Where is Robber’s Cave State Park
Located in the scenic woodlands surrounding the Sans Bois Mountains, Robber’s Cave State Park resides entirely within the state of Oklahoma. The park contains a hiking trail system, a campground, three lakes, sandstone climbing and rappelling areas, and a few mountain biking trails. The closest city to Robber’s Cave State Park is Wilburton in Latimer County. Robber’s Cave State Park is located 196 miles and about a three-hour drive north of Dallas, Texas, 157 miles and about a two-and-a-half-hour drive east of Oklahoma City, and 124 miles and about a two-hour drive south of Tulsa. The state park also resides near several other outdoor recreation areas. These areas include Talimena State Park, the Atoka Wildlife Management Area, and Hickory Point Recreation Area.
How Large is Robber’s Cave State Park
Robber’s Cave State Park and its wildlife management area covers over 8,000 acres. The land’s geography mainly consists of scenic woodlands, rolling hills, and several streams, creeks, and lakes. The three lakes found within Robber’s Cave US State Park are Lake Carlton, Lake Wayne Wallace, and Coon Creek Lake. These three lakes were established by the dams built on tributaries of the Poteau River, and cover a combined area of over 189 acres. In addition to the array of campsites available in Robber’s Cave State Park, the park also contains 23 cabins and 20 rooms in the Belle Starr View Lodge.
Robber’s Cave State Park Weather
The weather at Robber’s Cave State Park changes frequently throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures in the park average between 65 and 100 degrees fahrenheit. In winter, these temperatures cool considerably and average between 25 and 50 degrees fahrenheit. The warmest temperatures of the year arrive at the park in June, July, and August, and the coldest temperatures find the park in December and January. On average, Robber’s Cave State Park receives around 70 days of rain per year. These 70 days of rain accumulate to a yearly average of around 40 inches. Robber’s Cave State Park also experiences snowfall normally every year. Snowfall in the park normally occurs in December, January, and February and averages around 5 inches per year.
When did Robber’s Cave Become a State Park
Robber’s Cave State Park was originally established in 1929. The park’s original name was Latimer State Park. Latimer State Park was renamed Robber’s Cave State Park in 1932. The park’s name draws upon the area’s history as a hideout for notable bandits and wanted outlaws. Jesse James, Belle Starr, the Dalton Gang, the Youngers, and the Rufus Buck Gang hid out in the area occasionally. Before European influence, the Caddo and Osage tribes inhabited the area. The park’s facilities and trails were built and renovated over the years by the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, the Civilian Conservation Corps and several volunteer organizations. In 1987, the park hosted the first ever annual Robber’s Cave Festival and in 1988 the first ever Robbers Cave Bluegrass Festival.
Things to do in Robber’s Cave State Park
Robber’s Cave State Park offers visitors the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities and outdoor experiences. Our State Park Visitors Guides lists the most notable activities and adventures available in Robber’s Cave State Park below:
Explore the Visitor Center
The visitor center at Robber’s Cave State Park is the perfect place for first time visitors to start their park adventure. The center contains several educational exhibits and interactive displays that discuss the park’s history, ecology, geography, geology, and cultural significance. Park staff working in the visitor center will also be able to supply visitors with park maps, answers to specific questions, and more specific information relating to the park and features it contains.
Join an Interpretive Program
Visitors looking to learn more about Robber’s Cave State Park should look to join one of the several interpretive programs offered at the park. These programs are led by knowledgeable park staff and normally discuss topics related to the park’s history, ecology, geography, geology, and more. A schedule of these interpretive programs can normally be found in the park’s visitor center or online on the park’s website.
Hike the Cattail Pond Trail
Robber’s Cave State Park contains several trails visitors can enjoy during their trip to the park. The Cattail Pond Trail is about a 2.8-mile loop that leads visitors to Cattail Pond. The trail traverses several distinct ecosystems including a stream found in the park that hosts a variety of microscopic species and other wildlife. The trail is rated at moderate because of its length. However, most of the trail is generally level and perfect for the whole family.
