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Backpacker Magazine – September 2000

Robbers Cave: A Bandit's Oasis In Oklahoma

Follow Jesse James's footprints to a land of shady valleys and cool, clear lakes.

by: Karen Gibson

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EXPEDITION PLANNER

ROAD TRIP: Robbers Cave is 200 miles northeast of Dallas, 169 miles east of Oklahoma City, and 131 miles south of Tulsa.

THE WAY: From Oklahoma City, take US 40 east for 87 miles, then go south on Indian Nation Turnpike for 35 miles. Head east on US 270 for 35 miles. Robbers Cave State Park is 4 miles north of Wilburton on OK 2 in southeastern Oklahoma.

TRAILS: There are 12 miles of interlocking trail in the park, plus 25 miles of trail in the adjoining wildlife management area, which is closed during hunting season (generally late November and early December). Primitive camping sites are always available on the edges of the state park (see Contact information below).

ELEVATION: The low point is 300; the high point is 1,500 feet.

CAN'T MISS: Dozens of sandstone caves, ranging from small crevices to 40-foot-long tunnels you can walk into.

CROWD CONTROL: Avoid annual events like the Labor Day Trail Riders Event and the Fall Festival, held the third weekend in October.

PIT STOP: In nearby Krebs, visit the Italian stores and restaurants. Loveras's Family Grocery sells homemade caciocavello.

WALK SOFTLY: Always check with rangers on the fire danger and use extreme caution with campfires.

GUIDES: Free maps are available at the Robbers Cave State Park office (see Contact below).

CONTACT: Robbers Cave State Park, (918) 465-2565. Also, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, (918) 297-0153.


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Annetta Byrd
Apr 05, 2011

Were the steps to the Robbers Cave carved out after the James Gang was there or are they naturally made and just luckly shaped like that?

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