Where to Metal Detect in Oklahoma

15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Oklahoma (Maps, Laws, Clubs, and More)

Oklahoma is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. With ancient mountain ranges, sprawling prairies, mesas, and even wonderfully rich eastern forests. I love to visit Oklahoma, and because I love metal detecting, that also means that I love to metal detect in Oklahoma. Whether you live in the sooner state, or are just planning a vacation, Oklahoma is a treasure amongst treasure hunters a real detectorists paradise.

Coin shooting on Oklahoma Beaches
Coin shooting on Oklahoma Beaches

If you’re looking for coins or jewelry, like every other place, Oklahoma’s got them. If you’re looking for artifacts, either from the Native Americans or the Sooners themselves, Oklahoma’s got them. If you’re not looking for anything in particular, Oklahoma’s got those things too. No matter what you’re looking for, this list of fifteen Oklahoma locations are amongst the best places to metal detect in the state.

TREASURE! Just saying the word gets my blood pumping. I’ve got a guide pointing out the best places to go in Oklahoma. 👉 Where to Find Lost Treasure in Oklahoma

👉Hey David here the guy behind this website. Check Out My Favorite Metal Detecting Equipment Below 👍 Recommended

Nokta Ultra
Nokta Simplex ULTRA 👈 Awesome Machine!

When asked what I recommend, the 👉 Nokta Simplex Ultra stands out. Perfect for beginners, it’s waterproof, includes wireless headphones, and offers five functional modes, growing with your detecting skills.

Lesche T Handle Shovel picture
Lesche T Handle Shovel digs through everything

The next thing you need is a great shovel, believe me when I say you’ll dig more knowing you can dig FASTER. The nearly bullet proof Lesche T- Handle Shovel is the most comfortable heavy duty shovel I’ve ever used.

I love the CKG Sand Scoop for Beach Metal Detecting
I love the CKG Sand Scoop for Beach Metal Detecting

Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. To search a beach you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to be used as a shovel.

Minelab Equinox 800 amazing Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 800 amazing metal detector

If it’s time up UP YOUR GAME , get the industry standard metal detector. The Minelab Equinox 800 IS THE BEST. Okay it’s not cheap, but your finds are going to increase with this machine.

1. Ouachita National Forest

The Ouachita National is the oldest National Forest in the south, and its immense 1,784,457-acres spread through two states (Arkansas and Oklahoma), mountains, and seemingly unending forest.

The land was once home to Native Americans, but also to European explorers from both Spain and France. Today the forest is uninhabited, save its thousands of visitors who come to hike on its hundreds of miles of trails every year.

In addition to metallic treasures that you may happen upon in the Ouachita National Forest, a portion of the Cossatot River several miles wide contain high concentrations of quartz crystals as well as other precious minerals.

These loose crystals are free to pick up with the permission of the district ranger.

Due to National Forest Service regulations, metal detecting is permitted although restricted in National Forests and in most cases can be done without a permit. For more information regarding the regulations regarding metal detecting on land managed by the National Forest Service look👉 here…

Where to Go in Ouachita

Oklahoma Metal Detecting
Oklahoma Metal Detecting

2. Three Forks

In Eastern Oklahoma lies the Three Forks region, which is the convergence of the Verdigris River, Arkansas River, and Grand River. The area around Three Forks was commonly used by Native American Tribes and settlers traveling to the Western United States, like the Sooners.

The best places to search in the Three Forks region are near the water bodies. People settle near water, and water carries items for great distances. Try detecting in the shallow portions of the rivers if your metal detector coil is waterproof. This area has the potential to yield many types of treasures and artifacts.

Where to go in Three Forks

3. Wichita Mountains

The Wichita Mountains lies in the southwest portion of Oklahoma. This area is known for producing substantial amounts of precious metals like gold.

Rivers run through the small mountain range and help wash mineral deposits and metals down from the upper hills. Many of these deposits end up near the river banks and at the bottom of the streams.

After heavy flooding and rains new deposits are washed downstream, so check this area after storms for a better chance at finding treasure. The area is commonly used for gold panning, which can make metal detecting for treasure slightly more difficult. Be sure to avoid the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge unless you receive prior authorization from park rangers.

Where to Go in the Wichita Mountains

4. Arbuckle Mountains

The Arbuckle Mountains are in south-central Oklahoma and lie near Fort Arbuckle. These are some of the oldest mountains in the country, and as such, have a long history. Washita River flows through the range creating deep canyons. There is also a lake called Lake Arbuckle.

Mountainous areas are wonderful places to metal detect for artifacts. Check areas with trails, near water sources, and anywhere you find evidence of human activity.

5. Texola Ghost Town Artifacts

Texola has a confusing past. Both Texas and Oklahoma have claimed it in one of the eight historic surveys. Originally settled in the 1900’s with production of cotton and later it prospered with the railroad and route 66 passing through town.

