Plan your visit to Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton with these useful tips on popular activities, campground information and cabin details.
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Located in the scenic, hilly woodlands of the Sans Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma near Wilburton, Robbers Cave State Park is a relaxing destination for those looking to reconnect with nature. Spanning 8,246 acres and offering another 189 combined lake acres with Lake Carlton, Lake Wayne Wallace and Coon Creek, the park is named for the famous outlaw cave hidden in the formation of sandstone hills and cliffs ranging from 300 to 1,500-ft in height. Plan your trip to Robbers Cave State Park and use this overview as an insider’s guide to where to camp, where to hike and what to see during your Robbers Cave vacation.
Robbers Cave State Park runs north and south along Highway 2. Those coming from the south will pass through the small town of Wilburton where you can stock up on supplies before heading to your campsite or cabin. Those arriving from the north will pass through the heavily wooded Robbers Cave Wildlife Management Area, which is adjacent to the state park.
From Highway 2, turn south on Park Cabins Road and drive along the winding road past the Horseshoe Bend and Bobcat Tent Campgrounds to the park office, which is located in the former lake hut. Stop in for information, brochures and check-in if you’re renting a cabin. The park office also rents golf carts, bicycles, surrey bikes, pedal bikes, horseshoes, fishing poles, a volleyball and net and disc golf sets.
Those seeking a campsite can take their pick of any unoccupied site and set up camp upon arrival. A member of the park staff will make the rounds to collect your payment. Or, book your campsite ahead of time and pay online.
The Whispering Pines Campground is located just across the road from the park office and offers 17 campsites. Sites 1-12 are modern, meaning they have full hookups of water, sewer and electric, and sites 13-17 are semi-modern, meaning they have only water and electric hookups. One site, number 12, is pull-through and handicap accessible. A comfort station and picnic pavilion are all within easy walking distance, and the entrance to the 2.5 mile Coon Ridge Trail is just a short walk away.
Continuing past the Whispering Pines Campground, you’ll pass through a gated entrance and a dump station before reaching the Old Circle Campground. A total of 23 campsites are available, and six sites are pull-through. Eight sites are modern and the remainder are semi-modern. Electric hookups of either 30 amp or 50 amp day by site. A centrally-located comfort station rounds out the Old Circle Campgrounds, and a short hike will take you to the Lake Carlton Nature Center and Gift Shop.
From the park office, you’ll continue straight along Park Cabins Road until you come to a “Y.” Turn left and you’ll arrive at the Belle Starr View Lodge, which features 20 rooms that overlook Coon Creek Lake and the forested valley below. All rooms are non-smoking and feature two double beds, a coffee maker, microwave, mini fridge and satellite television. Rooms at the lodge can accommodate up to four guests, and pets are not permitted in lodge rooms.
From the lodge parking lot, the cabins are a short drive away. A total of 26 cabins are available that can sleep anywhere from two to six guests, and pets are allowed in select cabins. Each cabin comes with a fireplace, refrigerator, cooking range, microwave, coffee pot, dishes, silverware, pots and pans, cooking utensils, linens, central heat and air, shower and satellite TV. For a couple’s getaway, book Cabin 101, also known as the Honeymoon Suite, for one of the best views in the park.
The first of four backcountry camping areas at Robbers Cave State Park is the Coon Creek Campground. This camping site is located north of Coon Creek Lake on the east bank of Coon Creek. The trailhead is located at the park office and takes campers along a 3/4 mile hike with significant elevation changes about halfway through. One can’t-miss spot along this hike is the Coon Creek Dam, which was built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. Please note, all backcountry camping requires a permit that can be acquired at the park office.
Retrace your steps and head back out to Highway 2 where the park continues on the west side of the road. Beginning on the southwest side of the park, there is a comfort station and several tent-only campgrounds where you can set up camp in relative privacy. The Quarry Campground, Dogwood Campground, Deep Fork Campground and Younger’s Bend Campground all offer primitive campsites with no hookups. All of the campgrounds are easily accessible with the exception of the Quarry Campground*, which is just over a one-mile hike from the Deep Fork Campground.
The old quarry is a section of the hill that was scraped off in the 1930s by the CCC to get rocks used for building some of the park’s sidewalks, dams and building structures. There is also a hidden spring along the trail that was once a water source for locals.
Directly across from the Deep Fork Campground on the east side of Highway 2 is the ATV Area. Bring your own ATV or side by side and enjoy 250 acres of terrain. The ATV riding area is open from 8am until sunset each day and requires an entrance fee. Please note there are no ATV rentals within the park.
Continue heading north on Highway 2 and the next west turn will take you to Lake Carlton. Here you’ll find a whole host of activities including the Carlton Tent Campground, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, a boat ramp, hiking, a playground, picnic pavilions, an amphitheater, miniature golf, a swimming pool, disc golf, multiple comfort stations and the nature center, which offers naturalist programs and exhibits. Some of the attractions here are operated by concessionaires and are only open seasonally, so remember to call the park before your trip to confirm their hours of operation.
