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At 2,158 acres, Lake Minatare SRA is the Panhandle’s largest body of water, attracting thousands of anglers, campers, water skiers and swimmers each year. Lake Minatare boasts excellent outdoor recreation opportunities, while irrigating thousands of acres in the North Platte Valley. Lake Minatare is closed to public access from October 15 to January 15 as it is part of the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge.


Plains Lighthouse – Lake Minatare’s landmark lighthouse was a beacon of hope in the dark days of the Great Depression, when many American’s were jobless. It was built entirely of native stone between 1937 and 1939 by the Veteran’s Conservation Corps (VCC). The unusual structure stands 55 feet tall and serves as a combination shelter house and observation tower. It is open to public access.

Lake Minatare is surrounded by notable historic and recreational sites including the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge, Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Scotts Bluff National Monument and Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area.

Campground Notes

Campers will find a variety of options at Lake Minatare SRA. Lake View Campground offers 52 Electric Plus sites. Butte View Campground offers 49 Electric Plus sites and West Wind Campground offers 20 Basic sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Numerous non-designated Primitive sites are available including beach sites.

Boaters will find three ramps with courtesy docks located around the lake, which has plenty of running room for power boating, water skiing and sailing. Non-motorized boating is a popular activity at the lake and adjacent Winter’s Creek Reservoir due to their tree lined backwaters, secluded coves and beautiful vistas. Kayaks are available for rent from the Park Office.
Rental Facilities

Scout’s Cabin, located at the Scout’s Rest area on the north side of Lake Minatare, was constructed between 1937 and 1939 by the VCC and is available for public use. The cabin offers a functioning fireplace, electrical outlets and lighting. It an accommodate up to 50 people and is available for ½ day and full day rental by Reservation.

Sunrise Beach day use area hosts a large outdoor shelter with fireplace and accepts reservations at the Park Office at no additional cost.

Camping reservations may be made a minimum of three days in advance of arrival and a maximum of 180 days in advance of arrival.

CHECK IN AND OUT SCHEDULE- If you check out early, the unused portion of your payment will be forfeited.

Lake Minatare is closed to all public access from October 15 to January 15 annually.

Hunting is prohibited at Lake Minatare SRA.

A Nebraska State Park Permit is required to enter this park area. A Nebraska Licensed Vehicle Park Entry Permit is $30 for an Annual Permit, $15 for a Duplicate Annual Permit (used for that second vehicle in your family) or a Daily Permit which is $6 per day you are staying. A Non-Nebraska Licensed Vehicle Park Entry Permit is $60, $30 for a Duplicate Annual Permit or a Daily Permit which is $12 per day. You may purchase your Park Permit prior to your stay by shopping online at OutdoorNebraska.org.All vehicles entering a Nebraska Park Area are required to have a valid park entry permit.

See Reservation Policies details

Lake Minatare SRA camping trips are easy to plan with ReserveAmerica. Lake Minatare SRA campground reservations can be made online. Click one of the links below to see available campsites at Lake Minatare SRA or day pass availability.