Photograph the Salt Flats at Great Salt Plains State Park
Rate this Adventure Oklahoma › Crystal Digging Area
Added by Jamie Fleck
With around 11,000 acres of endless white salt embedded hourglass shaped selenite crystals available for digging, the salt flats of Great Salt Plains State Park are an out-of-this world natural wonder to photograph.
Located in western Oklahoma and close to Great Salt Plains Lake, is the salt flats of Great Salt Plains State Park. With nearly 18 square miles of layers of salt that had been deposited from a prehistoric ocean, it is quite an incredible landscape to photograph. There are hundreds of species of birds that are protected in this location and are beautiful for photographs as well. The best time to photograph the salt flats are just before sunset and right after sunrise on the weekdays. Additionally, the area contains countless hourglass selenite crystals. This is the only area in the entire world that allows these crystals to be dug up by the public for free. Be careful when driving through the designated access roads, as the surface is very shallow and muddy. Also, be mindful of areas closed off to the public. These areas are restricted on a rotating basis to ensure that the birds remain protected and that the new selenite crystals receive adequate time to grow.
To access the salt flats of Great Salt Plains State Park, take a left out of the state park entrance on highway 38 and proceed until you reach the junction for Highway 11. Take a left on Highway 11 to head west. At the junction of Highway 8, take a left to head south. 3 miles south of the town of Cherokee, you will see a large sign for the salt flats on your left hand side. You will take a left at that sign on to a 5 mile paved road. The salt flats are accessible April 1 through October 15 each year, sunrise to sunset. There is an observation deck near the parking lot to get an aerial view of the salt flats, and it is open year round.
- Hiking sneakers or shoes that you don't mind getting dirty/muddy
- Clothes that you don't mind getting dirty/muddy
- Polarizer for camera
- Hand shovel and pail if you want to dig for selenite crystals
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