Two yurts, which are round, tent-like structures built to be permanent, are also available for overnight accommodations in this area. Yurt amenities include a queen-sized bed, full-sized sleeper sofa, mini fridge, and microwave. Relax on the deck and enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Carlton. Restroom facilities are a short walk away in the Carlton Campground.
From Lake Carlton, head north on Robbers Cave Road/Park Road, which parallels Highway 2. There you will find the Equestrian Campground, two picnic pavilions, a playground, a handicap-accessible comfort station and a dump station. This campground offers 45 RV sites and five designated tent sites. Sites 17 and 18 have water, electric and sewer hookups, while the remaining sites offer only water and electric. In addition, sites 17, 18, 19 and 40-45 have 50 amp electric. For easy access, book site 14, which is the campground’s only pull-thru site. As an added bonus, it’s also located adjacent to one of the area’s two horse trailheads. All of the RV sites within the Equestrian Campground can be reserved in advance online, while the tent sites are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Continuing north on Robbers Cave Road/Park Road, you’ll come to Ash Creek Road. From this intersection, turn left and head northwest on Ash Creek Road. Here you will find Lake Wayne Wallace on the left, as well as the Lake Wayne Wallace Tent Campground and a boat ramp.
A short drive up Ash Creek Road will bring you to Robbers Cave Stables, located at Ash Creek Road and Starr Trail. This popular attraction offers guided trail rides, overnight cowboy camping trips, u-lead pony rides and a petting zoo. Five trail rides are available varying from the 30-minute Colorado Kid ride for seniors and young children to the two-hour Cave Ride.
From Robbers Cave Stables, continue northwest on Ash Creek Road to the Eagles Nest and Rocky Top Campgrounds. These tent-only campgrounds are located along the northern edge of Lake Wayne Wallace and offer plenty of privacy. Those looking for a more remote camping experience will enjoy Rocky Top Campground*, which is hike-in only. To reach it, guests can park at Eagles Nest Campground and take a short 1/2 mile hike around the lake, park near the Equestrian Campground and take a more strenuous three-mile hike along the Buzzard’s Roost Trail or - if you’re really feeling adventurous - access it via canoe, kayak or boat from the Lake Wayne Wallace ramp. This primitive campground is a favorite for those looking to get off the grid and enjoy plentiful fishing on the lake, which is less than 100 yards away.
If you’ve got a big group, check out the group camp options at Robbers Cave State Park. Retrace your steps to the intersection of Robbers Cave Road/Park Road and Ash Creek Road. From there, continue north along Robbers Cave Road/Park Road to Group Camp 1. This seasonal group camp is closed from December 1 through March 1. The camp, which can sleep 274 people, offers 12 single cabins with 16 bunkbeds each, one single cabin with 56 bunkbeds, a director’s office with 22 bunkbeds and one queen-sized bed and one room next to the kitchen with five twin-sized beds. A kitchen, dining hall, comfort station, open-air tabernacle, covered picnic pavilion, fire ring, playground, basketball hoop and volleyball court round out the amenities. There are also four 50-amp RV sites and six 30-amp RV sites with water supply nearby.
Continuing along Robbers Cave Road/Park Road, you’ll pass Redbud Campground, a small tents-only area, on the right. At the next intersection, turn left and make another left at the “Y.” Group Camp 2 is open all year and can sleep 250 people. This camp has one cabin with 48 bunkbeds, one cabin with 24 bunkbeds, one cabin with 22 bunkbeds, three cabins with 20 bunkbeds each, one cabin with 12 bunkbeds, a duplex cabin with 16 bunkbeds on each side and a director’s office with 20 bunkbeds.
Just like Group Camp 1, this camp also offers a kitchen, dining hall, open-air tabernacle, fire ring, playground and basketball hoop. Group Camp 2 also has two comfort stations and a softball field. In addition, there are four 30-amp RV sites with water supply nearby.
Welcome to the famous Robbers Cave! This outlaw cave is hidden in the formation of sandstone hills and cliffs, and enjoys notoriety as a former hideout for outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr.
Located at the end of the road just past Group Camp 2, visitors will find a parking lot, a picnic pavilion, comfort station and trailhead with information about the Robbers Cave Nature Trail. Follow the signs and you’ll be rewarded with astounding views from inside the cave and the rocky outcroppings surrounding it.
Located just north of Robbers Cave and accessible only via a 1.25 mile hike, the Lost Lake Campground* is the final backcountry camping spot within the park. From the Robbers Cave parking lot, head southwest on the Rough Canyon Trail. Give yourself at least an hour to get to the campground and plan to stay until morning, because overnight vehicles will be locked in after dusk. Read more about the backcountry camping options at Robbers Cave State Park.
*Please note, all backcountry camping requires a permit that can be acquired at the park office.