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We caught some awesome bass here. We stayed 2 nights and had a blast. Worked well with my roof top tent.
Not many campsites, but all very accessible for any sized rig. There are tent sites as well. All sites are messed against the Cottonwood trees for afternoon shade.
Factoid: When I stayed here I learned that the Nebraska National Forest is manmade! It is the largest hand planted forest in the US. it felt like a green oasis in the “desert" of Western Nebraska!
I spent 3 days hiking in this Forest and enjoyed every minute on each trail. This area has such differing geography. I’d begin the hike in the Forest, climb up to the ridge and catch views all the way into the vast, flat Buffalo National Grasslands area.
My home base was in Chadron State Park where I camped. The park itself has 6 miles of hiking trails which connect with several other trails in the Nebraska National Forest. The video is a section of the Black Hills Overlook Trail in the National Forest. A definite must! There was evidence of old wildfires on the western slopes, but otherwise the lodgepole pine trees were beautiful. Steamboat Butte Trail is another good hike.
Chadron State Park is located in the Nebraska National Forest off Hwy 385 south of the town of Chadron which has a Walmart for supplies.The park has pretty much everything: a fishing pond, A trading post for basic camp supplies and some food, swimming pool, seasonal horseback trail rides, archery range, tennis court, disc golf, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, softball field, playground, AC/heated cabins, group camping with a group lodge, and campsites with 30 amp HU, no water so fill up at the bathrooms and there’s a dump station on site.
The site I was in was level, but there was no shade. Shade trees are sparse in the area where I was camped. It was quiet and the stars were great at night, and made for a good home base from which to hike in the Nebraska National Forest.
Unlevel asphalt parking, very few trees, pretty close to your neighbors, and incredibly rough (paved) access roads to the campground. Nothing but dead dry grass around you. Highway noise VERY prevalent right behind the camp site. Reserved online and yet they managed to double book my spot.
We're in the midst of a week in our 26' travel trailer along this beautiful 1.5 mile-long dirt Forest Service road 714-A, directly above Chadron State Park. We're guessing that most folks who stay in the State Park campground below are unaware that dispersed camping is indeed permitted within 300 feet of the center line of this road, for even though the popular State Park campground remains closed for another day due to a delayed COVID-19 opening, and is booked solid thereafter, there's absolutely no one else camping up here!
You actually have to drive through the State Park to access FR-714-A, and the park does not lock their gate overnight so access remains unrestricted. The road is in excellent shape and negotiable by any trailer or motorhome, but is only a single lane wide. We're 700 feet of elevation above the plains below, with stunning views stretching off to the horizon. Much of this area has burned in the past, but the area where we're camping is lush and grassy with some stately pines around. This isn't the Nebraska that you know!
Cell service on Verizon is a solid 3+ bars - 54ms ping, 13.6 Mbps down, 3.5 Mbps up. The Verizon tower is visible about 5 miles to the south of our campsite.
There are numerous hiking trails that depart from either end of FR-714-A, including some in the State Park. Fresh water, an RV dump and a camp store are all located within the park, along with an archery range, sledding hill, fishing pond, playgrounds, picnic areas and more.
One star is deducted only because:
- There are only a couple of sites that would work with a vehicle, for there's a well-hidden drainage ditch dug on each side of the road; and
- There's a bit of daytime traffic due to people accessing the hiking trailhead at the end of the road. Vehicles are forced to camp right along the road, as any side spurs visible on satellite imagery have been marked "No motor vehicles" by the Forest Service. For tent campers, though, it's a short walk right to the rim of Pine Ridge for even more spectacular views.
The phone number provided is for the Nebraska National Forest Pine Hill Ranger District in Chadron, in whose jurisdiction this road resides.