To create a safer, family-friendly environment, all camping at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Areas will be by advanced reservation only. Reservations are available 180 days in advance for designated camp sites and 30 days in advance for beach camping. To learn more visit: http://outdoornebraska.gov/lakemcconaughy/
Nearly everything about Lake McConaughy is big. At 30,000 surface acres it is Nebraska’ largest reservoir, its dam is among the largest of its type in the world and its fish grow to trophy proportions, accounting for several state records. Even its nickname, “Big Mac,” reflects its size. Located eight miles northeast of Ogallala, Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area is known to most Nebraskans and residents of neighboring states as a great place for outdoor recreation. Lake Mac’s white sand beaches and clear waters are a favorite with campers, boaters, wind surfers, swimmers, water skiers, picnickers, scuba divers, hunters, anglers and others seeking outdoor fun.
The Lake McConaughy Visitor and Water Interpretive Center is one-quarter mile south of Kingsley Dam on Highway 61. The Visitor Center makes a great first stop upon arrival as it houses the park office, gift shop and public restrooms and offers a beautiful view of the lake. Nebraska Park Entry Permits, camping registrations, fishing and hunting licenses and more helpful information to enhance your visit are all available here. The Center also houses two 1,000 gallon aquariums as well as interactive educational exhibits depicting the story of water in Nebraska and the history, hydrology and geology of the North Platte River Valley and Lake McConaughy. Learn about the construction of Kingsley Dam made from original photos and 8mm footage in the Ethel S. Abbott Theater.
Looking for a location to host your next meeting? Lake McConaughy’s conference room and Ethel S. Abbott Theater are available to rent for meetings and special events.
Fishing has long been a favorite activity at Lake McConaughy, with its cool, clear, deep waters. Game fish species include walleye, channel catfish, Northern pike, wiper, smallmouth and white bass, among others. The area has three fish cleaning stations located at Martin Bay, Otter Creek and Cedar View. The area offers several boat ramps with docks, depending upon water level. Contact the Visitor's Center for ramp availability. Fuel and boat rental are available from vendors around the lake.
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.
The Park Naturalist hosts many events throughout the year. Check the Outdoor Calendar or call the Park Office at 308-284-8800 for up to date information.
Ash Hollow State Historical Park is a must-see when visiting Lake McConaughy. Ash Hollow is west of the Lake on Highway 26 or 92 and was an important stopping point on the Oregon/California Trail. Ruts of covered wagons carrying westbound immigrants on the Overland Trail can still be seen, and prehistoric cave dwellings have been preserved. Ash Hollow’s Visitor Center offers displays and information on the area’s rich history. The grounds at Ash Hollow offer over 2-miles of scenic hiking trails and a designated area for equestrian riding.
All overnight campers must: Make a reservation in advance. Check in with park staff before proceeding to their campsite
Guests must be checked in by 9 pm. Lake McConaughy SRA has a gating system in place. Gates will close at 9 pm. Check-out is at Noon (12 pm MST) on the last day of your stay. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.
See Reservation Policies details