Oklahoma's Best Road Trips
By Kimberly Graf. Published on October 27, 2022
Oklahoma is a land of wide, open spaces. It is home to the largest population of Native Americans in the United States, as it was land specifically set aside for reservations by the government. Obviously, it is now completely open and ready for you to explore! We've put together some lists of places that you absolutely cannot miss if you're planning to spend some time in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is more than just plains and fields of brush. There are so many natural wonders here that we couldn't help but get you to some of them during your trip. This diverse list of destinations will leave you in awe of Oklahoma's diversity, which most people take for granted.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area is our first stop. Located in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains, Chickasaw is well-known for its hot and mineral springs, as well as streams, lakes – pretty much any sort of water. Take a dip in the hot springs or give your body some therapy in the mineral springs, before you drive straight to the Arbuckle Mountain.
It is 35 minutes to the foot of the Arbuckle Mountains. These are some of the oldest mountains in the United States. It's a gorgeous, forested, craggy range that's full of lakes and waterfalls that you can explore. There are several recreation areas here, and some church groups even come here to camp during the summer, numbering nearly 55,000 people!
Strap in for a long ride to our next destination. The road from the Arbuckle Mountains to Gloss Mountain State Park is almost 200 miles long, but it's a long, wonderful drive that takes you from the lush mountains, through plains, and through Oklahoma City.
Gloss Mountain is a unique formation because the soil has a high Selenite content. This makes the sides of the mountains look like they are covered in glass. Take lots of pictures as you traverse one of the many trails and interact with the wildlife. There are views unlike any other here!
Little Sahara is our next stop, and it's another completely unique area. A 34-minute drive takes you to a huge collection of rideable sand dunes, right in the middle of the prairie. These formations are the remains of prehistoric geological functions. It's a pretty unique place – the world's largest dry beach, or smallest desert!
Our next stop is equally unique. Located about an hour away is the Great Salt Plains State Park. These salt flats are the remains of an ancient ocean that used to exist here. It has the same huge deposits of selenite that we found at the Gloss Mountains, as well as larger crystals. You can dig for these unique formations in the salt dunes during your exploration!
This entire trip through Oklahoma's diverse selection of areas will take you about 5 hours, or 291 miles total. It's great for a two-day trip!
This road trip focuses on some of the attractions that Oklahoma has to offer! We'll start with some natural formations and then drive right up to some of the biggest attractions in Oklahoma City!
Lake Murray is a lesser-known lake near Ardmore, Oklahoma. The waters of the lake are fed by springs, so the water is beautiful and crystal-clear. Take some time to chill on one of the beaches that you can drive right down to. You can explore Tucker Tower, a stone building in the center of the lake that you can climb to see the entire lake.
When you're done catching some rays at Lake Murray, it's just over an hour to the Toy and Action Figure Museum. It's the only place like it in the world: a museum that houses and displays over 13,000 action figures of all varieties.
It's an hour north to Oklahoma City. There's so much to do here, but two of the most important places to see on your visit are the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the Oklahoma City Zoo. The Memorial is our next stop.
This is a huge complex built on the site of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. There's a museum with educational materials to tell people all about what happened, as well as a memorial pond, a monument, and a chair for each person that was killed that day. It's a sobering reminder of that time, but it's a wonderful place to go and visit when you're in the area for the historical value.
Our last stop is the magnificent Oklahoma City Zoo! It's just about 15 minutes away from the Memorial, and it will do plenty to raise your spirits! The OK City Zoo is one of the best-rated zoos in the country, with all of the usual animals and some not-so-usual ones. Check out all of the displays, educational opportunities, a petting zoo, and a gift shop to help you remember your trip!
This trip can be undertaken on just one tank of gas. It covers 122 miles, or just over 2 hours with no stops.