15 Amazing Waterfalls in Oklahoma

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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This Mid-West State of the USA was once a true frontier and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City recognizes the state’s pioneer history.

Oklahoma was the last stop on the ‘’Trail of Tears,’’ which saw 16,000 Cherokees relocated from the East.

Today, 39 tribes and ‘’nations’’ have Oklahoma as their headquarters.

It did not become a state until 1907, and until recently, there were people that still remembered it as a frontier.

The diverse landscape includes plains, lakes, and forests, which attract those wanting to get away from towns and cities to enjoy the natural environment.

That environment includes waterfalls; here are 15 amazing waterfalls in Oklahoma for you to enjoy.

1. Heavener Runestone Falls, Le Flore

Heavener Runestone ParkSource: Steven Bullard / shutterstock
Heavener Runestone Park

Heavener Runestone Park in North East Oklahoma offers a mixture of history and nature.

A huge boulder has carvings that have been identified as from the Viking era – did Columbus really ‘’discover’’ North America? You will get the best view of the falls from their base.

Water pours off a cliff and you can sit with a picnic and enjoy the vista, which includes the Ouachita Mountains.

Can you imagine the Vikings enjoying those same views over a thousand years ago?

2. Little Niagara, Sulphur

Little Niagara, SulphurSource: RaksyBH / shutterstock
Little Niagara, Sulphur

This Chickasaw National Recreation Area has been delighting visitors for decades.

Just 90 minutes from Oklahoma City, it is a realistic day trip.

The surroundings are wonderful, with the freshwater springs a great place to cool off.

Travertine Creek has several cascades along its length Little Niagara is a favorite picnic place for families on the Creek.

It gets its name because of its width rather than its height.

Biking and hiking in the region are popular from early spring onwards, although the park is open all year round.

3. Antelope & Buffalo Springs, Sulphur

Buffalo SpringsSource: Zack Frank / shutterstock
Buffalo Springs

The lovely Antelope and Buffalo Springs Trail will treat you to two waterfalls in Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

It is not much more than a mile to see both waterfalls, and if you stay on the main trail, it is wheelchair-friendly.

Antelope Falls pours out of rock with real power before the water drops into a pond below.

In contrast, Buffalo emerges from a section of woods forming a small stream that heads to Travertine Creek.

It is a great place to sit and relax and hear nothing but nature.

4. Beavers Bend Waterfall, McCurtain County

small waterfall at Beavers Bend state parkSource: Brad Remy / shutterstock
Small Waterfall at Beavers Bend State Park

Head for South East Oklahoma and you will see nature at its best.

The sound of the fast-flowing water of Beavers Bend Waterfall on Mountain Fork River adds to the sounds of nature itself.

Water cascades down boulders at some pace during high season.

The water is cold but you are welcome to swim – it is refreshing on a hot day.

Hiking trails in Beavers Bend are very appealing, with good camping facilities for families.

You can rent a kayak if you want to take to the water, or learn more about the area in a little museum.

5. Presbyterian Falls, McCurtain County

Presbyterian FallsSource: FreeWine / Flickr | CC BY
Presbyterian Falls

Mountain Fork River has long stretches of gentle current running through Beavers Bend State Park, but on the lower stretches, there are numerous cascades, rapids, and the Presbyterian Falls.

Canoeists and kayakers can navigate most of its length and will pass some stunning scenery as they glide along.

The best time to visit and attempt to navigate the Presbyterian Falls is spring and fall.

Camping facilities are good and cabin rentals have proved to be very popular for those wanting a break for a few days.

6. Bricktown Falls, Oklahoma City

Bricktown Falls, Oklahoma CitySource: TLRaney / shutterstock
Bricktown Falls, Oklahoma City

Bricktown is a district of Oklahoma City and its canal attracts tourists every year.

The waters are calm but many water taxi passengers come to check out the manmade Bricktown Falls that run alongside.

Bricktown is an ongoing development project aimed at attracting tourists to the former site of William Cody’s Wild West Show.

The falls play a central role in attracting tourists.

If you are considering a tour of Oklahoma’s waterfalls, this is an excellent starting point.

7. Medicine Creek, Lawton

Medicine CreekSource: Danae Abreu / shutterstock
Medicine Creek

The resort of Medicine Park in SW Oklahoma developed as a resort town almost a century ago and families still head here in numbers.

The attraction of the creek is obvious, with its waterfall within the town – much wider than it is high.

The nearby Wichita Mountains and Lake Lawtonka add to the appeal of the region.

Several cascades are found locally and swimming in the cool waters on a hot, sunny day is a delight.

Several bridges cross the creek, providing great photo opportunities.

8. Turner Falls, Arbuckle Mountains

Turner Falls, Arbuckle MountainsSource: Newtonian / shutterstock
Turner Falls, Arbuckle Mountains

One of the tallest waterfalls in Oklahoma is Turner Falls in the park of the same name near Davis.

A 77-foot cascade of water drops into a natural pool below, just inviting you to swim.

The falls are a famous landmark in Oklahoma and families frequent them on a regular basis – partly because they are so accessible.

