Summer Staycations: Families Can Walk In The Footsteps Of Outlaws At Robbers Cave State Park

Monday, June 29th 2020, 4:58 pm
By: Craig Day


In the rugged hills of the San Bois Mountains, you'll find a giant outdoor playground -- one that will at one time or another have you climbing, crawling or clinging to giant sandstone boulders.

"There's a lot to see, and I didn't know this was here," said visitor Keeley Yen.

The craggy and creviced hills and cliffs at Robbers Cave State Park make for a fun obstacle course. Instead of toys, Mark and Trisha Von Lanken gave their grandson Hayden a hand-drawn adventure map for his birthday, so he can make memories with his family.

"Absolutely come. Climb on the rocks. Get outside. It's very, very fun. You'll have a good time," Trisha said.

Lots of people, not just kids, enjoy the challenge of going over, around or through the rugged terrain.

"I encourage everyone to get out and see what's around you, especially with nature," Yen said.

This is the fifth Oklahoma State Park she's visited in a week. Whether it's by trail, or by the seat of your pants, the goal is to get to the spot where the park gets its name.

"Oklahoma has such an interesting history with all types of people," visitor Liz Huckleby said.

After the Civil War, fugitives likes Jesse James, Belle Starr and the Dalton Gang, would hide out in this part of Indian Territory. Robbers Cave was a secluded hideout because the outlaws could stand on the bluffs and look out for miles to see if the law was coming.

Robbers Cave also has 90 miles of horseback riding trails. You can get a private guided tour, or bring your own horses.

"We love the horses. We love the people coming out and experiencing good horses, safe horses," said Glen Cook with Robbers Cave Stables.

It's a great ride through the tall pines.

"The smiles are what I look forward to, just having people have a good time. Maybe they're afraid when they get on, but by the time they get back they want to go again," Cook said.

Robbers Cave also has an equestrian campground, along with regular tent and RV sites, even yurts. You can upgrade to a room at the lodge. There are also 26, one- or two-bedroom cabins with scenic views, three small lakes with swimming areas, a pool, mini-golf, and other activities for visitors.

"What's been amazing lately is all the first-time visitors we've had that have never been here," said park manager Loran Mayes. "They're really taken aback by what is available and how beautiful it is."

Whether it's the beautiful views, climbing or the history and the horses, there's something for everyone at Robbers Cave State Park.

"I can't believe this is Oklahoma, right? That's what we get a lot. It's pretty amazing," Mayes said.

An amazing place for a great getaway, to get back to nature, and where not getting good cell service is a blessing.


Robbers Cave State Park:


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