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Sardis Lake, OKLAHOMA
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5 Stars are not enough for this campground!

We camped at Billy Creek in March 2019.  We were the only ones there which made it fabulous!  We set up camp right above the river and got to hear the river going over the rocks the whole time.  There was a easy and short little trail down to the river and lots of large rocks to hang out on.  The campsite has tons of big trees.  Each site has a fire ring, picnic table and grill.  Water is available, but not at each spot.  No electricity, no flushing potties, no showers, no sewer hookups, no wifi.  There are latrine bathrooms (2) in a small building near the entrance. There is an abundance of hiking trails, 4 wheeler/motorcycle trails and many trails that a full size SUV can do.  Lots of forest service roads to explore.  We stayed 3 nights and only saw people one day that came in to meet up and ride 4 wheelers.  We will definitely go back!

INCREDIBLE

A must visit! Stunning views of pines and mountains. No reservations, fire rings and picnic tables on every site. A couple trails within walking distance. No firewood or ice available to purchase on site.

Best trout fishing around!

Beaver's Bend State Park has the best year round trout fishing in this part of the USA…it's one of the only places where the water is cool enough to sustain the fish throughout even the summer. There are seven different campgrounds inside the park, and they have only JUST started an online reservation system; so it's now possible to ensure the site you want before you get there! Some of the sites are on the bank of the Lower Mountain Fork river, and some are more inland, out of direct eye site of the river. The park and river do get fairly crowded over holiday weekends, and even on regular weekends with nice weather, but we've never had an issue with the campsites being totally full; there always has been one available. The views are lovely, the water is pristine, and if you get bored with that, there's also a fairly interesting forestry museum at the check-in center; as well as a gift shop. There's also a great little fly/guide shop in the park, and the owners will happily chat with you about river conditions, what the fish are biting, etc. Would strongly recommend a visit here! We make about a 3 hour drive about once a month to camp here and it never gets old.

My favorite!

This campground is one of my all time favorites!! It has everything you want in a campground and more. Hiking here is definitely the best, because the views are amazing!! The campground is always really well kept as well which I appreciate. The campsite spots themselves are pretty big in size and are separated by trees and bushes. Feels very private. They do have a quiet hour which is after 10pm. This is nice because there aren’t people partying all night long. There are tent spots and also RV. We camped, so I’m not sure if th RV spots are set up for electricity. The lake nearby is great. We brought our kayaks and had so much fun hitting the lake in the morning. It does get busy as the day goes on, especially in the summer on the weekends. Hiking is great, and there are multiple good spots nearby. Again, go early to beat the crowds! Dogs are welcome but must be on leash. Vaulted toilets on site and a place to fill up your water! Can’t wait to come back.

Great place to get away a hidden gem

Beavers bend state park is a great place to get away tucked away in the kiamichi mountains of South east Oklahoma along the mountain fork river all kinds of camp sites from full hookup to hike in also broken bow lake is right over the mountains also there are hundreds of cabins to rent in the area

First to Review
Super RV camping

This is a beautiful state park with both tent and RV camping. RV camping includes water/electric only and water/electric/sewer sites. Lots of pull through sites with concrete pads. Nicer and not as busy as Beavers Bend. Marina with a boat ramp, Lodge, lots of hiking trails. Tent camping on the lake.

2 nights in Deep Ford Campground

Great campsite. Had neighbors around us but it was very quiet. This site held 5 tent campers and 1 hammock camper and there was still plenty of room. Great fire pit and cement picnic table for cooking. Stayed here for a Jeeping event. The trails are just a mile or so away so it made them very accessible. Ample parking as well.

Trout!

Nice scenery. Good fishing and kayaking. We went on a holiday and 4here was no rhyme or reason to the camping spots. Seemed very crowded with campers pitching tents wherever they can. I stilled enjoyed myself although it was crowded. The mini golf Definetly needs improving. And the info office is nice.

Fine- Could Get Crowded in Summer

I stopped at Highway 9 Landing while driving from Taos, NM to Nashville, TN. Just a little ways off the highway it was a nice place to spend the night right on Oklahoma's biggest lake (at least the biggest that's entirely within the state of OK). Midweek in mid-October the campground was all but deserted. The only sounds I could hear were the roadway across the lake, birds, and lapping water.