You can enjoy a picnic and swim on a day trip, but camping is also popular – whether in a tent or RV. The Arbuckle Mountains are a great place to hike, explore caves and simply enjoy the natural environment.

9. Natural Falls, West Siloam Springs

Natural Falls, West Siloam Springs, OklahomaSource: Patrick Horton / shutterstock
Natural Falls, West Siloam Springs

Natural Falls matches Turner Falls in height and are remembered partly because of the 1974 film ‘’Where the Red Fern Grows.’’

However, its fame is mostly because the whole setting of Natural Falls State Park is simply stunning.

Cascades of crystal water gush through rocks before hurtling off cliffs in the Ozark Highlands close to the border with Arkansas.

Swimming is not allowed directly below the falls but you can take a dip nearby.

The best observation place is the platform at the base, where fishermen also try their luck – they must release their catch, incidentally.

10. Cache Creek, Wichita Mountains

Cache Creek, Wichita MountainsSource: Richard G Smith / shutterstock
Cache Creek, Wichita Mountains

Fast-flowing water creates lovely falls traveling through a gorge – Forty-Foot Hole.

The canyon has high mountains either side and hikers regard this as paradise.

It wasn’t paradise a few years ago when heavy rains caused the creek to flood, endangering people and their belongings.

Those taking the Bison Trail will not only see fast-flowing water, but there is a chance to encounter prairie dogs, longhorn cattle, elk and even bison.

Imagine that when you are out for a picnic.

11. Post Oak Falls, Wichita Mountains

Post Oak Falls, Wichita MountainsSource: Tallmaple / shutterstock
Post Oak Falls, Wichita Mountains

While these falls are not particularly high, the hike in Charon’s Garden to reach them means that they are a good spot for families, even though swimming is not allowed.

Look for a trail heading east off the Main Trail and within a minute you are there.

Elk Mountain is a great photograph on the way, and the falls themselves in the midst of a granite region provide a good image.

A small cave can be found just around the corner from the falls.

On a hot day, make sure you have water, sunscreen and bug spray.

12. Bluestem Falls, Pawhuska

Bluestem Falls, PawhuskaSource: Lisa Kirk / Facebook
Bluestem Falls, Pawhuska

Bluestem Falls have been created by the Bluestem Lake Spillway in the prairies of North East Oklahoma.

Waterfalls over shale and sandstone cliffs – a lovely setting well worth a photograph or two.

They remain fairly quiet, so take advantage of that.

There are several tiers and cascades to these falls, which are a surprise to those who do not know about their existence.

The flow varies throughout the year and at full flood, the sight and sound of the water is truly stunning.

13. Spavinaw Area Spillway, Grand Lake

Spavinaw Area Spillway, Grand LakeSource: Grand Lake State Park - Spavinaw area / Facebook
Spavinaw Area Spillway, Grand Lake

The clear blue waters of Grand Lake teem over a ledge to create a stream below, where the shallow water just invites you to cool off.

Trees line the banks of the stream and it is a lovely spot for a family picnic in the shade on a hot day.

Fishermen seek catfish and bass, while hikers find nearby trails to explore.

Grand Lake is a very picturesque park, where tent and RV camping facilities allow you to stay for a few days.

Better still if you have caught some fish for supper earlier in the day.

14. Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Grand Lake

Pensacola DamSource: Svineyard / shutterstock
Pensacola Dam

The Grand Lake is a large expanse of water and the volume that drops over a wide ledge to the pool below is impressive.

The Pensacola Dam is the widest multiple arch dam in the world and the roar of the water is something that you cannot avoid, even if you wanted to.

This region is well developed for tourism, with cabins and marinas proving popular.

Water sports abound with jet skiing, boating and fishing activities that take place at weekends and holiday times.

15. Sand Creek Falls, Bartlesville

Sand Creek FallsSource: mtneer_man / Flickr | CC BY-ND
Sand Creek Falls

These falls in Osage Hills State Park may not be large but they are most certainly scenic.

The forests look at their best in fall, when the leaves are a multitude of colors.

With the rains of the fall returning, Sand Creek Falls should always be flowing when you visit.

This is a popular spot for fishing and camping so the falls get a reasonable number of tourists each year.

They may not go specifically to see the cascades, but once there, they are all impressed by what they see.

15 Amazing Waterfalls in Oklahoma:

  • Heavener Runestone Falls, Le Flore
  • Little Niagara, Sulphur
  • Antelope & Buffalo Springs, Sulphur
  • Beavers Bend Waterfall, McCurtain County
  • Presbyterian Falls, McCurtain County
  • Bricktown Falls, Oklahoma City
  • Medicine Creek, Lawton
  • Turner Falls, Arbuckle Mountains
  • Natural Falls, West Siloam Springs
  • Cache Creek, Wichita Mountains
  • Post Oak Falls, Wichita Mountains
  • Bluestem Falls, Pawhuska
  • Spavinaw Area Spillway, Grand Lake
  • Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Grand Lake
  • Sand Creek Falls, Bartlesville