Calendar of Events

Jul
21
Sat
all-day 10th Annual Dam Run
10th Annual Dam Run
Jul 21 all-day
10th Annual Dam Run
The Dam Run at Lake McConaughy 5K and 1 mile Walk/Run Registration at 7:30 am, race starts at 8 am Sponsored by Ogallala Rotary Proceeds Help Worldwide Efforts To Eradicate Polio Learn more at ogallalarotary.com![...]
all-day Beach Volleyball Tournament
Beach Volleyball Tournament
Jul 21 all-day
Call the Chamber of Commerce for more information: 308-284-4066
Jul
25
Wed
all-day Keith County Fair July 25-29
Keith County Fair July 25-29
Jul 25 – Jul 29 all-day
See a complete schedule of events and contact info HERE!   Keith County Fair & Ogallala Round-Up Rodeo Wednesday, July 25 5:00 pm Sun Valley Rides 6:00 pm Christian Concert – Vota Thursday, July 26 5:00[...]
Jul
28
Sat
all-day Kites & Castles
Kites & Castles
Jul 28 all-day
Kites & Castles
Lake McConaughy’s Premiere FREE Family Fun Event! Click here to pre-register!  (Preferred but not required.) 11 AM: Registration Noon to 4 PM: Sand Castle Building Noon:  Free kids’ kite building while supplies last 4 PM: [...]

Camping & Lodging

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Read the 2018 Lake McConaughy Visitors Guide from the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission here.      Guia de Visitantes del Lago McConaughy en Español aquí.

There are so many ways to stay at Lake McConaughy, from tent camping  to condo rentals.  For a full list of lodging facilities, click here for the lake area and here for the Ogallala area.

All cabins and similar facilities are privately owned.  Nebraska Game and Parks does not offer cabin rentals at the State Recreation Area.

Camping facilities are both private and public.  Click here for a list of several privately owned campgrounds.

What makes camping in the Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area unique?
If you are within the boundaries of the State Recreation Area, you may camp in the treeline surrounding the high water mark of the lake, on the beach, along the waterline, and most places in between. Camping in un-mowed native grass, roadways, and parking lots is prohibited.

There are also four modern campgrounds with camping pads at Little Thunder, Lone Eagle, Cedar Vue and Lake Ogallala.

What you need to know:

There are two separate park fees.

All vehicles inside the State Recreation Area must display Nebraska Park Entry Permits.

Beginning in 2017, there is a separate permit for vehicles licensed outside of Nebraska, in addition to the one for vehicles licensed in Nebraska. Each of these permits is available in annual, duplicate annual and daily formats.

The permits, and their fees are: vehicles licensed in Nebraska – annual, $30; duplicate annual, $15; daily, $6; vehicles licensed outside of Nebraska – annual, $45; duplicate annual, $22.50; daily, $8.

Permits  are available at the park headquarters near the south end of Kingsley Dam, many area businesses, and gate house during peak hours.  Or you can buy them online before making your trip at https://ngpc-permits.ne.gov/NGPC-PS/faces/public/welcome

There is also a separate overnight camping fee. Fees are $35/night for a full service pad with water, sewer and electric, $25/night for an electric only campground, and $10/night for “primitive” camping (no electrical hook-ups) everywhere else, either on the beach or the grassy areas. (October 15 through May 1, off-season rates are $25/night for full service, $18/night for electric only and $8/night for primitive camping.)

The primitive fee pays for 1 Camp Site. The maximum occupancy for a Camp Site is 1 camping unit (RV, truck, van) plus 1 tent or 2 tents with a maximum of 8 people per Camp Site.

You can pay for camping via self-pay stations located at each modern campground and at all park entrances, at Gate Houses during peak hours and at the Visitor Center.  Half of all modern campground pads are available by reservation only at  http://nebraskastateparks.reserveamerica.com.

Beach camping is one of the most unique features of Lake McConaughy.  Water levels permitting, you can pull your camper or RV on the beach, rent an RV, or pitch a tent.   In years with high water levels, Game and Parks provides additional mowed areas for camping. These areas qualify as “primitive” camping and are subject to the $10/night fee.  Also be aware that changing water levels and drying sand can provide a challenge to vehicle traffic on the beach.  4×4 is a necessity, and some private concessions also offer towing service.

Primitive Camping at Lake Ogallala: There is  a mowed area available for primitive camping on the west side of the “little lake.” The west side also features a playground and floating handicap accessible fishing dock.

Need a shower?  Pay showers are available at Lone Eagle, Little Thunder, Cedar Vue, and Lake Ogallala Campgrounds in addition to the stand-alone shower building near the Arthur Bay entrance to the State Recreation Area.

Remember to share the shoreline with the many bird species that make their home at Lake McConaughy, especially the endangered least tern and threatened piping plover.  Visitors are asked to avoid marked or fenced off nesting areas of beach, obey all signs, and keep all pets on leashes.  For more information, see the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District website.