD

From Kyle on 03/30/12

I go to Black Mesa every chance I get! I absolutely love this place.

From Ron Lofton on 09/29/11

The showers were a complete disaster, need to fix, or just tear down and do without

From Basset Hound on 07/31/11

Our family just returned from there yesterday. The park was remote, and out of the way, but the campground was beautiful, and the surrounding scenery was lovely. The hiking trails were fun. We saw lots of mule deer.

From man of teeleeness on 10/08/10

i like the black mesa

From Bobby on 05/19/10

Old West landscape, Santa Fe Trail, petrified trees, dinosaur tracks, seldom seen area, off the beaten path, and in general - fantastic. It may be a long drive, but it is a trip to remember. Good RV sites, shade trees, old but clean bath rooms with good showers.

From Bailey on 04/13/10

cool place to be trust me

From sami nguyen on 04/07/10

I went there for fall break...It's AMAZING!!! If you haven't been there already you gotta' go! Black lava-rock EVERYWHERE!!! And the sites on the trail and on top are totally -once again- AMAZING!!! Beautiful scenery at the top.

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