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The 10 Best Places to Camp in Oklahoma

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A buffalo in the middle of the street.

If diversity of landscape is what you’re after, then Oklahoma will have you covered for your next camping trip. From the Great Plains to hills, lakes, and forests, there are so many different options for landscapes in this state that it’s difficult to know where to start. So we’ve compiled our top recommendations for the best places to camp in Oklahoma, to help make your planning process a breeze. 

Located just above Texas, and landlocked, Oklahoma is sometimes overlooked. But as all Okies will tell you, their state has some really stunning and interesting places to go camping. From monumental sand dunes to vast rivers and mountains, the topography of this state certainly isn’t repetitive. It also has a really interesting history, especially when considering the original inhabitants of the land. The state’s name is derived from the Choctaw words meaning red people, which was a phrase in the Choctaw language that described Native American people as a whole. It was envisioned by some, before its creation as a state, as an entirely Native American state. 

 

A field with trees and rocks.

Immerse yourself in beautiful deserts when you go camping in Oklahoma.

 

1. Robbers Cave State Park, Wilburton

Robbers Cave State Park is a state park in Latimer County, located in the scenic, hilly woodlands of the Sans Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. It is located 5 miles north of Wilburton, Oklahoma, on State Highway 2, so it is easily accessible. Part of what makes this such a great location to visit is the interesting history of the area. It gets its name, and notoriety, for being a former hideout for famous outlaws, like Belle Starr and Jesse James. 

Lakes, hiking trails, cliffs, and caves are all part of this state park, where you’ll want to explore the area for hours or days on end. The park and adjoining wildlife management area covers more than 8,000 acres and includes three lakes. People flock here from all over to go trout fishing in season, boating with a boat ramp, hunting and mountain biking. There are also trails for hikers and horses, sandstone cliffs for climbing and rappelling, and fall foliage viewing is particularly spectacular here. RV and tent campsites and equestrian campsites are also available for horseback riding. 

 

2. Horse Heaven Ranch, Talihina

If you’re planning on going equestrian camping in Oklahoma, our top pick is the Horse Heaven Ranch. You can bring your horse with you to this getaway in the Ouachita National Forest, but they don’t provide horse rentals. You’ll find 32 RV sites and luxury cabins at this resort where you can also find accommodations for your equine, with hitching posts and pens. Imagine waking up surrounded by beautiful views of the Ouachita National Forest, and the mountains surrounding you, and be able to take your stead out to explore this stunning landscape on an invigorating morning ride. 

The Ouachita National Forest is the oldest National Forest in the southern United States. The forest encompasses 1,784,457 acres, and for our purposes it’s located in eastern Oklahoma, spreading out into the western part of Arkansas too. It includes most of the scenic Ouachita Mountains, and over 65,000 acres of the forest has been designated a wilderness area, meaning you can really immerse yourself in rugged nature in this spot. 

Cobb, who worked to protect the Forest for the future generation in 1920, described the landscape. We don’t think we could say it better ourselves: “A visitor standing upon one of the many majestic peaks in the area of the proposed park is thrilled by a panoramic view that cannot be had elsewhere in the South Central States. With cheeks flushed by the invigorating mountain breezes, the mountain climber is rewarded by an inspiring view of countless and nameless peaks, mountain groups, dense forests, and inviting valleys, all merging into the distant horizon. … there are many mountain streams, now moving slowly in narrow but deep pools, then churning with savage ferocity down some water-worn precipice, leaving in its wake snow-white sprays”. Come here to be inspired by this historical National Forest. 

 

3. Little Sahara State Park, Waynoka

Little Sahara State Park is a state park named for its resemblance to the Sahara Desert. The vast dunes have formed over thousands of years from terrace deposits, remnants of prehistoric times when the Cimarron River flowed over the entire area. This topographical wonder will truly mesmerize you, as you immerse yourself in this beautiful natural habitat. With over 1,600 acres of sand dunes, 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. It’s also a fun place to camp, and there are lots of options between the 143 tent sites, where you’ll have all the amenities you need. 

If you’re looking for fun, entertaining activities for all the family, then Little Sahara State Park could be just the right option for you. With the sand dunes ranging from 25 to 75 feet, you’ll want to explore them by foot or buggy for hours on end. However, as a location just for camping, it’s not one we would recommend. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, and to go camping in a remote location, read on. 

 

A sunset in Oklahoma.

Pitch your tent just in time to watch an Oklahoma sunset from your campsite.

 

4. Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Sulphur

If sand dunes aren’t your thing, then take a look at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Here you’ll find ample camping sites to get the peace and quiet you’re after, away from the excitable buggy-using crowds, by the tranquil lakes, springs and streams. Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area situated in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma near Sulphur in Murray County. The Arbuckle Mountains offer some of the most beautiful views of Oklahoma, so it’s a great location for photography enthusiasts. You can also chill out and relax in the coolness of shaded streams or take a dip in a swimming hole: Little Niagara and Rock Creek bring waders and swimmers from all over. 

From mountain trails and vistas to lakes and waterfalls to Native American culture, in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area you’ll have more than enough activities to fill a camping trip, and then some. What about going angling, and catching your dinner for the night, on Veterans Lake? Or for a more fast-paced activity, the Lake of the Arbuckles provides excellent opportunities for motorboating, skiing, fishing, and swimming. The Chickasaw National Recreation Area offers six campgrounds. Three are located along the shores of the Lake of the Arbuckles and the other three offer views of Rock Creek or Travertine Creek. The Point campsites have been recently renovated making them some of the nicest in the area. All sites along the creek are for tents. Sites including electrical are in The Point or Buckhorn campgrounds. 

 

5. Eagle Bluff Resort, Tahlequah

For one of the top locations in the state to go family camping, we would recommend Eagle Bluff Resort. Here you can take you and your loved ones on days out on the Illinois River, for rafting, kayaking, or canoeing adventures. The Illinois River might be known for float trips, but there are many great places to camp in the area. Eagle Bluff has a late-night campsite for night owls, but has another section for families who want to be in bed by 11 p.m. so you know your family group won’t be woken up by latecomers. It’s even got a children’s playground, along with other amenities that every camper wants nearby. 

