The weather is beautiful this time of year in Oklahoma and we found the “best of the best” outdoor adventures to check out. There are so many extraordinary things to do in the Sooner State, and we compiled a bucket list of some of our favorites. Check them out and get ready to explore the state in a whole new way.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Riversport Rapids (Oklahoma City)
Riversport Rapids in Oklahoma City is only one of three man-made whitewater facilities in the nation. The rapids can be adjusted for beginners to advanced rafters and everyone in-between. Trained raft guides will be there to guide you along the whole way. With a myriad of activities to enjoy at the Boathouse District – home of Riversport Rapids – there is something for everyone. From kayaking to rafting to cycling, this state-of-the-art facility will have you enjoying the great outdoors.
Red Rock Canyon Hike (Hinton)
Red Rock Canyon State Park is one of Oklahoma’s crown jewels for outdoor enthusiasts. Located near Hinton, Oklahoma in the west central portion of the state, Red Rock Canyon is the place to go for epic hikes, rappelling, camping and exploring the outdoors. The canyon hike at Red Rock is an unrivaled experience everyone should enjoy at least once.
The Soaring Eagle Zipline (Davis)
If you’re looking for a little adventure in the Sooner State that’s not too crazy, we found the perfect activity in southern Oklahoma. Set amidst the forests that surround Turner Falls, The Soaring Eagle Zipline takes you high above the falls in a secure, chair-type lift that is suitable for all ages, then brings you back to the starting platform.
Great Salt Plains (Jet)
Great Salt Plains State Park in Jet, Oklahoma, is the only place in the world where you can dig for hourglass-shaped selentite crystals. Not only can you find these one-of-a-kind treasures, but you can also enjoy the only lake in Oklahoma that is half saltwater. Grab those shovels and buckets because digging season is right around the corner and you’ll want to visit this attraction that is unlike anything else in the world.
Black Mesa Hike (Kenton)
Black Mesa is one of the most unique areas to visit in Oklahoma because of its dramatic landscape. It’s not only the highest point in the state at 4,973 feet, but it has some of the most unique and spectacular topography in the Sooner State. From rugged rock formations to layers of black lava to hidden caves, Black Mesa is one place that must be seen to be believed. Along the 4-hour hike you'll discover stunning rock formations that have been nicknamed The Three Sisters, Old Maid Rock, and The Wedding Party - the bride, groom and minister.
Myriad Botanical Gardens (Oklahoma City)
Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City is the ultimate place to go for an epic outdoor experience. You can enjoy over 17 acres of lush gardens, an urban park, an indoor conservatory, waterfalls and much more. For the ultimate outdoor attraction in the heart of Oklahoma, Myriad Botanical Gardens is the place to go.
7. Broken Bow Lake Duck Tours (Broken Bow)
One of the most unique boat tours you can take in Oklahoma is located in the southern town of Broken Bow. B.B. Lake Duck Tours takes visitors on a tour of Beaver's Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake on an Amphibious vessel. The tour just reopened for the 2017, so check out this epic adventure for the ride of a lifetime.
Woolaroc Museum-Spring Traders Encampment (Bartlesville)
Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve is a hidden treasure tucked away in the beauty of Osage Hills in northeastern Oklahoma. The ranch began in 1925 as the retreat home for oilman Frank Phillips and is now an educational museum and outdoor wildlife preserve open to the public. On April 7th & 8th, 2017 the museum holds the Spring Traders Encampment - a weekend historical retreat nestled on the shores of Crystal Lake at the Mountain Man Camp at Woolaroc. You'll get to see what it was like living in the 1840s, while camping out in the beautiful scenery of Woolaroc.
Pawhuska Swinging Bridge (Pawhuska)
Located in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, the Pawhuska Swinging Bridge was built in 1926 and was the only way to get into town during high waters. The bridge crosses over Bird Creek with its crickety, old wood planks and chain link sides. But don’t worry, if you’re afraid of heights, just don’t look down. You can find the bridge a few blocks south of downtown Pawhuska, across from the First Baptist Church South.
Little Sahara Sand Dunes (Waynoka)
Little Sahara State Park boasts over 1,600 acres of sand dunes, ranging in height from 25 to 75 feet. The main attraction at Little Sahara State Park is dune buggy and ATV riding across the sand dunes. Visitors can either bring their own ATV or rent one off-site by a private vendor. Either way, visitors will have a blast in this mini-desert atmosphere, known as one of the best riding spots for ATVs in the Midwest.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (Indiahoma)
The 59,020-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge hosts a rare piece of the past - a remnant mixed grass prairie. Included within the refuge are the 5,723-acre Charon's Garden Wilderness, and the 36,620-acre Special Use Area. There are nine designated hiking trails in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, ranging in length from about 0.3 to 5.7 miles. It's a must-see destination in Oklahoma that is full of places to explore.