2019 Beach Conditions
Lake McConaughy’s elevation is currently at 3,257 feet or 86.9% of capacity, and officials don’t believe it is likely to go any higher this season. Snow pack was good upstream, but they’re not expecting a spill from those reservoirs on the North Platte River. The lake will probably drop slowly until irrigation season begins in July.
How much beach will be available during the first half of the summer? It depends on where you go.
With over 100 miles of shoreline with varying slopes, beach will vary from a few feet to several hundred yards. Primitive camping is on a first-come, first-served basis in areas not zoned for other purposes, and the area around Martin Bay on the north side tends to fill up first.
Arriving in the early or middle part of the week is a good strategy. You may also have more luck if you start to look further west by coming in the Sandy Beach or Arthur Bay entrance. Cedar View tends to have available beach even when the water is higher. Mowed areas will be available for camping near Martin Bay and West No Name Bay, as well as the west end of Lake Ogallala, a flatter area that offers good shade. A reminder that camping in unmowed native grass is prohibited and all campfires must be contained.
Cedar View Campground is closed until approximately June 13 to allow construction crews to complete upgrades to campground amenities, but the three other state campgrounds are open. 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. Half the sites may be reserved at outdoornebraska.gov, and half are first come, first served. When completed, Cedar View will offer 85 electric plus sites and 17 standard sites. They will be first come, first served for the remainder of 2019. Beginning in late fall, half of the Cedar View sites will be reservable for 2020.