If roughing it in nature isn’t your thing, and you are searching for more of a glamping experience, like yurts, then Eagle Bluff Resort might be right up your alley. Here there are really luxury amenities, like a beautiful bathhouse, that blows the showering facilities of many campgrounds out of the water. They also have some great quality restaurants overlooking the river, so you don’t even need to worry about cooking for your family. If you want to really get away from it all, want the cheaper price of camping, but don’t want to have to look out for your family at every turn, then this resort could give you all the tools you need to fully relax in the great outdoors. 

 

6. Great Salt Plains State Park

Great Salt Plains State Park is an 840-acre Oklahoma state park located in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. It is located 8 miles north of Jet. The Great Salt Plains cover an area of 11,000 square miles, and is named because it’s covered with a layer of salt, left behind long ago by a prehistoric inland sea. Because of its geological history, this is one of the most unique parks in the state, and is well worth a visit, especially if you’re a geography nerd. 

The Great Salt Plains Lake is located at the park and covers 9,300 acres, with 41 miles of shoreline for you to enjoy to your heart’s content. This is a shallow, salty lake with fishing opportunities for catfish, saugeye, sandbass and hybrid striper. The lake is about half as salty as the ocean, and visitors often swim here. You can also bring your canoe or kayak and enjoy a trip around the lake viewing the many migratory birds that pass through the area. Equestrians can bring their horses to ride designated trails, and there are nature trails to enjoy while taking in the scenery and burn calories while hiking.

 

A man golfing on a green golf course.

What’s better than playing a game of golf, surrounded by a stunning view?

 

7. Roman Nose State Park, Watonga

Roman Nose State Park is one of the original seven Oklahoma state parks, and as you’ll see, there’s a good reason for it being one of the earliest parks in the state. Visit here to immerse yourself in the stunning natural landscape of canyons, gypsum rock cliffs, and three natural springs. If you’re a golfer, or you’d like to try the sport as an excellent opportunity to fully immerse yourself in this stunning habitat, you’re in luck. Located within the park is the Roman Nose State Park Golf Course: an 18-hole, par 70 course which offers sloping bent grass greens, Bermuda grass tees and fairways, natural hazards, lake views, canyon walls, and mesas. 

There are so many things to do in this park, you’ll never get bored. Recreational activities at this state park include an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools, hiking trails, two lakes, trout fishing in season, canoeing, paddle boats, mountain biking, horse stables and hayrides by reservation. Rentals include canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and mountain bikes. Swimming in the lakes is not allowed, but fishing and no-wake boating are welcome. In terms of camping experiences, this park also offers unique trips, as it’s one of the few places where you can actually rent a tepee for an overnight camping experience. Seeing as the park itself is named after a Cheyenne chief, we think this is rather fitting.

 

8. Alabaster Cavern State Park, Freedom

Alabaster Caverns State Park is a 200-acre state park approximately 4.5 miles south of Freedom. It’s one of the most popular parks in the area, and thousands visit here every year. The reason for this is that it contains Alabaster Cavern, the largest natural gypsum cave in the world that is open to the public. There are only 12 tent sites which are first-come-first-serve, so don’t come here if you only want an excellent camping experience. There are also 11 reservable RV sites, so remember to book ahead. This is more the site, with camping for convenience, for avid cave lovers and geography enthusiasts.

If you’re looking to push yourself, and try something new, try wild caving at the park. Better known as spelunking, Alabaster Caverns is home to four caves that are maintained especially for wild caving. Caves range in length from 550 feet to 1,600-ft, so there is an incredible depth and range of spaces for you to explore here. You can get permits of wild caving at the camp office, and sometimes the caves are closed for wild caving due to the hibernating bats, so we’d recommended properly researching all the rules and restrictions before planning your trip around this unique activity. 

 

9. Lake Murray State Park, Ardmore

Lake Murray State Park is Oklahoma’s largest state park, containing over 12,500 acres of relative wilderness, and the whopping 5,700-acre Lake Murray. This park doesn’t just center on the lake, but also will provide you with an excess of forested, rolling hills around the lake, with diverse terrain, exceptional trails and historic sites scattering this much-loved state park. Staying at the park is easy with your choice of nine RV parks with hookups, 500 sites for tent camping, 56 cabins, and a modern lodge. If you’re looking for something a little more glamorous, check out one of the park’s cabins, many of which are historic structures built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. These state park cabins feature everything from cozy cottages for two up to large family-size cabins.

Lake Murray has a fishing pier on the lake and you’ll find many different areas to pitch a tent. Fishing, boating and a variety of water sports are enjoyed on the 5,728 surface acres of Lake Murray. Outdoor activities include golf, picnicking, camping, trail riding, hayrides, hiking, swimming, miniature golf, and paddle boating. Sports facilities include a golf course, tennis courts, and softball and baseball fields. With nearly 1,000 acres of trails for ATVs, motorcycles and dirt bikes, thrill-seekers have plenty of terrain to adventure. 

 

A canoe on a lake.

Explore the still waters at Lake Murray with a canoe rental.

 

10. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the second-largest canyon in the U.S., only beat out by the Grand Canyon. If you’re an Oklahoma local, and haven’t visited here already, this location has to be next on the top of your list. It is a truly unique experience just a four-hour drive from Oklahoma City. Traveling out to the canyon feels like any normal, flat drive through the panhandle of Texas, but the drop-off into the canyon when you first see it will take your breath away. We would recommend the Mesquite campground at the back of the canyon: it might take the longest to get to, but it’s the most secluded, so it is worth it to avoid the crowds. 

