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Black Mesa State Park is situated in Oklahoma and rests next to the borders of many different states, including New Mexico and Texas. The state park, established in 1959, is named after the nearby Black Mesa landform which is the highest point in the state. This park covers over 349 acres and also connects to a nature preserve which exhibits over 23 types of rare plants and animals.
Along with the magnificent Black Mesa, the park also features stunning rugged landscapes that are filled with cactus, tumbleweeds, and other desert plants. It’s also home to various species of snakes, including rattlesnakes and copperheads.
This state park offers many outdoor activities to try out while here. One of the best to do is stargaze. Because this park is believed to be located in one of the darkest areas in the United States, it’s the perfect location to view constellations, especially in August when the Perseid meteor shower passes by. Many local astronomy groups visit the area and often bring along telescopes visitors can look through.
Another thing to do while visiting here is hiking. The park features one long main trail, which runs about five miles, to the iconic Black Mesa. This trail will take you by junipers and cactus as well as many other types of plants. While this is the main trail, it does have a few small paths that runoff from it, which will take you by other natural landscapes.
While you are at the park, spend some time watching the local wildlife. Many animals, such as bears, mountain lions, and antelopes, call this park home and often wander around it. The park is also ideal for birdwatching as many unique species nest here, including golden eagles, magpies, and quail.
Load up your rod and reel and go fishing while at the park. It features a 200-acre lake, called Lake Carl Etling, which is stocked with various types of fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, and walleyes. There is a boat ramp located next to the lake which provides you easy access to it. However, a fishing license is required for those who do wish to go fishing here.
Campers with an RV rental in Cimarron County can stay at Black Mesa State Park thanks to the 29 motorhome sites it offers. These sites come with amenities such as water, electric, restrooms, and showers. Reservations are required to stay, and there is a small fee. However, there are discounts available, so ask about them before completing your reservation. Pets are also allowed to stay at the campground.
The RV campground also has a small picnic area and boat ramp if you want to spend some time on Lake Carl Etling. Keep in mind that it can get to be very hot here, especially during the summer. The park recommends you always have some water on hand while camping.
If you want to explore the surrounding area with your camper rental, you’ll find a few places you can stop by at. Located in Kenton is the Dinosaur Tracks site. While here, you’ll be able to see gigantic footprints left behind by ancient dinosaurs. Visitors will be able to walk alongside these 47 tracks which may have been created by a T-Rex. While the property is located on private land, guests can visit it during the day.
Head over the Oklahoma and Texas border with your RV to see the Rita Blanca National Grassland. Situated near Dalhart, TX, this outdoor destination runs over 230,000 acres and features a vast grass prairie. While here, you will be able to learn more about how pioneers once survived here as well as view paleontological and cultural sites. You might also catch a glimpse of a buffalo walking by. This site also connects to the Santa Fe Trail which was once an important trade route in the United States.
About two hours away from the park in Amarillo is Cadillac Ranch. This unique outdoor art installation was created in 1974 and features ten vintage Cadillacs buried in the ground, so they stick up. The Cadillacs are covered in graffiti which depicts various scenes and patterns. This attraction is also located next to the iconic Route 66.
Because of its secluded area, there are not many gas stations around to fill your RV back up at. Please keep this in mind and plan accordingly when you set off on your outdoor adventure. The closest restaurants and markets are a few miles away in Boise City, so you’ll also need to make sure to bring food and water with you.