Lake Thunderbird State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Most people wouldn’t expect to find an aquatic paradise in the middle of Oklahoma. But that’s precisely what you’ll discover at Lake Thunderbird State Park. With two marinas and multiple swimming beaches, the park is any water-loving RV camper’s dream.
There’s plenty to do once you dry off as well. An extensive network of trails leads you throughout the park, and you’ll get scenic waterfront views as you explore the area's local plant and wildlife. There are also miles of equestrian trails with obstacles. Birdwatchers will find a wide range of species throughout the park, and a published field guide, available from the park, makes it easy to learn more about each species and what you should look out for during your wildlife search.
The campgrounds found throughout the park have over 200 sites, ranging from primitive sites to sites with full hookups. The sites can accommodate rigs of just about any size, so you should be able to find one that fits your small conversion or campervan to your large big rig or class C motorhome. The park is open year-round, and no matter how long you plan on visiting, there’s plenty to keep you busy at Lake Thunderbird State Park—both in and out of the water.

RV Rentals in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Transportation in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Driving

Located near Norman, Oklahoma, Lake Thunderbird State Park can be reached by car or RV from multiple cities in the region. Oklahoma City is just under an hour away off of I-40, and if you're driving from Tulsa, you should reach the park in around two hours via I-44.
The roads within the park are paved and well maintained and connect to all of the park’s main campgrounds. There may be RV restrictions on some of the smaller outlets, but you’ll have no issue getting to your campsite.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Campsites in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Reservations camping

Little Sandy Campground

Little Sandy Campground offers 12 RV and trailer friendly sites on the west side of Lake Thunderbird. Each site offers a picnic table, grill, and fire pit. Site lengths vary between 45 and 70 feet and are equipped with electrical hookups. Restrooms with showers are located in the campground area along with extra parking spaces near the water. Lake Thunderbird Boathouse is just south of the campground and offers boat rentals and a large, sandy swimming beach. Pets are allowed as long as they are kept leashed. Reservations are available up to 11 months in advance and are recommended during the busy summer months.

Hickory Hills Campground

Located lakeside just south of Hog Creek sits Hickory Hills Campground. There are 29 RV and trailer friendly sites available spread between two loops. Each site is outfitted with a picnic table, a grill, a fire pit, and electric hookups. Sites vary in size and can accommodate rigs between 40 and 85 feet. Guests will also find hiking trails and bathrooms with showers located nearby. This pet-friendly campground offers reservations up to 11 months in advance.

Hog Creek Campground

Hog Creek Campground is located on the northeast side of Lake Thunderbird and offers 20 RV and trailer friendly sites. All sites offer electrical hookups and can accommodate vehicles between 30 and 55 feet in length. Sites are also equipped with a picnic table, grill, and fire pit. Nearby guests can find bathrooms with showers, a parking lot, a swimming area, and a boat ramp. Hog Creek is pet-friendly and accepts reservations up to 11 months in advance.

Post Oak Campground

Just north of Little Axe Campground, you will find Post Oak Campground. Here, guests will have 21 RV friendly campsites to choose from with electric and water hookups. The spaces can accommodate rigs between 40 and 110 feet in length, and these lakeside sites are equipped with a picnic table, grill, and fire pit. Guests will also find a boat launch, restrooms with showers, swimming beach, picnic area, and a dump station nearby. This pet-friendly campground offers reservations up to 11 months in advance, and if you plan on visiting during the peak season, reservations are highly recommended.

Little Axe Campground

The main campground, Little Axe, is made up of two loops with 56 total sites available. Site lengths vary between 45 to 90 feet, and all of the sites have a picnic table, a grill, a fire pit, and are equipped with electrical and water hookups. Little Axe is near a boat launch, camp store, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The campsite is located near the water and is gated. Leashed pets are welcome.
All sites can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. If you plan on booking a site during peak season in the summer, you’ll want to reserve your site months in advance, as the campground fills up quickly.