 

Final Verdict:

Oklahoma will surprise you with its varied landscapes and breathtaking vistas. From National Parks to State Forests, from Red Rock Canyon to the sand dunes, this state is naturally varied and beautiful. What more could you want from your next best camping trip? All over the state there are multiple camping opportunities available, from primitive campsites to large campgrounds, and RV parks with full hookups. There’s something here for everyone, not just in terms of views to activities, but also in the various camping accommodations the state has to offer. 

 

Bonus tip: To get a taste of Oklahoma’s strange and amazing landscapes, have a look at this video!

 

 

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The Evolution of Outdoor Apparel: How Fashion Meets Functionality in the Wilderness

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The wilderness beckons with the promise of adventure, but any seasoned hunter knows that what you wear can make or break your experience. Gone are the days when outdoor apparel was purely utilitarian. Today, fashion and functionality blend seamlessly to create gear that’s not only practical but also stylish. From the latest camouflage patterns to weather-resistant fabrics, let’s explore the evolution of outdoor apparel and how it’s revolutionizing the way we approach the great outdoors.

Camouflage: The Stylish Science of Stealth

Camouflage has come a long way from the simple green and brown patterns of yesteryear. Modern camouflage designs are now a blend of advanced science and cutting-edge style. These patterns aren’t just about blending into the background; they’re about creating an optical illusion that makes the wearer nearly invisible to wildlife. 

Contemporary camo gear incorporates a variety of colors and textures to match different environments, from dense forests to arid deserts. This evolution in design is as much about aesthetics as it is about effectiveness, allowing hunters to move through their chosen terrain with confidence and stealth.

The shift towards more sophisticated camouflage patterns also reflects a broader trend in outdoor apparel: the desire for gear that looks good and performs even better. Hunters today want apparel that makes a statement while still providing the ultimate in concealment. Whether it’s a jacket with a sleek, modern design or pants that offer the perfect balance of comfort and camouflage, today’s outdoor apparel combines fashion and function like never before.

Layering: The Key to Comfort and Style

Layering is a critical concept in outdoor apparel, offering both practical and aesthetic benefits. Modern layering systems are designed to regulate body temperature and provide protection from the elements. However, they also offer a chance to showcase personal style. Successful layering starts with choosing pieces that work well together both functionally and visually.

Base layers, for instance, have evolved from simple thermal wear to stylish garments that can be worn on their own or as part of a layered ensemble. These pieces are often made from advanced fabrics that provide warmth without bulk, ensuring that hunters can stay comfortable and mobile. Mid-layers add another dimension of style and functionality, offering insulation while allowing for breathability. Softshell jackets and vests come in many different colors and designs, making it easy to find pieces that suit individual tastes. 

Layering can also help you catch different kinds of animals. For instance, when you’re looking for turkey hunting tips, it’s important to look at the best kinds of layering to stay incognito and catch the best birds. Choosing the right layers can make a significant difference in staying comfortable and concealed during long hours in the field.

Footwear: From Trail to Trendsetter

Footwear is another area where outdoor apparel has seen significant evolution. In the past, hunting boots were purely functional, but, today, they still offer these essential qualities but have also become a fashion statement. Modern hunting boots come in a variety of styles, from traditional leather to contemporary synthetic materials, and are available in a range of colors and designs.

The advancements in footwear technology have been remarkable. Today’s hunting boots are designed to be lightweight yet durable, with features like waterproof membranes, breathable linings, and advanced traction systems. These innovations ensure that hunters can move comfortably and safely through any environment. But it’s not just about functionality; the aesthetic appeal of modern hunting boots is undeniable. Many boots are designed with sleek, stylish lines that make them suitable for wearing both in the field and in more casual settings.

High-Performance Gear: Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation

When it comes to hunting, high-performance gear is a game-changer. This is the section where outdoor apparel truly shines, combining cutting-edge technology with sleek design to create products that offer unmatched performance. Performance hunting gear includes everything from moisture-wicking base layers to high-tech outerwear designed to withstand the harshest conditions.

Today’s high-performance apparel utilizes advanced materials that are both lightweight and durable. Fabrics like Gore-Tex and other proprietary blends offer superior protection against wind and water while maintaining breathability. These materials help regulate body temperature, keeping hunters comfortable in a wide range of environments. In addition to these practical benefits, high-performance gear often features ergonomic designs that allow for a full range of motion, ensuring that hunters can move freely and easily.

Sustainable Fashion: Eco-Friendly Choices for the Modern Hunter

Sustainability has become an increasingly important consideration in the world of outdoor apparel. Hunters who are passionate about preserving the wilderness they love to explore are now seeking out eco-friendly clothing options that minimize environmental impact. Eco-friendly outdoor apparel is made from sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, organic cotton, and biodegradable fibers. These materials offer the same performance benefits as traditional fabrics but with a lower environmental footprint. 

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The Role of Camouflage in Wildlife Photography and Hunting

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Camouflage plays a vital role in the worlds of wildlife photography and hunting, serving as an indispensable tool for enthusiasts and professionals alike. It’s not just about blending into the environment; it’s about becoming a part of it. Camouflage allows for closer interactions with wildlife, ensuring more successful hunts and breathtaking photographs. Here, we explore the key roles camouflage plays in these outdoor activities.

Blending In: The Art of Disappearing

One of the primary roles of camouflage is to help the wearer blend seamlessly into their surroundings. This art of disappearing is crucial whether you’re capturing a stunning image of a deer at dawn or patiently waiting for your prey during hunting season. In wildlife photography, the goal is to get as close as possible without disturbing the natural behavior of the animals. Camouflage clothing, face paint, and even equipment coverings can make the difference between a once-in-a-lifetime shot and a missed opportunity. 

For hunters, blending into the environment increases the chances of a successful hunt. Animals have keen senses, and the slightest hint of an unnatural shape or color can send them running. Camouflage gear allows hunters to become virtually invisible. This skill of blending in isn’t just about wearing the right colors; it’s about understanding the terrain, the light, and how to move with stealth.

