Situated in the hills and forests of southeast Oklahoma’s San Bois Mountains, Robbers Cave State Park has a history almost as exciting as the scenery and activities it offers. The park earned notoriety in the early part of the 20th century as a hideout for outlaws including Jesse James and Belle Starr. While the park recognizes this fame, today the park’s draw is as a family-friendly destination offering luxurious Robbers Cave cabins and campsites.
Campers can stay at 22 modern RV sites with full hookups, 67 sites with water and electric hookups, and 86 primitive camping along secluded trails. For those looking for a more cozy stay, the 26 Robbers Cave cabins offer stunning park views, as well as a full kitchen, a fireplace, television and a full bathroom (these make for a reliable stay at the park depending on the weather in Wilburton, OK).
Once you’ve settled into your stay, you’ll find countless activities in the park, enough to make you come back to do it all. There’s miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, swimming, fishing and paddling at the park’s three reservoirs and numerous creeks, rock climbing/rappelling, and guided tours through the historic sites that once hid outlaws from law enforcement.
Wasn’t able to spend much time here, but camped in the atv area and had an ok time. The sites were close together so there was very little privacy but it was quiet for the most part. No restrooms that I saw but there was water and electric. The drive to the park is less than fun. We were only 3 hours away but drive felt way longer due to slow country roads and construction. I doubt we’ll be back just because of the drive, but if it’s nearby it’s pretty nice!
Camping at Robber’s Cave State Park you will quickly discover that no matter what your overall preference for camping style, they pretty much have you covered. On a recent trip I visited the park and discovered that from primitive to improved sites, equestrian areas, atv areas they have a bit of everything. The camp even has options for those who aren’t feeling quite as adventurous and want to live in a bit more of the creature comforts we all have at home with cabins, a lodge and yurts.
The area itself is filled with historic mystery as it was formerly known to be the hide out of some of the West’s most infamous and notorious bank robbers. From Jesse James and the Younger Gang to Belle Starr the area once served as an excellent place to hide their treasures and watch out to make sure no one was coming.
The mountains around this area are beautiful and have towering trees and rolling waterways. You will find 3 lakes here that can keep you occupied wether you like to fish, boat, kayak, peddle or swim. Additionally amenities such a nature center, swimming pool, grocery store and mini golf make this site perfect for families who are wanting to find a little fun and adventure without having to go very far.
Hiking around this park is abundant and there are miles upon miles of trails to explore with some being very easy and user friendly and others posing a bit more of a challenge.
The campgrounds themselves are pretty standard throughout with picnic tables, lantern hooks, grills and fire rings. Many also have prep tables located just beside the grill making dinner very easy.
I found that not all campsites were created equally however in way of restrooms. The primitive sites on loops were not evenly placed near restrooms, and a restroom could be a bit of a tall order if you are camping on some of the loops. You would expect that from the hike in campsites, but might want to plan carefully for a stay at the primitive sites based on your need for these facilities.
Not all facilities offer showers either. Showers are located centrally for all to use and you can easily walk to these or park beside if you are staying a bit further away.
I did notice that there is camping on both sides of the highway with each having its unique advantages and disadvantages. The primitive sites mostly are located on the side with more recreation, while the more improved sites, cabins and lodge are located on the opposite side. This side also offers hiking and has some improved spaces of interest but the vast majority of the popular spaces you will want to check out will be located just across the small highway.
On the improved camping loops you will find most of the RV campers. These sites are placed closer together and have improved pull ins as well, unlike the hard pack of the primitive camping/semi improved camping areas. Additionally, these areas have both water and electrical connections and can really squeeze a lot of size into each spot.
On this side of the park, a grocery store is within walking distance of the improved camping area and easy to access for park information as well as supplies you might need.
Unlike many parks which are a considerable distance from town, the community of Wilburton is only a short drive from this location and has several restaurants, stores and fuel stops. This makes it very convenient if you are spending more than a couple of days out at the park and want to venture out for anything you might need.
- Research your site before selecting one online through the booking system or in person. This will save you a lot of headache if you are needing a restroom that is closer.
- Bring sunscreen!! Despite having wonderful shaded areas, the water is a HUGE draw here and you will want to be able to have fun in it without issues. Don’t forget waterproof sunscreen. Try the trails or rent a boat. The Robber’s Cave trail is the most exciting hike in the park in way of history and challenge, you will enjoy finding the cave that once housed some of the most notorious in the West through a series of inclines and scrambles. Through this is not for everyone, it is able to be navigated by most.
We booked our site online after having looked at the rv sites a few weeks beforehand, so we knew what we were getting, and having lived in the area most of our lives we are quite familiar with the park, we stayed on the old circle drive and what impressed us the most was tbe fact that there were not alot of flying insects, the girls rode bikes, swam at the pool and in the lake, the wife and I fished along the creek below the dam, all in all it was a fun weekend, the scenery was awesome as always, my only complaint was the goose droppings down by the lake, there is quite a large flock of geese that were not there 15years ago
Has several camping spots right by the river. Lots of mowed open land between camping spots. The trail to the eponymous cave has many branching outs and is an interesting and not too long hike.
The trip started out, to get away from being quarantined at home because of the COVID-19 virus. Within a few hours of getting our campsite setup we were hunkered down because of tornado threats all around. Some funnels were spotted north of us and west of us then the news said one tracked south of us. The thunder so close and loud you could feel it. After the bad weather passed to remained of the time was beautiful. This Ouachita (pronounced wash-it-taw) mountain area is where the Jesse James gang hid out along with other outlaws such as Belle Star. We stayed in the whispering pines campground in old circle #20. It was a good spot with plenty of shade and great amount of room to relax. We will definitely be coming back here in the future. We loved it.
We decided on a whim to get away from home for a few days. This was a very relaxing stay. We stayed in the ATV campground as we brought our side by side. We did more hiking than off road riding. We discovered that the off road area hasn’t been open for very long. We went out the first day, but not again after that since we felt like we needed to be with other riders for safety. The hiking is so nice here we have a 5 year old and he hiked with us on four different trails during our stay. We found registration an easy process, and it was easy to find our campsite once we arrived. Each spot has a picnic table, lantern hook, grill, and fire ring. There are other accommodations such as tent camping, hike to camp, and regular RV spots with concrete pads. We enjoyed our stay and we will come back.
Had a great time fishing at our campsite. Were the only ones at this campground. You’ll have to find this treasure spot. Took a hike with the pups and babe to robbers cave, lots of people visiting.
Stayed in the Redbud campgrounds. Camp was decently clean upon arrival. Perfect spot. Trails were fun. Drove around park to look at other campgrounds to plan more visits. The eagles nest was the only one we found dirty. Must have been extended recent and park staff hadn’t had the opportunity to clean. Wish people would take care of things!!!
We came to get away from our house for a few nights during the Corona virus outbreak. A lot of things were shut down and it was too early in the season to swim. Despite all that we had an amazing time.
I will stay in the old circle campgrounds next time, they looked like they had bigger spots with more privacy than whispering pines.
We tried a few trails but were too hard for us. We have a daughter with cerebral palsy that we pull in a wagon and the trails were too rough for the wagon.
We did hike up to see robbers cave and the terrain was beautiful. It made me sick that people would carve into the rocks and spray paint the cave. But all in all it was really nice and we will try to come back when the pandemic is over and warm enough to swim.
Primitive Tent Camping with family. It was okay for a one night tent camping experience. I wouldn't recommend staying longer than that in the primitive camping area.