Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area

Nebraska

(308) 284-8800

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Chilled by the massive surface of Lake McConaughy, a breeze sweeps gently eastward across Kingsley Dam and tumbles 160 feet to the surface of Lake Ogallala. There, at the "little lake," anglers and campers enjoy the natural air conditioning, but sunset comes early in the shadow of the towering dam to the west. Born simultaneously in 1941 with the construction of Kingsley Dam, Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala are litter mates, but not twins. Lake McConaughy is big and rough -- 35,000 surface acres big -- and even gentle breezes often lead to heavy swells. Lake Ogallala, at 320 acres, is comparatively small, gentle and sedate. Its protected shoreline wards off winds that would send the big lake into torment. Lake Ogallala is a rag-sweater-and-cup-of-coffee lake, not a sweat and Gatorade lake like its sibling.

Lake McConaughy Winter Office hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day Sunday through Thursday. Friday to Saturday hours are: 8 a.m. to 8 pm.

Map of Lake Ogallala State Rec. Area (NE)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.219278, -101.664222

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Activities

  • Boating

    All boating is available, though there is a 5-mph limit. There is fuel and rentals available as well as two ramps and docks.

  • Camping

    Lake Ogallala has 320 acres of water and 339 acres of land and is located below the Kingsley Dam Hydroelectric Plant. This area offers a shady modern campground with 82 pads, 62 have electrical hook-ups. There is an additional 180 non-designated campsites. All campers must register.

  • Fishing

    Cold water first brought the Rock Creek Hatchery fish truck there 52 years ago to stock rainbow trout, and Lake Ogallala became renowned for its fast-growing, feisty rainbows.

  • Hiking

    There are two miles of trails to explore in this park.

  • Picnicking

    There are 139 picnic tables and 145 grills.

  • RVing

    Lake Ogallala has 320 acres of water and 339 acres of land and is located below the Kingsley Dam Hydroelectric Plant. This area offers a shady modern campground with 82 pads, 62 have electrical hook-ups. There is an additional 180 non-designated campsites. All campers must register.

Park Partners

Kingsley Lodge

Provides cabins, boat rental, supplies.

(308) 284-2775

Directions

Driving

Take Interstate 80 to the Ogallala Exit #126 and turn north on Hwy 61 (or Spruce Street in Ogallala) to the Jct. of Hwy 61 & Hwy 26. Turn East (right) on Hwy 61 North (Hwy 61 will head east and curve to the north, leading you to the lake). Following Hwy 61 approximatley 8 miles from Ogallala to the Headquarters Visitor Center & 1 more mile to Kingsley Dam. The easiest way to Lake Ogallala modern campground is to travel to the north end of Kinglsey Dam and take the first right heading East after crossing the dam on the Keystone asphalt road. Follow that asphalt road to the East side of Lake Ogallala to find the modern campground. Lake Ogallala is below the dam of Lake McConaughy, so you may follow the marked signs that direct visitors from the Interstate to Lake McConaughy.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(308) 284-8800

Links