2019 Water Level & Beach Conditions
Irrigation season is underway and water levels are beginning to recede at Lake McConaughy, exposing more beach daily. At 3,258.1 feet elevation, Lake Mac is at 88.3% capacity (August 18). Water temperature varies around the lake, but was reported to be 74° at the dam. Check the 10 day forecast here: https://wxch.nl/2XqUQmh
How much beach is available? That depends on where you go. The slope of the beaches varies widely across the 100+ miles of shoreline. In some areas you will find a few yards, and in some areas several hundred feet. Beach camping areas fill up quickly on the weekends, but a weekday visit is often a good time to find a place.
Primitive camping is on a first-come, first-served basis in areas not zoned for other purposes, and the beach area around Martin Bay on the north side tends to fill up first. NE Game & Parks has mowed many grassy areas and clearly marked other spaces around the lake for camping. Mowed areas include near Martin Bay, West No Name Bay and Sandy Beach, as well as the west end of Lake Ogallala. A reminder that camping in unmowed native grass is prohibited and all campfires must be contained.
The state campgrounds at Lone Eagle, Little Thunder, and Lake Ogallala are all open, with half the sites available first come, first served. Half are reservable at outdoornebraska.gov. Lone Eagle Campground offers 84 full service sites, Little Thunder offers 8 full service sites and 34 electric plus sites, and Lake Ogallala offers 82 electric plus sites. The newly renovated Cedar View Campground is now also open with electric and water, and all sites are available first come, first served through 2019. There are 85 electric plus sites and 17 standard sites. Portable restrooms are available on-site. Rates for camping will be off-season rates of $25 for electric and $12 for non-electric. Construction will continue on the Cedar View area throughout the summer and into the fall.
And remember there are many other great places to stay while you day trip to the lake:
Check HERE for a list of private campgrounds in the area.
Check HERE for a list of Ogallala hotels – only 8 miles from the lake.
Check HERE for a list of Lake Mac lodges and cabins for rent.
A reminder to please help keep Lake McConaughy beautiful – leave only your footprints, NO GLASS on the beach, and please use the recycling containers for aluminum, plastics 1-7, and cardboard at the Martin Bay dump station, Arthur Bay, Van’s Lakeview, and the Visitors Center provided by Keep Keith County Beautiful.