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You can’t camp at the actual Salt Plains. We spent the day here and had such an awesome time. I took kids ages 3-12 and they all had a blast. Make sure to bring metal shovels and metal hand shovels bc the plastic ones will break, you will want sand buckets, egg cartons to put the crystals in bc when they come out they are still soft and brittle, sunscreen, lots of water, towels, baby wipes, a umbrella if you have one (we didn’t need it but a lot of people prefer them). I can’t stand sand/salt on me (think nails on a chalk board feeling) so I needed to shower pronto afterwards and couldn’t so lots of water to rinse off with is a good thing to have. You will have sand and salt all over your car inside and out FYI lol.
We tent camped and had a good time. The water is shallow forever so you don’t have to worry much about little ones playing. It isn’t too far from the great salt plains. Had a awesome day digging and was nice to go for a swim go get all the salt and sand off of us. I think next time I’ll drive home bc I can’t stand salt on my body. The feeling is awful to me lol. Def take some metal shovels and metal hand shovels ( the little plastic ones break) take lots of water, baby wipes and towels. You’ll also want to take egg cartons bc the crystals are soft when you dig them up so you’ll want to store them in it to harden up. My kids loves it and had a blast!
This is a Army Corps Engineer campground. Well maintained. Great sites. Some lakeside. Many have tons of shade. Site spacing is good. Check in process was a bit annoying. Made reservations and paid online then had to wait in a long line at gate shack for them to hand you paperwork. Old guy on golf cart is not very friendly. Some of the best Walleye and Striper fishing around. Overall a great park
We came here for the Labor Day weekend and it did not disappoint. Not a “thrills a minute” park. However, if you enjoy hiking, biking, relaxing or small lake fishing this is the place. We stayed in the full hook up section in the White Tail portion of the park. Bathrooms and showers very clean. Heavily patrolled by the park ranger. Lots of stickers in the grass so be mindful when you walk your dog.
The camping at Great Salt Plains State park is a fine place to park the camper and stay, but most of the adventure is elsewhere in the park/refuge. You'll need to drive to get to almost everything.
We stayed at the Sandy Beach Campground. This review is for that campground. If I had to do it again (I will) I would stay at the River Road Campground. It's much more shaded, more isolated and along the river. Not to mention the awesome Cliff Swallow flights from under the river bridge!
The campsite is clean and simple. The sites on the western edge have more shade than the rest, the sites in the center of the loop can feel strangely exposed with little in the way of natural boundaries between sites.
Noise level: Look… this is a OK stake park lake site. Yes it's attached to a national refuge. Yes there are awesome things to see and do. But it's still a lakeside park. So, expect lots of huge 5th wheels with big outdoor speakers. In the summer I would guess there will be at least one camper who wants to share his music with you. It's a shame… but it's true. There is also a fighter training base adjacent to the park run by the Air Force. It's not as obnoxious as bubba's music, but just know it's there. And most of the time they just fly during the day.
You can walk to the lake and the swimming area near the dam. It's a day use area, so there's some folks that like to leave some trash, but you know… pick it up for them and carry on.
Now… when you leave there and head into the national refuge, that's where things get great. What a beautiful, unexpected landscape. The north side of the refuge has great hiking trails that are full of wildlife. The southwest side of course has the crystal digging area. It's really a great place to spend a weekend. Word to the wise, in the fairer months, get on and off the salt plains early to avoid the heat and the day trippers.
Overall, this is a serviceable campsite that can serve for a great launching point for exploring/hiking/birding in the refuge. The wildlife present is outstanding.
FYI… no, you can't fly your drone here. There is a national refuge, a state park and an Air Force base. It took me a long time to arrange all the clearances required, but my flight was legal.
We visited Roman Nose in July of 2020 (my latest of several trips there since my youth). My boys loved it and enjoyed the hiking, fishing, and swimming. Our morning hike concluded around lunch and the shade-covered natural springs were a great way to beat the afternoon heat.
Lots of other activities available include putt putt, paddle boats, swimming pool, golf course, and the great restaurant Foggy Bottom Kitchen.
The park itself was a letdown. It was not kept up very well and if you have a taller unit you need to pay attention to low branches. With the Covid still hot here we elected to not do the tour. We did ask, where would be a good spot to watch the bats at dusk? It was a great experience and made everything worth while.
This is a beautiful area with plenty to offer. The golf course is challenging and my 11 year old was free. The signage getting to the park was great but within the park not so much. Know where your going before hand if you can. Be careful of low hanging branches if you have a taller RV.
Coming in from the east, entering this area is like finding an oasis in the sprawling desert. In June, the road entered under a green canopy, very unlike the hours of driving through Oklahoma it took to get here. It is a very well manicured place.
There are a couple camping areas, and we ended up in the Whitetail Campground, which had the most tent sites. There are lots of RV sites here and in the other areas. Within minutes of arriving, the park ranger came over to see we payed for the site online, then cheerfully left us to it.
If you can, choose site A in the Whitetail area. It is shaded, spacious and the most private. It was a very hot day, but the shade and breeze made the experience quite lovely. There is a VERY short, flat, hiking trail around this campground. There is also a nearby pool which is open in the afternoon, and charges a few dollars to swim. We unfortunately didn't visit the actual spring, so I'm not sure how that is.
The bathrooms here are pretty nice. One shower and two stalls in the men's room. Dividing walls are just a little short. Very clean though!
At nightfall, we were harassed by a couple raccoons, but they kept their distance and retreated after we repeatedly threw some stones and made loud noises towards them. But they were persistent at first, so just keep a lookout for them. We saw one deer here, and found a couple ticks, so bring your bug spray!
Glass Mountain is the nearby attraction a drive away, and nearby Woodward should have just about everything you need to stock up.