Reducing the Human Scent and Sound

Another critical aspect of camouflage in both photography and hunting is the reduction of human scent and sound. Animals naturally use their sense of smell and hearing to detect potential threats. Successful hunting trips often hinge on the ability to minimize human presence in these sensory fields. Specially designed camouflage clothing can help mask human odors, making it harder for animals to pick up on your scent. 

Similarly, wildlife photographers need to consider their scent and sound output. Even the most visually inconspicuous photographer can ruin a perfect shot if their scent or a stray noise alerts the animals. Using scent-masking sprays and moving with extreme caution are part of the camouflage strategy, ensuring that photographers can get closer to their subjects without causing alarm.

Enhancing Patience and Stealth

Patience and stealth are virtues that every hunter and wildlife photographer must possess, and camouflage gear enhances these qualities. When you’re properly camouflaged, you can afford to be more patient, knowing that you are less likely to be detected. This confidence allows for longer waiting periods in prime locations, increasing the chances of capturing that perfect shot or making a successful kill.

For wildlife photographers, the need for patience is paramount. Animals won’t always show up when you want them to, and sudden movements can ruin hours of careful preparation. Camouflage helps in remaining undetected, allowing photographers to wait silently and still for the right moment. Hunters also benefit from this patience, as it enables them to wait for the ideal shot without rushing and potentially missing their target.

Specialized Camouflage for Different Hunts: Moose Hunting

Different types of hunting require specialized camouflage, and moose hunting is a prime example. Moose are large, elusive animals often found in dense forests and swampy areas. Successful moose hunters understand the need for specific camouflage patterns that mimic the unique environments where moose thrive. Moose hunting clothes are designed to blend into the dark, shadowy forests and marshes, making hunters virtually invisible to these keen-eyed creatures.

During moose hunting season, the right camouflage can make or break your experience. Moose have excellent vision and can easily detect unnatural movements or colors. By wearing appropriate camouflage, hunters can move quietly and position themselves for a clear shot without spooking their quarry. 

The specialized gear often includes clothing that covers the entire body, including gloves and face masks, ensuring that no part of the hunter stands out against the natural backdrop. This thorough approach is essential in moose hunting, where patience and precision are key.

Capturing Authentic Wildlife Behavior

Wildlife photography isn’t just about taking beautiful pictures; it’s about capturing authentic wildlife behavior. Camouflage allows photographers to become invisible observers, documenting animals in their natural state without any human interference. This is particularly important for conservation efforts, as understanding genuine animal behavior can inform better strategies for protecting various species and their habitats.

Photographers who use camouflage can get closer to their subjects, often capturing moments that would be impossible to see from a distance. This proximity results in more intimate and detailed shots, showcasing the animals’ daily activities, interactions, and environments. 

The authenticity of these images can inspire greater appreciation and respect for wildlife, encouraging more people to support conservation initiatives. By blending into the environment, photographers can witness and document behaviors that might otherwise go unnoticed, providing invaluable insights into the natural world.

 

outdoorcommand.com (Post 2)

 

The Evolution of Outdoor Apparel: How Fashion Meets Functionality in the Wilderness

The wilderness beckons with the promise of adventure, but any seasoned hunter knows that what you wear can make or break your experience. Gone are the days when outdoor apparel was purely utilitarian. Today, fashion and functionality blend seamlessly to create gear that’s not only practical but also stylish. From the latest camouflage patterns to weather-resistant fabrics, let’s explore the evolution of outdoor apparel and how it’s revolutionizing the way we approach the great outdoors.

Camouflage: The Stylish Science of Stealth

Camouflage has come a long way from the simple green and brown patterns of yesteryear. Modern camouflage designs are now a blend of advanced science and cutting-edge style. These patterns aren’t just about blending into the background; they’re about creating an optical illusion that makes the wearer nearly invisible to wildlife. 

Contemporary camo gear incorporates a variety of colors and textures to match different environments, from dense forests to arid deserts. This evolution in design is as much about aesthetics as it is about effectiveness, allowing hunters to move through their chosen terrain with confidence and stealth.

The shift towards more sophisticated camouflage patterns also reflects a broader trend in outdoor apparel: the desire for gear that looks good and performs even better. Hunters today want apparel that makes a statement while still providing the ultimate in concealment. Whether it’s a jacket with a sleek, modern design or pants that offer the perfect balance of comfort and camouflage, today’s outdoor apparel combines fashion and function like never before.

Layering: The Key to Comfort and Style

Layering is a critical concept in outdoor apparel, offering both practical and aesthetic benefits. Modern layering systems are designed to regulate body temperature and provide protection from the elements. However, they also offer a chance to showcase personal style. Successful layering starts with choosing pieces that work well together both functionally and visually.

Base layers, for instance, have evolved from simple thermal wear to stylish garments that can be worn on their own or as part of a layered ensemble. These pieces are often made from advanced fabrics that provide warmth without bulk, ensuring that hunters can stay comfortable and mobile. Mid-layers add another dimension of style and functionality, offering insulation while allowing for breathability. Softshell jackets and vests come in many different colors and designs, making it easy to find pieces that suit individual tastes. 

Layering can also help you catch different kinds of animals. For instance, when you’re looking for turkey hunting tips, it’s important to look at the best kinds of layering to stay incognito and catch the best birds. Choosing the right layers can make a significant difference in staying comfortable and concealed during long hours in the field.

Footwear: From Trail to Trendsetter

Footwear is another area where outdoor apparel has seen significant evolution. In the past, hunting boots were purely functional, but, today, they still offer these essential qualities but have also become a fashion statement. Modern hunting boots come in a variety of styles, from traditional leather to contemporary synthetic materials, and are available in a range of colors and designs.

The advancements in footwear technology have been remarkable. Today’s hunting boots are designed to be lightweight yet durable, with features like waterproof membranes, breathable linings, and advanced traction systems. These innovations ensure that hunters can move comfortably and safely through any environment. But it’s not just about functionality; the aesthetic appeal of modern hunting boots is undeniable. Many boots are designed with sleek, stylish lines that make them suitable for wearing both in the field and in more casual settings.

