DAY 6 PLAN: Meramec State Park to Tulsa


DRIVE: Meramec State Park, MO to Tulsa, OK

  • Break camp
  • CONTINUE DRIVE Meramec / Rolla / Springfiled (MO) / Tulsa
    (approx. 500 miles / 12 hours, less whatever we did yesterday)
  • RESUPPLY en route (if needed)
  • (optional: VISIT Gary Turner @ Old Sinclair Station – “Gay Parita”, Paris Springs Junction)
  • DRIVE Ribbon Road Sidewalk Highway, Miami
  • (optional: VISIT Totem Pole Park, Foyil)
  • ARR  Tulsa
  • Set up camp

NITE: Developed Park Campsite / EITHER Twin Bridges State Park, OK — OR — Keystone State Park


DEP: 0700 – Meramec State Park MO
(DRIVE: 45 miles / 1.0 hours = 2.0 hours estimated segment time)

DEP: 0900 – Rolla MO
(DRIVE: 125 miles / 2.0 hours = 3.0 hours estimated segment time)

DEP: 1200 – Springfield MO
(DRIVE: 100 miles / 2.0 hours = 3.5 hours estimated segment time)

DEP: 1530 – Galena KA
(DRIVE: 150 miles / 3.0 hours = 4.0 hours estimated segment time)

ARR: 1930 – Tulsa OK
(420 miles / 8.0 hours drive / 12.5 hours estimated travel)




ACTIVITIES EN ROUTE: from Meramec State Park to Tulsa

Gay Parita Sinclair Station – (Paris Springs Junciton) Located 25 miles west of Springfield, Missouri on Historic Route 66 (seewebsite) contact:

  • The Gay Parita Sinclair station has a wealth of information for the route 66 roadie Visit proprietor Gary Turner, who is happy to share his knowledge of the mother road with all who share their love for the road.
  • “ Folks from all over the world say it’s the dream of their life to travel Route 66. It’s the dream of my life to meet those folks.”
  • Directions: Located 25 miles west of Springfield , Missouri on Historic Route 66. (3 miles west of Halltown on old 66)

Sidewalk Highway 9-foot wide old alignment of 66 that once connected Miami and Afton still exists in two sections: one leaving Miami, the other south of Narcissa.

Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park – Hwy 28A, Foyil, OK, Phone: 918-342-9149

  • Directions: I-44 exit 255. Rte 20 west into Claremore, then right on Rte 66. 11 miles north to Foyil. Right on Rte 28A, then 3.5 miles east; on south side. Open daily, (the gift shop is open M-Sa 11-3, Su 12:30-4.)

The Blue Whale – 2600 N Hwy 66, Catoosa, OK, Phone: 918-694-7390
(see more info)

  • Directions: 1 mile N of Catoosa on Rt 66. 1 block N of Reasors Grocery on W side of Hwy. Open daily, 8am till dark

LODGING OPTION 1: Twin Bridges State Park
14801 S Hwy 137, Fairland, OK 74343
(see park website)
Phone: 918-542-6969 / Fax: 918-540-2545

Another potential stop over, that is much further from Meramec—about 4 hours via the interstate) but only a little over an hour and a half east of Tulsa, (it is close to the route, nearest to Miami OK). This is a small state park with tent sites and more lux accomodations.

RATES: Not sure of fees or reservations info – JMF to call

DIRECTIONS: 6 miles East of Fairland, OK at junction of US 60/SH 137.

LODGING OPTION 2: Keystone State Park
1926 Hwy 151, Sand Springs, OK 74063
(see park website)
Phone: 918-865-4991 / Toll Free: 800-654-8240 / Fax: 918-865-2083

This potential stopover is right outside Tulsa and would be a great stopover if we came from Bennet Spring state park (about 4 1/2 hours drive via the interstate),
It has 82 tent sites.

RATES: Not sure of fees or reservations info – JMF to call

DIRECTIONS: From Sand Springs, we are 7 miles W on Hwy 51, then 1/2 mile N on Hwy 151. From Mannford, we are 6 miles E on Hwy 51, then 1/2 mile N on Hwy 151.


