Explore OK {Alabaster Caverns & Gloss Mountain}

So on our last day we visited Alabaster Caverns State Park and Gloss Mountain State Park. They are fairly close together (depending on which direction you are traveling). It was very easy to do both in the same day.

I DO NOT like caves, caverns, holes in the ground people think you should crawl through. Not a fan. I would rather jump out of a plane than go underground. In fact, I’ve willingly paid people to let me jump out of their plane. And that was awesome. Underground – not awesome. My oldest son wants his feet firmly planted on the ground – at sea level or below. I’m always gently encouraging him to face those fears…which meant I had to go underground with him. Sometimes being a parent is not so fun.

On the happy note, outside the cave were the biggest dandelions I’ve ever seen.

We walked 3/4 of a mile underground in that cave. There were bats. There were bats nesting and having babies. Other than being underground with a fear the whole thing was going to collapse on me, it was a really great hike for the kids. Chris and I took turns carrying Little One, but the rest could do it all on their own. If you like confines spaces and bats, I’d recommend it, even with young kids. There was no crawling or squeezing through small holes, so if you really are into cave exploration it may not be for you.

Little One always wants to pull one arm out of her dresses. Sometimes it is a battle I fight. This was a day I had no fight in me…I was too concerned about being buried in a cave with bats.

I really wish all five kids were in the shot below….

After the cave, we hiked up Gloss Mountain. It was another easy hike. We carried Little One, but the rest of kids did all the climbing on their own.

It is really hard to tell how high we were in these pictures. FireCracker was pouting because I wouldn’t let her go stand near the edge. She, obviously, doesn’t have a fear of heights. Or depths. Or anything.

We packed a picnic dinner to eat at the top. A beautiful view…

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  • Danielle - I have never been to alabaster caverns but I am not a fan of dark closed in places…
    I have been to Gloss Mts. and I love it! We went at sunset the first time and I was ready to build a house on top and stay forever. So much fun seeing house diverse our state is! Have you guys been on the Telimena Scenic Drive? It is gorgeous in early November!

  • Lisa Johnson - I have loved this OK series! Bravo to you and Chris for finding ways to explore close to home. I have also lived in OK almost my whole life and have never heard of some of these spots. I hope to visit them all in the future!

  • kimberly oyler - hahaha firecracker waving in the last picture cracks me up.

  • Jennifer @ Godstellations - Not a fan of small spaces either, but you definitely have me wanting to pack my bags and head to OK!

  • Leila - I super duper double agree with you about going into caves and just knowing they will collapse on top of me.
    Also kids on the edge of cliffs :/
    Beautiful pictures!

  • Sue - As a kid, I had no fear of caves. I didn’t realize back then that they were bat habitats (my parents wisely left me ignorant of that information). I managed to tour Grand Caverns in VA this past April without totally freaking out, but I was a little concerned that a bat would swoop down and get caught in my hair.
    I love Little One’s moccasins – are they Minnetonkas?

  • Alice H - Little One looks so much like her daddy!! I like all the ninjas you have in that one picture too. LOL!

  • Caroline - that last picture reminds me of the Christmas picture y’all took before you had Little One. The one where there is a “hole” in the picture that only Little One could fill.

    I wonder what your subconscious is telling you!

  • ashley jensen - I love the red dirt! Seeing it against green grass and blue skies is absolutely beautiful. I am planning on getting a jar of it next time I spot some!

  • Monique Willms - Ha ha – love the one of Firecracker pouting. Reminds me of hiking the Rimrocks in Montana and my daughter (typical 2nd child who has no fear of anything) kept breaking down because we wouldn’t let her near the edge!

  • Ashley - Looks like such a fun adventure and great group shot of the family 🙂

  • kim - if i ever end up in oklahoma, seeing those dandelions will be on the top of my to-do list.

  • Moriah - I love this series about your state. There used to be a show on tv called Bay Area Backroads (here in CA)and your posts recently are reminding me of that show (blog style). Thanks! And, great family shot at the end of this one! Not to ramble on, but thanks for posting the pouting pic too. Real life at its best.

  • Sara G - You guys are just cool….and raising cool kids that will go out and marry someone’s extremely lucky daughter/son.

  • Necole@serioulsysassymama - Love that your daughter is waving in the last pick, and sometimes a girl just wants to show a little shoulder. hehe

  • Chantel - The second hike looks beautiful! The first one sounds like it wouldn’t be for me. I’m with you on the whole no bat thing. Ewww.

  • Angie - I grew up on a farm just a few miles from the Gloss Mountains. We have 5 kids and they love climbing (the stairs) up the “mountain” when we visit my parents. Did anyone warn you it is a home for rattlesnakes? We skipped the climb over Memorial Day because we saw some rattlers at the farm and didn’t want to chance an encounter on the mountain. I am a freak about not letting my kids near the edge…it’s a big drop! Our boys have been know to pee off the edge as every little boy should. My girls have pouted about that one, but life sometimes just isn’t fair:)
    Loving your series on OK!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That looks awesome. I kinda love the pouty picture 🙂

  • Eva - What an awesome place! I think Firecracker and my daughter would get along swimmingly. Fearless is her middle name. I especially love that last shot- what an awesome family photo!

  • Krista Lund - love this series…can i tagalong? lol

  • Jenna - What a great response. 🙂 I was adopted and I also don’t look much like my family, you’re right about having “your own normal”… the trippiest thing when I had children was that they looked like me. Obviously I knew that usually family members are biologically related to one another, but I had never really considered it before because it had never been my reality. It’s still something I can hardly wrap my head around, when someone says my daughter looks like me my initial response is something about how funny that is because we’re not genetically related, then remember that we ARE genetically related… because sometimes moms and daughters are. Trippy.

  • Jenna - I’m so sorry, my above comment was suppose to be on your top post about Firecrackers response to the child at the park telling her her sister didn’t look like her sister… I’m not sure how I ended up putting it on the post at the bottom of the page. Sorry about that.

  • AshleyAnn - Jenna – I love that and it makes me laugh! Thank you for sharing that with me…I just love it!

  • Terri - It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the dandelion may be Tragopogon dubius. It has yellow flowers, but is much bigger.

    I love your blog and have enjoyed reading it very much.

  • Kim - I am a newbie to your blog…and I LOVE it!!! Random question… I have to know what kind of baby back pack your husband has Little One in!!

  • AshleyAnn - Kim – it is an ergo carrier. They aren’t cheap, but we’ve used it for a long time in all stages of baby – toddlerhood

  • Alyson - I just wanted to say thank you for these travel OK posts. I have lived here about 2.5 years and I am not sure how long we are staying, but I have had the hardest time finding great outdoors things to do. I have already added all of your spots to our bucket list for the summer and my kids are beyond excited to go exploring. we live in OKC, and everything is a bit far, but I am just so excited to see such beautiful things are around us!