Best Lakes in Oklahoma

Best Lakes in Oklahoma

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    Oklahoma State might have fewer living land areas but have an abundance of coastlines which is about one million surface areas of water. This is the reason behind the state holding the title of having the best man-made Lakes in the nation.

    So, are you planning to go on a trip to Oklahoma and want to spend some quality time outdoors, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to see some of the state’s most beautiful Lakes.

    There are so many top-rated Lakes in Oklahoma that will speak to your soul if you intend on going camping, horseback riding, scuba diving, or even if you just want to wonder at the calm water sanctuaries that are present there.

    Best Lakes in Oklahoma

    What is the prettiest Lake in Oklahoma?

    Broken Bow Lake is one of the deepest and prettiest Lakes in Oklahoma. The Lake is situated at the southeast corner of the city and is surrounded by beautiful cliffs, hills, and forests, which makes it a well-known destination for visitors from neighboring states, Arkansas, and Texas.

    What are the cleanest Lakes in Oklahoma?

    Broken Bow Lake, Murray Lake, and Tenkiller Lake are the cleanest and clearest Lakes in Oklahoma that offer swimming, fishing, and other water activities at different spots of the Lake. The Lake water is so clean that one can see your whole body while swimming. However, this Lake water is not fit for drinking as it might contain E-Coli bacteria.

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    Top 10 Lakes in Oklahoma that You Must Visit

    If you plan to Relocate to Oklahoma or have already been there, as an explorer, you will find a wide range of outdoor places for recreation, starting from the arid regions in the west to the green rolling Ozark cliffs in the east. Besides that, you will find a lot of Lakes, beaches, and camping areas scattered all over the “sooner state”. 

    Take a vacation, gather your things together, and make a trip to this Lake state so that you can enjoy one of the best Lakes in Oklahoma that makes the state mesmerizing. Here you should look up the top 10 Lakes in Oklahoma.

    1. Broken Bow Lake – Transparent Blue Water

    Broken Bow Lake, in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, is one of the deepest and most picturesque Lakes in the state. It is surrounded by woods, mountains, and hills.

    Broken Bow Lake

    In addition to providing habitat for a wide variety of native bird species, the Lake’s expansive 35-kilometer length and 5-square-mile surface area make it a popular tourist destination. Because of this, it has become a popular destination for people interested in watching birds.

    Recreational opportunities at Broken Bow Lake include paddle boats, swimming, and fly fishing. There are many paths that may be hiked or explored on horseback if you’d rather not get your feet wet.

    Broken Bow Lake

    Broken Bow, OK 74728

    Phone: 580-494-6452

    Are there alligators in Broken Bow Lake?

    Alligators are not usually found in Broken Bow Lake, rather a small habitat of them can be seen in southeastern regions of Little River, Oklahoma.

    Can you swim in Broken Bow Lake?

    Yes, You can freely swim in the clear freshwater of Broken Bow Lake. Other than swimming, you can go boating, skiing, fishing, wakeboard sharding, and all other types of aqua sports options.

    Is Broken Bow Lake Clear?

    Broken Bow Lake water is so pure, clear, and clean that one can see their toes while swimming. But on the flip side, it’s not fit for drinking.

    2. Eufaula Lake – Aquatic Habitat Lake

    A total of three Oklahoma counties are covered by the state’s biggest Lake, which has a total surface area of 41,000 hectares. Eufaula Lake has 970 kilometers of shoreline, which is dotted with marinas, campgrounds, and other places to stay.

    Eufaula Lake

    Famous fishermen from all across the country gather at the Lake every year for the event. They are reeling in a variety of species, including smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, and sand bass.

    Eufaula Lake is a wonderful place for a variety of outdoor pursuits, such as swimming, boating, hiking, horseback riding, and picnics. Golfing and hunting are other viable options.

    N & S of town

    Eufaula, OK 74432

    Phone: 918-484-5135

    Are there alligators in Lake Eufaula Oklahoma?

    Eufaula Lake Oklahoma does not have alligators. However, reportedly some alligators of 700-950 pounds weight were spotted somewhere near the Lake according to a source. 

    Can you swim in Lake Eufaula?

    The largest Lake in Oklahoma, Lake Eufaula offers sandy swimming shorelines making it one of the best Lakes in Oklahoma for swimming. 

    3. Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees – Grand Lake

    To the northeast of Oklahoma, on the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, you’ll find Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees. A mere 226 meters above sea level, Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees Lake ranks as the third biggest in the state.

    Grand Lake O' the Cherokees

    The Pensacola Dam was finished in 1940, which led to the formation of the Lake. It has developed into a world-class sailing destination in recent years.

    Natural beauty and attractive coastline make this place the most photogenic Lake and best Lakes in Oklahoma with cabins. There are many eating establishments, lodging, parks, and camping spots facilities surrounding the Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees Lake.

    Delaware/Ottawa/Craig counties

    Grove, OK 74344

    Phone: 918-786-2289

    Can you swim in Grand Lake O the Cherokees?

    Grand Lake provides plenty of inlets along with Lake coastline locations for Cove and deeper Lakes swimming. It is also listed as one of the best Lakes in Oklahoma for swimming. 

    The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality encourages the public to follow safe practices, basic senses, and swimming tips while swimming. 

    How deep is Grand Lake O the Cherokees?

    Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees is a 36.3 feet deep Lake that is situated 745 feet above sea level.

    4. Skiatook Lake – Lake Of Osage

    This federally owned and the controlled 4,200-acre reservoir is surrounded by gently undulating hills, making it an ideal place to relax. Skiatook Lake ranks as the state’s fifteenth-largest Lake.

    Skiatook Lake

    Skiatook Lake is located on the Osage Reservation about northwest of the city of Tulsa. City inhabitants and visitors alike come to the Lake for fishing, swimming, and boating.

    All around the Lake, you may find several hiking paths that lead to breathtaking vistas of the water and the hills beyond. There are also several locations to go camping throughout the Lake.

    Hwy 20 W

    Skiatook, OK 74070

    Phone: 918-396-3170

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    Can you swim at Skiatook Lake?

    Swimming is a popular recreation activity done at Skiatook Lake, Oklahoma, including other popular options like boating, camping, picnicking, and fishing.

    Is there a town under Skiatook Lake?

    Skiatook Lake swallowed an entire town beneath it when a dam was constructed in 1940. It is unknown to many people that the town of Lugert, an underwater city lies beneath the Lake. One can have a glimpse of the lost city when the water remains low.

    Does Skiatook Lake have E-Coli?

    Skiatook Lake has higher levels of E-Coli. A test was conducted by the US army corps of engineers on July 1 and found toxic blue-green algae growing on Skiatook Lakes, for which the Lake declared closure on weekends for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

    Where can I fish in Skiatook?

    Skiatook Lake offers the best fishing spots in Oklahoma, as one can catch the most popular fish species like white crappie, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass from the sand spring that is situated near the Lake. 

    5. Lake Oologah – Water Recreation Wonderland

    Lake Oologah, located on the Verdigris River, serves the Tulsa metropolitan region and gets its name from a Cherokee term for “black cloud.” Its primary function, however, is as a leisure venue.

    Lake Oologah

    Along its 336 kilometers of shoreline, the Lake is home to 11 parks, a swimming beach, a marina, and a camping area. The Will Rogers Country Centennial Trail, circles Lake Oologah for more than 25 kilometers.

    Sand bass, largemouth bass, catfish, walleye, and crappie may all be caught successfully in Oologah Lake. Some docks and boat ramps are available for use on the Lake.

    8400 E Hwy 88

    Oologah, OK 74053

    Phone: 918-443-2250

    Can you swim in Lake Oologah?

    You can swim in Lake Oologah. Other than swimming, water lovers can also enjoy sailing, canoeing, skiing, and boating around the Lake.

    How deep is Oologah Lake?

    The maximum depth of Oologah Lake is 27m.

    What kind of fish are in Lake Oologah?

    The large fertile Oologah Lake offers fishing blue catfish, spoonbill paddlefish, crappie, great white bass, walleye, and sand bass fish near the Lake coastlines.

    6. Lake Texoma – Largest Reservoir and Largest Lake

    Lake Texoma is one of the biggest reservoirs in the United States and the second largest Lake in Oklahoma. There is no other Lake in the area that can compare to the popularity or level of development of this one.

    Lake Texoma

    Each year, the Lake attracts over 6 million visitors who come to fish, sail, water ski and windsurf.

    Along the Lake’s shores, you’ll find several resorts, the best Lakes in Oklahoma with cabins and campgrounds. Golf courses and marinas can be found in addition to the two state parks and two wildlife refuges.

    Hwy 70 E

    Kingston, OK 73439

    Phone: 903-465-4990

    Are there alligators in Lake Texoma?

    One can rarely find alligators in Texoma Lake. Gators are only visible to those who are regular visitors or habitats of the Lake.

    Can you swim at Lake Texoma?

    Lake Texoma offers different locations for various swimming options and other water recreational activities. You can enjoy cove swimming with your families at an alone spot near the Lake, far away from other visitors.

    7. Tenkiller Ferry Lake – Crystal CLear lake

    This reservoir, also known as Lake Tenkiller, was named after the powerful Tenkiller Cherokee family that once controlled the property on which it was built.

    Tenkiller Ferry Lake

    Mounted 193 meters above sea level, Tenkiller Ferry Lake may be found in the Cookson Hills of the Ozark Mountains. Scuba divers from all over the world flock to this Lake since it is one of the deepest in the state.

    On its 210 kilometers of shoreline, Lake Tenkiller features 24 boat launch ramps, 14 parks, 10 marinas, and 38 rental cabins making it the best Lake in Oklahoma with cabins. There are several islands in the Lake, including the infamous Goat Island, and five floating restaurants.

    446977 E 980 Rd

    Cookson, OK 74427

    Phone: 918-457-4403

    Can you swim at Lake Tenkiller?

    Lake Texoma offers different locations for various swimming options and other water recreational activities. You can enjoy cove swimming with your families at an alone spot near the Lake, far away from other visitors.

    Is there a town under Tenkiller Lake?

    The Cookson old town still exists under Tenkiller Lake. The town got submerged after the completion of the Tenkiller ferry dam and the creation of Lake water in 1952. Scuba divers, still now, are visiting and exploring the remains of the town.

    Why is it called Tenkiller Ferry Lake?

    The Cookson old town still exists under Tenkiller Lake. The town got submerged after the completion of the Tenkiller ferry dam and the creation of Lake water in 1952. Scuba divers, still now, are visiting and exploring the remains of the town.

    How deep is the deepest Lake in Oklahoma?

    Broken Bow is the deepest and most beautiful Lake in Oklahoma having an average depth of 30 feet and a total Lake capacity of 2,643,000 acre-feet.  

    8. Lake Overholser – Water Recreation Destination

    The Lake is not particularly enormous, but it is very attractive and serves as a major tourist destination for the city. White bass, bluegill, bream, striped bass, catfish, and largemouth bass may all be caught in Overholser Lake, which attracts both locals and tourists.

    Lake Overholser

    To the north of the 610acre Lake lies the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, a popular location for outdoor activities including hiking, birdwatching, and cycling.

    The North Canadian River was dammed to create Lake Overholser. It honors Oklahoma City’s 16th mayor, Ed Overholser, who served from 1993 to 1999.

    1800 Overholser Dr

    Oklahoma City, OK 73155

    Phone: 405-297-3882

    How deep is Overholser by the dam?

    The average depth of Overholser Lake by the Overholser dam is about 6 feet and a maximum depth of about 13 feet.  

    Can you swim in Lake Overholser?

    Swimming is restricted in Lake Overholser. However, one has to take a state permit for fishing, hunting, and boating in the Lake.

    Is Lake Overholser bigger than Lake Hefner?

