We've gathered all the latest news and updates about Oklahoma state parks right here as a handy referencefor you. From extreme water levels to updates on new facilities in our parks, here's all the latestbuzz.
1. Why is the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department implementing the Parking Pass Program?
A 2019 analysis of state park facilities and infrastructure found that, for years, funding levels have been well below the amount needed to adequately maintain our state parks at a level that would ensure the safe and enjoyable use of our parklands. In response, the agency developed a multi-pronged strategy to streamline processes, reduce operational costs and increase revenue in order to adequately fund capital reinvestment in our parks. Funding generated by the Parking Pass Program will provide much-needed resources to return park facilities and infrastructure to an acceptable standard and maintain them at that standard.
Parking pass fees from each state park are reinvested into the park where they were generated.
2. When will the Parking Pass Program begin?
The program will begin June 15, 2020.
3. Which state parks are participating in the program?
4. What areas of the parks will require a parking pass?
With some exceptions, all areas of participating parks will require visitors to purchase a parking pass. Exceptions include golf courses and some concessionaire areas, as identified by park management and approved by the Parks Director. Signage will be placed at park entrances and in parking areas to notify visitors of parking pass requirements.
5. Are there any state parks or areas of state parks that visitors can use without the parking pass requirement?
Yes, in addition to the previously mentioned areas approved by the Parks Director, the following state parks will not require parking passes:
Alabaster Caverns State Park
Black Mesa State Park
Bernice Area at Grand Lake State Park
Cherokee Area at Grand Lake State Park
Spavinaw Area at Grand Lake State Park
Little Sahara State Park
McGee Creek State Park
Roman Nose State Park
Talimena State Park
6. What is the cost of a parking pass?
Parking pass rates are per vehicle, according to the following chart. Vehicles with an Oklahoma or Oklahoma tribal license plate will receive a 20% discount on rates. When purchasing passes, visitors will select the dates and time they want their pass to begin and end. The annual pass is valid for all Oklahoma State Parks; other passes are valid for the individual park selected during the purchase process.
One Day - $10 | Discounted Rate - $8.00
Three Day - $25.00 | Discounted Rate - $20.00
One Week - $35.00 | Discounted Rate - $28.00
Annual - $75.00 | Discounted Rate - $60.00
Buses (per day) - $25.00
7. How will visitors purchase parking passes?
There are several ways to purchase a parking pass:
TextPay - Upon arrival to the park, instructional parking lot signage will direct visitors to text a park-specific code to 504504, which will take them to a website to purchase a pass. The text message also provides visitors the opportunity to download a mobile app. https://www.premiumparking.com/text-pay
TravelOK.com - Each state park page on TravelOK.com contains a link that visitors can use to pre-purchase passes in advance of their visit.
Mobile App - Visitors may download the Premium Parking app from the app store, or at https://www.premiumparking.com/mobile-parking
Pay Machines - Pay machines are located at park offices and other locations within participating parks.
8. Will visitors that have reserved lodging or campsites be required to purchase a parking pass?
While all passenger vehicles visiting participating state parks will be required to purchase a parking pass, each paid lodging and campsite reservation will include a parking pass for one passenger vehicle that will cover the duration of the reservation.
9. Do I need to purchase a parking pass for my trailer or boat?
No, only wheeled passenger vehicles are required to purchase a parking pass, such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, vans, buses, etc. A parking pass is not required for boats and hauling trailers.
10. Do I need to purchase a parking pass for my RV? What if I am hauling a passenger vehicle behind my RV?
Yes, unless you have a valid lodging reservation with the park (for example, day visitors driving RVs are required to purchase a parking pass). Only one parking pass is required for RVs pulling passenger vehicles (enter your passenger vehicle information during the purchase process).
11. Are discounts available for parking passes?
Yes, the following groups will receive a discount:
State of Oklahoma and Oklahoma tribal license plates: 20% discount on parking passes automatically applied during the purchase process.
