Best time to travel to Oklahoma

Oklahoma Fall Foliage

Go on a drive through Oklahoma's scenic mountains and valleys

Oklahoma Fall Foliage
Oklahoma Fall Foliage
Oklahoma Fall Foliage
Young white-tailed deer in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, SW Oklahoma

Every fall Oklahoma is dressed in warm golden hues creating stunning displays along its scenic trails and byways. From the Ouachita mountains in the east to the Wichita Mountains in the south, there are dozens of stunning destinations for a leaf peeper. The season of fall foliage in Oklahoma lasts from October to early November.

Eastern Oklahoma

The eastern part of Oklahoma, which borders Arkansas, is undoubtedly the premier fall destination of the region. Take a ride on 54-mi (86-km) Talimena Scenic Drive that stretches across the Ouachita Mountains. Visit the Winding Stair Mountain Recreational Area with numerous trails, campsites, and historical towns. Foliage season peaks in Ouachita National Forest in mid-October and early November with a beautiful display of yellow, orange, and red colors. Robbers Cave State Park is another scenic leaf peeping location along the Arkansas border. The Sans Bois Mountain Range, part of the larger Ouachita chain, provides stunning vistas with picturesque cliffs and creeks. Don't forget to visit the famous Robbers Cave, where Jesse James and Belle Starr would hide from authorities. The last stop on the scenic drive in southeast Oklahoma is Beavers Bend State Park where a mix of pine trees, maples, and oaks create beautiful displays.

Southern and Central Oklahoma

As you move away from the border of Arkansas, there are a few beautiful parks worth visiting. Chickasaw National Recreational Area is famous for its stunning fall foliage. The park has hiking and biking trails as well as camping options. Check out the Lake of the Arbuckles that is a popular destination for anglers, birders, and nature photographers. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Oklahoma. With its vast prairies and abundant wildlife, the park offers great opportunities to any nature enthusiast. The park is home to American bison, Rocky Mountain elk, and white-tailed deer. Every November, the park conducts special 'Fall Foliage Walks' for leaf peepers. Lake Murray State Park surrounds a huge lake near Ardmore, in central Oklahoma. It is the largest state park within the state, containing over 12,500 acres (5,058 ha) of wilderness. Take a walk along the vast shoreline of Lake Murray and enjoy postcard fall views.

Northern Oklahoma

Osage Hills State Park is the best leaf peeping spot near Pawhuska, in northeastern Oklahoma. The park is most beautiful in late October and early November. The area is home to wild turkey and white-tailed deer. Osage Hills State Park, which was once a settlement site of the Osage nation, offers a gateway to the past.

Where to stay

Most state parks in Oklahoma have camping areas and lodging. Robbers Cave State Park offers beautiful vistas at Belle Starr View Lodge. These natural areas also feature various cabins.

Practical info

When is the peak time to see the fall foliage in Oklahoma?

The fall foliage in Oklahoma is best viewed between October and early November when the state explodes with colors of gold, brown and red, creating a breathtaking panoramic view. The autumn season presents an excellent time to experience Oklahoma's natural beauty and soak up the crisp air that accompanies it. Show more

What are some routes considered to be the best for an Oklahoma foliage drive?

You can choose from a plethora of scenic drives to appreciate autumn in Oklahoma. Talimena Scenic Drive, which spans the Ouachita Mountains for 54 miles, highlights the region's unique beauty. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Osage Hills State Park, Robbers Cave State Park, Beavers Bend State Park, and Lake Murray State Park are also popular leaf-peeping locations that offer spectacular fall color vistas. Show more

Are there any other interesting activities to do in Robbers Cave State Park besides gazing at the fall foliage?

Robbers Cave State Park, besides the breathtaking autumn shades, offers a range of other activities to keep visitors entertained. Explore the famous Robbers Cave, which was once a hideaway for outlaws such as Jesse James and Belle Starr. Take a walk in the Sans Bois Mountain Range, considered as one of Oklahoma's most scenic places, featuring rugged cliffs and sparkling streams. Enjoy the beautiful Belle Starr View Lodge, which offers panoramic views of the park. Show more

When is the fall foliage peak season in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge?

November is the best time to witness the colorful wonderland of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, one of the most popular hiking attractions in Oklahoma, but perhaps, providing a stunning foliage experience. The refuge is home to natural wonders such as Rocky Mountain elk, American bison, scenic prairies and white-tailed deer. During November, nature enthusiasts can take the Fall Foliage Walks and admire the stunning colors while enjoying the fantastic wildlife viewing. Show more

What lodging options are there in Oklahoma state parks?

Most of Oklahoma's state parks provide lodging facilities, including various cabins, camping grounds, and campsites. Robbers Cave State Park is famous for the Belle Starr View Lodge, which offers majestic views. Osage Hills State Park provides vacation cabins, numerous trails, and a nature center, while Chickasaw National Recreational Area offers hiking trails along with camping options. Lake Murray State Park, on the other hand, provides abundant shoreline areas to walk along and experience the beauty of the fall season. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen