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FAQs for camping during COVID-19

Camping opportunities have returned to normal at most of our state parks, with the exception of Mormon Island and Danish Alps SRAs, which will remain closed to overnight camping due to high COVID-19 incidence in those communities.

We continue working to provide opportunities across the state as health conditions allow, and we appreciate people’s patience and understanding as we balance camping opportunities with our responsibility to protect the health and well-being of our staff and of all Nebraskans while also managing our resources.

Read for the following FAQs for what you need to know about camping.

General

How long are gathering size limits in effect?

The State of Nebraska recommendations are updated as the public health situation unfolds. For the latest on size-gathering limits, visit governor.nebraska.gov or your local health department website.

What should I do if severe weather occurs when camping?

If a weather emergency occurs, the National Weather Service recommends campers seek shelter in a substantial building or hard-topped vehicle and wait for 30 minutes after the storm before resuming activities. NWS does not advise remaining in tents, campers, pop-up trailers, or other similar camp units during severe weather. Learn more about becoming a weather-ready camper at www.weather.gov.

How will I be able to find updates on when parks and services gradually open?

Visit OutdoorNebraska.org or call the park you plan to visit between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday.

Camping

Are any camping sites closed?

Mormon Island State Recreation Area (SRA) near Grand Island and Danish Alps SRA near Hubbard do not currently offer camping, as they are near communities with high COVID-19 incidence. Park areas may be added to or deleted from the list as warranted and upon recommendations of health officials.

Why is a reservation limited to only seven days?

At the present time, campsites may only be reserved up to 30 days in advance and the length of stay is limited to seven days in order to provide more opportunity for other guests that desire to make camping reservations.

Are all spots already booked for the entire summer?

Campsites remain available to reserve at various locations across the state. Keep in mind that reservable sites are in high demand throughout the summer season, particularly on weekends and holiday periods, and many spots are booked in advance. However, numerous opportunities still exist throughout the summer. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance at OutdoorNebraska.org and must be made at least one day in advance of one’s stay.

Make your reservation at OutdoorNebraska.org, by contacting the agency call center at 402-471-1414, or by contacting the specific park where you want to camp.

Book your site

Will Game and Parks be policing campgrounds for social spacing and group size compliance by the public?

Yes. Park regulations allow for up to eight people per campsite, and in order to protect public health, we all need to do our part to recreate responsibly. Game and Parks will monitor sites for compliance with the directed health measures set forth by statewide health directives for the safety of the public.

Will offices be open where camping is allowed?

Park offices remain temporarily closed and will open at a later date. Guests will need to make reservations and provide payment in advance and pay in advance for their camping fees and park permits, which also should be purchased online. For first-come, first-served camping, or if a guest is unable to purchase a park permit in advance, payment can be made at an iron ranger located at each park area, and then attaching the proper portion of the temporary permit to their windshield.

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Reservations & refunds

What number do I call to get a refund for my reservation or reschedule?

Decisions on refunds will be made on a case-by-case basis now that most services have resumed. Contact us by email through our Reservation Inquiry form or through our parks reservation line at 402-471-1414.

Inquiry form

When can I expect to hear from Game and Parks about my reservation inquiry or campsite cancellation?

Due to the volume of requests and limited personnel, we can’t guarantee our response time. However, we assure you we are responding to requests in the order that we received them.

Will my camping reservation at a previous walk-up site be affected?

No, reservations made online for campsites that were previously designated as walk-up sites will be honored.

Can I book a reservation beyond 30 days out?

Not yet. The 30-day window, implemented in early May as part of our COVID-19 response plan and was designed to help create more opportunity for those seeking camping opportunities in a short-term timeframe. It also allows us to assign closures to camp sites in the event tighter restrictions for parks are assigned by state officials or health departments in response to potential virus spread.

Beaches

Designated beach and swimming areas reopened to the public June 4. Find additional information about beach use.

Beach use

Fishing

Can I still fish from the bank?
Yes, guests will still be able to fish from the shore as long as it is not within a buoyed or closed area of the shoreline. Social distancing and group size limits will still prevail.

Fishing FAQs

Additional response to COVID-19

Find out more about our response to the COVID-19 public health situation.

Health Info

Click here for additional FAQs

FAQs