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Prairie Dog State Park, KS

Photo: Prairie Dog State Park
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Mon Apr 20 2015   Later Dates


A prime place to experience the shortgrass prairies of western Kansas, Prairie Dog State Park occupies 1,150 acres on the shores of Keith Sebelius Reservoir in Norton County. The park is home to a thriving prairie dog colony and is the site of the last remaining adobe house in Kansas. The renovated adobe house was built on the site in the early 1890's.

Campsites at Prairie Dog include 4 reservable cabins (two modern and two primitive), 60 electric/water sites, 12 electric-only sites, and more than 130 primitive sites. Shower and restroom facilities are conveniently located, as are two RV dump stations. A 1.4- mile nature trail complete with interpretive signage is a great way to explore the park and observe wildlife.

Historical interpretation is a hallmark of this park. Two vintage 19th century buildings are preserved here, including a one room school and renovated adobe house. Sebelius Reservoir is well known for its excellent fishing opportunities. In recent years, anglers have found productive fishing for black bass, walleye, wiper, crappie, catfish and saugeye.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Archery
  • Area Attraction
  • Bath House
  • Bicycling
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Boating, Canoeing
  • Boating, Jon (Paddle)
  • Boating, Kayaking
  • Boating, Pedal
  • Boating, Power
  • Cabins
  • Campground Host
  • Camping, Improved Site
  • Camping, Primitive
  • Canoeing
  • Comfort Station
  • Cultural Sites / Exhibits
  • Dock, Boat
  • Dock, Fishing
  • Driftwood Collecting
  • Dump Station, Camper
  • Fire Rings
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Fishing, Park Lake
  • Fishing, Pier
  • Fishing, Reservoir
  • Grills
  • Group/Community Facility
  • Hiking
  • Hiking Trail
  • Historic Sites
  • Historic Structure/Feature
  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Horseshoes
  • Information/Contact Station
  • Interpretive Exhibit/Display
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Jet Skiing
  • Jogging/Running
  • Kiosk
  • Laundry
  • Lodging, Cabins
  • Marina
  • Mountain/Trail Bicycling
  • Museum
  • Ocean/Beach
  • Office/Ranger Station
  • Parasailing
  • Park Lake
  • Parking
  • Pay Telephone
  • Photography
  • Picnic Area
  • Picnic Pavilion
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Picnic Tables
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Programs, Archeology
  • Programs, History
  • Programs, Instructional
  • Programs, Nature
  • Programs, Recreational
  • Reservoir
  • Restaurant
  • Restrooms
  • Retail, Bait & Tackle
  • Retail, Drinks
  • Retail, Ice
  • River/Stream
  • Sail Boarding
  • Sail Boating
  • Shelters
  • Showers
  • Skiing - Water
  • Stargazing
  • Sunbathing
  • Swimming - Park Lake
  • Swimming - Pool
  • Swimming - Reservoir
  • Swimming, Reservoir
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Trails, Bicycle
  • Trails, Hiking/Walking, Easy
  • Trails, Mountain Bike
  • Viewing Platform/Overlook
  • Volleyball
  • Volleyball Net
  • Walking
  • Water Access, Park Lake
  • Water Access, Reservoir
  • Water Drinking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildflower Viewing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Windsurfing/Sailboarding
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Fishing, River / Stream
Within 10 Miles
  • ATM/Cash Machine
  • Admin Service, Copying
  • Admin Service, Faxing
  • Airport
  • Antiquing
  • Art & Museum
  • Ball Field
  • Church
  • Cultural Activities
  • Dining
  • Emergency Services
  • Field Sports/Activities
  • Fuel, Boats
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Golf
  • Golfing
  • Grocery Store
  • Hospital
  • Hunting
  • Kennel
  • Maintenance, Boat
  • Maintenance, RV/Camper
  • Maintenance, Vehicle
  • Medical Clinic
  • Meeting Space
  • Mobile Food Service
  • Motel
  • Musical Performances
  • Newspapers
  • Propane
  • Recreation Programs
  • Retail, Firewood
  • Retail, Snacks
  • Retail, Store/Gift Shop
  • Retail, Supplies
  • Seasonal Festivals
  • Shopping
  • Sightseeing
  • Swimming, Pool
  • Tennis
  • Tennis Court
  • Town
  • Water Slides
Alerts and Important Information

There are no sewer sites at Prairie Dog State Park. We have two dump stations conveniently located in the park.

Subject to regulations and posted notices, any individual over 21 may possess, consume, or drink alcoholic liquor. Kegs and party balls are strictly prohibited.

A current motor vehicle permit is required for every motorized vehicle entering the state park. Motor vehicles are restricted to maintained roads and parking areas only. ATV/non-licensed vehicle use is prohibited in the state park.

Camping is allowed only in designated areas and is subject to restrictions as posted. All campers and camping units are limited to a stay of not more than 14 consecutive days although a 14-day extension may be obtained with written permission from the park manager. A five-day absence is required before returning to the park to camp again. Any property left unused or unoccupied for 48 hours is subject to removal.

Fires are allowed in fireplaces, fire rings, and cooking grills. Fires must be completely extinguished prior to leaving the area.

Swimming is allowed in designated areas. Liquor and beer are prohibited on swimming beaches or in waters designated by buoys or other markers as swimming areas. For other beverages, only shatterproof containers are allowed.

Pets must always be restrained by a camper, cage, hand-held leash, or tethered chain no longer than 10 feet. They are not allowed on swimming beaches or swimming areas that are delineated by buoys or other markers or in public buildings or structures. Dogs participating in authorized activities or assisting the visually or hearing impaired are not subject to these restrictions.

A special event permit is required for any event involving entrance fees, exclusive use of an area, sales, organized competition, amplified sound, or reservation of a specific site or facility. Check with the park office for details.

Fishing is prohibited on boat ramps, courtesy docks, swimming beaches, and in swimming areas marked with buoys. In state parks, fish may only be cleaned at designated fish cleaning stations or other locations as posted.

Boats may not be operated within 200 feet of any area posted specifically for swimming and delineated by markers. No-wake speeds are required within 200 feet of a boat ramp, boat dock. Vessels left unattended at courtesy docks are subject to removal.

Fireworks are allowed only at designated times and in designated areas.

Litter must be put in trash containers, if provided. Where containers are not provided, park users must carry their trash out with them.

Digging holes, removing or defacing geological formations, archeological relics or ruins, or vegetation (except for noncommercial use of edible wild plants, wild fruits, nuts, or fungi) is prohibited.

Quiet hours are 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Actions which alarm, anger, or disturb others are prohibited. Generators can not be used during quiet hours. Failure to comply may result in expulsion from the park.

Firearms may only be discharged in areas specifically designated for hunting or target practice.

The discharge of gray water on the ground is prohibited.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
39.81278, -99.96389
39°48'46"N, 99°57'50"W

From Norton, Kansas, the park is located four miles west on Highway 36 and one mile south on Highway 261.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Prairie Dog State Park
13037 State Highway 261 P.O. Box 431
Norton KS 67654

Phone Number:

Information: (785)877-2953

Special Events:

    The events listed here are not intended to be an all inclusive list. Please contact the park for further details.

  • Annual Prairie Dog State Park Outdoor Kansas Kids Day. Events include a fishing clinic, archery shooting, trap shooting, hunting/laser simulator and a hot dog barbecue. Prizes awarded to participants. on Jun 04 2011
  • Annual fireworks display and special events beginning around 7:00 pm. Events include a watermelon feed, patriotic singing, etc on Jul 04 2011