Skip to site content
Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader

Oklahoma Photo Ops

Photo opportunities sometimes happen serendipitously. But more often than not, they’re planned and sought out. Across the state, Oklahoma offers numerous spots worth documenting. Travelers will find poignant places, memorable moments and outstanding scenery that make great photos and lasting souvenirs.

“With 12 different ecosystems in the state, from small mountains to desert and swamps, groups can enjoy photographing many diverse landscapes,” said Todd Stallbaumer, consumer and trade marketing director for Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. “Or they might find an area that they relate to culturally or have fun at our quirky sites along Route 66.”


 Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge


Mount Scott rises 2,464 feet above sea level on the eastern edge of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. A three-mile paved road winds to its summit for panoramic views. Weathered pines and rugged boulders make terrific photo backdrops in this wildlife refuge that was one of the first in the national park system.


Robber’s Cave State Park


Located in southeast Oklahoma’s Sans Bois Mountains, Robber’s Cave State Park boasts rugged cliffs, miles of trails and spectacular fall foliage. Once a former hideout for outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr, it’s now a favorite for horseback riding, hiking and enjoying nature. Lake Carlton, Lake Wayne Wallace and Coon Creek make nice photo stops within the park’s 8,246 acres. Groups can even hike to the famous outlaw cave hidden in sandstone hills and cliffs that tower 300 to 1,500 feet high.


Natural Falls State Park

West Siloam Springs

In the Ozarks hills of eastern Oklahoma, Natural Falls State Park features a 77-foot waterfall cascading through rock formations and creating a hidden, serene atmosphere at the bottom of a narrow V-shaped valley. Around the waterfall, ferns, mosses and liverworts thrive. Known locally as Dripping Springs, the area was used for scenes of the 1974 movie “Where the Red Fern Grows.” An observation platform with a nearby picnic pavilion overlooks the falls. The park’s Red Fern Reunion Center hosts group functions.



Route 66 Blue Whale


Considered one of the most recognizable icons on Route 66, the Blue Whale was an anniversary gift built on residential property and completed in 1972. According to builder Hugh Davis’ notes, it took two years to build. Almost immediately the whale began attracting travelers who wanted to fling themselves off his tail, slide down his water-coated fins and poke their heads out the holes in the whale’s head. Today, the 20-foot-tall, 80-foot-long whale still beckons all who see it to step into its mouth for a photo op.


Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza


East meets west at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza. The Cyrus Avery Memorial Bridge over Route 66, the plaza sculptures and flags offer great photo opportunities at this historic site. The eight flags represent the states through which Route 66 passed. Cyrus Avery, known as the “Father of  Route 66,” helped create the Federal Highway System,




On Route 66 east of Oklahoma City, it’s hard to miss the 66-foot soda bottle and straw alongside the futuristic-looking building Pops. And at night, LED lights transform the bottle into a kaleidoscope of color. Many stop out of curiosity; others wouldn’t think of passing up Pops because they know what’s inside: 630 flavors of artfully displayed specialty bottled sodas with flavors like Jelly Belly Blueberry and Sonoma Pear Natural Sparkler. Out back, the patio overlooks three acres planted with 66 redbud trees, Oklahoma’s state tree, to commemorate Route 66.

Elizabeth Hey

Elizabeth Hey is a member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association and has received numerous awards for her writing and photography. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @travelbyfork.