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Black Mesa State Park, Kenton

(4.6/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web)
Black Mesa State Park is an Oklahoma state park in Cimarron County, near the western border of the Oklahoma panhandle and New Mexico. The park is located about 15mi away from its namesake, Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma (4973ft above sea level). The mesa was named for the layer of black lava rock that coats it.The associated nature preserve is open to hiking and contains 1600acre and is home to 23 rare plants and 8 rare animal species.The nearest community is Kenton, Oklahoma. The nearest town is Boise City, Oklahoma.Carl Etling LakeCarl Etling Lake, formed in 1959 by a dam on Carrizo Creek, is contained within Black Mesa State Park. It has a shoreline of 5 mi, an average depth of 11ft, with a maximum depth of 38ft.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Decided to go as it was on our way back home on a roadtrip, just to bag another high point. We didn't have great expectations but it ended up being one of our favorite hikes and it wasn't very challen...  more »
  • A group of friends and I decided to end the summer camping season with a bang and venture out to the highest point in the state. We planned months out to visit Black Mesa and spend a few days hiking a...  more »
  • Very nice and very surprised how much wildlife we saw! Beavers, large variety of birds, pronghorns, etc. Very nice camp spots near Lake Etling. Very well kept, clean state park! Even has a small secti...  more »
Google
  • Having been to many Oklahoma state parks over the years, I have to say that this one is probably the best. First, I will say that it is a long drive from anywhere unless you happen to live in the Panhandle (even then it's probably still a bit of a drive). This is a good thing though. As many state parks I've been to have been the party hang out for locals this doesn't seem to be the case for Black Mesa and I believe part of it is due to it's remoteness. It's very quiet in the evening and the stars are remarkable since there's pretty much no light pollution. The facilities were the cleanest I've seen too. The bathrooms were nicely heated (important because even in mid-May when I was there the nights and mornings were pretty chilly), cleaned regularly by the camp host, and even had showers. Cell service was pretty much nonexistent in the park but that's a plus in its favor in my opinion. If you needed anything the nearest town (Boise City) with supplies was close enough to get what you needed. It's about a 30 minute one way drive. Kenton, OK is actually much closer but there is no longer a store in the town so it's not an option for any resupply you might need. This is an A+ park and the only thing that makes me sad about it is that it's a six hour drive from home so I can't visit it more often.
  • It's in the middle of nowhere, which can be good and bad. The closest city is Boise City and if you need any supplies for camping that city is your one and only option. Not a lot of camp sites and fishing spots are limited. Beautiful sites to be seen and a couple hiking spots are available. The sound of coyotes howling at night was amazing. Get supplies before you get there!
  • Grilling facilities / fire pits were easy to access. Camping was very nice, and we were able to avoid the site with rvs and trailers and pitch our tent in a secluded spot. Night sky was spectacularly dark. Bathrooms were better maintained than some local parks but don't come expecting something fancy. Watch out for fire ants.
  • Great state park and close to the preserve. Tent and RV camp sites. Decent bathrooms with showers too. Great place to stay on route to Black Mesa preserve.
  • Hello adventurers, Black Mesa State Park is an awesome lay over before and after the trip across the panhandle, plus the start of a beautiful drive into Valle Vidal and on into FR 1950 and on into the Land of Enchantment!!! This is a very clean camp. Hot shower. The man who cares for park, Tucker, I believe is very cool and helpful!!!