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Robbers Cave

Location

Approximately 5 miles north of Wilburton, Oklahoma. Approximately 35 miles east of McAlester, Oklahoma.

Useful Phone Numbers

Robbers Cave State Park and Lodge
Hwy 2 N
Wilburton, OK 74578
Phone: (918) 465-2565
Toll Free: (800) 654-8240
Fax: (918) 465-5763
Lodge & Cabin Office: (918) 465-2562
Park Map

Getting There

From Dallas, take US Highway 75 north through Sherman where it is joined by US Highway 69. Continue on US Highway 69 to McAlester, Oklahoma. In McAlester, turn right (east) on State Highway 270 and follow this to Wilburton. (Approximately 14 miles from McAlester, State Highway 270 turns left just after passing through the town of Hartshorne. This turn is easy to miss if you aren't expecting it or aren't paying careful attention.) In Wilburton, turn left (north) on Highway 2, and follow this approximately 5 miles to the Robber's Cave campground. Directions Map
The entrance to the campground is on the right (east) side of Highway 2 and is marked by a large, wooden, well lighted sign with white lettering for the cabin office, grocery store, and campground. Turn right onto this road (Park Cabins Rd.) and follow it uphill to the campground office parking lot. Continue straight through the parking lot and enter the gateway with the sign for the Old Circle Campground.

Getting Around

To get to the climbing area from the campground, follow the entrance road back out to Highway 2. Cross the highway and turn right on the park road on the opposite side (Robber's Cave Road). Follow this road approximately 2.8 miles to the cave parking lot. Follow the obvious trail leading away from the parking lot uphill and to the right. Approximately 100 yards from the parking lot, this trail brings you to the Stone Corral climbing area.

Club Trips

Generally at least twice per year. Since Robber's Cave is a fairly small area with a good selection of high quality beginner and intermediate climbs, the club tries to schedule Robber's Cave trips approximately two weeks after the spring and fall beginner's classes to give students a chance to further break in their new shoes. See trip schedule.

Types of Climbing

Toproping, lead climbing, and bouldering. The climbing area at Robber's Cave is approximately the same size as the climbing area at Mineral Wells, but the types of climbing are much more varied. In addition to the friction face, crack, and limestone jug-haul techniques used to get up most Mineral Wells routes, Robber's Cave allows you to brush up on your chimneys and offwidths, and offers some fine (if easy) Hueco Tanks style bouldering.
Most of the longer climbs at Robber's Cave are concentrated in the Stone Corral area. The longest climbs in the park are approximately 50 to 60 feet or less.
NOTE: Many toprope anchors at Mineral Wells require extraordinary amounts of webbing, but not by Robber's Cave standards. Some anchors at Robber's Cave must be set using rope rather than webbing because the trees are as much as 50 feet from the tops of the climbs.

Rock

The rock at Robber's Cave is an extremely compact, fine-grained sandstone very similar to the rock at Mt. Magazine. The appearance and diversity of this rock is truly amazing. In some places, it is covered by flaring seams and crack systems, in others it features whole walls of huecos, and in yet others is cased in dark brown ironrock sheets. All the variations seem solid and seem to hold protection well.

Climbing Season

Spring and fall. As with most areas in this area, the middle of the summer is too hot, and the middle of the winter is too cold.
There is an autumn leaves festival that fills the park with tourists and makes getting a campsite virtually impossible. The festival is sometime in mid-October and should be avoided if possible. If you are planning to visit Robber's Cave in the October time frame, call the campground office before hand for information about the festival.

Accommodations

Robber's Cave State Park offers tent spaces, RV spaces, and cabins. It is sometimes difficult to find a flat space to setup a tent in the Old Circle Campground, but the sites are wooded and scenic, and campfires are permitted. The campground restrooms have hot water, showers, and electrical outlets for razors and hair dryers.
Call the park office to reserve cabins, RV sites, or group sites only. Individual sites are on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be reserved. During the week of the autumn leaves festival, campsites are usually filled by the Wednesday preceding the festival weekend.
There is a park store that sells groceries, firewood, and other tourist essentials. The park also has a restaurant, called the P&R Cattle Company, that reportedly serves pretty decent food. The restaurant hours are from 11-8 Monday-Friday, 7-8 Saturday, and 7-2 on Sunday. There is also a combination gift shop, nature center, and historical exhibit near the restaurant that the kids will enjoy.
After the park's P&R Cattle Company closes, the closest restaurants are in Wilburton. Everyone usually gravitates toward Pizza Hut, which is about the first restaurant you come to in Wilburton, but there are a couple of other interesting looking places in town. If you're feeling adventurous, you might try Jimmy's Steak House or Centennial Cafe on Main Street.
Club members frequently like to stop and eat together on the trip home after a weekend climb. On the Robber's Cave trips, it is usually at one of the restaurants in McAlester. Polo's and the Cotton Patch are both on the State Highway 69 access road in McAlester (on the west side of the highway). To find these restaurants, after getting back on southbound 69, turn right onto the access road at the first stoplight (Comanche Street). Continue south on the access road to the restaurants. (Polo's is Mexican food, and the Cotton Patch is southern home cooking.)

Expenses

Campsites at Robber's Cave with electrical hook-ups cost $12.00 per night (per tent). Sites without electrical hook-ups cost $6.00 per tent per night.
There are no day use or climbing fees at Robber's Cave.

Guidebooks

The Oklahoma Climber's Guide, first edition, by Chuck Lohn, copyright 1999, is available from local outdoor retailers. The Texas Mountaineers have also compiled an unofficial map of some of the routes in the area.

last updated 03/26/08
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