Alabaster Caverns State Park, Freedom

4.0
#9 of 45 in Nature in Oklahoma
Alabaster Caverns State Park is a 200acre state park approximately 4.5mi south of Freedom, Oklahoma, United States near Oklahoma State Highway 50. It is home to the largest natural gypsum cave in the world that is open to the public. The gypsum is mostly in the form of alabaster. There are several types of alabaster found at the site, including pink, white, and the rare black alabaster. This black alabaster can be found in only three veins in the world, one each in Oklahoma, Italy and China. Another form of gypsum can be found in the many selenite crystal formations.HistoryThe first documented exploration of the caves occurred in 1898, shortly after Hugh Litton homesteaded the area in 1893. Public tours of the caves began in the early 1900s and increased with the 1939 purchase and renovation of the caverns by Charles Grass, who gave them their current name.The U.S. state of Oklahoma purchased the land from Grass on September 1, 1953, for $34,000, reclassifying the land as a state park in 1956.In the mid-1950s the caves served as a nuclear fallout shelter.GeologyAlabaster Caverns State Park is underlain by Permian age sedimentary rocks . The caves in the area were created around 20,000 years ago from dissolution of gypsum beds in the Permian strata. A small perennial stream now flows through the cave and is fed by various lateral tunnels and seepage from the roof. In the geologic past, the river was once capable of completely filling the 3/4 mile long caverns. The cave walls and gypsum formations show evidence of sculpting by rapidly flowing water.
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Alabaster Caverns State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
110 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Here’s some advice for an even better experience. Be sure to wear good shoes for hiking as well as the cave tour. The tour has over 300 stair steps and is 3/4 of a mile long. Coat might be needed for ...  more »
  • My husband and I visited Alabaster Caverns in August. We had been before but it was years ago. It's hard to describe just how beautiful the cave system is. The park has installed a new lighting system...  more »
  • Staff were helpful and accommodating. The tour guide was very young, but knowledgeable. Enjoyed the tour, but not a stalactite/stalagmite type of cave.  more »
Google
  • We played in the park - which happens to be the same playground equipment as Red Rock Canyon - for a good 20 or 30 minutes. Then we did the cave tour. The tour cost my family of four $30. That's two adults, one child, and one under-5 free kid. My only real disappointment was that they don't let you take photos or videos in the cave. You have to take an extra tour to do that. The tour took about 45 minutes. You go up and down stairs and slippery rocks. You get to see a lot of neat stuff. My kids loved the bats. We didn't do much else. I'd like to go back and hike some of the trails. A few of the trails go through parts of the cave that are not on the tour but also open to the public. That sounds exciting to me. I noticed that the camp ground for RVs also had electrical hook, water hook ups and pull-through parking lots. There was a dump station on the way out.
  • We came in November when the season was slow, and there was only three of us on our tour, but we still couldn't take photos. The cave was neat. I recommend everyone to see it once. My favorite part was all the bats. Apparently they hibernate and we got there at the right time to see them all sleeping together. So cute! Our tour guide was really friendly also.
  • Good walking tour that lasts about 50 minutes. You can explore the canyon around it. You can't take pictures inside the cavern. Cost about $10 for adults. There is a small playground here.
  • Each cave we visit has its own personality! Enjoyed the gypsum crystals in this cave. More bats and other creatures active in this cave.
  • Don't really have time to stop and take in EVERYTHING, have to keep up with the group. You can't take pictures unless you go on a photographic tour. Please check out the gift shop when you pay. It surely helps them stay open. Overall, beautiful.
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