State Recreation Area
160 Central District Dr. | Keystone, NE 69144
Fire Safety Alert
Use extreme caution with campfires. Fires must be maintained and attended at all times. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation keeping everyone safe.
Located on the east side of Kingsley Dam and massive Lake McConaughy, Lake Ogallala is known as “the little lake.” Chilled by the massive surface of Lake McConaughy, Lake Ogallala is a well-known fishing destination, particularly renowned for its fast-growing and feisty rainbow trout. Compared to Lake McConaughy, Lake Ogallala is small, gentle and sedate at 320 acres. It lacks the sandy beaches of its neighbor to the west, but its protected shoreline wards off winds. Along with fishing, visitors come to paddle, camp and enjoy the scenery.
To create a safer, family-friendly environment, all camping at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Areas will be by advance reservation only, during peak season. The reservation system allows for campground reservations up to 180 days in advance and beach camping reservations 30 days in advance of your stay. Reservations can be made online, on the mobile app RA Camping, or by phone at 308-284-8800 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. everyday.
Lake Ogallala is well-known for its quality fishery, and rainbow trout are among the species most popular with anglers. In addition to rainbow trout, anglers may find yellow perch, channel catfish and an occasional wiper. There is one fish cleaning station, improved angler access areas in the northwest corner, west side and near the Kingsley Hydro as well as a kayak launch dock at the North Boat Ramp.
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 boats are permitted, but Lake Ogallala is a no-wake lake. Non-motorized watercraft are very popular at Lake Ogallala due to the protection from the wind offered by Kingsley Dam. There are two boat ramps and two boat docks available along with a kayak launch dock at the north boat ramp.
The Lake Ogallala Hike-Bike Trail is located on the east side of Lake Ogallala inside the Lake Ogallala Modern Campground. The two-mile trail runs on top of the northern dyke that holds Lake Ogallala and ends at the Nebraska Public Power District’s Diversion Dam.
Keith County and the City of Ogallala offer a wonderful variety of attractions in the Lake McConaughy Area. Ogallala, better known as Nebraska’s Cowboy Capital, is home to several Western-themed places of interest, including Boot Hill, the Mansion on the Hill museum, and the Petrified Wood & Art Gallery. For more information on local attractions, visit ILoveLakeMac.com.
Ash Hollow State Historical Park is a must-see when visiting Lake McConaughy. Ash Hollow is west of the Lake on Highway 26 or 92 and was an important stopping point on the Oregon/California Trail. Ruts of covered wagons carrying westbound immigrants on the Overland Trail can still be seen, and prehistoric cave dwellings have been preserved. Ash Hollow’s Visitor Center offers displays and information on the area’s rich history. The grounds at Ash Hollow offer over 2-miles of scenic hiking trails and a designated area for equestrian riding.
Lake Ogallala offers Electric Plus and Basic campsites. During peak season, all overnight camping will require a reservation. The reservation system allows for campground reservations up to 180 days in advance. Beach camping reservations can be reserved 30 days in advance of your stay. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 308-284-8800 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
All overnight camping in campgrounds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis during the off season.
Located at the East Entrance of Lake Ogallala off the Keystone Lake Road, this area features hard surfaced roads and pads with 82 Electric Plus sites. Water is available throughout the area, along with a restroom and shower facility.
Located at the West Entrance of Lake Ogallala off the Keystone Lake Road, this Campground offers 100 Basic campsites. Site types include a mix of grass and gravel, with some sites available for tents only. Each site features a picnic table and ground grill. Primitive restrooms are available throughout the area. Water is available near the north and south boat ramps and the fish cleaning station. A shower and restroom facility is located at nearby Lake Ogallala East.
In 2016, the Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners approved a 20-year management plan for Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala with input from local stakeholders and the general public.
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.