After relocating to Oklahoma City from Northern Virginia earlier this year, there were 2 things that I had to get used to: the intense Oklahoma heat and the lack of tall trees. Where Northern Virginia has a complex terrain filled with forests and mountains, Central Oklahoma does not. Central Oklahoma is a mostly flat, green state of wide open spaces and tons of short, beautiful trees. While Oklahoma City’s topography is certainly stunning, forests are rare in the expansive city. As someone who prefers the comfort and dark seclusion of tall trees, I am so grateful for Oklahoma’s Red Rock Canyon.
Red Rock Canyon is a gorgeous Oklahoma state park and excellent vacation destination for nature and history enthusiasts. The stunning Oklahoma canyon was once a stop on the infamous California Trail. Visitors with a keen eye can see traces of the historic Conestoga wagon trails along the canyon ridges. The state park is a true escape: a beautiful forested oasis within Oklahoma. Red Rock’s canyon walls and towering trees offer a seclusion that can’t be found in most of central Oklahoma.
Red Rock Canyon is an excellent stop for climbers, campers, hikers and explorers. Red Rock offers a number of campsites deep within the canyon. In addition to camping, the state park has picnic tables, nature trails, convenient toilets, a fishing pond and some of the best playground equipment. The canyon walls offer plenty of prime climbing and rappelling spots. The nature trails are pretty low key and suitable for folks of all ages, from our 2 year old daughter to her grandparents. The park also has a swimming pool and bathhouse that’s open during the summer, along with a food concession.
What to take to Red Rock Canyon?
Each campsite at Red Rock Canyon has an adjoining water pump that visitors are free to use. There are no bottles, however, so you must provide your own container. The state park also has a couple of conveniently located bathrooms, all along the canyon. I don’t recall having seen any soap, so sanitizer might be another item worth packing. Red Rock Canyon State Park is located in Hinton, Oklahoma, about 60 miles west of Oklahoma City. If you choose not to pack a lunch, Hinton has a large gas station a few miles up from the canyon’s entrance where you can purchase hot food and plenty more.
When to go to Red Rock Canyon?
While Red Rock Canyon State Park would certainly make an excellent summer vacation destination, Red Rock is also a great fall vacation stop. The stunning Oklahoma fall foliage and cooler temperatures make for a wonderful Oklahoma escape.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
Hwy 281 S
Hinton, OK 73047