This is how we ran into the best free camping in Oklahoma. The day started with a spontaneous adventure to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge just outside of Lawton, Oklahoma. The original plan was to drive into the refuge and camp at the Doris Campground. This happens to be the only campground in the entire refuge and they operate on a first come first serve basis.
Of course, as soon as we pull up the gate guard is like, “Um, we may not have any sites. Here is a map go drive around and check.” Mind you, it is already 4:30 in the afternoon and the sun sets around 5:30 this time of year. So with the daylight time drifting away we drive around the campground to check for open spots. No luck.
Thoroughly let down and running out of time, I turn to Google Maps to search for RV parks near the refuge. After I had placed a few calls without any help, I was getting pretty heated. Then, like a miracle from God, a man answered and said his RV park was only for long term use but, “If you drive a hundred yards past my park you will see camping pavilions on the left next to Lake Lawtonka.” I asked if it was free and he assured me it was.
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.”
We were so deep in the refuge at this point I was certain we would not make the 30 minute drive before sunset. However we sped as fast as we could towards the refuge exit. With maybe fifteen minutes to spare we pulled up towards the lake and sure enough there it was. A perfect selection of over 20 sites. All completely free.
We set up camp, started a fire, and cooked up some dinner. All in perfect timing to watch the sunset over Mount Scott on the other side of the lake. It was serene, and more than we could of ever asked for. This best free camping site even had full 30 Amp RV electric and 20 Amp electric too. There are showers and a restroom located on site, although it was on the opposite end of our spot.
All in all this was an amazing spot for quiet, beautiful, free camping in Oklahoma. If you know of any other great free campsites please comment below and let us know.
- Google Map Data for this location
- click here for our rock climbing adventure at the Wichita Wildlife Refuge
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