Box Butte Reservoir State Recreation Area

  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Swimming

Box Butte Reservoir SRA encompasses 2,212 acres on the west edge of the Sandhills, 9 miles north of Hemingford. It includes a 1,600-acre lake. The area is a good spot for fishing, camping and picnicking and also features some of the best birdwatching opportunities in the Nebraska panhandle.



Box Butte Reservoir provides good fishing opportunity for northern pike, channel catfish, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch and rock bass. A fish cleaning station is available.

For more information on fishing opportunities here and at parks across the state, visit the interactive public fishing areas map. This map provides detailed information on available species, regulations, public boat ramps, fish cleaning stations and ADA-accessible boat ramps and docks , among other features in reservoirs, lakes, streams and rivers statewide. Lake contour maps are available for some lakes, as well.


All types of boating are permitted. There are two ramps and two docks available.


Box Butte Reservoir State Recreation Area is well-known for its birding opportunities. Among species that have been spotted there are Say’s Phoebes, Ferruginous Hawks, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Wood-pewee, Indigo Bunting and Wood Thrush.


A swimming beach allows visitors a chance to cool off on hot summer days. There are no lifeguards on duty.


Box Butte Reservoir SRA offers four picnic shelters, 40 tables and 29 grills. Cottonwoods and willows provide shade.


Modern camping

There are 14 camping pads with 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups. The park also offers water, and vault toilets. Camping is all first-come, first-served.

Download park map

Primitive camping

The park offers 40 non-pad camping sites without electricity, as well as water and vault toilets.

Download park map



A park entry permit is required and may be purchased at statewide Game and Parks offices and permit vendors or in advance of your arrival online.


Nearby attractions

Chadron State Park

Nebraska’s oldest state park, Chadron State Park offers cabins, camping and many activities against the backdrop of Nebraska’s beautiful Pine Ridge.

Fort Robinson State Park

Stunning Fort Robinson State Park comprises more than 22,000 acres of exquisite Pine Ridge scenery, compelling old west history, exceptional lodging, scenic camping and the park’s own buffalo and longhorn herds.

Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands

Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands offers a combination native ponderosa pine forest, hand-planed forest and mixed grass.

Contact Information

Address: Box Butte Reservoir SRA | PO Box 392 | Crawford, NE 69339-0392
9 1/2 miles north of Hemingford, Neb.
Phone: (308) 665-2903

Email: Send email