Recreation abounds at Roman Nose State Park -
you can enjoy fishing, golf, horseback riding, tennis, boating, hayrides and more!
Why is the park named "Roman Nose"?
J. B. Cronkhite was the first man to design and build a recreational facility in the big canyon. Cronkhite had the name "Big Springs Resort" picked out for his park. You can read why he abruptly cancelled his plans in the summer of 1926 in M. C. Weber's Roman Nose: A History of the Park. When Watonga and NPS and CCC were ready to open the park, they planned on using the name "Big Springs State Park"; but Dr. Charles Gould pointed out that there were other parks in Oklahoma with that name and he suggested the name Roman Nose in honor of the man who had lived at the site. The name, he contended, would reflect the park's Indian heritage and distinguish it from other public recreational areas.
Who was Chief Roman Nose?
Chief Roman Nose lived in this rugged canyon from 1887 until he died there in 1917. He was born in 1856 and given the name Woquini meaning "Hook Nose". He grew to manhood within a hostile environment involving many Cheyenne raiding parties. In 1875 all warring Cheyennes returned to the agency at Darlington. Here he was arrested and sent to Ft. Marion in St. Augustine, Florida where he learned to speak, read and write the English language. He was then moved to an Institute in Virginia. Here he accepted the Christian faith and was baptized Henry Caruthers Roman Nose. His name Henry came from Richard Henry Pratt, the commander of the fort in St. Augustine. His name Caruthers came from Mrs. Horace Caruthers, his devoted teacher and friend in Florida. He learned tinsmith at a boarding school in Pennsylvania before returning to his homeland in 1881. Roman Nose discovered much had changed during the six years he had been away. Traditional Indian ways were almost nonexistent. White domination permeated all aspects of Indian life. Slowly he became disillusioned with what the whites offered. Roman Nose eventually spurned the white society. He left the agency and took his family to live in what is now Roman Nose State Park.
Roman Nose Resort Park is one of the original seven Oklahoma State Parks, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and opened to the public in 1937. Today, Roman Nose Resort Park features a lodge, cabins, RV and tent campsites and an 18-hole golf course. The park features distinctive white outcroppings of gypsum and beautiful mesas. Hiking, biking and equestrian trails offer visitors spectacular vistas and a wide range of recreational opportunities.
Roman Nose Resort Park is located on SH-8 and SH-8A seven miles north of Watonga, 81 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, near Lakes Watonga and Boecher. Once a favorite area of the Cheyenne tribe, this area is a scenic retreat set on a canyon bluff that overlooks ancient mesas. Towering cedars, buffalo grass, and wild blue sage add to the beauty of the legendary setting, and to the enjoyment of numerous recreational activities.
20 Guest Rooms, 10 Cottages, Fairway Cottage (sleeps 10), 7 Campgrounds, 48 RV Sites, Tent Camping, 5 Equestrian Campsites, Group Camp, Rent-A-Teepee, Conference Facilities, 2 Meeting Rooms (capacity 150), Redbird Restaurant, Full-Service Bar, 2 Swimming Pools
Reunion/Community Building, Amphitheater, 633 Park Acres, 55 Acre Lake Watonga, 8 Acre Lake Boecher, Hiking, Biking & Nature Trails, Equestrian Trail, Horseback Riding, Hayrides, Fishing, Canoeing, Paddle boating, Tennis, Volleyball
18 Hole Golf
Course open daily 7 am through dusk.
Also putting green, Pro Shop, Rental Clubs, Golf Carts, Pull Carts, Scenic golf: Roman Nose's course overlooks ancient canyons. The Roman Nose Golf Course was designed by Floyd Farley, and it makes use of the underlying gypsum rock and hilly terrain of Oklahoma's red rock canyon country. Countless loads of topsoil and yards of terracing have made this course newly lush in recent years. But with narrow sloping fairways and elevated greens, accuracy remains the key to success here: golf pros insist a high, soft flop shot is the secret to good scoring. Canyons border fairways and some holes, and drop offs of 30 or 40 feet are common. The course's signature seventh hole is known as the "Canyon Hole," for its natural hazard. But the sixth hole is considered the toughest thanks to a narrow, elevated green.
State Membership Packages available as well as our Roman Nose Resort Park Golf Package.
Good Afternoon to Friends of Roman Nose and those interested in progress at Roman Nose Lodge:
Great News! We have been given our Certificate of Occupancy to move in to, and operate. the newly reconstructed Roman Nose Lodge. That means our staff can now move in, train and prepare to receive guests at this beautiful facility. While you may notice some training activities before, Roman Nose Lodge opens to the general public November 17, 2010. However, I want also to extend to each of you a couple of invitations prior to the public opening:
Watonga are residents come and go Open House: Sunday, November 14, 2010, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Please come and tour the newly-reconstructed lodge. Light snacks, lemonade, tea and coffee will be served. Official Ribbon Cutting as part of regularly-schedule Tourism Commission Meeting: Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 9:30 am Lt. Governor Askins, Commissioners and OTRD personnel will be on-hand to officially cut the ribbon to celebrate of re-opening. I look forward to your reaction(s) as you tour our newly-reconstructed 22-room lodge facility.
The finished product fits seamlessly into its canyon setting, and celebrates the lodge’s original mid-century design. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department’s Interior Designer, Buffy Hughes, has done a beautiful job; and you will be pleased at how true the completed lodge and finishes compare to the design boards we originally brought to our Watonga-area town hall meetings. You will also notice the addition of two ADA (accessible) suites and public restrooms, furnished patio and pool area, well-equipped meeting rooms and caliber banquet capabilities.
A final impressive touch (in my opinion) is the inclusion of some area history, American-Indian heritage and current-day park amenities displayed throughout the lodge, rooms and suites. In addition to Buffy, I also want to thank OTRD’s Chief Architect George Slosky, Studio Architecture, Boldt Construction, Henson Construction, numerous sub-contractors and the State of Oklahoma’s Department of Central Services Construction Properties Division, Director of State Parks Kris Marek, graphic designer Scott Hendricks, Lauren Luckowski, Tyra Owen and Tom Creider to name only a few. All have worked tirelessly to ensure excellence. I must also recognize Roberta Helsley (with OTRD) – who worked with Executive Chef Dale Tanner of Sysco Foods and Rebecca Eastham of Meridian Technology Center (culinary program) – to re-engineer our menu and update/enhance OTRD restaurants’ standard operating procedures. Please mark your calendars for November 17, 2010 (and beyond), as that is the day Roman Nose Lodge Restaurant opens for service to the public.
I am also pleased to announce Eric Wood as the newly-hired Lodge, Food and Beverage Manager at the facility . He comes to us from the ski resort areas of Colorado, and brings a strong lodge operations background, customer-service orientation and desire for excellence. You will enjoy supporting him and his operation going forward. In closing, I also want to thank Travis Lindley and the entire Roman Nose State Park/Golf Course team. They have performed admirably throughout the demolition and construction phases, and I know they look forward to full operation of their park. You also have been well-served by the strong support of Senator Justice and Representative Sanders, Lt. Governor Askins, Commissioners and others through this entire process. Mostly though, I thank you for your support through this entire process. Now, I encourage you to book rooms, host an event/family reunion, plan a special lunch or dinner … and enjoy Roman Nose Lodge and State Park. Again, please join us for the open house and/or ribbon cutting.
Hardy Watkins Executive Director
Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department 120 N. Robinson, Suite 600 Oklahoma City, OK 73102
405.230.8301 Fax: 405.230.8503