In the off season the bathrooms were sort of clean-ish. Sites have picnic tables and grills and some have good flat spots for tents but I got the feeling that it was a campground more geared to RV and van camping.

There's a marina on one side of the campground and I can imagine that in the summer there's lots of activity on the lake making this a very lively campground. It was a fine campground just not my cup of tea. (Also the sunset was incredible)

There's a lot to do in the area

You have a lot of options for activities - hiking, swimming, boating, fishing. There's a lot of resources near by so you never run out of anything. My only complaint is that it's normally pretty crowded.

Return trip already planned

Excellent place to camp! Already planned next trip

Omggg

Natural springs!!! What more could you ask for?!

Beware storm season

Campsites were a little close together for me but they aren’t horribly bad. These plenty to do there if you want to rent a kayak or canoe or paddle boards. Fishing is also pretty prominent there but we didn’t catch anything. We were there during storm season and it was quite a ride in the tent! Hiking trails aren’t well marked so we just stayed along the river.

Ok

Popular for the hunter.

First to Review
Nice campground overall

Nice selection of camping spots, Manny with shade and lots of space to spread out. Best spots are close to the boat ramp, which may be a deterrent to some.

Great playground for kids, clean bathrooms with showers. There are several sandy beach areas and the water is shallow for a great distance out, making it good for swimming.

Beware of an abundance of geese who frequent the park and leave lovely little presents everywhere, including the beach areas. Was disappointed that the grass has not been mowed in a while when we were there.

Had a blast

Every so often my family and I will venture into Oklahoma to do some camping and hiking. About 5 years ago we came to Kiamichi Park and enjoyed our time there. There is a lot of grass area which was nice because we love to play KOOB and throw the freesbie for our dog. There is also a lake nearby called Hugo Lake which was amazing because we went to the lake to cool off, and our dog enjoyed swimming. People were fishing in the lake as well, and kayaking too. The kayaking looked like a blast. We looked for places nearby to rent, but couldnt find any. If you have your own I would recommend bringing one because the lake is gorgeous. We also enjoyed biking on the trail, running, and hiking. There is a boat ramp next to the lake as well. We also saw people horseback riding on the trails. There honestly was so much stuff do it! We loved it and stayed super busy.

Buckeye - Nice and quiet and beautiful

Beautiful campground but we were quite disappointed when we got to Buckeye to find that there's no swimming, wading or boating on that section of the river. Have quarters for the showers in case the changer is out! And extra for when the water stops with no warning. I don't know about you but I'm usually soaped up when that happens. Squirrels are active and like to drop nut and pine cone pieces on your head lol. It's amusing, it doesn't hurt! These sites are by reservation. There's kayak rentals in the state park. We had them shuttle our kayaks up river for just $5/boat. 4 Days in a row! Went zip lining up at Rugaru for my 50th. It's a beautiful area… definitely want to come back and explore more!

Loved It

Cedar Lake is an amazing place to take the whole family. We really enjoyed getting to swim in the water and do some fun water activities like kayaking! There are also some really great trails nearby that make staying here worth it. The views are spectacular. The campground was great, clean, and reasonably priced. We stayed 4 nights here, and did something different everyday. There really is something for everyone. We also rode our bikes along the lake and other trails. They have a really good shopping area about 10 miles away that have some good shops. There is also some restaurants in this area too. The campsites do have fire rings and a table. We cooked dinner one night over the fire, but ate food we brought and ate out some other nights. It’s nice that the campground is located close to other things. It was a little crowded when we went but I think that’s just how it is in the summer.

Great semi-secluded spot on the river

We camp in one of the primitive areas on the river side of the campground. We love that the site we always choose is semi-secluded due to the natural greenery, but it’s also on the section of the river where everyone floats by in tubes, kayaks, and canoes. Beavers Bend State Park has tons of activities for families that don’t like to be stuck in the woods. We tend to venture into town once or twice over a long weekend for a late lunch during the hottest part of the afternoon.