2 JAN 2010: not sure if this is a city we just pass through, or one we stay over at… we will have to look at what is there to get an idea. will do more research. but meanwhile i located some camping options (two state parks that seem “ok” but nothing “must-do” and a nearby koa “just in case”)

12 JAN 2010: i think we will actually take two days to get here rather than one day of 12 hour driving… so we should definitely plan on stopping to camp somewhere in between… if we are lucky we can do a few hours on the pickup day from St. Louis, but we might be tired after canoeing and hiking thru the cavern… and so not be up to a driving in the late afternoon… which means either 12 hours on day 6 or doing some driving on day 6 and some on day 7…

so best not to reserve anything ahead of time for this leg of the trip in terms of lodings but rather to take a list of possible campgrounds along the route…

Kansas Campgrounds along the route:

  • Kingdom Camp Ground, 7146 SE 88th Drive, Galena (620) 783-2112

Oklahoma Campgrounds along the route:

  • Will Rogers Downs, 16305 Old Highway East, Claremore (918) 343-5900
  • KOA, 19605 E. Skelly Drive, Catoosa (918) 266-4227
  • Mingo RV Park, 801 N. Mingo Road, Tulsa (918) 832-8824
  • Warrior Campground, 5131 S. Union Ave., Tulsa (918) 446-3199
  • 66 Mobile Home & RV Park, 7514 W. 80th St. # 8, Tulsa (918) 224-1536
  • Route 66 RV Park, 9701 New Sapulpa Road, Sapulpa (918) 224-3750
  • Abe’s RV Park, 12115 N. I-35 Service Road, Oklahoma City (405) 478-0278
  • KOA, 301 S. Walbaun Road, El Reno (405) 884-2595
  • KOA, I-40 at Exit 50, Foss (580) 592-4409
  • Wink’s Camp Grounds, 1410 Neptune Drive, Clinton (580) 323-1664
  • Elk Run RV Park, 2705 E. Highway 66, Elk City (580) 225-4888
  • Elk Creek RV Park, 317 E. 20th St., Elk City (580) 225-7865

See the campground locations on google maps:

View Larger Map

26 FEB 2010: After discussion, we kind of agree that we will do our best to split this up, doing a little bit of the drive the evening after we left the meramec caverns, so we have a bit less to do on the day to Tulsa. Not sure how far we can get, but any mileage we can do will make the drive to Tulsa a bit easier…

So assuming we stayed at one of the alternate locations about an hour or two out of the meramec caverns area, the night before, this night we should easily make it to the Tulsa area.

A little east of Tulsa there is a state park, Twin Bridges State Park, which is not that far off the route. Here is the OK state tourism page for the park. There is also the Keystone state park near Sand Springs, OK, a little West of Tulsa, if we can get that far. And here is a page where you can choose parks by location.

One more IMPORTANT NOTE: We should probably avoid staying overnight in the actual city of Tulsa along the Route 66 itinerary. According to chatter on the Historic Route 66 forum, the area can be potentially problematic for folks traveling thru:

<< We were driving along the service road looking at the motels, that looked questionable, when a policeman pulled us over. Asked us if we were looking for a motel and told us not to stay around there. Told us that area was all **** dealers and prostitutes and if we left the car there overnight he would almost guarantee it would be gone, stripped or damaged in the morning. He said there wasn’t any more motels West bound until Oklahoma City and sent us back to the East side of town. Things may have changed in the last few years but I would avoid the West side of town. >>


  • Tulsa Official tourism site (about the city, plus things to do, etc.)
  • Keystone State Park (a bit past Tulsa to the west. accepts reservations. has 82 tent sites, also cabins, and places for RVs. looks like a very “family activity” kind of park… boat rentals, water skiing etc.)
  • Twin Bridges State Park (close to the route, but nearer to Miami OK than Tulsa OK. small state park with tent sites and more lux accomodations, can make reservations)
  • Tulsa KOA (annoying-type “family” campground. but accepts reservations and has wireless internet. also, is close to the route, and just east of Tulsa)
  • Oklahoma State Tourism Guide to Route 66 PDF (covers whole state, not just Tulsa. great resource for art and list of “sites” along the trail)
  • Red Rock Canyon state park past Tulsa and closer to Oklahoma City, this park is known for good rappelling… there is a campground there too…
  • Oklahoma route 66 association – website with info on their stretch of the route
  • Missouri Route 66 association – website with detailed list of attractions along their stretch of route 66
  • Camping Oklahoma Route 66 – Here is a site someone put together on camping around route 66 in oklahoma
  • Cherokee Nation Tourism – Cherokee Nation is in the northeast of OK (near Tulsa area) and the tribe encourages cultural tourism activities, we should check back on their site when the trip is closer to see if there is something going on during our timeframe.