Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking input on a draft master plan being developed to improve Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park and State Recreation Area at North Platte.

The master plan covers potential new development, programming and recreational activities for current and future visitors. The plan incorporates new interpretation and programming goals centered around the life of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody and his home – Scout’s Rest Ranch.

Virtual Public Meeting

The public is invited to attend a virtual public meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. on Sept. 23 via Zoom. Participants will be required to register.


The public meeting will consist of a presentation of the purpose of the plan and several potential development concept designs for the historical park and recreation area. Attendees can provide feedback on several proposed development ideas, which are unique to each park area.

The pubic also is encouraged to provide additional input through a digital platform that will go live after the meeting. Check back on this web page to access the digital platform and for project updates.

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area offers camping and hiking right next door to the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, which makes it easy to tour the ranch house and barn that Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody built for his home in North Platte during the heyday of his famous Wild West Show. Cody owned some 4,000 acres here, which were appropriately named Scout’s Rest Ranch. Guests are encouraged to spend time enjoying the trails and scenery at the recreation area, as well as touring the historic buildings and soaking up the history at the historical park.



The park offers five miles of hiking trails.


The park’s placement along the scenic Platte River make is a peaceful, pretty spot for picnicking or grilling out. The park offers one picnic shelter with a grill and four tables. There are eight tent camping areas with grills and tables that can be used as day-use areas.


Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area has great fishing via access to the North Platte River. Largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, common carp and Northern pike can be caught here.

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.

Archery Range

North Platte-area archers now have a venue to practice their sport as a public archery range has opened at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area.

Built by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and local volunteers, the range is free to use and open during daylight hours. A vehicle park entry permit is required.

The archery range is located west of the campground. It has seven square targets in wooden frames set at 10, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. It is available on a first-come, first-served basis and archers must bring their own equipment.

For more information on archery and shooting opportunities here and at parks across the state, visit

Other park activities

During the summer months, the park offers guests horseback trail rides and float trips down the North Platte River. Rentals of kayaks, canoes, tubes and tanks are available. In addition, the park offers guided horseback rides and a petting zoo. For more information on these activities, call the park at 308-530-0048.



Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area offers Electric Plus, Electric and Basic camping. The recreation area offers 23 camping pads with 50-amp hookups and of these, 18 sites have 30-amp hookups and five sites have 50-amp hookups.

The area also offers eight non-pad Basic campsites without electricity.

Other campground amenities include primitive restrooms and drinking water hydrants are available throughout the campground.

Camping is all first-come, first-served and campers register their nightly camping fees in a raised, locked box called an Iron Ranger. Self-service envelopes are provided at each Iron Ranger station. Check or cash only. Iron Rangers are generally located near the park entrance or in the campground area. On-site camping informational signs are provided to help guide campers with the self-registration process.



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


Nearby attractions

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

Adjacent to Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area, this park recaptures the life and career of the famed Pony Express rider, Army scout and buffalo-hunter-turned-showman. Visitors can tour Buffalo Bill’s house and barn and see a wealth of historical artifacts from a rich and unique life.

Golden Spike Tower

The Golden Spike Tower in nearby North Platte offers the world’s best view of the world’s largest railyard.

Lincoln County Historical Museum

Located in North Platte, the Lincoln County Historical Museum features historical buildings from throughout the county, a display about the famous North Platte Canteen and other exhibits on the history and culture of Western Nebraska.

North Platte

Dining, fuel, groceries and lodging are available in nearby North Platte.

Contact Information

Address: Buffalo Bill Ranch SRA | 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Rd | North Platte, NE 69101-8444
Phone: (308) 535-8035

Email: Send email