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Growing up in southwest Kansas it is difficult to take a quick weekend trip anywhere close. Horsethief sure changed that. A quick hour drive from Garden City and you can be on the water or setting up your camper. Spots can fill up quick so be sure you call ahead. However, there are plenty of primitive spots that have room most weekends.
First time in Kansas, had a quick one night stop during our road trip. This was a gorgeous lake tucked not far from the highway. The tent only sites were totally empty and we were the only ones in the loop. Gorgeous view, just up the bank from a small beach. Self check in was easy and the bathrooms were clean. Only complaint is that it got very buggy at night, but that's what you get for a spot so close to the water. I'd definitely come back again!
This was a perfectly fine campground. Very clean, well maintained. It is Kansas, so it’s very open, you wouldn’t have a lot of privacy if it was busier, although there are lots of short trees around the little lake. There is a bathroom, there’s water, a fire ring, and a picnic table. Easy to find, stop, and set up here. Not sure if there are more spots to camp around the lake, nothing seems to be marked. Someone else mentioned the grain silo not too far away…it is a bit loud but it almost felt like white noise or something, didn’t bother me.
As with many campgrounds in Kansas, this state fishing lake boasts camping without charge. There are five designated primitive tent spots with fire rings and tables. No RV spots, no electric, and no water. Two spots are at the entrance near the vault toilet and three spots are caddy corner on the back of the lake. You are responsible for removing your trash, the fields are well maintained, and of course you can fish. There are two docks and you can drop a boat in the small lake. There is a lot of noise from the working silos, railroad, and highways.