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Lake Ogallala SRA, NE

Photo: Lake Ogallala SRA
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Mon Apr 20 2015   Later Dates



Chilled by the massive surface of Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area, a breeze sweeps gently eastward across Kingsley Dam and tumbles 160 feet to the surface of Lake Ogallala. There, at the "little lake," anglers and campers enjoy the natural air conditioning, but sunset comes early in the shadow of the towering dam to the west.
Born simultaneously in 1941 with the construction of Kingsley Dam, Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala are litter mates, but not twins. Lake McConaughy is big and rough --- 35,000 surface acres big and even gentle breezes often lead to heavy swells.
Lake Ogallala, at 320 acres, is comparatively small, gentle and sedate. Its protected shoreline wards off winds that would send the big lake into torment. Lake Ogallala is a rag-sweater-and-cup-of-coffee lake, not a sweat and Gatorade lake like its sibling.


Fishing are the primary Lake Ogallala water sports. Only the hardiest swimmers venture a dip in water entering Lake Ogallala from the bottom of Lake McConaughy at a chilling 51 degrees, and there are no true beaches along its five-mile shoreline. Cold water first brought the Rock Creek Hatchery fish truck there 52 years ago to stock rainbow trout, and Lake Ogallala became renowned for its fast-growing, feisty rainbows.
Lake Ogallala's modern campground is a pay-for-use area, but has all the conveniences electricity, modern restrooms, hot showers and fire grates. Its camper pads are nestled among mature cottonwoods in a serene lakeside setting.
On the west side, a more primitive atmosphere prevails at campsites without all the amenities. Serious anglers gather there at the two boat ramps. A wheelchair-accessible fishing dock is also available.

Campground Notes

Lake Ogallala has 320 acres of water and 339 acres of land and is located below the Kingsley Dam Hydroelectric Plant. This area offers a shady modern campground with 82 pads, 62 have electrical hook-ups. There is an additional 180 non-designated campsites.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Cabins by Concessionaires
  • Campground Host
  • Camping, Equestrian
  • Camping, Equestrian Group
  • Camping, Improved Site
  • Camping, Primitive
  • Comfort Station
  • Dock, Boat
  • Dump Station, Camper
  • Fire Rings
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Fishing, PARK LAKE
  • Flower Viewing
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Hiking Trail
  • Hunting
  • Information/Contact Station
  • Jet Skiing
  • Office/Ranger Station
  • Parking
  • Pay Telephone
  • Photography
  • Picnic Area
  • Picnic Tables
  • Picnicing
  • Playground
  • Powerboating
  • Restaurant
  • Restrooms
  • Retail, Store/Gift Shop
  • Sail Boarding
  • Sail Boating
  • Scenic Driving Routes
  • Scuba Diving
  • Showers
  • Skiing - Water
  • Stargazing
  • Sunbathing
  • Swimming - Park Lake
  • Walking
  • Water Access, Park Lake
  • Water Drinking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildflower Viewing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Windsurfing/Sailboarding
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Fuel, Boats
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Retail, Seasonal Concessions
  • Retail,Supplies
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Art & Museum
  • Boat Ramp
  • Church
  • Dining
  • Emergency Services.
  • Grocery Store
  • Historic Structure/Feature
  • Hospital
  • Laundry
  • Lodging, cabins (Concessionaire)
  • Maintenance,Vehicle
  • Medical Clinic
  • Motel
  • Museum
  • Propane
  • Rentals, Boat, Motorized
  • Retail , Bait & Tackle
  • Seasonal Festivals
  • Shopping
  • Town
Alerts and Important Information
Alcoholic beverages prohibited.

Fires must be contained in the fire rings in the modern campgrounds. No 3 or 4 wheelers allowed on beaches or the entire recreation area. Non Licensed motorized vehicles are not allowed in the recreation area.

Only one camping unit is allowed per campsite in the modern camping areas. An extra tent may be used for dependant children only. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Generators may not be operated during these hours. Pets are allowed, but they must be kept on a secured leash that is no longer than 6 feet. Campers staying over must re-register by 2 p.m. Check in time is 4 p.m. and check out time is 2 p.m. Campers must vacate their campsite no later than 2:00 p.m. on the date the camping reservation or registration expires. All persons entering the campground must be registered.
When a reservation is made one year to the date in advance, the arrival date must remain the same within that reservation. No cancellation of that arrival date is allowed.

Getting There:

Take Interstate 80 to the Ogallala Exit #126 and turn north on Hwy 61 (or Spruce Street in Ogallala) to the Jct. of Hwy 61 & Hwy 26. Turn East (right) on Hwy 61 North (Hwy 61 will head east and curve to the north, leading you to the lake). Following Hwy 61 approximatley 8 miles from Ogallala to the Headquarters Visitor Center & 1 more mile to Kingsley Dam. The easiest way to Lake Ogallala modern campground is to travel to the north end of Kinglsey Dam and take the first right heading East after crossing the dam on the Keystone asphalt road. Follow that asphalt road to the East side of Lake Ogallala to find the modern campground. Lake Ogallala is below the dam of Lake McConaughy, so you may follow the marked signs that direct visitors from the Interstate to Lake McConaughy.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Lake Ogallala SRA
1450 Highway 61N
Ogallala NE 69153-5930

Phone Number:

Project Office:(308) 284-8800