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Box Butte Reservoir

State Recreation Area

Table Center Road and River Road | Marsland, NE 69354

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.


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


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.

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

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.

Box Butte Reservoir SRA offers four picnic shelters, 40 tables and 29 grills. Cottonwood and willow trees provide shade.

Chadron State Park

Nebraska’s first 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

These grounds offer a combination of native ponderosa pine forest, hand-planed forest and mixed grass.


Box Butte offers campers Electric Plus 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 is located near the shore with a fire ring and picnic table, are reservable; they include 13 Basic sites with no electricity, 10 sites with 50-amp electricity and four sites with 20/30-amp electricity. The campground’s one ADA-compliant site is among those available by reservation. 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.

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Contact Us

PO Box 392
Crawford, NE 69339-0392

Park Pricing

A park entry permit is required to visit state parks and may be purchased at the park, statewide Game and Parks offices and permit vendors, or in advance of your arrival online. View those fees, as well as attraction and amenity pricing.


Reservations are accepted for cabins, lodge rooms, and group lodges up to one year in advance of the arrival date. Reservations for camping are accepted up to 180 days in advance of arrival date. The Reservation Call Center hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (CT) and closed on holidays.