Hike Burnt Cabin Cliff Trail at Lake Tenkiller Oklahoma to the Cliffs


We’re sharing all the details, so you know what to expect hiking the Burnt Cabin Cliff trail at Lake Tenkiller!

We live to find spectacular day-hikes close to home in northeast Oklahoma. We especially enjoy finding trails close to the water and tucked away in rocks. That is precisely what we found while hiking the Burnt Cabin Cliff trail at Lake Tenkiller!

The emerald, blue water against dramatic cliffs is quite the surprise and makes for the perfect morning or afternoon hike. If you’re looking for a fantastic day hike with remarkable rocks and a lake as the backdrop, then this is your trail.

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Hiking Burnt Cabin Cliff Trail at Lake Tenkiller Oklahoma

Located near Burnt Cabin Marina, the Burnt Cabin Cliff trail wanders through the oak trees along an old dirt road that jets out onto a peninsula next to Lake Tenkiller. Towards the end of the peninsula is where the beautiful rocky cliffs begin.

You can also kayak to this point if you don’t want to hike!

The trailhead is not marked. The trailhead is located across from Burnt Cabin Marina along the east side of the boat launch. There is a little scrapyard area – head past the scrapyard, and the trail begins – follow the dirt road.

This is an easy trail to hike. There are no big hills to climb, and the trail is around 2.2 miles round trip.

Lake Tenkiller is a beautiful emerald-green color, which makes for awesome photos with the cliffs. There are plenty of rocks to sit on and enjoy the view.

Hiking the Burnt Cabin Cliff trail

Trip tip: There was some trash along the trail; bring a bag to pick up a little trash if you feel inclined. Always practice Leave No Trace.

Leave No Trace Tips While Hiking

  • Dispose of human waste and trash property
  • Leave natural things found alone
  • Respect wildlife and watch wildlife from a safe distance
  • Be considerate of other people recreating in the area
  • Pack out all trash and waste
  • Be quiet and enjoy nature
  • Be respectful of the land
  • Acknowledge Native American territories and tribal lands

Best Time to Visit Burnt Cabin Cliff Trail

Since Oklahoma has mild winters, visitors can hike this trail year-round.

The best time to hike is in the spring (April) through late fall (October) to see all the foliage. Fall is particularly a nice time to hike and take photos in Oklahoma.

Depending on the time of year hiking the trail, hikers may encounter mud – there was a little mud when we hiked in October.

The emerald green water along the trail

What to Bring Hiking Burnt Cabin Cliff Trail

Since it is a short hike, we recommend bringing the basics: good hiking shoes, a camera, water, snacks, a day pack, and comfortable hiking clothes.

Hiking Shoes. We have both been loving Oboz this summer. Pablo was gifted a pair of Oboz Sawtooth II low-top hiking shoes that he has barely taken off.  And I have been wearing the Oboz Mid-Leather for fall hikes. We can both attest to the instant comfort of the Oboz brand. They are breathable and waterproof. Both are great street to trail shoes and worth the investment. Did I mention they were ridiculously comfortable?

Reliable Camera. If you don’t have a cell phone with a good camera, we highly recommend investing in a reliable camera. We started our blog in 2020 with some of our older equipment and can honestly attest to how big of a difference having quality camera equipment is when shooting memories. We are currently using the Sony a7iii with a 28-70 mm lens. It is worth every penny.


Water Bottles. We prefer insulated water bottles. We like Hydro Flask because they aren’t as heavy as some of the other brands. And orange is my favorite color, so I’m showing you my favorite water bottleaaaand if you live in Oklahoma, you more than likely love orange or crimson red! I didn’t go to school in Oklahoma, but I love every excuse I can find when it comes to orange gear.


Day Pack. A small day pack will do the trick to hold all your camera equipment, snacks, and water. Pablo and I divide and conquer the load. I typically hike with a hip pack or my favorite Kavu rope sling bag, and Pablo carries the camera equipment in a separate backpack.

Burnt Cabin Cliff Trail Details

  • Trail Distance: 2.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 144.4 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

Is there a bathroom close by the trail? Yes, at Burnt Cabin Marina.

Is the trail on the AllTrails App? Yes, download the Burnt Cabin Cliff hike.

Is there cell phone reception? Cell phone reception is hit-and-miss driving to the area, but there is some reception.

Epic Viewpoints

Enjoying the views on the east side of the peninsula
Sitting on the rocks along the east side

How to Kayak to the Cliffs if You Don’t Want to Hike

It is easy to kayak or boat to the cliffs at Lake Tenkiller if you don’t want to hike here.

Launch your vessel from the Burnt Cabin Marina, and head to the left when you’re facing the lake. Paddle or boat around the peninsula, and you’ll get to the rocks.

It took us about 2 hours to paddle from the Burnt Cabin Marina to the cliffs and back. We swam near the rocks for a little before heading back.

Lake Tenkiller is a great place to paddle in Oklahoma when the weather is warm!


We hope you enjoy this awesome day-hike to the cliffs at Lake Tenkiller or kayaking adventure!

It’s a great place to explore the outdoors in Oklahoma. It makes for the perfect day trip to get away from the city and reinvigorate yourself in nature.

Thanks for reading.

Ashlee & Pablo

Have you hiked the Burnt Cabin Cliff Trail? What was your experience? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

More Oklahoma Adventures

You might enjoy our other articles about Oklahoma:

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Ashlee Fechino

Ashlee Fechino is an outdoor recreation and travel writer sharing the best-kept secrets that aren’t in your typical guidebook. Her goal is to inspire people to travel with a sense of adventure by sharing hidden gems across the U.S. and beyond. She is married to an expat Argentine, Pablo. They camp in their Aliner often and love wandering the world. Follow their latest adventures on Instagram @thehappinessfxn.


  1. Juli on December 27, 2021 at 9:08 am

    Looks and sounds like a lovely place to hike. It is always a favorite or mine to hike along water. Also I got some Oboz hiking boots and low top hiking shoes this year and they are my favs. Super comfortable and stable fit! Hike on Ashlee and Pablo!

    • Ashlee Fechino on December 28, 2021 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Juli! Thanks for stopping by! Hiking to the cliffs at Lake Tenkiller is awesome. Glad you love your Oboz hiking boots too!!

  2. Cristina Sala on November 10, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Gracias Ashlee y Pablo por permitirme verlos tan hermosos uatedes y la belleza del lugar .
    Realmente al solamente ver las fotos respiro aire puro, naturaleza incomparable.
    los abrazo con mi corazon

  3. Burt Randall on November 4, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks, Ashlee & Pablo for writing this amazing article about Oklahoma.

    THANKS !!

    • Ashlee Fechino on November 5, 2021 at 8:38 pm

      Hey Uncle Burt! Thank you for reading and commenting. We love seeing your name come across our comments!