Review of Chickasaw National Recreation Area

The Chickasaw National Recreation Area is located near Sulphur, Oklahoma Between Interstate 35 and State Highway 177, South of Highway 7. We camped in Section C of the Buckhorn Campground located on the South Eastern end of the Lake of the Arbuckles. This 10,000 acre recreation area was established by the US government in 1902 with the cooperation of the Chickasaw Nation. Improvements were made by the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps program.


We were aching for a long-weekend trip after three long weeks at home in Dallas. Chickasaw is only a couple of hours from our RV storage site and seemed like a perfect location for a four-day trip. We visited Chickasaw in March so the vegetation was in winter mode and not particularly appealing. Still, this is an expansive and beautiful park. Wild life is in abundance. In fact the park rangers warned us not to leave out anything  totable by a raccoon because it certainly would be! Chickasaw offers boating, fishing, canoeing as well as hiking and biking trails. Campgrounds are plentiful for tent, trailer or motor home camping.



  • Camping spaces are paved and well kept. All are lined by pavers and the picnic table and fire ring area are level. There is also a place for additional tent campers on most RV spots.
  • Park roads are paved with smooth asphalt and hilly. If you are a cyclist you’ll like the undulating terrain.
  • The campground hosts are extremely friendly and helpful. We had a wonderful and informative conversation with our host who stopped by right after we arrived. She and her husband are national park hosts and travel the country doing just that. They have been full-time RVers for 13 years.
  • Our area was very peaceful and quiet during our visit. That is a nice change from some of the places we’ve camped. I was able to get in a lot of writing and Tempo spent most of her time outside making her custom jewelry and enjoying the fresh country air.
  • Close proximity to Sulphur, Oklahoma. If you forgot or ran our of anything resupply is just a short drive away.


Grin and Bear It

  • Campground roads are very tight. Big rigs and large fifth-wheels have a difficult time navigating the narrow roads and sharp, tree-lined curves.
  • RV pads are all sloped away from the road. This makes leveling a motor home difficult. My rig’s nose was six inches off of the ground while the levelers almost lifted the rear wheels off of the ground. I had to make some manual adjustments to keep this from happening.
  • The closest (and only) hiking trail was too far away from the campground to be of use. To get there would require walking on a county road with no shoulder. Dangerous! We ended up walking around the various camping loops. Not overly inspiring.
  • The water pressure was very poor registering “low” on my water pressure meter. This seems to be a recurring theme in state and national parks. Showering and washing dishes is difficult as low pressure makes it harder to rinse off soap.
  • While the campsite did have 50 amp connection and water, sewer was not available. Sharing one dump station with full campgrounds on a holiday weekend is a no-go for us. We ended up hauling out full black and grey tanks and finding a dump station on the way home. I missed having my long showers.

Our goal was to get away from the loud and crazy city for the long Easter weekend. Chickasaw National Recreation Area was the perfect cure for what ailed us. We will likely return for a long weekend stay but I don’t think this is a destination vacation spot for us.

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Hi, I'm Gonzo (call sign "Ironman"). I like to think of myself as an ordinary guy making the "next thing" happen now. I live and work in Texas with my wife, call sign "Tempo" and our fur babies AussieOne, Red and Griz (call signs of course). Together we make up a merry band of travelers wandering in search of extraordinary experiences, good wine and the occasional craft beer. Thank you for your interest in our blog! Cheers!

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