At it’s population peak in 1930 nearly 600 residents lived in Texola, but now less than 40 call the town home.

Texola for metal detecting
Texola for metal detecting – image credit Google Maps – here

What’s this mean for the metal detectorist? Abandoned buildings and land that once served a bustling town, are now empty. PLEASE remember this mean private property abounds and PREMISSION must be obtained.

The fun of metal detecting is getting to know the residents of an area and talking to them to gain a bit of history. A smile and a thank you can go a long way toward getting permission. Often sharing a discovery with the property owner can add to the fun. I’ve had folks walk up and ask what I’m doing and tell me to stop by at their place next and looking around.

Metal Detecting Tip: Treasure hunting doesn’t mean making a mess, digging holes and destroying historic sites. Use some ethics and preserve history. Sharing pictures and documenting the location and researching the back story is the most important part of finding treasure. Read my article 👉 Metal Detecting Rules, Ethics and Laws

Where to Go in Texola:

6. Ingalls, Oklahoma

Located in Payne County, Ingalls is essentially an empty field aside from a few wooden buildings. With a population that peaked in 1890 at around 150 people, Ingalls has always been a small town. However, it was the famous shootout between the Doolin-Dalton Gang and a troupe of U.S Marshals which cemented Ingalls as a true ghost town.

Metal detectors have already helped uncover relics from the battle, but who knows what is still in the ground just waiting to be found?

7. Lenora, Oklahoma

Once known as the “Pearl of the Prairies,” Lenora was once a heart of trade and commerce in Oklahoma. Today it is just another of Oklahoma’s many ghost towns which have huge metal detecting potential. In 1900 it had a population of 400, today its simply an unincorporated community a couple of miles out of Dewey, Oklahoma.

8. Big Cedar

Big Cedar is another ghost town in Oklahoma. This area is an unincorporated community near the intersection of U.S. Route 259 and State Highway 63. Big Cedar is along the Ouachita National Recreation Trail.

This area is home to Copper Sky Ranch. Copper Sky Ranch is a popular campground that allows metal detecting. They even rent equipment if you do not have your own but want to check the area out.

If you want to know more about Copper Sky Ranch, check it out here: https://us.placedigger.com/copper-sky-ranch526829111.html

Metal Detecting Tip: After years of swinging my machine, I’ve come to realize find treasure is cool, but also having a conservation ethic is better. If you read just a little bit about the 1906 Antiquities Act you understand the idea of perseveration and conservation. Here’s a link. 👉 Antiquities Act U.S. Department of Interior

9. Adamson

Adamson is a 4 square mile ghost town in Pittsburg County. When it was founded, it was part of the Choctaw Nation. It began as a coal mining camp which peaked during the First World War with 15 operational mines. Adamson was home to one of the worst mining disasters in Oklahoma in 1914 when Mine Number 1 collapsed.

10. Tulsa City Parks

Many city parks allow metal detection because city parks are considered public lands. In Tulsa, you will need a permit to dig or uncover and remove any object in city parks. Speak to a park manager or the city for information about permits. Learn more about Tulsa park rules and ordinances here: https://www.cityoftulsa.org/government/departments/park-and-recreation/administration/park-rules-and-ordinances/

Parks are wonderful places to use metal detectors. People drop items when they are out. Some parks have been public spaces for decades, so you may find more buried items in some locations versus others. Check near sidewalks, benches, sandy areas, bleachers, and nearby trees.

11. Oklahoma City Parks

As with Tulsa, Oklahoma City Parks are public property and thus, typically open to metal detecting. As with all locations, you will want to speak to the specific park you wish to detect to make sure it is allowed and that you have any necessary permits.

City parks hold many buried treasures. You may find coins, jewelry, or even artifacts. Make sure the park allows digging and removal of objects. Some locations ban digging or have restrictions on what you can dig with and how deeply you can dig.

12. The Blue River

While there are several stories of buried treasure along Oklahoma’s Blue River, one stands out. During the civil war, a band of Confederate soldiers robbed a Federal supply wagon in Kansas stealing two large barrels of gold coins that were destined for Texas. However, the soldiers were attacked themselves by outlaws who stole the treasure for themselves. They purportedly buried the treasure in a cave somewhere along the Blue River.

Just make sure not to trespass on any private land while in search of this legendary treasure.

13. Mill Creek

As they commonly were in the mid seventeenth century, a payroll coach was looted as it passed through Oklahoma. However, instead of being caught, the perpetrators made off with a large amount of stolen gold and silver coins. The loot was split into three piles, two of which were buried in pots along Mill Creek. The last, and largest, of the piles was taken to the Arbuckle Mountains where it was buried in another series of metal pots. No parts of the treasure were ever recovered. It is like the treasure is just waiting for you to find it!

