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Aerial view of the boat docks during fall at Tenkiller State Park

Affectionately known as ‘Heaven in the hills’, Tenkiller State Park is a fantastic place to get away from it all.

Boasting one of the most beautiful lakes in the state, the park is a veritable playground for those who enjoy outdoor recreational pursuits that put you right in the heart of nature.

Under a 2 hour drive from Tulsa, it is a popular spot for camping, with no less than 10 campgrounds onsite. This family and pet friendly park has something for everyone.

From fishing and scuba diving to hiking and picnicking, boredom is not an option. The only thing you have to worry about at this Oklahoma state park is which of these activities you are going to do first!

Driving to Tenkiller State Park

The park is located within the heart of the Cookson Hills, which is situated on the southeast side of the lake.

When driving there on the 1-40 from the east, you should aim to take exit 297 towards Route 82.

While many GPS systems will tell you to take one of the exits before this, don’t be tempted to do so if you are in an RV. The road is narrow and curvy, and quite difficult to negotiate in those types of vehicles.


For those who want to reconnect, or lose themselves in nature, Tenkiller State Park is the perfect place to do just that.

Here are just some of the activities you can enjoy there.

Boating at Tenkiller State Park

Considered by many to be one of Oklahoma’s prettiest bodies of water, Lake Tenkiller is a very popular destination for activities like kayaking, canoeing and SUP.

If you forget to bring this equipment with you, the Pine Cove Marina has outlets where you can hire them out, as well as a pontoon or ski boat.

There are also 361 boat slips within the marina where you can also dock your boat, assuming you brought it with you.

Fishing at Tenkiller State Park

Fishing is a popular year-round activity at Lake Tenkiller, with people from all over Oklahoma and the USA coming to the park to cast a line.

If you go to the park specifically to fish be sure you have a valid Oklahoma State Fishing Licence. However, if you do, you can expect to catch plenty of walleye, brown and rainbow trout, catfish, bream, crappie and several types of bass.

Scuba Diving at Tenkiller State Park

One of the best water based activities at the park is scuba diving!

With over 130 miles of shoreline and a professional scuba diving school onsite, you won’t want to miss the opportunities available to explore below the water.

Great for beginners, as well as more advanced swimmers, you’ll be able to check out a selection of plane fuselage, sunken boats and even a helicopter that has submerged in Lake Tenkiller. As well of course as see the vibrant marine life that now calls them home.

Hiking and biking at Tenkiller State Park

For those who enjoy hiking and biking, the park has a couple of multi-use trails as well as a nature trail, for you to enjoy.

The most popular trail is the Tenkiller Multi-Use Trail, which is a paved 1.5 mile trail that is handicap accessible. It affords fabulous views of the park’s surroundings, so be sure to take your camera with you when you attempt it.

Birding at Tenkiller State Park

The park, and especially its lake, is a haven for those who enjoy birdwatching. With plenty of species takin residency there, including waterfowl and songbirds.

If you are lucky, you might even spot bald eagles in the winter.

Driftwood Nature Center at Tenkiller State Park

If you are big into nature, you’ll definitely want to check out the park’s nature center.

The perfect place to visit on a rainy day, or when the heat of the sun gets a bit too strong, it showcases the park’s rich and diverse ecosystem through a range of fascinating naturalist programs and exhibits.

The park has a full time naturalist on site that will be able to take you on nature walks and hayrides, as well as stargazing and eagle tours. The kids will enjoy doing various arts and craft activities too.

Pets at Tenkiller State Park

Pets are welcome at the park, so you can feel free to bring your dog along. However, some restrictions may apply. So it is worth contacting the main head office to ascertain what they might be.

Camping at Tenkiller State Park

With no less than 10 campgrounds within the park you’ll not want for accommodation options whilst at Tenkiller State Park.

You’ll find plenty of primitive sites that are more suited to tents at the Eagle Point, Bluff View and Hickory Flats campgrounds. As well as day use areas at Goose Neck Bend North and South and Fisherman’s Point.

In addition, the Fox Squirrel and Shady Grove campgrounds both offer several RV sites that come with full hookups for water, 50-amp electricity and sewer. Whilst the Flying Squirrel and Blue Jay Knob campgrounds offer sites with 30-amp electric and water hookups.

To support these RV and tent campgrounds, the park also has 38 cabins available to those who are seeking a bit more in the way of comfort.

Composed of one, two and three bedrooms, these cabins are equipped with heating and air-conditioning systems, full kitchens, satellite TV and provided linen.

Amenities at Tenkiller State Park

Throughout the park you will find seven comfort stations. All of which come with hot showers and flush toilets.

There are also a couple of waste dump stations, two children’s playgrounds, a volleyball court, basketball court, and a swimming pool which is open seasonally too.

Also open seasonally is a cafe onsite, which serves up all the old favorites like cheeseburgers, steaks, and their signature tower of onion rings.

Park Location

Tenkiller State Park
448159 E 979 Rd
Vian, OK 74962
Phone: 918.489.5641




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Tenkiller State Park: