Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve

Quick Facts

Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve


(580) 426-2222

Map Directions

Things To Do


This park is in Oklahoma's panhandle and got its name from the layer of black lava rock that coated the mesa about 30 million years ago. The Nature Preserve is located 15 miles from the state park and features Oklahoma's highest elevation at 4,973 feet above sea level, and consists of approximately 1,600 acres where visitors can hike and enjoy 23 rare plants and eight rare animal species. The unique area marks the point where the Rocky Mountains meet the shortgrass prairie and many species are at the easternmost or westernmost point of their natural range. Black Mesa Nature Preserve is open dawn to dusk only, and visitors should be sure to allow at least four hours to hike to the top of the mesa from the parking area and back. No restrooms are available in the nature park and no camping is allowed, but both are available at Black Mesa State Park.

Black Mesa State Park is adjacent to Lake Carl Etling and offers RV and tent campsites, picnic facilities, boat ramps and a mooring buoy, trout fishing in season, a playground, restrooms with showers and a group camp with bunkhouses.

Map of Black Mesa & Nature Preserve (OK)

Latitude, Longitude: 36.849956, -102.902241



  • Boating

    NOTE: There is no boat access to Lake Carl Etling at this time. For specific lake conditions, please contact the park office.

  • Bird Watching

    Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve are a birder's paradise with golden eagles, scaled quail, black-billed magpies, and pinyon jays being frequently spotted.

  • Camping

    Visitors can enjoy tent camping, RV camping, as well as a group site located near a scenic overlook of Lake Carl Etling.

  • Climbing

    Please contact the park for information on climbing.

  • Fishing

    Trout fishing on Lake Carl Etling is allowed in season in the park.

  • Hiking

    Allow at least four hours to hike to the top of the mesa from the parking area and back. Hikers need to be prepared for high temperatures during summer and bring plenty of water. Lucky hikers may see some of the wildlife found in the area such as black bear, bobcat, mountain lion, mule deer, bighorn sheep and antelope.

  • Historic Sites

    To the east of Black Mesa, on private property, dinosaur tracks have been preserved in sandstone creek beds and are available for viewing during daylight hours. Be sure to walk down into the creek bed to see two sets of tracks.

  • Picnicking

    Grills and picnic areas and a picnic pavilion are conveniently scattered throughout the park's campgrounds.

  • RVing

    RV campsites and a RV dumpsite are available in the park.


The nature preserve is open from dusk to dawn only, and can get very hot during summer months. The park and facilities remain open for RV camping year-round.



Black Mesa State Park is located 28 miles northwest of Boise City on Highway 325.

Phone Numbers


(580) 426-2222