Black Mesa State Park RV & Campground Guide


More than 30 million years ago, lava flowed across the landscape in an area now known as Black Mesa State Park. The park is named after the black lava rock that now covers the ground and is almost equidistant between Amarillo, Texas, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Black Mesa State Park is located in a remote area in the Oklahoma Panhandle, close to the state's border with Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. While the park is only 349 acres, it is operated by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department in tandem with the connecting 1,600-acre nature preserve where Black Mesa towers over the landscape. Here, you can find numerous rare species of plants and animals and breathtakingly rugged terrain with sweeping vistas. Nearby Cities: • Kenton, OK • Boise City, OK • Wheeless, OK • Felt, OK

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Spring 29-80 F
Summer 57-93 F
Fall 29-84 F
Winter 20-55 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Black Mesa State Park

Black Mesa State Park • Water hookup: Yes • Electrical hookup: Yes • Sewer hookup: Dump station • Wi-Fi: No • Pet-friendly: Yes; pets must be leashed • Max RV length: 55 feet • Other amenities: Grills, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms with showers

Black Mesa Campground

While in Black Mesa State Park, be sure to check in at Black Mesa Campground. With the perfect skies for stargazing and various outdoor recreation activities, such as wildlife viewing and hiking, this campground is paradise! Named after the prehistoric black lava rock that initially covered the Mesa, this campground is now a popular attraction for locals in Kenton and folks in the nearby states of New Mexico and Colorado. Some of the amenities include picnic tables, showers, and full hookups. At night, you can relax around the campfire as you enjoy the scenic view of the sky.

Wild Bill's RV Park

Located at the center of the scenic Black Hill and approximately 40 miles from Black Mesa State Park, Wild Bill's RV Park is a great place for a trip throughout the hills. It has spacious sites where you can camp while enjoying Strawberry Creek and majestic pines. You can hike on the trails along the hills or relax at the beautiful picnic sites. Other amenities include clean restrooms, a playground, a laundry section, and free showers for visitors.

Clayton RV Park

Clayton RV Park is situated adjacent to Clayton Lake State Park and 50 minutes from Black Mesa State Park. It presents numerous sightseeing and hiking opportunities. The dinosaur footprints found at the lake make it a perfect attraction for historians. Have a good time watching different bird species near the water or visiting the museum for some exciting facts about the cultural landscape and the park's history. Amenities include restrooms, a playground, electricity hookups, water hookups, sewerage, and access to the internet.

RV Rentals Near Black Mesa State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Black Mesa State Park

Black Mesa State Park sits where the Rocky Mountains fade into prairie lands, and the highest point in Oklahoma is just outside of the park. Visitors to the state park often take advantage of recreational opportunities in the adjoining nature reserve and on the adjacent Lake Carl Etling. Some recreational activities available are hiking, boating, stargazing, picnicking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Inside Black Mesa State Park

With picnic tables, charcoal grills, and benches available at the park, you can enjoy hanging out and sharing a meal with your family members as you take in the scenic beauty of the blooming desert plants. If you're not into picnicking, you can bring your fishing gear and go fishing at Lake Carl Etling, where you can expect to catch trout, perch, smallmouth bass, and sunfish. For adventurous campers, this remote region offers trails of different lengths and difficulties. 


Two boat launches are at Lake Carl Etling. Whether fishing on a boat or from the shore, you could cast a line for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, and flathead catfish.


You can search for well-hidden caches while hiking along the trails in Black Mesa State Park. The locations of these treasures are listed on your geocache website or app.

Nature Watching Nature Watching

Amid the rugged, lava rock-covered landscape in Black Mesa State Park, wildlife is abundant. Here, you could spot antelopes, bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, and black bears. You may also look to the sky for birds like pinyon jays, black-billed magpies, scaled quail, and golden eagles.


Because of the remoteness of Black Mesa State Park, this is the perfect spot for stargazing. Many people travel to the park in August to enjoy the annual Perseid meteor shower.


Several trails wind through Black Mesa State Park and the connected nature preserve, including the 8.8-mile Black Mesa Trail. While this trail is rated as moderately strenuous, the 2.1-mile Vista and Bird Haven Trail and the 1.2-mile Archaeological Canyon Rock Trail are rated as easy.


Lake Carl Etling boasts a 5-mile shoreline, a max depth of 11 feet, and a surface area of 159 acres. While the lake is relatively small, it is among the top areas for non-motorized boating in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Boat launches are located at the eastern end of the lake near the dam and at the western end.


The state park and preserve's hiking trails are suitable for mountain biking. Whether you are hiking or biking, sunscreen, a hat, and an adequate supply of water are recommended.

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How to Get to
Black Mesa State Park

Traveling from Kenton, take OK-325 E for approximately 4.9 miles. Turn right on North Lake Road and follow this road to the park's entrance. Traveling from Boise City, take OK-325 E for several miles. Follow the road as it makes a sharp turn north. A few miles after this bend, turn left on South Lake Road. Then, turn right on NS 8 Road. You can follow this road north to the dam and a boat launch. To reach the park's visitors center, turn left on E01 20 Road. This road turns sharply toward the north and takes you directly to the visitors center.

Entering Black Mesa State Park

Parking is available throughout the park and nature preserve at the campsites, trailheads, boat launches, and visitors center. Daily entrance to the park is free. The overnight RV camping fee is $26. Discounts are available for senior citizens and disabled visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Black Mesa State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Black Mesa State Park?

Because weather conditions in the summer and winter may be extreme, many people choose to visit Black Mesa State Park in the spring and fall. However, August is also a great time to camp at the park and watch the Perseid meteor shower.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Black Mesa State Park?

Lake Carl Etling is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, flathead catfish, and walleye. Birds native to the area are scaled quail, pinyon jays, golden eagles, and black-billed magpies. Other animals in the area are black bears, antelopes, bobcats, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and mule deer.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Black Mesa State Park?

The park has 25 designated RV sites. RVs are not permitted at the tent campsites.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Black Mesa State Park and what is the cost?

Reservations are not required at Black Mesa State Park. However, reservations are recommended because there are a limited number of RV sites available and because of the park's remoteness. There is no reservation fee.

Are pets allowed at Black Mesa State Park?

Pets are permitted at Black Mesa State Park. They must always be on a leash, and you need to pick up after them.