Want to see the greatest light show on earth? Look to the night sky at one of Oklahoma’s secluded stargazing hotspots. Enjoy awe-inspiring views from the back porch of a resort lodge with all the comforts of home, or take in the show from your backcountry campsite at a state park. Whether you join one of the orchestrated “star parties” in remote corners of the state or strike out on your own stargazing adventure, come to Oklahoma and see the universe in a whole new light.Learn More
Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area
217036 SH 50A
The Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area between Freedom and Woodward is an area protected by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Each summer, visitors make the trip to see over a million bats take to the skies at night during special Bat Watch events. The Mexican free-tailed bats return to this 340 acre plot of land in northwestern Oklahoma each year as part of their migratory path. They travel 1,400 miles each spring to give birth and raise their young in this protected wildlife area. The bats are loved by farmers and ranchers for eating all sorts of pests, and the bat is Oklahoma's official state flying mammal for it's special relationship with the Sooner state. The area is also home to porcupines, Texas horned lizards, larks, great-crested flycatchers and many other animals.
The Selman Bat Cave is closed to the public except during Bat Watch events on specific nights in the summer. They are held the four weekends after the 4th of July on Friday and Saturday evenings. During the Bat Watch, visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, cameras and binoculars to watch a stunning amount of bats fly overhead as the Oklahoma sun sets creating truly breathtaking sites. This incredible experience is one you won't forget.
Each session is limited to 75 people, and advanced registration is required. Those selected to attend will be transported by bus from Alabaster Caverns State Park in Freedom to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area and escorted in and out by a biologist. Before the sun goes down, there is an opportunity for a short 1/4 mile nature walk along an unpaved trail to see the local plant and animal life. For the safety of visitors and the bats, cave tours are prohibited. Attendees should be at least eight years old due to the length of the event and limited facilities.
The area has no running water or toilets, however there is a port-a-potty available. Drinking water and first aid kits are provided. There is no smoking at any time in the wildlife area. Visitors are encouraged to dress for the outdoors and heat. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from the brush. Sandals are prohibited. Attendees must remain in the mowed viewing area boundaries and should leave glass containers, water bottles and pets at home. Insect repellent is encouraged.
To register for the chance to see this incredible piece of nature, visit the Oklahoma Wildlife Department's website. The blue "Website" button above will take you to the Selman Bat Cave's page. Print off the registration form and fill it out completely. You will rank your date preferences on the sheet and only need to fill out one form for your entire family or group. Read the rules for the expedition. Mail in your check and form to the Bat Watch Program at PO Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. Only mailed in forms and either checks or money orders made payable to the Wildlife Diversity Program will be accepted. After the registration date has passed, a drawing will take place to fill each viewing. Participants will be contacted with their date and further details.
Children 8-12: $8 While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the pricing listed above, prices are subject to change without notice.
- Nature & Outdoor Recreation
- Monthly TravelOK eNewsletter