High-Performance Gear: Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation

When it comes to hunting, high-performance gear is a game-changer. This is the section where outdoor apparel truly shines, combining cutting-edge technology with sleek design to create products that offer unmatched performance. Performance hunting gear includes everything from moisture-wicking base layers to high-tech outerwear designed to withstand the harshest conditions.

Today’s high-performance apparel utilizes advanced materials that are both lightweight and durable. Fabrics like Gore-Tex and other proprietary blends offer superior protection against wind and water while maintaining breathability. These materials help regulate body temperature, keeping hunters comfortable in a wide range of environments. In addition to these practical benefits, high-performance gear often features ergonomic designs that allow for a full range of motion, ensuring that hunters can move freely and easily.

Sustainable Fashion: Eco-Friendly Choices for the Modern Hunter

Sustainability has become an increasingly important consideration in the world of outdoor apparel. Hunters who are passionate about preserving the wilderness they love to explore are now seeking out eco-friendly clothing options that minimize environmental impact. Eco-friendly outdoor apparel is made from sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, organic cotton, and biodegradable fibers. These materials offer the same performance benefits as traditional fabrics but with a lower environmental footprint. 

 

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13 Best Hot Springs in Utah

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Hot-Water-Springs-in-Utah

In the heart of the rugged and diverse landscapes of Utah, a collection of natural geothermal wonders awaits your discovery – the state’s best-kept secrets, its hot springs. Utah’s hot springs offer an escape from the ordinary, a chance to soak in warm, healing waters while surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of the state’s wilderness.

From hidden desert gems to alpine hideaways, Utah’s hot springs provide an array of unique experiences. In this guide, we embark on a journey to explore the finest hot springs Utah has to offer. Each of these geothermal treasures is complemented by its unique charm, beckoning travelers and nature enthusiasts to unwind in their therapeutic embrace. So, pack your sense of adventure and a desire for relaxation as we venture through the desert wonders, mountain retreats, and serene oases that make up the best hot springs in Utah.

1. Mystic Hot Springs/Monroe Hot Springs

Mystic-Hot-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @mystichotsprings

Mystic Hot Springs, a unique oasis nestled between Fishlake National Forest and Sevier Plateau in Sevier County, Utah, offers a remarkable blend of natural wonder and bohemian charm. The resort boasts stunning valley views, making it a captivating destination. What sets these hot springs apart are the way they cascade over massive rock walls adorned with captivating calcium deposits. The hot spring waters here range from 100 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, offering a variety of soaking experiences. Several tubs are thoughtfully integrated into the natural landscape, providing visitors with a range of options to unwind in these soothing waters.
  • Location: Monroe, near Richfield off I-70, approximately 1.5 hours west of Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Temperature: 100-106°F
  • Things to do: Indulge in two spacious hot spring swimming pools, or choose the private vintage bathtubs surrounded by mineral-formed rocks for a truly Instagram-worthy experience. Water temperatures in the tubs vary, ranging from 99 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mystic Hot Springs goes beyond the relaxing soaks by offering mindful massages and Hypnotherapy sessions focused on aligning your body, mind, and heart.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but summer offers the added allure of music festivals and concerts.
  • Cost: Admission fees apply, and additional fees may be charged for specific services.
  • How to Reach: Located near Monroe, Utah, the hot springs are accessible from Richfield off I-70, and are approximately 1.5 hours west of Capitol Reef National Park.

2. Homestead Resort/Crater Hot Spring, Midway

Homestead-Resort-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @homesteadresort_utah

Tucked away in the scenic foothills of the Wasatch Valley, Homestead Resort beckons as a tranquil hot spring retreat. Boasting an array of amenities, including a swimming pool, golfing facilities, and well-appointed rooms, it sets the stage for a relaxing escape. However, the crown jewel of this resort is the Crater Hot Spring, a geothermal marvel nestled within a 55-foot tall limestone rock.
  • Location: Midway, about 45 minutes east of Salt Lake City.
  • Temperature: 90-96°F
  • Things to do: Encased within a beehive-shaped limestone dome formed over 10,000 years ago, the Crater Hot Spring offers a unique experience regardless of the season. The underground cavern, bathed in natural light filtering through a hole in the dome’s apex, presents a distinctive destination within Utah. This geological wonder maintains a soothing water temperature between 90 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Admission fees apply, and additional fees may be charged for specific services.
  • How to reach: From Salt Lake City, take a drive that’s roughly 45 minutes to the east, and you’ll find yourself in the charming town of Midway, where Homestead Resort is nestled.

3. Inlet Park Hot Springs, Saratoga Springs

Inlet-Park-Hot-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @kyccl

Inlet Park Hot Springs, a publicly accessible natural hot spring nestled beside the picturesque Utah Lake, offers a convenient and relaxing soaking experience. The hot springs are easily reached with parking facilities nearby, ensuring accessibility for visitors. The main attraction here is a generously sized hot spring pool, stretching approximately 40 feet in length and width and plunging up to 3 feet deep. The water in this pool can reach balmy temperatures of up to 110 degrees, providing a rejuvenating soak. It’s advisable to wear water shoes or tread cautiously, as the popularity of this spot sometimes results in leftover debris. Please be aware that the hot springs close at 10pm, and soaking beyond that hour may incur substantial fines.

  • Location: Saratoga Springs, approximately 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City, situated northwest of the Provo metropolitan area.
  • Temperature: Up to 110°F
  • Things to do: Inlet Park Hot Springs is a favorite hotspot near Utah Lake, known for its three distinct pools, each offering water temperatures of up to 109 degrees. These pools feature muddy bottoms, so wearing water shoes is recommended if you prefer to keep your feet clean. When the heat becomes too much to bear, you can cool off in the closest pool to the lake, which tends to be muddier. The city has made efforts to develop the area around the hot springs, including a pathway from Inlet Park’s parking area.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Admission fees may apply.
  • How to reach: Located in Saratoga Springs, this hot spring is situated roughly 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City, to the northwest of the Provo metropolitan area.

