Oklahoma's Waterfalls

By: Tammy Laakso | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: July 2018

Oklahoma is graced with some of the most beautiful lakes with pristine shorelines in America.  With close to 55,646 miles of shoreline, our state’s shoreline measures more than most of the gulf coast and Atlantic.  Even more magnificent are the waterfalls.  There is nothing like the beauty and essence of a cascading waterfall in the summertime.  Have you ever considered taking a great waterfall adventure?  You might just want to throw a picnic in the car and take a short road trip to some or all of these.

Beavers Bend Waterfall-Broken Bow, OK

Southeastern Oklahoma. See the beauty of this waterfall and the nature surrounding Broken Bow Lake. There are several nature trails for the novice adventurer those that want to explore but not go off the beaten path to the very challenging trails for only the experienced adventurers. Plan to go for a day or stay at the campgrounds or cabins and bed and breakfast places to choose in the area. Family fun can be found all around Broken Bow. Canoe, kayak, and paddle boards rentals, Mini-golf, horse-back riding trails and zip-lining. Let’s not forget about the abundance of fishing. Food and shopping options galore. Check out the many restaurants, winery’s, brewery’s and plenty of shopping.

About a three-hour drive from Tulsa area; take US-75 south to OK-3 in Pushmataha County - exit 16, follow OK-3 to US-259 N/N Park Dr. Broken Bow.

Medicine Park Creek, Medicine Park, OK

Found in the Wichita Mountains. Medicine park not only is home to waterfalls. It is also at the base of the Wichita Mountains. Bath Lake allows swimming and is open 7 days a week, starting Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It does not cost anything to visit for the day, it does cost $2 to swim along the falls. Campgrounds and cabins are available to rent for overnight or longer stays. The beauty extends beyond the falls into the town as you look around you will see walls of granite and cobblestone that naturally grows. The town’s history includes outlaws and horse thieves, as well as Will Rogers, Wiley Post, Frank Phillips, Bo Wills, Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Such beauty and history are only a few reasons to come visit. Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge July 15-18 the starting point for a 10,000-mile journey covering 48 states with an End of Road Party on July 28th.

About a three-hour drive from Tulsa area; I-44 west to OK-49-exit 45 follow OK-49 to E Lake Dr. in medicine Park.

Natural Falls- Colcord, OK

One of the most famous waterfalls in Oklahoma, this 77 ft. beauty is a must see. This waterfall is breathtakingly beautiful, so bring your camera. You can’t swim in the waterfall’s crystal clear water but there are places to swim nearby. Admission into the park is $5. Per vehicle. Campsites are also available for a minimal charge. Close by there are several outdoor activities for family fun; hiking, wildlife watching, biking, and fishing. There are several restaurants and shopping close as well. A tidbit of history: West Siloam Springs which is close by the Natural Falls in Colcord, was originally known as “Dripping Springs”, which became popular and prosperous due to the summer health resort known for the healing powers of its spring waters. The falls were used as a backdrop in the movie, “Where the Red Fern Grows” in 1973.

Just a short drive about an hour away from the Tulsa area; take I-244/US-412 east towards Arkansas. Follow US-412 east/US-59 south to your destination in Dripping Springs.

Turner Falls-Davis, OK

Oklahoma’s tallest and most stunning waterfall. Turner Falls park is open 24 hours a day for you campers, the campgrounds fill up quickly during the summer so call ahead and reserve your spot. There are cabins for rent nearby as well. Day admission is also available and is open 6:00 am – 8:30 pm Children under five are free. Tickets are purchased per day per person ranging from $7 - $14. The park has been a place where people go to enjoy since 1868. There are two natural swimming pools, caves, nature trails and natural wildlife to explore. It’s also known as the “Heart of the Arbuckle’s”.

Less than three-hour drive from Tulsa area I-44 west to I-35 south Exit 51 for US-77 toward Turner Falls.

Little Niagara at Travertine Falls-Sulphur, OK

Chickasaw National Recreation has the most popular falls in Travertine. Summer heat can overheat the smallest to the biggest of kids. Enjoy swimming in ice-cold waters while delighting in the elegance of the falls. Enjoy picnicking, hiking, camping boating and fishing. Be sure to stop by the Travertine Nature Center open Thursday through Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Children can participate in the park Junior Ranger program and earn a Junior Ranger patch, badge, and certificate. The falls and natural pools were once considered to be “healing waters” in the 1910-20’s.

Admission: For a day-trip is completely free to enjoy. For folks who want to make a weekend of it, camping fees range from $14 to $30 and a $9 reservation fee. According to the National Park Service, you must make your reservation for a campsite no later than seven days from the date you’re looking to camp out.

Less than three-hour drive from Tulsa area I-44 west to US-377 south to Murray County. Take Perimeter Rd to your destination.


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