Lake Ellsworth, Oklahoma, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Ellsworth — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Lake Ellsworth cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Ellsworth

Lake Ellsworth is a 5,600-acre reservoir nestled in the Great Plains region of Southwest Oklahoma. The City of Lawton completed Ellsworth Dam in 1962, creating Lake Ellsworth to provide water to area residents and a recreational destination for tourists. Lake Ellsworth is actually the larger of two lakes near Lawton. Lake Lawtonka is west of the city and is not quite half the size of Lake Ellsworth.

Lake Ellsworth has 43 miles of shoreline offering ample room for camping, picnicking, swimming, and an area for all-terrain vehicles. The City of Lawton offers picnic areas, campsites, and boat ramps at its campgrounds: Edgewater, Chandler Creek and Collier Landing. If you like roughing it in the wilderness, the three parks have primitive camp site rentals through the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. For those of us who like more creature comforts, RV hookups are available as well. You should call ahead to check for availability. Additional RV campsites are available at lakefront resorts which also offer convenience stores, boat gas, and bait and tackle shops. Vacation rentals are available nearby in and around Lawton and Medicine Park.

There are some whopper-sized fish in Lake Ellsworth. In 1999 an angler reeled in one for the record books, an 85 pound, 4 ounce Blue Catfish, a state record at the time. Lake Ellsworth boasts a wide assortment of challenges for anglers, including channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, saugeye, sunfish, walleye and white bass.

Water sports are a big draw to the wide open sections of Lake Ellsworth; wakeboarding, water skiing and jet skiing are popular pastimes. Swimming is allowed in most areas of the lake except near the dam, boat ramps and boat house areas. There are no lifeguards, so swimming is at your own risk. Check with the Lawton Parks and Recreation department for the complete list of guidelines.

A visit to Lake Ellsworth and the surrounding area presents travelers with the unique opportunity to see one of the last wide open grazing areas in the United States. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is home to a resurging population of American bison. Hunted to near extinction, the bison’s numbers are growing. Looking over the herd gives visitors a glimpse of what Native Americans and early settlers used to see. The Refuge is also home to the Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed deer and Texas longhorn cattle.

Medicine Park is an historic Oklahoma resort town near the main entrance of the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Located along the “healing waters” of Medicine Creek, Medicine Park is not just a place to stay when visiting the wildlife refuge, it is a destination. It is a town with unique cobblestone architecture and a plethora of art galleries featuring resident artists.

The City of Lawton, Oklahoma is known as one of the most diverse communities in the southwest. It is 50 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The City has ample shopping opportunities, accommodations, and several casinos for those who are adventurous with what is in their wallets.

Native American history and the natural history of the area are honored by the indoor and outdoor exhibits of the Great Plains Museum in Lawton. Tourists can get a feel for what life on the frontier was like while visiting both the Great Plains Museum and the Fort Sill Museum. The Fort Sill Army base dates back to 1869 and was a headquarters for United States Army units trying to stop Indian raids on nearby settlements. There is a museum where visitors can get a look at 20th century weaponry and walk through buildings constructed by Buffalo Soldiers. The Apache warrior, Geronimo, was held at the fort. His grave is on the grounds. Today Fort Sill is a U.S. Army Field Artillery Center. It is the only active Army base of all the forts built on the South Plains during the Indian wars.

While visiting the Lake Ellsworth area offers the best in outdoor recreation and a chance to connect to our country’s frontier history, the City of Lawton is also looking to the future. Renovations to the downtown area are well underway and new residential developments and shopping centers are springing up in the area.

Things to Do at Lake Ellsworth

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Shopping
  • Casino Gambling

Fish Species Found at Lake Ellsworth

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Blue Catfish
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Saugeye Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Find Places to Stay at Lake Ellsworth

If you’re considering a Lake Ellsworth lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Ellsworth Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Ellsworth lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lake Ellsworth Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Lawton

Surface Area: 5,600 acres

Shoreline Length: 43 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,235 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 96 feet

Average Depth: 16 feet

Maximum Depth: 54 feet

Water Volume: 95,200 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1962

Drainage Area: 251 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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