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Camping at Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Chickasaw National Recreation Area
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Overview of Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Chickasaw National Recreation Area, located in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma, offers a unique blend of cultural history and natural beauty. It covers approximately 9,899 acres and includes springs, streams, and lakes that draw visitors for various recreational activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, and wildlife observation.

Camping Information


There are several campgrounds within Chickasaw National Recreation Area, offering a range of camping experiences from developed RV sites to more rustic tent camping areas. The primary campgrounds include:

  • The Point - Situated on the Lake of the Arbuckles, it offers full RV hook-ups.
  • Buckhorn - Also located on Lake of the Arbuckles, it includes RV and tent sites with some hook-ups.
  • Guy Sandy - A smaller campground for tent and RV camping without hook-ups.
  • Cold Springs - Known for tent camping with some RV sites, but no hook-ups.
  • Rock Creek - Offers RV and tent camping but is more remote and offers fewer services.


  • Flush toilets and showers are available in most developed campgrounds.
  • Picnic tables and grills are typically provided at each camp site.
  • Some areas may have boat ramps, swimming beaches, and playgrounds.

Reservations and Fees

  • Campsite reservations can often be made in advance through the National Recreation Reservation System.
  • Campground fees vary based on amenities and season, and campers should check current rates when planning their trip.

Campground Rules

  • Keep food stored properly to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Observe quite hours (usually from 10 PM to 6 AM).
  • Fires should be contained in designated fire rings or grills and fully extinguished when not attended.

Backcountry Camping

While most visitors use developed campgrounds, backcountry camping may also be permitted. Check with the park service for guidelines:

  • A permit may be required for backcountry camping.
  • Campers should take care to minimize their impact on the environment by following Leave No Trace principles.

Safety Considerations and Recommendations


  • The weather in Oklahoma can be unpredictable. Be prepared for sudden changes, especially in transitional seasons.
  • Summer temperatures can be very high, so stay hydrated and use sunscreen.


  • Although wildlife encounters are rare, always keep a safe distance from animals.
  • Take precautions to avoid ticks, poison ivy, and snakes.

Water Safety

  • When engaging in activities on the water, always wear a life vest and be aware of local boating regulations.
  • Be cautious of swimming in areas with strong currents or deep drop-offs.

Other Activities in Chickasaw National Recreation Area

  • Trails: Explore the park's trails, which range from easy, scenic walks to more challenging hikes in the backcountry.
  • Fishing: The lakes and streams are popular for fishing; check state regulations and obtain the necessary fishing license.
  • Visitor Center: Stop by the Travertine Nature Center for exhibits on the area's natural and cultural history, information, and educational programs.
  • Wildlife Observation: The area is home to a variety of wildlife, making it a great spot for bird watching and nature photography.

Important Contacts

Before heading to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, it's a good idea to gather important contact information such as the park visitor center, campground reservation system, and local emergency services. Check the National Park Service website for Chickasaw National Recreation Area for the most up-to-date information.

Map of Campgrounds in Chickasaw National Recreation Area
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