4. Crystal Hot Springs, Honeyville

Crystal-Hot-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @crystalhotsprings

Crystal Hot Springs, located just over an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City in Box Elder County, Utah, is a delightful family-friendly hot spring resort with a wide range of attractions. The resort boasts seven hot spring pools, three hot spring waterfalls, and even a thrilling waterslide. Whether you’re seeking a day of relaxation or an extended getaway, Crystal Hot Springs has you covered with RV spaces and camping options available. The hot spring pools feature a diverse range of temperatures, ranging from a comfortable 85 degrees to a toasty 110 degrees. After soaking up the warmth, cool off by taking an exhilarating plunge under the cold waterfall.

  • Location: Honeyville, approximately one hour north of Salt Lake City, in the Brigham City area.
  • Temperature: 85-110°F
  • Things to do: Crystal Hot Springs, known for having the highest mineral content in the world and the unique occurrence of hot and cold springs in a single location, offers an array of attractions. You can unwind in three mineral hot tubs, take a dip in two large pools, and experience the excitement of a double water slide, all of which are open year-round. The water temperatures in the pools and springs span a wide range, from 65 to 134 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Admission fees apply, and camping fees may vary.
  • How to reach: Situated in Honeyville, Crystal Hot Springs is conveniently located about one hour north of Salt Lake City, in the Brigham City area.

5. Veyo Pool Hot Springs

Veyo-Pool-Hot-Springs
Photo Courtesy: @veyopool

Veyo Pool Hot Springs is a family-friendly hot spring resort located near Zion National Park in Utah. This inviting destination features a generously-sized hot spring-fed swimming pool with water temperatures ranging from 94 to 98 degrees. Whether you’re seeking a cozy room, a camping spot, or an RV site, Veyo Pool Hot Springs offers various accommodation options for all types of travelers.

Founded over a century ago, Veyo Pools is nestled amidst the dramatic desert canyons and towering cliffs of Utah. Although the pool’s temperature may not be scorching, it becomes an ideal retreat during the hot Utah summers when desert temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Families will find it particularly appealing, with historic farmhouse lodgings, tent camping areas, and ample RV spaces.

  • Location: Veyo, near Zion National Park, one of Utah’s premier national parks.
  • Temperature: 94-98°F
  • Things to do: Veyo Pool Hot Springs is an excellent choice if you’re planning to explore the national parks in the southern part of Utah. This historic hot spring destination offers a large pool filled with geothermal mineral water, providing a unique soaking experience. The resort features camping facilities, showers, restrooms, parking, a gift shop, and towel rentals.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, with summer being an ideal time for a refreshing dip.
  • Cost: Admission is $16, and children under 2 enter for free.
  • How to reach: Veyo Pool Hot Springs is located in Veyo, near Zion National Park, making it a convenient stop when exploring the southern national parks of Utah.

6. Diamond Fork/Fifth Water Hot Springs

Fifth-Water-Hot-Springs
Photo Courtesy: @bethanyboundlessbody

Diamond Fork Hot Springs, also known as Fifth Water Hot Springs, is a captivating natural oasis located approximately 30 minutes outside of Provo, Utah. These hot springs are renowned for their extraordinary natural beauty. As you venture on the moderate 2.5-mile hike to reach them, you’ll discover multiple rock-walled pools, each filled with milky blue and green-hued water that flows from one to another. The water temperature in these pools ranges up to a cozy 102 degrees, providing an array of soaking options.

  • Location: Accessible via the trailhead on Diamond Fork Road, about 1.5 hours southeast from Salt Lake City, and approximately 30 minutes east of Spanish Fork on U.S. 89.
  • Temperature: 102-111°F
  • Things to do: The journey to Diamond Fork Hot Springs is an adventure in itself. You’ll embark on a 2.5-mile moderate difficulty hike that takes you through scenic landscapes and past three picturesque waterfalls. The hike can be challenging, especially in winter when the road is closed, necessitating a 10-mile roundtrip trek. Upon reaching the hot springs, you can explore various pools of varying sizes and temperatures. For a quieter experience, hike to the higher second waterfall pools, which are less crowded and offer stunning views. It’s essential to bring plenty of water, wear suitable hiking shoes, and pack a towel and dry clothes for the hike back.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but be prepared for a longer hike in the winter when the road is closed.
  • Cost: Admission is free.
  • How to reach: The trailhead to Diamond Fork Hot Springs is situated on Diamond Fork Road, making it accessible from Salt Lake City and Spanish Fork. Be sure to check the road conditions, especially during winter, to plan your visit accordingly.

7. Meadow Hot Springs, Meadow

Meadow-Hot-Springs
Photo Courtesy: @thereeemster

Meadow Hot Springs, located just south of Fillmore, Utah, in the charming town of Meadow, is a remarkable gem among natural hot springs in the United States. These hot springs offer a truly unique experience, set in a picturesque landscape. You’ll discover two clear water hot spring pools, with the larger one plunging to an impressive 25 feet deep and maintaining a toasty temperature of around 100 degrees. In the smaller pool, which is slightly cooler, you’ll even find small fish that offer a surprising spa experience as they give your feet a gentle manicure. It’s important to note that Meadow Hot Springs are privately owned, and visitors are kindly requested to respect the landowners’ rules, which allow them to share this natural wonder with the public.