Oklahoma City East KOA

With a trip to Oklahoma City East KOA, only 15 minutes away from Oklahoma City, enjoy the area’s beautiful natural sites and catch a wagon ride, or maybe a fish, as you explore this dynamic area. With tons to see, like the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Lake Thunderbird State Park, Little River State Park, and local shops and restaurants, a visit to the region can be cultured and action-packed. Oklahoma City East KOA has lots of amenities to help sweeten your stay, including Wi-Fi, cable television, a swimming pool, and a snack bar. Pull-through sites can accommodate rigs of up to 90 feet.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served

Although reservations are available for all of the campgrounds in Lake Thunderbird State Park, same-day reservations can also be made for campers who prefer to plan a trip last minute. Any sites not reserved in advance will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the intended stay. The park gets quite crowded during the summer months, so try to arrive early in the day if you want to get a spot.

Alternate camping

South Dam Tent Campground

As the name suggests, the South Dam Tent Campground is located on the south side of Lake Thunderbird and has 16 sites available for tent camping. Restrooms and parking lots are located nearby with plenty of space to park the rig, and guests will also find hiking trails, a boat ramp, and fishing opportunities in the vicinity. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Little Axe Tent Campground

If you're looking to get out of the Airstream for a night and sleep under the stars, there are 24 tent sites available at the Little Axe Tent Campground. These sites are lakeside and have restrooms and a parking lot located nearby. Reservations are available up to 11 months in advance.

Seasonal activities in Lake Thunderbird State Park

In-Season

Boating

For visitors to Lake Thunderbird State Park, boating is one of the main attractions. Whether you want to kayak, canoe, or water ski, there’s plenty to keep you busy out on the water. There are two marinas and nine boat launches located throughout the park, making getting out onto the water easy, no matter what type of boat you have. The large Lake Thunderbird gives boaters plenty of room so that you won’t feel crowded, even during the popular summer months. If you didn't tow your own boat behind the rig, you can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboat from multiple different park offices located near the water.

Swimming

Swimmers flock to Lake Thunderbird State Park every summer in droves to enjoy the two beaches and to cool off on hot days. Enjoy the waters on a warm summer day, and then head over to one of the many picnic areas dotted throughout the park for a snack. There is a swimming area near the Little Axe RV campground, so you’ll be able to get from your campervan to the water in minutes.

Fishing

In addition to boating, the park is also a popular destination for fishing. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish species, including white crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and saugeye. You can take a boat out onto the water, or use one of the fishing piers located throughout the park to cast your reel. The fishing is excellent year-round, although you’ll have the most luck if you visit April through September when the fish are more active.

Off-Season

Hunting

Hunters will also find plenty of game within the park's boundaries. The park is known for its waterfowl and archery deer hunting. There are designated areas for both waterfowl and deer, so you’ll be able to hunt in peace. Thunderbird State Park is often busy during hunting season, so always take extra caution and look out for hikers before you set your sights on your intended kill. At Lake Thunderbird State Park, hunting laws and hunting zones are strictly enforced, so make sure you are hunting in a designated area. You’ll also need an Oklahoma state hunting license if you plan on hunting in the park.

Archery

If you’ve had enough of the water, head over to the archery range and see how you do with bow and arrows. You can practice from a wide variety of distances, so archers of all skill levels are accommodated. The archery range is open year-round. There are no equipment rentals, so you’ll need to bring your own bow and target along with you in the Sprinter van. The range is near some of the park’s main hiking trails, making it easy to reach on foot.

Horseback Riding

In addition to all of the aquatic activities, if you are a horse-lover, you’ll also have access to over four miles of equestrian trails to ride at the park. These trails weave around the shoreline of the park’s aquatic areas. The trails feature 12 obstacles if you are looking for a more active and challenging ride. Although the park is open year-round, the horse trails are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. You can easily connect to the trails directly from the equestrian campground. Horse rentals are not available at the park, so you'll need to bring your horse along with you on your RV camping trip.

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