Scenic USA - Oklahoma

Red Rock Canyon State Park

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Red Rock Canyon State Park - Oklahoma

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Red Rock Canyon, about an hour's drive from Oklahoma City, is a great outdoor getaway for city residents. Once a winter gathering site for Plains Indians, the canyon was also a favorite resting area for weary California Trail pioneers. Here, the western bound settlers rested in the shade of the red canyon walls, watered their horses and livestock, and made wagon repairs.
     Today, the park's visitors enjoy picnicking, camping, fishing, nature trails and rappelling over the vertical canyon walls. Red Rock Canyon picnic area Although the park does not surround the deepest part of the canyon, its red rock walls rise 60 to 80 feet over the canyon floor.
   Known for its exceptional fall foliage and rare Caddo maple trees, the brilliant red walls will impress its visitors any time of year. Changing shades throughout the day, the Rush Springs sandstone is stained with iron oxide. Here, near Hinton, the thick layer of sandstone is about 300 feet deep. This cross section of the canyon lies about halfway up a 250 million year old sandstone deposit. Its spectacular red color owes it all to a very small amount of red stain, taking just two to three percent of iron oxide particles to color all the rock.

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