The Best Swimming Holes In Oklahoma
We've talked a little this year about the lakes around Oklahoma and why most of them look like chocolate milk from time to time. If you don't remember, it's because 99.9% of all lakes in Oklahoma were man made, so when it rains, it was washes dirt into those bodies of water. Still, there are a few places you can go to find azure blue crystal clear waters perfect for a cool to cold dip. Here are the few I know off the top of my head.
Depending on how you drive, it's somewhere between an hour and a half to two hours drive to Sulpher where you'll find one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the Sooner State, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area - AKA - Oklahoma's amazing national park. As you drive through the campsites that looks like something out of a Yellowstone documentary, you'll see the prettiest teal blue spring creek flowing along the roadway. As you get into the depths of the camp grounds, there's a huge swimming hole called Little Niagara. There's a little waterfall there, rocks to jump off of, and crystal clear water that's usually on the cold refreshing side because it flows out of the springs there. Pure, clean, clear, beautiful water. If you've never been, take a day and go explore it. It's definitely worth the trip.
I don't know one person in Oklahoma that doesn't know about Turner Falls. If Little Niagara is the beautiful place anyone is welcome, Turner Falls is another pretty place where those who want to pay to swim can do so. With that added cost comes additional amenities too, so it's not all for nothing.
While I had heard of this swimming hole somewhere in my past, the Disney+ series Loki put Salina, Oklahoma on the map once again, and everyone has rediscovered Blue Hole Park. A massive cool, clear water swimming hole complete with amenities like a swimming and tanning beach, food on site, and enough room for everyone. There is a cost, but it's extremely reasonable... $10 per car. Doesn't matter if you go alone or pile in ten friends, it's still just $10.
If you're not afraid of a drive, Flint Creek is regarded as one of - if not THE best swimming hole in Oklahoma. Clear cool water, cliff jumping, tons of fun... but it's way out there. Like, five or six hours from Lawton out there along the Arkansas border East of Tulsa. Then again, how far will you go for some R&R?
Since the 1970's, if you were a "lake" family in the state of Oklahoma, Lake Tenkiller has been the resort destination to get on the water. Extremely clear water, trophy level fishing, tons of amenities and fun for the entire family. Sporting plenty of places to stay on just about any budget, boat and watersports rentals are plenty and available, Tenkiller is THE summer destination in Oklahoma. It's not as far as Flint Creek, but you'll be on the road for a few hours so it's best to go for a few days instead of trying to squeeze it into a day trip.