In the very heart of America lies Nebraska, an often-underrated state filled with possibilities. Vast, flat, endless prairies cover most of the state, but that doesn’t mean camping in Nebraska is lacking whatsoever. To the contrary, this “nice” state offers a wealth of activities–some of which you might not expect to find in a Midwestern state. After finding camping in Nebraska, you can also kayak and canoe, jet ski and windsurf, fish and hike.
Some of Nebraska’s most popular camping spots can be found near Lake McConaughy. As the largest reservoir in the state, this lake is a state recreation area that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Beautiful sand beaches line its shores, while the calm water invites you to come kayaking, jet skiing, and even scuba diving. In terms of camping in Nebraska, it doesn’t get much better than Lake McConaughy. Simply pitch your tent right on the beach and enjoy.
Nebraska also has its fair share of historic, archaeological, pioneer, and Native American sites. Consider camping near Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park or Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, both locations where you can easily pick up shark teeth and ancient fossils.
Another unbeatable attractions is Scotts Bluff National Monument. Home to marvelous rock formations high above the Platte River, the landmark is an important monument to Native Americans and settlers who have crossed the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. After appreciating the beauty of Scotts Bluff, make your way to Chimney Rock in Bayard. This remarkable rock spire is one of Nebraska’s main natural attractions and historical sites, having played an important role in both Native American and pioneering history.
There is no shortage of activities to enjoy in Nebraska. Lace up your boots for a hike at the Pine Ridge National Recreation Area, go boating on the beautiful Niobrara River, or drive the highlight-filled Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway. Camping in Nebraska is an experience different from any other, thanks to small crowds and big views.
Great campground with beautiful shaded spots. Events not to miss… the Expo in the spring with Morel Mushroom hunting contest, the Haunted Hollow with haunted hay rack ride & campers decorated giving out trick or treats…
We went out to Czechland with my sons scout troop and had a nice time camping and fishing. The lake is gorge and the boys were catching a lot of crappie, as well as some large mouth bass and bluegill. They have some really flat tent areas, as well as some basic spots for RV’s. Very quiet area with some great views of the lake. The weather was a bit up in the air for some of the weekend and they do not have any storm shelters, so that is about the only thing does require an upgrade. Overall though it is a great place.
This park has a little of everything. Great sites— different loops to stay at. Nice bathrooms. Hiking trails and bike trails. Water park, horse riding area, fishing pond and more. This place does get packed so might have to make reservations early depending on weekend of course.
We have stayed at this campground twice when we are traveling through. They do have boat rentals, kayaks, playground, small dog park, and a small store with few items. Overall nice- gravel pull through sites - maintained overall pretty good. Smaller sites. I might give it 3.5 stars but having the lake with rentals and a small store on site was nice— so 4 stars. Would recommend.
My husband and I did a long anniversary weekend here to enjoy the beautiful weather. We stayed here early October of 2016! Like I said in the title, if possible arrive early on the weekend or even a little earlier during the week to get the best spot in the area. We were lucky enough to get this spot and it must be a hot commodity because we had no less than 10 different people drove past to see if the spot was open. As you can see from the pictures, the spot is just a short walk from the small sand pit lake. Makes it ideal for early morning fishing and a quick kayak launch site. If you love fishing and floating around beautiful lakes, this is the spot for you. There is no modern amenities so you will have to rough it for a few days, which we don’t mind at all. Early October was a perfect time to go, the trees were still changing colors and the smell of fresh fall air was everywhere!
I surprised my husband for a mini birthday trip in August of 2015. Yes…we went tent camping in August! The tent campgrounds were pretty empty and we were able to find a nice spot off the road. When we went they were resurfacing the road all the way down to the cave so if you wanted to see the Indian Cave it was about a 2mile hike, which we didn’t mind, aside from the Nebraska, August heat! We loved the hiking trails through the trees and difficult terrain. This camping trip will be another one to complete…maybe in September or October next time 😃
We really enjoyed taking our boys out to Memphis SRA for a quick overnight camp. We are still in the middle of some bird migrations, so the geese we really loud but that is just due time of year. The boys did some fishing, but nothing was biting when we were there. The one big downfall is the number of trailers there running their generators. That did get annoying at night, but overall we will be back!
