May 14, 2021

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Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area now requiring reservations

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Lake McConaughy is now requiring camping reservations during the peak summer months.

KEITH COUNTY, Neb. — A popular recreation area in Nebraska is now requiring reservations for people wanting to camp overnight.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said overcrowding was the most critical issue that came from the Lake McConaughy/Lake Ogallala Master Plan. There are five phases to the master plan that plans to address management of the two state recreation areas.

The overnight camping reservations will be needed during peak summer months starting May 21, 2021 through Sept. 12, 2021. Reservations can be claimed by clicking here.

Other changes park visitors need to know include: 

  • All overnight visitors should reserve an overnight campsite on the Game and Parks reservation system before leaving home.
  • Once capacities are reached, no additional overnight camping will be allowed.
  • Beginning in mid- to late-April, reservations may be made online, by mobile application, or by calling the Lake McConaughy Visitor Center. Game and Parks will release additional information when the reservation system becomes available.
  • All overnight campers must arrive and check in with park staff, in-person, at the Visitor Center or at a staffed entrance booth between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. Mountain time.
  • Same-day reservations may be made online until a yet to-be-determined time in the evening if sites remain available.
  • Before and after the peak season dates of May 21 to Sept. 12, 2021, all camping will be available first-come first-served with the exception of half of Cedar View, Lone Eagle, Little Thunder and Lake Ogallala East campgrounds, which have reservable sites and currently have some existing reservations between May 15 and May 21.
  • All existing reservations for 2021 at Cedar View, Lone Eagle, Little Thunder and Lake Ogallala East campgrounds will be honored.
  • These changes do not impact camping reservations at privately managed sites within the SRAs or at nearby private campgrounds.
  • Overnight camping fees for beach camping per night will include a non-peak season rate of $15, peak season weekday rate of $20 and weekend rate of $25. Fees for designated campgrounds will range from $10 to $40, depending on season and amenities provided.

Approximately 500 designated campsites will be available at nine campgrounds across both park areas. Depending on water levels, approximately 1,000 non-designated beach campsites will be available across 16 beach areas of Shoreline Road and one beach area of Cedar View at Lake McConaughy, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said.

Lake McConaughy is 223 driving miles northeast of Denver and is popular for its boating, fishing, windsurfing and other outdoor fun.

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