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By Oklahoma Tourism Staff
Whether you’re a frequent or first time visitor, Oklahoma State Parks are popular destinations for in-state and out-of-state guests. From the flat-top mesas and sand dunes in the northwest to the thick forests and mountainous regions of southeastern Oklahoma, the diverse terrain and picturesque landscapes as well as the budget friendly prices in the parks continue to attract travelers of all ages.
For the travel planners who are not familiar with what is available at the parks, there are always questions before the preparations begin. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and the answers to assist you in your research.
What are your basic camping fees? Campsites are twelve dollars per night, each site. Utility services including water, electric and sewer are an added fee.
Can I make a campsite reservation? At this time, online reservations are not available. Most campsites are on a first arrival basis.
Is there an entrance fee or cost to drive into the park? Oklahoma State Parks do not charge entrance fees. A day use-fee of four dollars is charged at Natural Falls State Park in northeastern Oklahoma and at the Cisco Road gated area at Lake Murray State Park near Ardmore.
How many tents can I put on a site? One tent only may be established as an extension to a recreational vehicle site at no extra charge. Tent campers may rent RV sites but will be charged the full RV rate.
How do we pay for our campsite if we arrive after hours? If you arrive late in the evening or at night and the office is closed, you will need to pay the next morning at the park office and obtain a receipt. During regular park hours, a camp host or park ranger will collect camping fees and give you a receipt.
How long can I stay in the park? Camping for more than fourteen consecutive days in the same campsite is prohibited. Extensions may be made by the park manager.
Where can I build a campfire? Fires should be built in a designated fire ring only. The park office will post signs when a burn ban is in effect at the park or you may check the Oklahoma Forestry Division home page for specific counties.
What do I need to bring to the cabin? Items provided to cabin guests include bedding linens, blankets, pillows, towels for bathing, dish cleaning items, pots, pans, cooking utensils, plates, silverware and cups and glasses. Coffee makers, microwaves and televisions are provided in the cabins, and some have fireplaces. Firewood is not provided but available for purchase.
What’s the earliest I can check into a cabin or lodge room and when is check out? Check in is allowed after 3:00pm. Check out is at 11:00am. Guests cannot place personal items in cabins or lodge rooms during cleaning.
What is your pet policy in cabins? Pets are allowed in cabins and cottages in specific parks. A fee of ten dollars per day is required and notification of a pet must be made one day in advance of stay. Owners will be fully responsible for repair or replacement of any items stained or damaged by pets. State Parks: Any persons entering a state park with a dog must have the dog on a leash or in a cage while in public areas. Pets are not allowed in food and beverage areas or pool areas unless they are service animals. Vaccinations must be up-to-date and vaccination evidence is required.
What does it cost to launch watercraft at a state park boat ramp? There is no fee to launch watercraft for day use.
Can you swim in the lake? Yes, but you swim at your own risk. Lifeguards are not available in the designated swim beach areas or at any other area in the parks. Even if you are a strong swimmer, lifejackets are suggested any time you are in or near the water.
What are the discounts for seniors, veterans and disabled guests? Recreational-use discounts of $2.00 per day are offered to persons age 62 years and older; with proof of age. Total disability discounts are fifty percent off the base rate for camping. Utilities are not discounted. Proof of disability will be requested. Lodge room and cabin discounts are fifteen percent for senior and disabled visitors on Sunday-Thursday nights only, excluding holidays. Some restrictions may apply on cabins and lodge rooms. Oklahoma state parks do not accept Golden Age Passports.
Where do I go during bad weather such as tornadoes and flooding? Always be weather aware and carry a battery operated weather radio when camping. If inclement weather is forecast, it is best to leave the open areas in the park before the arrival of threatening weather. Before you begin your trip, research the closest town with an available shelter. Stone or brick comfort stations in the parks provide limited shelter but are vulnerable to severe weather, high winds etc.
Stay alert for flash floods! If large amounts of rain occur in a short period of time and you are near a river or stream, move to highest possible ground away from the water.
These are some of the many questions offered as information to help plan your next state park getaway and do not include all park rules and regulations. With parks located throughout the state, your ideal vacation destination is as close as your own back yard.
For information about the state parks, lodges and golf courses, visit TravelOK.com or call our toll-free number at 800-652-6552 and visit with a travel counselor.