There’s no fancy equipment required to get a breathtaking shot of these gorgeous vacation hot spots across the state. All you need is your phone!
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Some people say the best camera is the one you have on you, especially when it comes to vacation snap shots. Hit the road and head to one of these extremely photographable destinations – just be sure to tag us in your Instagram posts while you’re there by using #TravelOK! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @TravelOK for trip inspiration and stunning images.
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge outside of Lawton is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Oklahoma and a favorite for Instagramers. The photo-ops are endless – drive to the top of Mount Scott for a classic photo of Quanah Parker Lake and huge rock formations or get a glimpse of the buffalo while wandering through the refuge. You can also explore the Holy City of the Wichitas or take one of the hiking paths to Forty-Foot Hole, a gorgeous canyon structure with cascading water.
Greenleaf State Park is hidden in the hills of eastern Oklahoma near the town of Braggs. This gem has quaint historic cabins with native stone that were built by the WPA in the 1930s and make for a very comfortable stay. While you’re here, hike to the highly sought-after swinging bridge along the Greenleaf Lake Trail. Visitors often snap a picture while they’re suspended over the creek below. We also recommend a photo enjoying your morning coffee on the deck of the park’s lakeside cabin.
The rolling fields of Oklahoma are just one of the breathtaking photogenic features of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve outside of Pawhuska. There is also a herd of over 2,700 American bison that live in the preserve that you may be lucky enough to see as you trek along the 50 mile scenic drive. The 39,000 acre expanse is the largest protected area of tallgrass prairie in the world and home to a huge variety of plant and animal life including hundreds of species of birds.
Natural Falls State Park is a popular Oklahoma destination purely for its natural beauty and 77-foot tall waterfall. Visitors travel from all around to take a selfie with the waterfall in the background and to hike the nature trails lined with vibrant, green plants and trees. The waterfall is at the bottom of a narrow valley, and there is a bench where visitors can relax and listen to the rush. There is also an observation deck at the top of the valley for a different perspective.
The Quartz Mountain Resort, Arts & Conference Center is encircled by the mountains of southwestern Oklahoma. They are so close that guests are able to walk out of their cabin’s front door and start hiking almost immediately. Lake Altus-Lugert is one of the main attractions of Quartz Mountain Nature Park – see the water flow under a spectacular bridge that connects two parts of the resort. Watching the sunset behind the mountains is also a particularly beautiful sight that warrants at least a few photos.
The San Bois Mountains give way to forests, lakes and large rock formations at Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton. A favorite of rappellers and rock climbers, this park was also a hide-out for several Old West outlaws including Jesse James and Belle Starr. Adventurers and hikers are known to get down in the caves and Instagram photos from inside or even snap a photo while safely rappelling down the side of a rock face. The bluffs overlooking one of the park’s serene lakes also make for a great landscape shot.
Let the photo inspiration hit you as you explore the connecting streams, hiking trails and lakes of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur. Whether you’re there in the summer to splash around at Little Niagara or trekking out on the hiking trails in the fall to capture the colors of the changing trees, this is one of Oklahoma’s prime destinations to get in touch with nature and enjoy the outdoors. Bring along a tent or your RV to extent your trip and really soak it all in.
Surrounding Broken Bow Lake, Beavers Bend State Park attracts visitors from around the country to see its flowing rivers, amazing fall foliage and forest covered mountains. It is full of adventures that double as great photographs including trout fishing on the Mountain Fork River, paddle boating, horseback riding and excursions along the David Boren Hiking Trail. The park also offers cozy cabins for a relaxing getaway that are just a short drive from fantastic restaurants.
Known as the premier spot in Oklahoma to see the brilliant hues of reds, yellows and oranges that signal fall, the Talimena National Scenic Byway winds through the Ouachita Mountains in the southeastern part of the state. The frequent vistas and panoramic stop-offs are the perfect place to enjoy the surrounding beauty and have a photo shoot. Talimena State Park is also located at the entrance to the byway - it allows tent camping and has a few RV spots for those who want to camp in comfort.
The highest point in Oklahoma is actually the plateau at Black Mesa State Park in Kenton. At 4,973 feet above sea level, hikers who make it all the way to the top are rewarded with breathtaking views as far as the eye can see and the chance to take some amazing snapshots. The park is located in the tip of the panhandle and is the place with the least light pollution in the state. On clear nights, photographers often grasp at the chance to get rare nighttime pics of the stars and Milky Way.
Also known as the Glass Mountains, the towering structures that make Gloss Mountain State Park a unique destination photograph especially well against the stark flatness of the western Oklahoma plains. The mountains are named after the high Selenite content of the rocks that makes the mountainsides glisten in the sun. Hike to the top of Cathedral Mountain using a trail with stairs for a spectacular vantage point of Lone Peak. Pull out your phone to capture the moment full of vibrant colors and complete the day with a picnic.