Our First Camping Voyage into Oklahoma

Our first Oklahoma camping trip lead us to Robbers Cave State Park in the southeastern portion of Oklahoma. It is located on more than 8,000 acres in the San Bois Mountains. The parks claim to fame is outlaws such as Belle Starr, the Dalton Gang, and Jesse James used it as a hideout from the law. This was going to be our first full week of vacation spent in the popup, and our first camping trip outside of Missouri. We selected Robbers Cave State Park for two reasons it’s distance was a little over 4 hours away, and the number of amenities it offered for our 4 year old on our extended outing.   

 The first thing this park did was challenge my perceptions on what the Oklahoma landscape is. This is a park is located in an old growth pine forest, located in the rocky terrain of the Sans Bois Mountains. The park is split in half by Hwy 2 with the east side of the park consisting of the RV campgrounds, cabins, and Belle Starr Lodge. The west side of the park includes Lake Carlton, the equestrian camps, swimming pool, miniature golf, and nature center. This layout was negative in the fact that we could not walk between two sides with my son because of the distance and elevation change, you could rent golf carts if you would like. The positive was that it kept traffic down in the campground from the day use visitors of the park. We booked site 23 in the Old Circle Campground, when booking on the Oklahoma state park website there are no photos of the sites, only short descriptions…sometimes. I will let you know there is a youtube video that someone made driving around the old circle campground. I used this to take a look at our site after booking it.  Site 23 was a pull through site with full hookups located only about 5 feet off the main campground road. This could be a problem if the park was busy and there is a lot of traffic. Lucky for us we were camping through the week and this was not an issue. The site then on the opposite side held our own little secluded spot surrounded by pine trees down a slight slope from camper. We had a fire circle, picnic table, grill, and lantern post. We loved this site for this very reason. I will post pictures of both sides of our site below so you can get a visual. The bathroom and shower house is located in the middle of the old circle loop. The structure is very old and very dated stone structure, where you might find frogs sitting on shower curtains, spiders, and lizards (Those are just the ones that I witnessed). There is a newer shower house located outside of the Whispering Pines campground, next to the campground office and store. If you go to the newer one to take a shower make sure you have some quarters, or some dollar bills, because the showers cost money. Four quarters will get you 6 minutes worth of shower time.   

 When we were not at camp we spent most of our time exploring the west side of the park. We spent two afternoons swimming in Lake Carlton. The designated swim area has a very rocky drop-off for an entrance, but once out it was very nice swimming.  There is a concrete pier that is located along the swim ropes that you can climb up and jump off of. Besides swimming you could rent peddle boats, canoes, and paddle boards to go exploring. There was a pool with two water slides and a splash zone, it is $5 dollars to enter for the entire day. My son also got to play miniature for the first time at the course located next to the pool. One word of warning the golf course is very dated with carpet ripped or completely missing in spots. This did not slow us down at all, it just needs a little work.  They also sell shaved ice at the miniature gold building.    

The Oklahoma Park staff were very knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to answer any of my questions. Also when you get to camp they will give you a schedule of all the events that are going on throughout the week you are staying. We did a hayride that lead us through the park to the stables where there is a petting zoo, we saw the second largest pine tree in Oklahoma, and drank water from anartesian well. They also had a campfire with stories and smores one night, a cane pole fishing class, and even a tour of Lake Carlton by canoe. Just make sure you have cash because each item does cost money. 

The last thing we did before leaving Robbers Cave State Park after our three night stay was to go and search for the outlaws in the cave ourselves. I will give you a spoiler alert, the hiking trail to the cave is steep and rocky with big drop-offs, so be careful with small children. It is a ¾ of a mile trail that my son absolutely loved. He was trying to find the robber that was hiding out. The hike was worth every hair raising nervous parent moment.    

It is a consensus with my family that we will need to return to this park again. It has so much to offer, and we did not even touch on the many miles worth of trails to hike or go for a horseback ride on.  We look forward to our return to continue the exploring and searching for the elusive robbers.

Perfect getaway for a quiet weekend

This is our all time favorite camping spot. It’s wonderful in the fall when the leaves are changing, the days are cooler, and the nights are perfect for gathering around a camp fire.

