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Park FAQ

The following are answers to questions frequently asked by park visitors.

Nebraska’s state parks, state historical parks and state recreation areas offer five different levels of camping: full hookup ($35 per night); electric plus ($30 per night); electric ($25 per night); basic ($15 per night); and primitive ($10 per night). These rates are consistent across all parks throughout the state and went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, with the exception of Lake McConaughy, which is subject to an additional $2 per night. More information on each type of camp site, including amenities, electrical hookups and more is available for download.

Yes, a Park Entry Permit is required for any motorized vehicle to enter any Nebraska State Park, State Historical Park or State Recreation Area.

In order to create fair camping opportunities for as many guests as possible, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission updated its campground reservation policy in 2017. More information on the campground policy is available on the campground policy page.

Yes, there is a $20 one-time pet fee per unit for pets staying in cabins. Service animals are exempt. Pets are not allowed in the lodge rooms; however, pets are allowed in campgrounds. All animals within the park must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet, crated or caged.

No, public buildings, designated swimming beaches and pools are off-limits to all animals except Seeing Eye and service dogs. At select park areas, such as Lake McConaughy SRA, dogs must be maintained on a leash to protect endangered species nesting areas (Least Tern and Piping Plover).

Amateur photography and videography, including nature photography and videography, family, wedding and senior photography, and recreational photography are permitted in state parks and recreation areas. Commercial photography and videography that involve models, sets and props for the purpose of promoting goods, services or brands requires a special occasion permit, which can be downloaded from our website.

ATVs are not permitted. Golf carts and motorized scooters are allowed if you have a Motorized Transportation Device Permit.

Alcohol is permitted at all areas except at Lake McConaughy and Willow Creek State Recreation Areas. Consumption of alcoholic beverage is prohibited on state property from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., which are the designated quiet hours in campgrounds, parking lots and designated beaches. No containers over one gallon are allowed.

Six state recreation areas, Branched Oak, Fremont, Fort Kearny, Memphis, Pawnee and Wagon Train, may allow fireworks in designated areas from 8 a.m. to midnight on July 4 if conditions allow. Decisions are made near to July 4 based on current drought conditions and local fire department authority. Only fireworks approved for sale in Nebraska by the State Fire Marshal are permitted to be brought into the SRAs that allow fireworks. Fireworks are not permitted the remainder of the year.

No, fires can only be built in designated areas.

No, Nebraska does not offer any camping/lodging discounts for veterans, handicapped or senior citizens. Nebraska does offer a 30 percent discount on lodging/camping in our parks during the non-peak season (when the water is shut off). Nebraska also has a Free Park and Fish Day for residents and nonresidents.

Yes, a Special Occasion Permit may be requested by individuals or groups who would like to utilize our areas for events including but not limited to: weddings, fishing tournaments, 5k runs, fundraisers, Boy Scout events, scientific studies, commercial filming, geocache placements, etc.

Self-service boxes are available for depositing fees when the entry station is not staffed.

You may make reservation by calling 402-471-1414 9 a.m.-6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday (closed on state holidays). Online reservations may be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Reservations are accepted for cabins, lodge rooms, and group lodges up to one year in advance of the arrival date at 9 a.m. CT. Reservations for camping are accepted up to 180 days in advance of arrival date at 9 a.m. CT. For more information regarding our reservation policies, please visit our reservations page.

State Parks are public use areas of significant scenic, scientific and/or historical values and of sufficient size to allow adequate development. From our standpoint, State Parks are destination areas. They have many amenities available daily to guests, ranging from swimming and paddle boating to horse trail rides and jeep rides. Entertainment is offered and it is up to the guest how much or little they would like to participate.

State Recreation Areas are areas that possess resource values primarily associated with active outdoor recreation pursuits, day-use activities and camping. All the state’s major water-oriented areas fall in this classification. State Recreation Areas are mainly situated along bodies of water. Guests provide their own entertainment, primarily fishing and boating.

State Historical Parks are sites that have notable historical significance to the State of Nebraska. State Historical Parks offer a chance for cultural interpretation. Living history demonstrations are periodically staged and guests can tour the historic grounds and buildings.

Visit our careers page to view open jobs at state parks and recreation areas, as well as throughout the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Campground policy

To help campers enjoy their visit to the fullest, Nebraska Game and Parks offers a few campground policy reminders.


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.

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.