With water half as salty as the ocean, Great Salt Plains Lake is an endless lake of saltwater beauty and home to many distinct migratory birds. It makes for a perfectly relaxing camping destination. 

Located in Great Salt Plains State Park in western Oklahoma, Great Salt Plains Lake provides ample camping opportunities while also being a very scenic location with kayaking, fishing, and bird watching activities. It is also a great place to stay at if you are traveling to the salt flats or Alabaster Caverns nearby.

There are two campgrounds at Great Salt Plains Lake. One is the River Road campground, which sits right against the bluffs and the dam and offers 36 RV sites. The other campground is Sandy Beach campground, which continues on Highway 38 taking a left outside of the state park entrance. Entering in the first entrance of Sandy Beach campground is where all 27 RV sites are, include the boat ramp, and swimming beach area. If you continue west through the campground on the road through the little town of Nescutanga, you will reach the primitive tent sites bordering all along Great Salt Plains Lake. You can also reach the primitive tent sites by going through Nescutanga and taking the second Sandy Beach campground entrance right before Highway 38 swings back north. We stayed in primitive site #18 (which also can be combined with site #17) and it sits right on the lake shore with extraordinary views. Each primitive tent site offers a picnic table, lamp pole, and grill. There are restrooms located within the campgrounds. RV sites with electricity are $20 per night, while primitive sites are $12 per night.

It is highly recommended to take the chance of camping at Great Salt Plains Lake in the near future, as it is expected to be non-existent within some years. Its shallow waters of less than 4 feet and silt deposits are causing it to dry up faster than other lakes. The 2011 drought also wiped out most of the fish in the lake. Even though the lake is restocked with fish on a regular basis, the fact that this has happened to the lake draws awareness that something needs to be done to bring more water into the lake. However, laws require that other parties other than the federal government assume the responsibility of making that happen, which is very unlikely. Without necessary funding and the continuing threat of dangerously hot summers, the lake may dry up and become unlivable for fish and the distinct migratory birds that rely on that food may leave elsewhere as well. Great Salt Plains Lake is quite a gem, so make the trip out to it and experience it as soon as you are able to!

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Footprint/tarp for tent
  • Camping cookware
  • Charcoal (for grill, no fire pits)
  • Food
  • Storage for food
  • Water
  • Camping blanket/sleeping bag
  • Daypack
  • Layers of clothing
  • Hiking shoes
  • Flash lights/camping lanterns
  • Hammock
  • Camera
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Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Remote Getaway

Very nice place to camp, swim, and escape! Sandy Beach campsite is the best place to stay! Water is only 4 feet deep across the whole lake!

Website

I've searched everywhere on the web for Sandy Beach campground and am not finding it. Where did you go to reserve your camp site?

Car camping

Driving across the country from Utah to Virginia we needed a place to camp after leaving Denver and an 9hr drive. $14 easy to find even in the dark. We set up tents on #16 down by the beach. Bugs were bad even with the strong breeze coming off the water. Campfires in designated spots only according to the Rangers. Didn't hang out long but it was a good spot to crash for the night.


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