  • Location: Situated in Meadow, Utah, this hot spring can be found just off I-15, roughly 1.5 hours south of Provo and two hours northwest of Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Temperature: 100°F
  • Things to do: Meadow Hot Springs is perfect for a relaxing soak and enjoying the scenic surroundings. With two clear water hot spring pools, you can choose between a warm dip or a slightly cooler experience. Don’t miss the chance to observe and interact with the small fish in the smaller pool, providing an unexpected and delightful experience.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round access, and it’s particularly enchanting in winter when you can relish the pristine environment, accentuated by the contrast between freezing air temperatures and the soothing hot waters.
  • Cost: Free admission.
  • How to reach: Meadow Hot Springs are conveniently located off I-15, accessible via a 5-mile, non-technical dirt road. While the journey might get your vehicle a little dirty, the experience is well worth it.

8. Baker Hot Springs: A Tranquil Desert Retreat

Baker-Hot-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @vinnyvedivechi

Nestled in the heart of Utah’s expansive West Desert, Baker Hot Springs offers an idyllic escape for those seeking solace amidst the arid wilderness. Just a short drive from Provo and in close proximity to the striking Great Basin National Park, this natural thermal wonder promises a serene oasis. As you embark on your journey, prepare to be enchanted by three cement-walled tubs brimming with warm, mineral-rich waters, providing the perfect setting for relaxation.

The road leading to Baker Hot Springs might be a bit rugged, and a 4×4 vehicle is advisable, but it will guide you directly to these inviting springs. While the tubs are not meticulously cleaned, this unspoiled state adds to the springs’ unique allure. The flexibility to adjust the water temperature by mixing the warm spring water with a refreshing flow of cold water allows for a personalized soaking experience. With its simplicity, undeveloped charm, and natural surroundings, Baker Hot Springs offers a truly exceptional desert escape.

  • Location: Delta, about two hours southwest of Provo in Utah’s West Desert.
  • Temperature: The springs boast a toasty temperature of around 107°F.
  • Things to do: Enjoy a peaceful soak, adjusting the water to your preferred temperature in the cement-walled tubs amidst the Utah desert.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round escapade for those seeking a tranquil soak in the midst of nature.
  • Cost: Admission is free, making it an accessible natural hot spring experience.
  • How to Reach: Accessing the hot springs involves a bit of a rough drive down a dirt road, preferably with a 4×4 vehicle for ease. The road leads directly to the springs.

9. Stinky Hot Springs

Stinky-Hot-Springs-UtahPhoto Courtesy: @wickedpixiecreation

Stinky Hot Springs, true to their name, are renowned for their distinct sulfuric aroma, showcasing the rich mineral content in their waters. Nestled on private property, the gracious owner allows public use, inviting enthusiasts to enjoy the therapeutic effects of these springs. Comprising three cement hot spring tubs, these geothermal pools provide a unique and rejuvenating soaking experience.

  • Location: Accessible right off a highway, ensuring convenient and straightforward access.
  • Temperature: The hot springs maintain a temperature that aligns with their rejuvenating properties, laden with minerals.
  • Things to do: Immerse yourself in the mineral-rich waters, experiencing the potential health benefits these springs have to offer.
  • Best time to visit: Stinky Hot Springs are a year-round retreat for those seeking the benefits of geothermal soaking.
  • Cost: The hot springs are open to the public for free, offering an accessible natural hot spring experience.

10. Belmont Hot Springs RV Park and Resort

Belmont-Hot-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @belmontparksrec

Belmont Hot Springs RV Park and Resort is a unique and all-encompassing destination for hot spring enthusiasts. Situated in northern Utah, near the Idaho border, this resort offers a distinct blend of natural relaxation and outdoor adventure. What sets Belmont apart is its combination of hot spring pools, nearby hiking trails, and electrical hookups for RV travelers.

  • Location: Nestled in northern Utah, near the Idaho border, making it an ideal stop for travelers on a Southwest road trip.
  • Temperature: The hot springs at Belmont RV Park maintain a soothing jacuzzi-like temperature, ranging from 97 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Things to do: Enjoy a soak in the spacious hot spring lake, perfect for paddleboarding or leisurely relaxation. Scuba diving opportunities are available, providing a unique underwater perspective. The surrounding area features numerous hiking trails, and Nordic Valley Ski Resort is just a short drive away.
  • Best time to visit: Belmont Hot Springs welcomes visitors year-round, ensuring access to geothermal relaxation and outdoor activities in all seasons.
  • Cost: For those staying at the RV Park, the nightly fee is $40, with a weekly rate of $250. The extensive amenities provided include restrooms, showers, hot water, front desk services, laundry facilities, and a clubhouse. Nearby attractions, including ski slopes, add to the appeal of this remarkable destination.

11. Ogden Hot Springs

Ogden-Hot-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @hotspringadventure

Discover the secluded, natural geothermal escape of Ogden Hot Springs in Utah. The status of these mountain springs may seem uncertain online, but rest assured, they’re open and ready for those seeking a tranquil and authentic soaking experience. A scenic hiking trail winds through the forest to reach these hidden mountain springs, each offering its unique temperature. Embrace the serene and refreshing natural waters in the company of lush wilderness. Ogden Hot Springs enforces a strict “Leave No Trace” policy, emphasizing a commitment to preserving the environment. The springs are pristine and serene, free from the interference of glass, pets, or littering. While parking near the springs is limited, convenient options are available at the base of the canyon, just a short walk away from this hidden gem.

  • Location: Ogden, Utah
  • Temperature: Typically ranging between 97 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Things to do: Explore the multiple pools tucked away in Ogden’s beautiful wilderness, surrounded by nature’s tranquility.
  • Best time to visit: Open year-round, these hot springs offer a warm retreat no matter the season.
  • Cost: Enjoy free admission, making Ogden Hot Springs a natural and budget-friendly destination. The springs feature multiple pools, free parking, and a clothing-optional atmosphere.
  • How to Reach: Accessible via a scenic hiking trail through the forest. Limited parking is available near the springs, with additional options at the base of the canyon, requiring a short walk to the springs.

