Arbuckle Mountains

The Arbuckle Mountains are an ancient mountain range in south-central Oklahoma in the United States. The Arbuckles date back to 540-440 million years ago in the latest Precambrian and earliest Paleozoic era.



The west trending structure of the Arbuckles and the parallel trending Wichita Mountains is at almost right angle to the regional tectonic trend of the mid-Paleozoic structure from the Ouachitas south to the Marathon Uplift. The Arbuckles are thought to have originated along a failed rift or aulacogen in the Precambrian basement which was uplifted and folded during the Ouachita Orogeny.

Hydrology and karst features

Underlying the Arbuckle Mountains is the Arbuckle Simpson aquifer, housing some of the purest spring water in the world and providing water to the Blue River and Honey Creek which flows over Turner Falls south of Davis.

As a result of the karst topography, standing water is rarely found atop the Arbuckle Mountains, the water seeps through the fracture cracks creating elaborate limestone caverns throughout the Arbuckle Mountains. Today the Arbuckles have gradually eroded to their present heights of 300-500 feet above the surrounding terrain or 1300-1400 feet above sea level.

Location and tourism


Popular recreation areas in the Arbuckle Mountains include Turner Falls Park, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, one of the most popular national park facilities in the United States, and Lake of the Arbuckles. Turner Falls is located convert|5|mi|km south of Davis, whereas Chickasaw NRA is located in the city of Sulphur.

The Arbuckle Mountain area is the proud host of Okla Suave, a one-of-a-kind, annual celebration where families can celebrate their rich traditions and cultures while enjoying beautiful mountain scenery.

The area is also the location of several campgrounds, including the YMCA's Camp Classen and the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, which hosts 55,000 campers each summer.


* James S. Aber, [ "Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma"]
* Robert W. Allen, 2002, [ "Complex Structural Features of the Ardmore Basin"]
* USGS [ America's Volcanic Past: Oklahoma]

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