Explore OK {Robber’s Cave State Park}

The unusual 70+ degree weather this week begged us to head out on an adventure. Yesterday we drove a few hours south to Robber’s Cave State Park. Legend has it that Belle Star used to hide out with her outlaw friends among the caves. Evidently stagecoaches were often robbed in the area and the caves provided a perfect hiding/look out spot for those fleeing authorities. Rumor also has it that Jesse James and his gang used the caves for hiding too.


I tried to convince my 3 year old that she should let me put her hair in a ponytail, but she’s three. And I made a suggestion. She’s three.1.15robberscave-01It didn’t take too long in the wind for her to concede and let me pull back her hair.

We climb a lot of rocks as a family, but we have one main rule – you can only go as far as you can climb by yourself. This rule usually keeps the younger ones at lower levels, unless the oldest decides to break the rules and help someone. I was taking this shot of my youngest daughter and busted my oldest rule breaker in the background. It is tough being the youngest – especially when you are a fearless three year old.1.15robberscave-031.15robberscave-041.15robberscave-05We took Arley. It was her first time in the car longer than 30 minutes. She got carsick. That was not awesome, but in the end it was worth it letting her come along.1.15robberscave-06Walking, climbing and hiking we told the kids the stories of these caves. Many are believed to be true, but unconfirmed. One story though was from Chris’ younger years. We made him tell it over and over again. The kids always wanted more details.

I wrote these words on instagram yesterday:

As young teens, Chris and his friend Robert flew into action after hearing adult cries that a little boy fell off a high cliff in this park. Recognized as heroes for the role they played in the little boy’s stabilization and rescue, they received the national Boy Scout Meritorious Action Award. It is given to one “who has performed some outstanding act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.” Those words continue to ring true when describing him.1.15robberscave-121.15robberscave-071.15robberscave-081.15robberscave-091.15robberscave-101.15robberscave-11Adventuring is our favorite. We are slowly working our way through most of Oklahoma. I tried to savor the burst of unusually warm temperatures instead of focusing on the fact that it is still actually winter!

Below are a few of the Oklahoma places I’ve posted about before:

Osage Hills State Park

Bartlesville Kiddie Park and Woolaroc

Great Salt Plains State Park

Alabaster Caverns & Gloss Mountain

Flint Creek


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  • Heather - We have the same rule applied to tree climbing. Only go as for up as you can get down by yourself! Can you send some warm weather my way? 🙂

  • danielle - Awesome shots! We have the same rule for our two boys. It usually keeps them out of too much trouble 🙂 They love to climb! Seeing your posts makes me want to make a trip out there again! It is definitly one of our favorites.

  • cathie - Years ago, my pup would get horribly carsick – even going just a few miles. It got better as she got older, but she never outgrew it. Our vet suggested vanilla ice cream. It worked like a charm!

  • Natalie Lacy Lange - What a gorgeous place! I love your safety rule–will remember that when we take ours on adventures. Thanks for sharing!

  • Angela - We are from north Texas and the first camping trip we went on with our puppy was the Murray State Park in South Oklahoma… The puppy puked in the car. So, solidarity, sister! Also, I am just itching to go up and hike around the Turner Falls area near Ardmore! If y’all ever venture down that far, I’d love to hear what you think of it! 🙂

  • Pam - Thank you for a trip down memory lane! We now live in Idaho but back when our kids were young we lived near Sherman, Tx and took scout camping/hiking trips to Robbers Cave. My daughters first Girl Scout overnighter was there as well!

  • Marsha in OK - We LOVE Robbers Cave, especially since we tagged along with a ranger one time! Totally changed our perspective knowing the different areas such as the corral. And hearing the stories of Hanging Judge Parker chasing “the bad guys” from Arkansas, but never finding them at Robbers Cave! I wish we had thought to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and driven down!!! Soon!!!

  • Kim - Wow, what a difference! While you were exploring caves in shorts, we were hunkered down during a blizzard, with over 2 ft. of snow in 24 hrs!

  • Lakmali - Nice!!!!!

  • Diana - I laughed at your suggestions to your youngest daughter. Oh the joys of little ones. =)

  • amber - Such an awesome story about your husband & his friend! Love that. Crazy, fun stories from the caves. And on a side note, you talking about all those famous bad guys made me feel the need to share I am related to Bonnie Parker. Of Bonnie & Clyde. A fact that is odd & not really one to be proud of, but true none-the-less. At least I found Jesus. Lol!!

  • michelle hill - These photos are oozing with cutness! Little One looks so darn adorable in her hiking clothes.
    Your hubby sounds like a one of a kind gem 🙂

  • Kari - Hey, would it be obnoxious to ask you to add a link to your side bar about your travels? We live in Moore and got our camper last summer. We go to the same lakes over and over and it would be nice to have an honest second opinion about places to go.

  • Katrina - Love these adventure posts! I try to do the same when we go to a new place as a family. If we ever make it out to Oklahoma, we will be sure to check out some of your suggested adventures! I especially love to hear locals letting you know where the ‘good spots’ are, when you are from outta town and don’t know anyone, its awesome to have a little inside scoop.
    Lotsa love from California

  • Cindy McAllister - Thought of you when I saw this converted attic bedroom.


  • Donzel - Well, you’ve convinced me that Oklahoma isn’t all cornfields and straight roads. The climbing rule is a good one!

  • melissa pearce - THanks for posting this!! so neat to see. You make me wish we still lived in OK!

  • Haverlee - I love that picture of Little One watching on as all the “bigs” climb up ahead. Such a great capture.