The bathrooms are clean and positioned well to make them accessible to all the camp sites.

The trail around the lake is flat and easy but other more difficult trails aren’t far away.

McGee State Park

This place is really dark at night and some campsites are very private. You can see so many stars. There is a grill and a table at you campsite. The campsites are gravel and have tins of ants… Just a warning. When the sun comes up there is a silver glow on the water beautifull. There is also a beach area.

Escape to the Lake

Lots of options in this park for tent, RV, and lodge stays. Quiet lake-front or riverside camping for RV’s and tents. Plenty of bathrooms and showers (some showers require $$, but they are cleaner). I would recommend studying the hiking maps carefully as several trails needed updated markings. Swimming, boating, and hiking, are the main activities available.

A hidden GEM!

Nestled right beside the upper Mountain Fork river, this campground doesn’t disappoint. Roomy, with large shade trees, cement pads and all services. This is as near perfect as you can get!

Simply AMAZING

Not sure about campsites but the cabins are amazing. Lots of trails but the trail markers are hard to spot…they need remarked

robbers cave itself is a fun hike

Holson Valley Vista Shelter + A Room with a View

I stayed at this campground shelter while hiking the Ouachita Trail.

The campground and shelter were built by the Friends of the Ouachita Trail and is located at mile market 16.8 of the trail. While the campground is only a few hundred feet from the Talimena National Scenic Byway it is best reached by hiking the Ouachita Trail.

The shelter is an open air wooden structure with a raised platform, three walls, roof, open air patio, shelf, wall pegs, fire pit and picnic table. Most campers might pop up their tent or just cowboy camp on the raised platform. Our group hung hammocks from the rafters. There were wall pegs that were convenient for hanging and drying our gear or to keep it away from any little critters (mice) that might visit in the night. There are not many amenities at this campground, but it is a nice resting stop and provides some protection from the elements during inclement weather.

The shelter is located on a gradual sloping rocky hill and has a dramatic overview of the valley when the weather is clear and the foliage is not heavy. There are no waste facilities nearby so it is good to practice Leave No Trace and pack out whatever you pack in. We found and collected water earlier in the day and carried it into camp.

Back Country Campspots

There really isn't a proper Horse Thief Springs campground; it is describing a back country trail side campground. There are several spots to camp on the Horse Thief Springs Trail, an 11 mile trail through the winding stair mountains. This trail should not be done in summer as it gets very hot and has very little water. If you do plan on back packing this trail, bring your own water. The trail is generally in best shape in late fall or early spring as it gets well over grown in the summer. A recent fire several years ago wiped out a lot of the trees in several spots and the trail has been overgrown from underbrush. At one point it was higher than 5 ft tall and navigation was a little troubling. The best campground is just after Ceder Creek Which can be found clockwise from the turn off from the trail to Cedar Lake and down the hill. It provides flat areas for tents and enough room to set up. We have seen several snakes in this area however. This is the absolute best site for trails like this in the area. http://www.ouachitamaps.com/Horsethief.html

Great small scale family spot

This is a great spot to come with the family and enjoy the small Lake Wister. The area isn't very shaded and only has maybe 8-12 spots with shade so it could get warm during the summer months. The bathrooms don't have a shower and are little more than a cinder block building to utilize the facilities, but they are plumbed! The sites themselves are standard and decently spaced out. They come with a grill/ fire pit and a table. In my opinion there isn't much privacy since there isn't very much vegetation so be ready to know your neighbors.

Opportunity for everyone

This is one of the most popular Oklahoma state parks we have been to. It has opportunity to hike, fish, canoe, golf, camp, and just relax. The sites all come with a fire ring and table but the tent site we were at was ungraded and not very level. The bathrooms were some of the worst that we have seen as well, so depending on the loop you are in be prepared. We had a pit toilet closest to our site and couldn't go near it. We did rent a canoe here instead of hiking some of the trail and found the river to be relaxing and fun, if not a little short. We were able to see otters here in the wild for the first time!

So Many Sites

There were numerous sites. Ours was located right on the water. Large predator birds were fishing right outside our tent. There was water on a near by site. There is not electric or sewer hookups. I can’t wait to go back.