12. Red Hill Hot Springs, Monroe

Red-Hill-Hot-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @crazyraisinbuns

Nestled just a short 4-minute drive away from the renowned Mystic Hot Springs, Red Hill Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah, offers a tranquil escape without the crowds. These lesser-visited springs are a hidden gem, and the best part? They won’t cost you a dime. Four distinct pools provide options for relaxation, and the picturesque backdrop of the surrounding red rock formations adds to the allure of Red Hill Hot Springs.

Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Utah’s iconic red desert landscape, the inviting pools at Red Hill Hot Springs offer an intimate and serene soaking experience. These pools are relatively small, accommodating only a few people at a time. To savor the full wonder of these thermal springs, consider an early morning visit when you can have one of these little pieces of paradise all to yourself. Additionally, the winter season presents an excellent opportunity to enjoy these hot springs in solitude.

  • Location: Monroe, Utah
  • Temperature: Up to a toasty 154 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Things to do: Revel in the intimacy of smaller pools, surrounded by the beauty of red rock formations in the Utah desert.
  • Best time to visit: Open year-round, so you can enjoy the soothing waters in any season.
  • Cost: Free admission makes Red Hill Hot Springs a budget-friendly destination. The site includes amenities like pit toilets, a parking area, and multiple pools to choose from.

13. Horseshoe Warm Springs, Salt Lake City

Horseshoe-Warm-Springs-Utah
Photo Courtesy: @jhsfire

Nestled amidst Utah’s striking desert plains, Horseshoe Warm Springs offer a soothing oasis surrounded by fragrant sagebrush. These natural hot springs are a haven for those seeking muscle relaxation and a connection with the unique beauty of the desert. The springs derive their name from the distinct horseshoe-shaped pools they form, creating a captivating sight in Skull Valley, located in western Utah. Unlike traditional hot springs, the waters here are considered “warm springs,” boasting a comfortable temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes Horseshoe Warm Springs particularly inviting during the summer months, offering a refreshing contrast to the desert’s arid climate.

The hot springs provide a tranquil escape, with a spacious deck running alongside, providing a perfect place for your four-legged friend to rest while you bask in the warm waters. Apart from the springs themselves, Horseshoe Warm Springs offer an array of experiences. The area is renowned for fishing, beckoning anglers to test their skills in its waters. Adventure enthusiasts will find plenty to do, including ATV rides and hiking trails, allowing you to explore the desert landscapes. Additionally, you have the opportunity to delve into history by visiting the nearby ghost town of Losepa.

  • Location: Skull Valley, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Temperature: The springs maintain a warm and consistent temperature of around 70 degrees.
  • Things to do: Rejuvenate with a soak in the horseshoe-shaped hot springs, and let your canine companion relax on the adjacent deck. Engage in fishing, explore nearby hiking trails, or embark on exciting ATV adventures in the area. For a touch of history, explore the intriguing ghost town of Losepa.
  • Best time to visit: Open year-round, with the summer season offering the allure of cooler waters amidst the desert heat.
  • Cost: Enjoy free admission, making Horseshoe Warm Springs a cost-effective escape.
  • How to Reach: Situated in Skull Valley near Salt Lake City, Horseshoe Warm Springs are easily accessible, offering a convenient retreat into the captivating desert landscapes.

Conclusion

Utah’s diverse and picturesque landscapes are not only renowned for their stunning red rock formations and majestic mountains but are also home to a collection of exquisite natural hot springs. From the mystic beauty of Mystic Hot Springs to the adventurous soak at Fifth Water Hot Springs and the calming serenity of Meadow Hot Springs, Utah’s geothermal wonders offer a range of experiences for all.

FAQs

Are these hot springs safe for children and families?

Most hot springs in Utah are family-friendly, but it’s essential to consider the water temperature and your child’s tolerance. Some hot springs have varying pool temperatures, making it easier to find a comfortable spot for children. Always supervise children closely and check individual hot spring rules for age restrictions.

Are the hot springs clothing-optional?

The clothing policy varies depending on the hot spring. Some hot springs are clothing-optional, while others strictly require swimwear. Always review the specific rules for each hot spring and adhere to them.

Can I bring food and drinks to the hot springs?

Policies regarding food and drinks differ between hot springs. Some may allow small snacks, while others strictly prohibit outside food and drinks. Always respect the rules of the hot spring you’re visiting and clean up after yourself.

Is camping allowed at these hot springs?

Camping policies vary widely among hot springs. Some hot springs have nearby campgrounds or even on-site accommodations, while others may prohibit camping. Check the specific rules and availability of camping options at the hot spring you plan to visit.

What’s the best time to visit Utah’s hot springs?

Many hot springs can be enjoyed year-round. The best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer offers warm weather and often coincides with outdoor festivals, while winter provides a unique experience with snow-draped landscapes. Consider your tolerance for different temperatures and the activities you’d like to enjoy.

Are there any health precautions to take when visiting hot springs?

While hot springs are generally safe, it’s essential to be aware of potential health risks. Some hot springs have high mineral content, which can irritate sensitive skin or eyes. Avoid hot springs if you have open wounds or skin infections. Also, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol when soaking in hot springs.

What’s the etiquette at hot springs in Utah?

Observing proper hot spring etiquette is crucial. Always follow posted rules and guidelines, such as bathing suit requirements, no alcohol policies, and leave-no-trace principles. Respect the environment and other visitors by keeping noise levels to a minimum and cleaning up after yourself.

Are these hot springs wheelchair-accessible?

Accessibility varies from one hot spring to another. Some may have wheelchair-accessible facilities, while others may not be suitable for those with mobility challenges. Check with the specific hot spring to determine its accessibility features.

Do I need to make reservations in advance?

While some hot springs require reservations, many are open on a first-come, first-served basis. To secure your spot, especially during peak seasons or for accommodations, it’s advisable to make reservations ahead of time.

Can I bring my pet to the hot springs?

Pet policies differ among hot springs. Some are pet-friendly, while others do not allow animals. If you plan to bring your pet, check the specific rules of the hot spring to ensure you comply with their policies.

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