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Stayed here on my cross country drive. Real calm at dusk on this reservoir, it picked up real fast into a certified windstorm by 2AM when I felt like my tent was about to be blown away into oblivion. LOTS of RVs.
Great sites right on a small peaceful lake. Just know if the wind changes you might get a little smelly at the campsites. Also look at beach camping up at the big lake above the dam. We didn't realize that was there until we drove in so FYI.
Felt like I was at an ocean beach in the middle of NEBRASKA. Paid the necessary dues at the entrance to the beach area and then drove along the water to find the perfect spot. Backed the Jeep up to the water and called it home for the night. It was a little windy the day I stayed there…hopefully it is calmer most days. I think you can find other spots in coves that would guard you from the wind if needed. Great sunset and sunrise views.
Real quick review: Nice little no wake lake. We enjoyed the lake to paddleboard around. Tent camping one side and RV on my the other. Bath house Boat launch Playground RV hookups Dumpstation Short walking trail to the damn spout ..water all sites ..some electric Sites
From Colorado Springs, it was about an 4.5 Hour Drive and about 5.25 with "Pit Stops" along the Way. Upon Arriving, you will need to pay for Nebraska State Park Permit (Out of State $45 Dollars, In State $30) and then a camping fee for camping on the beach which is $12 per day for primitive.
We opted to Buy an annual pass because this was our second trip and purchased on the first (Review #1) and definitely saved us money. Depending on the season, early summer the water is high and the beach area is not a lengthy. However, as the summer progresses, the water level lowers and the beach are becomes very long and very easy to get stuck in just a regular truck without a camper. With a camper is definitely recommended to utiilize the beach towing at $80 to $100 for entry and exit. This beach towing includes leveling of the camper front to back and side to side. There are about 10 to choose from, but typically one tower will service a four to five mile stretch of the beach.
With the given amount of traffic of campers in these Covid times, almost all camping areas are full and arriving on Wednesday or early Thursday morning will ensure a better camping experience. Keep in mind, during holidays it is extremely busy and what you think might be impossible to get another camper beside you, will result in another camper "squeezing" in beside you at wee hours in the morning to avoid the looks. Both times we went, campers were coming in at 3 and 4 in the morning. It is best to camp on non-holiday weekends that have a little less people.
I would suggest if you have little kids, to camp on the beach so you can have your camp set-up and also maintain your camp (i.e. cook & clean) while one adult watches the children swim. It allows us to not have to run back to the camper to grab something or start cooking. Plus it makes it super convenient with all the inflatables.
As far as the beach goes, the sand is really nice and there typically no rocks or branches in the water. With that said, there are other spots that have a lot of underwater trees and brush which make an uncomfortable experience and a recommendation of water shoes would help.
There are plenty of Boat Rentals, Jet Ski Rentals, Kayak and Paddleboard rentals in the area that will provide fun and entertainment. Both of the power rentals will run you about $350 to $400 dollars per day and provide great entertainment. With the lake being 25 miles long, it is very hard to see the whole lake. Boating is enjoyed all day long, but I would recommend the Jet Skis in the morning as the water is a bit calmer, from less boats being on the water.
There are facilities at the top of the beach entrance, which include bathrooms and trash dumpsters. There are no showers in close vicinity, but you can find some at Lone Eagle Campground. Beware though, they get crowded very quickly and the line is at peak times.
All in all, I highly recommend Lake Mac, but would not recommend it in the late summer. Most importantly, the wind is extreme and use extreme caution when bringing out the portable canopies and also RV Awnings. I could not tell you how many Awnings being destroyed and a graveyard of twisted metal canopies destined for the scrap bin.
Campground is in decent shape and does offer amenities. Lots of cabins. We stayed in a Class C RV. Supposed to be very near the lake but the level was so low it was far away and inaccessible by walking. It was the reason we chose to stay here. The staff are friendly. The little store is decent. WiFi is a joke. Cell service is spotty at best. Half the camp sites are taken by locals who pay to keep their camper here all season along with all their toys and junk. Some teenagers showed up to stay in one across from us one night and sat outside blasting music till late. Next night kids running and screaming around the park till after midnight the first night. Then we are sitting outside one afternoon and the lawn mower dude runs right through our site within inches of us spewing dust all in our camper that had the windows open. We would not stay here again.
Such a beautiful place to stay. Ideally, you would want a spot by the water and/or under the shade trees more. For the reservable side, it has electric hook ups and community water spouts you can fill your tanks with. Spots are pretty spaced out. The big lake is easy to get to. Dump stations are at the big lake and should be marked better. There used to be a playground at the campground, but it is gone. Did find one by the dam at the non-electric side of Lake Ogallala.
The views are pretty but the lack of full hookup sites and dump stations aren't worth it, in our opinion. When we booked our reservation, we utilized the options for 50amp site for a 40' camper and water. What we got was a 50amp site with "community" water available for us to fill up jugs and whatever else held water that we had to walk several sites down to get from a communal water faucet. Had we known this, we could have filled out fresh water tank completely to prepare. It isn't like we never dry dock but a more clear booking site would have helped us prepare. The trash dumpsters are in the worst possible spot for longer rigs pulling out from Lake Ogallala's SRA sites, including #36. And, finally…the fact the dumpstations are no where near most of the camp sites, nor are they clearly marked for convenient finding ensures we will not using this location again.
Great rout fishing below the dam but the cool thing is that all of the lake and surrounding sites are available to you. Nice facilities and possibly a bit quieter than some of the Lake McConaughy sites which can become party sites.