Metal Detecting in Rivers
Metal Detecting in Rivers

14. Local Beaches

Local public beaches often do not have regulations or oversight which would prevent you from metal detecting. If you do not disturb the land too much, or the people, then nobody will bother you either. These beaches are not particularly popular, so there is not much foot traffic, but that also means that they probably will not have anyone else detecting them. Fresh ground is always an exciting opportunity for a detectorist.

Just make sure that it is in fact a public beach as metal detecting on a private beach is trespassing just as much as if you were to walk around someone’s front yard and start digging holes. In general, it is always best to make sure you have full permissions wherever, and whenever, you are metal detecting.

What do You Need For Beach Metal Detecting?

I’m going to provide an ESSENTIAL beach gear list. Everyone wants to enjoy beach time and dragging a pile of gear to the beach sucks.

  • A great multi-frequency metal detector. Different metals react to different frequencies. Having a machine that utilizes multiple frequencies at the same time will greatly improve finding gold and coins. The Best Value is the Nokta Makro Legend check prices and reviews on Amazon with this shortcut link 👉 Nokta Makro Legend
  • A great pinpointer, I’m an absolute believer in wireless tech. For years I would get tangled in my headphone wires. GO WIRELESS the Nokta PulseDive links to the Legend’s wireless headphones. Since it’s built for diving, it’s Heavy Duty. Short cut link to Amazon – Nokta Makro PulseDive
  • Get a heavy duty sand scoop, I’ve bought the cheap plastic and metal scoops – NOT GOOD. They usually break within a day. 2+ years later I’m still hammering on my CKG Metal Detecting Sand Scoop 👈 Link to Amazon

15. Private Land

Public land is a wonderful resource for detectorist across the globe, but some of the best finds can be found on private land. Private land offers a uniquely undisturbed opportunity for treasure hunting. The only problem is that most of the time you need to own the land to metal detect on it… right?

Well, often if you ask politely and promise to not leave a trace then many people with large yards or properties will allow someone to detect on their land. You must ask the right people and say the right things. Remember, you only need to get one person to say yes!

Metal Detecting Tip Offering to split the profits of anything found can often convince a landowner to let you metal detect on their property. Read more in this article -> How to Get Permission to Metal Detect on Private Property

Personally, I like to ask about older people, people with a lot of land, and people who seem very friendly. It is not a crime to ask someone if you can metal detect on their property, but it feels a lot better when you are not getting shut down all the time. It takes a keen eye, and ear, but with practice you can often tell who the kind of person might be to let you hunt for treasure in their back yard.

Metal Detecting on Oklahoma beaches

If you’d like more articles about metal detecting check out the links below.

Metal Detecting Laws in Oklahoma

Metal Detecting in Oklahoma State Parks:

Many Oklahoma State Parks allow metal detecting, although there is no single list of which parks do, and which parks do not allow it. The only way to find out is to contact the park office and ask. Furthermore, if a park does allow metal detecting, more often than not you will need to get some kind of daily-use permit. These usually have to be approved and signed by the park manager before you can begin metal detecting.

Metal Detecting on National Forest Service Land in Oklahoma:

Metal detecting is no longer allowed in Oklahoma State Parks. It was legal for many years, but as of 2023, the laws have changed. You can always check with the park ranger for whichever State Park you want to metal detect. They may have special use permits depending on what you will be detecting for.

Be sure you do not metal detect without permission in a State Park. You can be fined and jailed for this offense.

Metal Detecting on National Forest Service Land in Oklahoma:

As is the case in any state, you are allowed to metal detect on land managed by the National Forest service if you follow certain rules and regulations regarding what you can and cannot take from the forest. These regulations can be found here…

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hoosier/learning/history-culture/?cid=stelprdb5406465  As I mentioned, it is because the National Forest service is ‘National’ that their regulations apply to any National Forest in the country. This is why National Forests are often a wonderful place to find a bunch of land that you can detect on no matter where you are

Metal Detecting on Private Land:

Unless you own the land, or have permission to detect on the land, it is always illegal to trespass on private land. It is especially illegal if you are digging on the property without permission. You always have to get permission to be on a property and you always need permission to treasure hunt on their land. Plus, in a place like Oklahoma if you trespass it might just be last thing you do if you catch my drift.

Oklahoma Metal Detecting Clubs

Favorite Metal Detecting Shop in Oklahoma

Metal Detecting Tips for Oklahoma

  1. Knee Pads are a must! Oklahoma has tons of hard dry ground filled with sharp gravel, without knee pads you’ll quickly have ripped pants at the least and bloody kneecaps at the worst.
  2. Get a sand scooper! Again, Oklahoma has tons of dry hard ground and with a sand scoop you’ll be able to look through the soil with ease. Plus, when you visit the beach, you’ll have one of the best metal detecting experiences of your life.

If you’d like more articles about metal detecting check out the links below.

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

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