Honorably discharged veterans who are residents of Oklahoma: 100% discount with eligibility verification by Oklahoma State Parks. For verification, the following documents are acceptable:
A valid Oklahoma driver license or state photo identification card and military discharge papers (DD Form 214) or similar evidence of an honorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces; or,
A valid Oklahoma driver license or identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety with a flag emblem and the word "veteran" in the upper left-hand corner of the front of the driver license or identification card.
Oklahoma residents 62 years of age or older, and their spouses: 100% discount with eligibility verification by Oklahoma State Parks. For verification, a driver’s license with an Oklahoma address is acceptable.
Individuals who have been certified as totally disabled under state or federal law, and their spouses: 50% discount with eligibility verification by Oklahoma State Parks. For verification, the following documents are acceptable:
the presentation of a Medicare card issued to an individual prior to their 65th birthday;
a Notice of Award letter from the Social Security Administration; hunting and fishing license that notes total disability;
award letter issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a document issued by a retirement or insurance board, commission or administration that attests to the individual's total disability; or,
a physician’s letter, on letterhead stationery, that declares the individual is totally disabled.
Discounts cannot be combined. For example, a totally disabled Oklahoma resident would not receive both a 20% discount and a 50% discount (70%) but would receive the 50% discount.
12. How do I get my discount?
Visitors with Oklahoma or Oklahoma tribal plates will receive the 20% discount automatically at checkout on the Premium Parking app or website.
For other discounts, visitors have two options:
13. Will patrons of in-park restaurants be required to purchase a parking pass if they are only visiting the park in order to have a meal?
Restaurants and other concessionaires may offer validations to patrons upon approval of the park manager and Parks Director. Validations are provided via a promo code.
14. What about patrons who have rented boat slips at a marina?
Park managers, in partnership with marina concessionaires, may offer one annual parking pass per year to each slip renter. The annual pass may only be used for one vehicle.
15. What happens if a vehicle does not have a valid parking pass?
The parking pass requirement is enforced 24/7 by park staff and park rangers. Vehicles without valid passes may be subject to warnings, violation notices, towing and/or other enforcement measures.
16. What if there is a problem with the pay machine or a visitor has a problem with their payment?
Contact our program partner, Premium Parking, for customer service and support, (844) 236-2011.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns over social distancing, the pool is only open to registered park guests.
Due to flooding, Hickory Flats boat ramp and the Gooseneck tent area are closed.
Due to flooding, sites at Wayne Wallace and Eagle's Nest Campgrounds are closed.
Due to flooding, most RV sites at Cherokee are closed along with the boat ramp. Most of the sites in the Creek tent area are also closed. The Choctaw Tent Area, Paradise Cove Tent Area, South Paradise Bathroom and South Boat Ramp are all closed.
Fort Gibson Lake is currently 14 feet above normal. With more rainfall expected this week, levels could go higher. Currently, boat ramps, group camps, picnic shelters and beaches are closed. The Attakullakulla RV area is closed along with sites 35-40 at Paymataha but there is one comfort station open at Opothleyahola.
Due to flooding, the Riverside Campground is closed.
Due to construction, the boat ramp on the South Dam at Lake Thunderbird is currently closed.
Due to flooding, the golf course has temporarily suspended services until further notice.
Due to health concerns stemming from COVID-19, most cabins in the park system will be left vacant for 24-48 hours between guests.
Effective Monday September 9, 2019, campsite base rates for RV and tents will be increased to $16.00 per site, per day. Rates for water and sewer will increase $1.00 each, per site, per day. Extra tents placed on an RV or tent site will be charged the $16.00 rate. There will be no charge for tents for dependents under the age of 18 whose parent or parent(s) are occupying a site. The increase will be reflected on new reservations beginning 9/9/2019.â€¨
Until further notice, the Ankle Express Hiking Trail will be closed at the swinging bridge until repairs are made to the bridge.
Until further notice, the Whispering Winds Reunion Center will be closed for renovations.