The Sooner State is a wonderful state for stargazing if you are looking for a dark sky campground. If you would like to see why Oklahoma is better than just “OK” for gazing up at the stars, keep reading.
On this page, you’ll find a list of all the state parks in Oklahoma, based on both Bortle level classifications for finding dark skies and also roughly how obstructed the campgrounds are with trees for stargazing and astrophotography. The Oklahoma State Park Guide to Stargazing is a resource we created and are happy to share with you to use when you are planning your camping trips. It has helped us prioritize certain campgrounds easier first for our trips, and we hope it helps you as well. If you are a fan of enjoying dark skies and the amazing celestial bodies above, this might be the right guide for you!
Where Can I See the Stars in Oklahoma?
If you want to see dark skies in Oklahoma, we recommend heading west in the state. Looking at a dark sky map, you’ll see there is one very dark Bortle 1 pocket located in the southeast corner of the state near the town of Pickens. The northwestern part of Oklahoma is also a fantastic place to stargaze with even more Bortle 1 and 2 skies with minimal light pollution. You definitely can’t go wrong looking at the stars while visiting the Oklahoma panhandle.
The major areas to avoid in Oklahoma if you plan to really enjoy stargazing are the cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Like most populated places, once you move away from the bright lights, you’ll find better areas to enjoy the stars. There are plenty of relatively dark Bortle 4 and lower spots a short drive away from these cities. Also, three other small pockets of light pollution include Enid and Stillwater in the northern part of the state as well as Lawton in the southwest. As long as you find a spot away from these towns, you should be happy with the dark night sky.
Oklahoma has plenty of dark state parks to choose from throughout the state. Several are classified as Bortle 3 and darker, so grab a tent and set up for some great stargazing. If you plan to RV, you’ll be happy to know that Oklahoma is absolutely loaded with state parks with electric hookups so you can plan a more comfortable trip. Make sure to check with the park staff for astronomy opportunities at individual locations throughout the park system.
Oklahoma is always on our annual stargazing trip list. We recommend you check it out too!
Oklahoma State Parks Dark Sky Guide
If you love to camp specifically to enjoy the night sky, we have shared our personal camping spreadsheet to help you quickly find the best campground to see the stars.
Listed below the Google Sheet, we share what each categories represents.
If you are on a mobile device, slide the graph left or right to see more data.
Name: This is the name of the state park.
Region: This is the general region of the state where the park is located.
Dark Sky: This is the approximate Bortle level. Read this article first if you aren’t sure what we mean. Typically avoid red, orange, and yellow for the best stargazing.
Obstruction: How many trees will block your view of the sky? “Open” gives you the best chance of having a clear view at almost all campsites. “Partial” means there are some sites with clear views and some without. “Obstructed” means most campsites have a blocked view of the sky.
Special Notes: Since we mainly camp in an RV, this column of the spreadsheet helps you see if it is a state park that only offers tent camping or if there is no camping. We have also used a strikethrough to cross out the parks currently where no camping is allowed.
About the Authors
We are avid stargazers Jason and Alison Takacs also known as “Roadtrippin’ with Takacs”. With our two boys Preston and Grayson, we seek out some of the darkest skies in the country while also going on many incredible hiking and other outdoor adventures. As part-time RVers, we try to see as much of this amazing world as possible in our spare time and hope you will join us through this blog and other forms of social media as we explore the night sky and other natural wonders as hardcore astrotourists.