Camping & Lodging
Starting this summer, campers will need a reservation to stay overnight at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas during the peak season. This includes all campgrounds AND beach camping areas at the two SRAs. All overnight visitors should check occupancy and book an overnight campsite on the reservation system before departing home.
Overnight campers with a valid reservation are highly encouraged to arrive and check in with park staff, in-person, at the Visitor Center or a staffed entrance booth between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. Mountain Time. The state recreation areas will remain open for day use at designated areas with no capacity limits.
***CAMPGROUNDS within the Lake McConaughy SRA***
Lake McConaughy has Full Service, Electric Plus and Basic sites across seven campgrounds. Camping at these areas will be by advanced reservation only, beginning May 21, 2021. Reservation booking will be available in late April.
Martin Bay Campground
Located near the Martin Bay Entrance off Highway 61, this area features grass sites, with some being available for tents only and all have a picnic table and ground grill. 40 Basic sites with water available as well as a flush restroom facility is available within the campground. A shower facility is located nearby at the Martin Bay day-use area.
Little Thunder Campground
Located between the Martin Bay and Arthur Bay Entrances on Shoreline Road, this area features hard surfaced roads and pads with 8 Full Service sites and 34 Electric Plus sites, water available throughout the area and a restroom and shower facility.
Lone Eagle Campground
Located between the Arthur Bay and Sandy Beach Entrances on Shoreline Road, this area features hard surfaced roads and 84 Full Service sites with water and sewer available at each site. A restroom and shower facility is also located in the area.
Sandy Beach Campground
Located near the Sandy Beach Entrance off Highway 92, this area features grass sites, with some being available for tents only and all have a picnic table and ground grill. 16 Basic sites with water available as well as a primitive restroom is available within the campground. A shower and flush restroom facility is located nearby at Lone Eagle Campground.
Cedar View Campground
Located at the west end of Lake McConaughy off Highway 92, this area features hard surfaced roads and 85 Electric Plus sites and 17 Basic sites. Water is available at nearly every camp site throughout the area and a shower and restroom facility is located in the center of the campground.
A limited number of first-come, first-serve, Basic type, campsites are available at Spring Park and Otter Creek Campgrounds.
***CAMPGROUNDS within the Lake Ogallala SRA***
Lake Ogallala offers Electric Plus and Basic campsites. Beginning May 21, 2021, all overnight camping during peak season will require an advance reservation.
Lake Ogallala East Campground
Located at the East Entrance of Lake Ogallala off the Keystone Lake Road, this area features hard surfaced roads and pads with 82 Electric Plus sites, water available throughout the area and a restroom and shower facility.
Lake Ogallala West Campground
Located at the West Entrance of Lake Ogallala off the Keystone Lake Road, this Campground offers 100 Basic campsites. Site types include a mix of grass and gravel, with some sites available for tents only. Each site features a picnic table and ground grill. Primitive restrooms are available throughout the area with water available near the north and south boat ramps and the fish cleaning station. A shower and restroom facility is located at nearby Lake Ogallala East.
In addition to campgrounds, Lake McConaughy offers 17 designated beach camping areas. Each camping area offers a number of non site-specific campsites, depending on water levels. Camping at these areas will be by advanced reservation only, beginning May 21, 2021. Reservation booking will be available in late April.
With entrances at Martin Bay, Arthur Bay and Sandy Beach, Shoreline Road has 16 designated beach camping areas with over 950 campsites available, depending on water levels.
Cedar View Camping Area
Located past the Cedar View Campground, this area hosts 1 large designated beach camping area with 40 campsites available, depending on water levels.
Where Are The Swimming & Day Use Areas?
The area’s white sand beaches make it a popular destination for swimmers and those who want to hang out on the shore and soak up the sun. Swimming is allowed at beach areas unless otherwise posted. Lifeguards are not on duty.
Large designated walk-in, beach day use areas are located near Martin Bay, Arthur Bay, Sandy Beach and Cedar View entrances, and small walk-in day-use areas are located within each designated beach camping area at Lake McConaughy that are perfect for those visitors looking for open beaches and water to play for the day. Vehicles and overnight camping are prohibited in these areas.
Other designated walk-in, day-use areas are located around the lake for hiking, bird watching, hunting and fishing access. Vehicles and overnight camping is prohibited in these areas.
What Permits Do I Need?
All vehicles inside the State Recreation Area must display a valid Nebraska Park Entry Permit. Park entry permits are available online, at the Lake McConaughy Visitors Center, and at many area businesses. All overnight camping requires a fee. See outdoornebraska.gov/parkpricing for current permit and fee information.
Is Alcohol Allowed?
Possession and consumption of alcohol are banned within both the Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas.
Sharing The Shoreline
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.