Nuda sholls campground at calamus state recreation area is a nice little spot to setup for a few days and enjoy the 4,500 acre calamus reservoir. There are roughly 30 sites in this particular area. Half are first come first serve and the other half are by reservation. All sites are electrical only. There is a nice modern shower and bath facility to utilize if you want to conserve your fresh water tank. Toilets are free and it only costs $1.25 for a 7 minute hot shower. My family and I have created many memories here and hope to make many more
My first visit to this park was a blast. If you live in the Midwest, I would suggest a visit. Lots of hiking and things to explore.
For hiking - we went up loop 10 and down loop 9. It was a steep climb to the top but had great overlook views. If you do the whole loop, coming down 9 is a breeze.
For camping - we stayed in hollows creek. The rv sites are nice, clean and have a nice fire pit. They are a little close to each other, but I like how the bluff helped split them up a little (hence the steep incline others have mentioned). Tent camping sites looked awesome, they are spread out throughout the park, and there’s several walk in sites. We will probably do that next time.
The cave was neat to see, but the hiking, and rest of the park was pretty impressive.
Lake Maloney is on a big lake in North Platte, NE. We have stayed two or three times. Our first time staying put us in a bit of a pickle. We stayed the night at the campground and packed up to head out on our last leg of our trip only to find our truck was broken. We found a great shop only about 6 miles from the park and they let us use a car of theirs for the three days it took them to fix our truck.
The campground was very inexpensive, even for out of staters. It was $5 for the day and $8 for the overnight. This worked well for us. We were traveling cross country and being the last leg, we were nearing broke. The campground wasn't overly tidy. We also didn't see a camp host, at least one never checked on us to ensure we had paid and did what we were supposed to.
When you come in you can take the loop to the right, which is what we did to tent sites. It's all pretty much open and you pitch your tent where you please. If you want a picnic table and firepit, you have to be a bit more selective. If you were to go straight at entry, it loops around to the left where mostly RVers camp. Straight ahead is also the lake, it's a big lake and people get on it early when it's hot out. Everything to the left is a bit more modernized, flush toilets, pay showers, more developed. To the right there are old playground equipment (really old) and pit toilets, big grassy field and open space. There are a few shade trees to the right, more to the left.
Not all firepits have a cooking grate so you may want an alternative if this is how you cook. We use a camp tripod for cooking most frequently and did on this trip. Adding three days on to the end of our trip meant our food needed to be eaten as it was reaching the end of it's life. So we cooked it all up the last night we were there.
Our second trip over we utilized freeze dried food for travel to aid in keeping our food from spoiling. It worked well for us and we just made sure to find a picnic table to camp near. The weather did get really nasty this trip and with the lake, open fields and few trees, the lightening was pretty scary and we retreated to our truck to ride it out in the middle of the night. The sunsets are really nice over the lake.
This is a good spot to stop and we enjoyed our stay even though the length was not planned. It is for sure our go to when traveling east from Denver.
This campground is busy all summer for the full hookup but normally will have electricity only or primitive openings
Indian Cave State Park is over 3,000 acres nestled in the banks of the Missouri River in southeast Nebraska. It's relatively short hour-and-a-half drive south makes it both accessible and effective for a secluded getaway.
I arrived on a Saturday morning for a simple solo overnighter and the park did not disappoint. Pro tip: be sure to grab a map on the way in to see which camping spots are open. The trails are all open for hiking but only a few highlighted ones are open for overnight stays.
Fires are allowed only in the ring but with proper prep, that doesn't present a problem. Be aware that though there is plenty of fallen Deadwood, you will be hard pressed to find anything besides cottonwood. If you don't want to spend tons of time gathering fuel, bring in some hardwood for a lasting coal bank.
I stayed right along the river at the start of the river road that leads to the main attraction of the park, the Caves. The Caves is an important historic site with natural formations and ancient petroglyphs.
