As the mighty Red River cuts its way through red dirt and forms the Oklahoma / Texas border, it widens into one of the largest reservoirs in the United States. Formed by the Denison Dam, Lake Texoma transforms the red muddy waters of the Red River into a recreational oasis for the populace of North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. With plenty of wide open water, numerous coves, and an abundance of camping grounds, one quickly realizes the beauty and attraction of the lake the moment they put their paddle in the water.
What Makes It Great
Merely an hour drive from the DFW metroplex to the shore of the lake, this large water way is easily accessible. And because there are countless camp sites, marinas, and recreation areas directly on the water – it’s also very easy to find a spot to drop in. A consensus favorite among paddlers, the shores of the lake at Juniper Point have several available points to access the lake. Drop in on the West side, and you’ll parallel the great Cross Timbers Trail.
Choosing this route will give the paddler ample opportunity to discover the flora and fauna of the Cross Timbers wilderness. Dipping in and out of hidden coves, it’s not surprising to paddle up on deer, hogs, or other forest varmints. Known to most locals for the fishing opportunities, Lake Texoma holds one of the most successful Striper Bass fisheries in the nation. Boaters and paddlers alike are drawn to the allure of chasing the shad schools, seen from up above as tumultuous waves in the lake. This is a prime indicator there are numerous striper bass in the water below.
Who is Going to Love It
For the adventurous paddlers looking for an extended trip, you’ll find several marked spots available for camping. These sites can range from lake side fire rings surrounded by rocky dirt, or hill side tree covered camp pads providing excellent vistas of the lake below. In the warmer months, it’s not uncommon to see camp fires dotting the shoreline as hikers and paddlers settle down wherever there is flat ground. Novice paddlers will excel here as well with the ability to avoid the strong northern winds by following the curvy shoreline into coves and inlets.
Juniper Point and other lakeside campgrounds are extremely family friendly as well. With kayak and canoe rentals at most of the major marinas dotting the southern banks of the lake, access to paddling is easily obtained.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To the Juniper Point camping area, head north on Hwy 377 out of Denton. When you get to the shores of the lake, you can enter either the Eastern or Western camp sites. Both have boat ramps and camping. Camping charges here and most official sites along the lake are $15.00-$20.00 per car. If you choose to hike or paddle to the primitive sites along the trails/shoreline it is first come first serve, and free to all. If you choose to enjoy the waters of Lake Texoma, always wear your lifejacket!