Great Salt Plains State Park is one of Oklahoma's most unique state parks. The barren landscape of the nearby Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of salt leftover from an ocean that covered Oklahoma in prehistoric times, and the saltwater lake in the park, Great Salt Plains Lake, is about half as salty as the ocean.
Visitors can take their pick of activities in the park, such as swimming in Great Salt Plains Lake or trekking along bike trails. Equestrians can bring their horses to ride designated trails, and there are nature trails to enjoy while taking in the scenery. Fishing at the lake is fun for the entire family, whether in a boat or onshore. Varieties of fish such as catfish, saugeye, sand bass and hybrid striper can be found in these salty, shallow waters. 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.
The selenite crystal dig area is located southwest of the lake in the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, and access roads are available six miles west of Jet or three miles south of Cherokee. The crystal digging area is open from April 1 to October 15 from sunrise to sunset. Located just under the surface of the salt plains, these crystals usually form into an hourglass shape. Oklahoma is the only place in the world where the hourglass-shaped selenite crystal can be found. While searching for crystals, look for some of the over 300 species of protected birds that live in and can be seen in the refuge.
Enjoy a multi-day stay at Great Salt Plains State Park in one of the renovated, eco-friendly cabins. Each cabin has its own bed, refrigerator and stove, among other amenities. Pets are allowed in select units for a small nightly fee. Also, overnight camping is available in an RV or tent site. One full hookup site is available. Online reservations must be made for all RV and tent campsites. Comfort stations with showers are located near the sites and throughout the park for the convenience of visitors. Great Salt Plains State Park also offers picnic pavilions and outdoor grills.
***NOTICE*** The digging areas at the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge close on October 15. No digging will be allowed on the salt flats until the season opens again in April of 2020. Due to winterization at Great Salt Plains State Park, the Sandy Beach I (RV) and Sandy Beach II (tent) areas will remain open, but the bathrooms will be closed and winterized beginning November 1, 2019. The handicap accessible restroom by the beach will be closed beginning September 1, 2019, and the community center will be closed beginning on November 1, 2019. All facilities will reopen on April 1, 2020. The River Road campground and bathrooms will be available all year.