We stayed in the recently renovated Owen #4. The renovations really updated it and they need to update the pictures they have on the web, with what it looks like now. New appliances, new furniture, fixtures, new bunk beds, etc. The cabin was very clean and organized upon arrival. They supply most everything thing you need i.e. dishes, cookware, etc. The one thing it does need is a corkscrew! We forgot ours and went without the wine we brought for dinner. With that bombshell though, it was beyond worth the getaway. The winter hiking was fantastic and it was quiet except for the wildlife, but that is why we went out there!
This park is right of Highway 30 and if you are passing through and want power and water for a few days this should be your stop. unlike other city parks, this one has a burn pit.
I would assume that campers would have use of the shower facility at the pool, but if not, you could just spend a few bucks and swim all day and shower at the end.
Grocery store downtown had great steak prices and good price on ice.
We were hoping to camp here below Gavin's Point Dam and enjoy Lewis and Clark Lake, a very large lake on the Missouri on the SD/ NE border By Yankton. They had closed just before our arrival.
Looked very nice and I was told that pads w/ electricity were only $16.
Army Corps Campground with all the bells and whistles. It was closed when we went, but we will return. The interpretive center was very informative and Lewis and Clark Lake is huge with nice beaches and great fishing.
The ranger said that electric sites in season were only $16. That is less than the state parks at the lake. Yankton is nice but don't miss the Nebraska tribal museums.
This lake has a nice beach and play area, electric hookups, picnic tables, burn pits, and boat ramp and dock. The fishing looks to be good and we heard people hunting birds in the area also.
Very affordable at $10 a night RV sites, but there are some very secluded primitive spots right on the lake.
Wagon Train has some good primitive sites, a nice Beach, good fishing, and plenty to explore. Fishing is great and includes bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, freshwater drum, largemouth bass, muskellunge, redear sunfish, walleye and wiper which is about the largest variety you will find in a Nebraska lake.
A mile-long hiking and biking trail is also found in the park.
Stagecoach is a very popular lake south of Lincoln. Vault and flush toilets. Power and primitive camping.
The lake contains crappie, largemouth bass, and walleye.
This is a smaller, quieter, and less expensive option to the larger lakes north of Lincoln,
The village of Valparaiso allows camping at the city park at the trailhead to the Oak Creek trail. Camping is free and there are electric hookups and water at the park.
The village allows limited stay for free to those using the trail.
the park has charcoal pits and is close to the library where you can access wifi even after the library is closed.
Two convenient stores are close.
Campsites close to the lake and nice paved walking trail. Several options for camping include primitive for $10, power for $15, and full hookups for $20. Pay showers and flush toilets. Wildlife area south of town is right on the river and good for a quiet hike.
Nice playgrounds for the kids.
Schuyler has some of the best Mexican food in the state.
Smith Falls State Park in NE is a good stop over while floating on the river. An awesome waterfall to hike to and some interesting roads to drive in on. Not good for RV’s unless you have 4 wheel drive and a high clearance type camper. This is the typical basic campground. There was a group present on a float trip and I learned that this is the highest waterfall in NE, which just goes to show how flat the state is :) Seeiously though it is worth a look.
Park by the fairgrounds and ballpark. Small town with a cool looking putt-putt golf course.
Daily, weekly, and even monthly rates. RV dump and flush toilets. Showers at the pool can be used for free.
Electric Hook-ups. 3 sites with sewer hookups.
Snake River Area Campground near Valentine, NE is on the Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area.
Can you say sand! And fishing. The nice thing about this entire area is one: you don’t see much of the park employees, it’s pretty much all honor system based. Which means if you occupy an entire campground you can stay up as late or early as you want. You can also be as loud or quiet as you like too. Two: This is definitely a water based vacation. The reservoir offers plenty to do and the campground is shaded and did I mention sandy. Dark at night, like pitch black. Critters are around so secure your food. Picnic tables, pit toilets, fire pits and a trash receptacle.
There is the Niobrara River nearby which is the major attraction of the area for float trips. Valentine, NE has food and fuel plus events throughout the year.
Clean quiet lake by Prague a small Nebraska town with a great Bakery and fun festivals.
The camping is quiet and clean as were the toilets. I did not fish but was told the fishing was very good,
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