Fishing on Lake Carlton
Angler’s visiting Robber’s Cave State Park will want to bring along all of their freshwater fishing equipment to the park. Lake Carlton, the largest of the park’s three lakes, offers acres of underwater habitat teeming with largemouth bass, catfish, and an array of panfish. All visitors looking to fish within the park should obtain an Oklahoma state fishing license prior to casting a line anywhere in the park. All Oklahoma fishing regulations also apply.
Play a Round of Golf
Robber’s Cave State Park contains both a disc golf course and an 18-hole mini golf course. Golf clubs and discs can be rented from the park. The courses are free to use by any visitor who has already paid the park’s entrance fee.
Robber’s Cave State Park contains a variety of wildlife species that call the park home. Most of these species occupy the park’s woodlands. However, the park also hosts flocks of songbirds and other avian species that either migrate through or reside in the park for the entire year. Commonly spotted species in the park include white-tailed deer, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, wild turkeys, and many others.
Camping in Robber’s Cave State Park
The campground at Robber’s Cave State Park contains camping sites complete with electric and water hookups, and 23 cabins. These cabins are equipped with one to two bedrooms, central heat and air conditioning, and full kitchens and bathrooms. Visitors looking to stay in one of the park’s campsites or cabins can make reservations online through the park’s website and reservation portal.
When to Visit Robber’s Cave State Park
Robber’s Cave State Park is open year-round. However, the park sees the majority of its visitation during the summer season. The season brings warm temperatures and longer days that allow visitors to participate in a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The wildlife found in the park is generally more active during the spring season. However, the fall is also a great time to spot wildlife throughout the park, and the season allows visitors to experience the changing foliage of the area. Winter is still a great time to visit the park. Crowds are normally at a minimum.
Must Have Items to Bring to Robber’s Cave State Park
A trip to Robber’s Cave State Park requires packing and planning. List of Parks advises that a trip to the park will be best enjoyed if the following items are kept in mind while packing:
Water & High Energy Snacks
Water and high energy snacks are essential for every trip outdoors. Hikers and other visitors expecting to spend extended periods of time in the sun should bring additional supplies of water. Snacks such as beef jerky, protein bars, trail mix, and dried fruit are best.
Sturdy Hiking Boots
A sturdy pair of hiking boots will allow every visitor to traverse the various trails found in Robber’s Cave State Park. Avid hikers or those who plan to hike frequently in the future should invest in a lightweight and waterproof pair of hiking boots for added protection and comfort.
Angler’s visiting Robber’s Cave State Park will want to bring their rod, reel, and freshwater fishing tackle to the park. All anglers will also want to obtain an Oklahoma state fishing license prior to casting a line in the park. These licenses can be obtained online through the states recreational license portal or from local issuing establishments.
Remembering all of the necessary equipment needed for your camping trip can be tough and time consuming. However, one method that can help is to create and utilize a hiking checklist. These checklists are very helpful and can be checked once while packing and again before leaving your driveway.
Visitors looking to experience and learn more about the wildlife found in Robber’s Cave State Park may want to purchase a wildlife field guide to bring along with them to the park. These field guides normally contain color photos and lengthy descriptions that make identification easy.
Where to Stay in Robber’s Cave State Park
Visitors looking to stay within Robber’s Cave State Park should first decide between reserving a spot in the park’s cabins, campground, or lodge. Once decided, visitors can make reservations for all three of these locations online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay at a hotel near the park can first search for options in Wilburton and other surrounding cities. However, additional and more diverse options await visitors in Tulsa or Oklahoma City.
Food Near Robber’s Cave State Park
The closest food to Robber’s Cave State Park is located in Wilburton and the surrounding area. Visitors looking for something specific or a larger culinary scene should make the drive to either Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or Dallas, Texas. Tulsa is about a two-hour drive away from the park, Oklahoma City is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive, and Dallas, Texas is three hours away from the park.
Airports Near Robber’s Cave State Park
The closest international airport to Robber’s Cave State Park is located in Tulsa. The Tulsa International Airport is located 122 miles and about a two-hour drive away from the park. The next closest international airport to Robber’s Cave State Park is located three hours away in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is 197 miles away from Robber’s Cave State Park.