Prairie Dogs and Wildflowers at Lake Arrowhead

Every once in a while we discover an unexpected gem of a park. We just needed a quiet, restful place to stay for a couple of days after our adventure in Palo Duro Canyon. A place where we could buy some groceries and just chill. Lake Arrowhead State Park south of Wichita Falls sounded like it would fit the bill. As it turned out we enjoyed it so much we stayed an extra day.

It was wonderful seeing so much green after the brown plains of Texas. We had a nice big site with plenty of green grass and trees. There were hardly any other campers in the park and we sometimes felt like the only ones there.

Green all around at Lake Arrowhead
A great place to chill

Texas has been going through a drought for several years and many lakes have suffered because of it. Lake Arrowhead is really low and has been for a while. The fishing pier is high and dry and all of the boat ramps are closed.

Lake Arrowhead is really low
Lake Arrowhead is really low

There is a Prairie Dog Town in the park that has spread to some of the campsites. Some of the holes were right beside the road and Blondie tried to stick her nose in them as we walked by. The Prairie Dogs would scamper away to their hole and disappear as Blondie and I approached on foot. They would stay around longer when we drove by in the truck.

Prairie Dog Mama and babies
Prairie Dog Mama and her pups next to the picnic table in one of the campsites
Prairie Dog at Lake Arrowhead
Prairie Dog protecting his turf
Prairie Dog at Lake Arrowhead
Prairie Dog at Lake Arrowhead

There is a working oil pump in the campground. After seeing so many of them in the fields as we drove through Texas it was interesting to see one up close. The engineering term for this type pump is a walking beam. More common names for it are horsehead pump, nodding donkey, beam pump, rod pump, grasshopper, thirsty bird, pump jack or jack pump.

Inspecting an oil pump in the park
Inspecting an oil pump in the park

I was happy to see bluebonnets and other wildflowers growing beside the road.

It was a great place to chill before continuing our trek east.

The ranger who checked us in was very friendly and helpful and gave us great directions to shopping in Wichita Falls. She also recommended the Branding Iron for barbeque and it was delicious.

Our site was a pull through with paved pad, large grass sitting area, a covered picnic table and fire ring. The site had water and electric hookups. There was a bath house close by, several picnic areas and hiking trails in the park.

If you would like to read my detailed campground review of this park, click here.

25 thoughts on “Prairie Dogs and Wildflowers at Lake Arrowhead”

  1. Thanks for sharing about this park, as it is one I’ve looked at checking out on several occasions but always bailed when looking at the lake level. That does look like a nice camping area. North Texas has received a lot of rain over the past couple of weeks, thank goodness. I will check again to see if this one received enough to bring it up a bit. The Wichita Falls area has been one of the areas with really severe drought issues lingering. Love the flower photos!

    Like

    1. The prairie dogs have pretty much taken over some of the campsites. We were in site 25 in one of the loops they haven’t spread to. There were some nice hiking trails and we enjoyed it even with the lake being low.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are actually not big fans of the prairie dog relocation efforts to the state parks. We have them all over our city, too. They can pretty much destroy the area where they live. But, I also love them and don’t wish harm to any of them. They are so cute. Caprock Canyons introduced them to an area adjacent to the campground about three years ago, and they are spreading all around but not to the campground itself yet. If you ever come back to this area, Copper Breaks is also a little hidden gem when it is green. I bet it is absolutely gorgeous right now after recent rains, too.

        Like

          1. I know for sure they were at Caprock Canyons, and I think most other parks have also taken in rescues, too. They actually attract a lot of visitors, which is pretty funny to us, since we have them on almost every vacant lot here now, it seems. They are cute, though.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing about this park! We’re from Texas but haven’t been to all the state parks.

    I believe the name of the purple wild flower you marked as unknown is a Prairie Verbena, or Sweet William. They are one of my favorites!

    Like

  3. Oops, I should have enlarged the picture before I posted my other post. Those are not Prairie Verbena/Sweet Williams. I don’t know what those are. We have them where we live too.

    Like

  4. Oh, I love Prairie Dogs! I have never camped with them though, so that would be fun and interesting for sure. Looks like a great state park to visit. I just don’t understand why all the flowers are not in the books. So frustrating! Besides using my books, I also search on the internet with some success. Sometimes the state parks have pamphlets with pictures of wildflowers located in their parks. Guess you will be reaching Georgia before too long. Happy trails!

    Like

    1. It was the first time we’ve ever seen prairie dogs that close. When we drove by in the truck some of them would be right beside the road. As far as identifying flowers I even bought a Texas Wildflower book and can’t find some of the ones I photographed!

      Like

  5. We have watched prairie dogs for half an hour – a lot like puppies at play!
    We’ve gotten to Fredericksburg,TX for our rally, which ended Sunday. Beautiful flowers, green grass & lots of great people here.

    Like

  6. Nice flower photos and I love the prairie dog photos. Looks like you had a much better spot for observing. I have never seen a mama and her pups… good post Beth : )

    Like

  7. I love all the wildflowers. Sad to see the water level so low. I too never tire of watching those prairie dogs….. however, we never allowed our dog to get even close to a colony in Colorado. Certain prairie dogs carry flees carrying the bubonic plague. It’s a serious issue in Colorado.

    Like

    1. Ingrid, I had no idea about the issue with prairie dogs carrying the bubonic plague. When I took Blondie for a walk the prairie dogs all disappeared so she never was close to one. They would run from Blondie but not from the truck. I was so glad to see more wildflowers!

      Like

Comments are closed.