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Oklahoma’s Great Salt Plains – Last Minute Summer Trip

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Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, just North of Jet, OK, you’ll find the Great Salt Plains State Park. A very large, 11,000 square mile salt flat, lake, and wildlife refuge.

It’s open from sunrise to sunset to any visitor that wants to take in a little nature, and get down and dirty digging for hourglass crystals. They naturally form here, and the Great Salt Plains is the only place in the world you can find them.

It’s completely free, fun for family and kid groups, and just about every hole you dig will contain a few hundred of these crystals.

Some say it’s a little too far to drive, but as it’s the only place in the world you can find these crystals, it’s practically in your back yard.

Now, while it’s free and open to the public, there is a dedicated digging area of the Great Salt Plains. It’s vast, and plenty big to allow everyone their own space. The rest of the eleven thousand square miles is off limits, and they take their border markers pretty seriously.

We went last Tuesday morning, there were two other families in the square digging mile.

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Things you’ll need:

Shovel
Plastic Bags
Change of Clothes
Spare Shoes
Snacks and Drinks

Everything else is pretty well provided by nature. All the water you’ll need is just under the surface. As you dig your hole, it will fill with groundwater. You’ll use this groundwater to splash the sides of your hole. This will reveal your crystals. Lay them on the ground, they’ll dry out, and you can pop them in a plastic bag for the ride home.

As Oklahoma is known for our red dirt, if you’re doing everything right, you’re going to get dirty… and your shoes are going to be caked in salt. It comes off really easily, but it’s easier to throw ’em in a storage tub for the drive home.

Take snacks with you, and drink plenty of water. Working out there, in such a desolate area will suck the moisture right out of you. Add in the sunlight beating down on you, plus what reflects off the salt, sunscreen is a good thought too. Try to hit it early as that sun heats up the salt flats pretty quick. You’ll easily feel an extra 10-15 degrees hotter out on the salt.

 

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