    Lake Overholser is smaller in area than Lake Hefner. Lake Overholser spreads over 1600 acres with an average depth of 6 feet and 11 km of shoreline, whereas Lake Hefner covers about 2500 acres with an average depth of 29 feet and 289.68 km of shoreline.

    What’s the deepest part of Lake Overholser?

    The maximum depth or the deepest point of Lake Overholser is 4m.

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    9. Lake Hefner – Recreational Fishing Spot

    Lake Hefner was created in Oklahoma City in 1947 and serves as a water source for the metro area. In modern times, it has developed into a favorite fishing place for city dwellers.

    Lake Hefner

    Sailboats and motorboats both frequent the Lake, making it a refuge for boaters.

    Located in Oklahoma, the Lake Hefner Dam completely fills the northern end of the 1,000hectare Lake. The Lake’s shores are dotted with marinas, sailing schools, golf courses, and bike paths.

    Portland & Lakeshore Dr

    Oklahoma City, OK 73116

    Phone: 405-297-1426

    Can you swim in Lake Hefner?

    You cannot swim in Lake Hefner, however other water activities like boating, fishing, and sailing are allowed with a valid license for the same.   

    Does it cost to go to Lake Hefner?

    To visit Lake Hefner, you have to pay a daily permit of $3.50 and a yearly permit of $18.50. Although playgrounds, and picnic areas are free of cost, visitors must have a city fishing permit for fishing off the bank.

    How long is the walk around Lake Hefner?

    To walk around Lake Hefner, it takes an average time of 2 h 46 min to finish the 9.4 miles loop trail.

    What is the deepest part of Lake Hefner?

    The maximum depth or the deepest part of Lake Hefner is 29m.

    10. Keystone Lake – Water Recreation Spot

    This Lake is situated between the Arkansas and Cimarron rivers. It is located around 37 kilometers west of Tulsa, making it a favorite weekend getaway for city residents.

    Keystone Lake

    The 530-kilometer shoreline of Keystone Lake is home to two state parks, sixteen recreational areas, eleven boat ramps, and four marinas. Additionally, there are various campgrounds for people who prefer to spend the night.

    The Lake is home to bobcats, white-tailed deer, beavers, cottontail rabbits, dicks, and geese, among other species.

    926 S Hwy 151

    Sand Springs, OK 74063

    Phone: 918-865-4991

    Can you swim in Keystone Lake?

    Keystone Lake is the best Lake in Oklahoma for swimming, fishing, boating, and water skiing. 

    How much does it cost to swim at Keystone Lake?

    The admission cost including taxes for swimming at Keystone Lake costs $1 per person.

    Is there a town under Keystone Lake?

    The leftovers of Prue, Mannford, sand springs, and Tulsa towns are present at the bottom of the Keystone Lake in its memory. However, most civilizations of these towns were relocated from their original sites before the dam was constructed over the Lake from December 1956- September 1964. 

    Does Keystone Lake have a beach?

    The keystone Lake is snuggled between sandy beaches and sandstone cliffs at a required elevation. 

    Best Lakes in Oklahoma FAQ’s

    What are the 5 major Lakes in Oklahoma?

    The five major Lakes by volume in Oklahoma are as follows:

    • Eufaula Lake
    • Texoma Lake
    • Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees
    • Robert S. Kerr reservoir
    • Oologah Lake

    What is Oklahoma’s biggest Lake?

    Eufaula Lake is the biggest Lake in Oklahoma with a surface area of 105,000 acres and 600 miles of mesmerizing shorelines. It is a perfect place for all types of water activities like fishing, swimming, and boating, and also offers the best camping in Oklahoma.


    Choose one of these Oklahoma Lakes as your next vacation spot when you want to get away from the busy city life and spend a week or weekend relaxing on a river while listening to the birds’ songs. If you want a Lakeside house of your own, overlooking the forest to wake up to the fresh air blowing off the Lake every morning, then you need to know how much it cost to build a house in Oklahoma.

    If you want to know more about abandoned places in Oklahoma, then click here!

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