Box Butte Reservoir State Recreation Area

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

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.


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



Box Butte offers campers Electric Plus, Electric, and Basic camping. There are 14 camping pads with 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups. The park also offers 40 non-pad Basic campsites without electricity.

Other camping amenities include drinking water and primitive restrooms.

Half of the reservoir’s 40 campsites, each of which are located near the shore with a fire ring and picnic table, have been added to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s reservation system. That consists of 13 basic sites with no electricity, six sites with 50-amp electricity and four sites with 20/30-amp electricity. The campground’s one handicapped-accessible site is among those available by reservation. Each site may be reserved three to 180 days in advance. To reserve a site at Box Butte Reservoir or other attractions of the Nebraska state park system, visit or call 402-471-1414.

All other camping is all first-come, first-served 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. Drive-in visitors camping at sites not available by reservation will continue to pay for sites and park entry permits at the Iron Ranger located at the campground’s entrance.



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