Discover the natural beauty of Nebraska with our guide to the 18 best campgrounds in the state. From top-rated campgrounds to hidden gems, we’ll take you on a journey through diverse landscapes and outdoor adventures. Whether you prefer scenic lakeside spots, serene forest retreats, or unique camping experiences, Nebraska offers it all for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. Join us as we explore
the best campgrounds Nebraska has to offer, perfect for your next outdoor getaway!
Best State Park Campgrounds in Nebraska
the best state park campgrounds in Nebraska, where outdoor adventures await. Whether you’re into fishing, hiking, or just escaping to nature, these campgrounds offer diverse experiences. 1. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Location: Ashland, NE Popularity: Popular family-friendly spot in the summer. Park Info: Biking, fishing, food service, golf, hiking, marina, picnicking, playground, swimming, theater, and trail rides. Price: $25+/night
Mahoney State Park is a modern year-round family destination located between Lincoln and Omaha. It features an aquatic center, an indoor playground, hiking and biking trails, a treetop ropes course, an observation tower, and cold-weather activities like indoor rock climbing, sledding, and ice skating. The park's highlight is the Peter Kiewit Lodge, with 40 guest rooms and scenic balconies overlooking the Platte River valley. Visitors can also enjoy arts and crafts, cabins, and camping facilities.
Kiewit Lodge at Mahoney State Park features 40 guest rooms, each equipped with modern amenities, some with lofts and walkout decks offering scenic views. The park also offers 60 cabins nestled in wooded areas, ranging from two to six bedrooms, all with year-round availability.
For campers, there are 148 campsites with Full Hookup, Electric Plus, and Electric options. Lakeside Campground (sites 100-148) is near Baright Lake, while Little Creek Campground (sites 1-99) is close to recreational facilities. Both offer modern amenities, showers, and a convenient dump and fill station. Tent camping is available in the grassy areas adjacent to pad sites.
2. Indian Cave State Park Location: Shubert, NE Popularity: Very popular during the fall season. Park Info: Archery range, biking, boating, equestrian trails, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, playground, and trail rides. Price: $15+/night
Indian Cave State Park, spanning 3,052 acres along the Missouri River, is named after its remarkable sandstone cave. The park offers stunning camping and picnic spots with 22 miles of scenic trails for hiking and biking. The park is a year-round destination with its captivating views of the meandering river and a vibrant hardwood forest that transforms into a colorful spectacle in autumn.
Indian Cave State Park offers a range of campsites, including Electric Plus, Electric, Basic, and Equestrian Basic options. The Ash Grove campground has 51 Electric Plus and 36 Electric campsites, while Hackberry Hollow offers 32 Electric Plus and 15 Electric pad sites.
Campers enjoy amenities like showers, modern restrooms, a laundry facility, and a dump and fill station with picnic tables and grills. For those seeking a more back-to-basics experience among the scenic hills, Basic campsites are available year-round, featuring showers, water hydrants, electrical hookups, and provided grills and fire rings.
The park also offers 16 miles of equestrian trails and a horse camp area with Basic Equestrian camping amenities, including corrals, hitching posts, and more.
3. Niobrara State Park Location: Niobrara, NE Popularity: Summer is the busiest season, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Park Info: Biking, boating, equestrian trails, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, playground, swimming, and trail rides. Price: $15+/night
Niobrara State Park, situated at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri rivers in northeastern Nebraska, offers a variety of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy cabins, camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching. In the summer, the park hosts popular buffalo cookouts.
Niobrara State Park provides a campground with Electric Plus and Basic campsites, offering facilities like modern restrooms, showers, and more. There are also 30 Basic campsites without electricity, all nestled in a scenic setting overlooking the rivers. For equestrian enthusiasts, there's a spacious riding area and a Basic Equestrian campground with a corral. The park offers 20 cabins with two or three bedrooms, all equipped with amenities and beautiful views of the Missouri River Valley.
Best Beach Camping in Nebraska
Discover the best beach camping destinations in Nebraska, where sandy shores and serene waters await. From the shores of massive Lake McConaughy to the hidden gems along smaller reservoirs, Nebraska offers a unique blend of picturesque beachfront and outdoor fun. Get ready to set up your tent or RV and experience the soothing sounds of waves, stunning sunsets, and the ultimate beach camping experience in the heart of the Midwest.
4. Smith Falls State Park Location: Valentine, NE 69201 Popularity: Peak season is May through September. Park Info: Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Price: $15+/night
Smith Falls State Park, home to Nebraska's tallest waterfall, Smith Falls, is a haven for campers and water enthusiasts. Situated along the picturesque Niobrara River, a National Scenic River, the park is a magnet for canoeists, kayakers, and tubers, often chosen as a convenient take-out point by outfitters. The park's name, Smith Falls, pays tribute to Frederic Smith, the original homesteader of the land encompassing the falls.
Smith Falls State Park provides attractive Basic campsites, perfect for tent campers looking to enjoy a river float or take in the falls' scenic views. The campground is equipped with picnic tables, restroom facilities, and pay showers.
5. Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area Location: Ogallala, NE Popularity: During peak season, May through September, all overnight camping requires an advanced reservation. Park Info: Boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, playground, and swimming. Price: $15+/night
Lake Ogallala, known as "the little lake," lies east of Kingsley Dam near Lake McConaughy. This 320-acre lake is famous for its rainbow trout fishing and offers a calmer alternative to its larger neighbor. While it lacks sandy beaches, its protected shoreline is ideal for activities like fishing, paddling, camping, and enjoying the scenery.
Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area's campground, located on the west side of Kingsley Dam, offers 82 spacious single-family campsites, with some right along the lakeshore. Among these, 62 have electrical hookups, and there are 180 non-designated campsites in the State Recreation Area. Campers can enjoy amenities like drinking water, flush toilets, hot showers, a dump station, a boat ramp, a fish cleaning station, and a playground. Firewood is also available for purchase, and each campsite is equipped with a table, fire ring, and grate.
6. Lake Mcconaughy State Recreation Area And Wildlife Management Area Location: Brule, NE Popularity: Peak season is May through September. Park Info: Archery range, boating, fishing, food service, hunting, picnicking, playground, and swimming. Price: $10+/night
Lake McConaughy, often called "Big Mac," is Nebraska's largest reservoir at 30,000 acres. Its enormous dam and record-setting fish make it a popular spot for outdoor activities, including camping, boating, swimming, and fishing. Located near Ogallala, it's a top destination for nature lovers.
Lake McConaughy provides a variety of camping options with Full Service, Electric Plus, and Basic sites spread across seven campgrounds. Additionally, there are 17 designated beach camping areas, each offering multiple non-site-specific campsites, with availability depending on water levels.
7. Red Willow Reservoir State Recreation Area Location: McCook, NE Popularity: Very popular during the summer months. Park Info: Archery range, boating, fishing, food service, hunting, marina, picnicking, playground, and swimming. Price: $15+/night
Red Willow Reservoir SRA is a prime destination for fishing, hunting, camping, and water-based recreation, featuring a 1,628-acre lake surrounded by 4,320 acres of land.
Red Willow Reservoir SRA provides lots of camping options, including sites with Electric Plus, Electric, Basic, and Primitive amenities. The campground features 48 camping pads equipped with both 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups, along with convenient access to showers and a dump and fill station. Additionally, Red Willow offers a selection of Basic and Primitive camping sites for those who prefer a more rustic experience without the need for electricity or modern facilities.
Top Glamping in Nebraska
From cozy cabins nestled in the heart of the wilderness to unique geodesic domes and bungalows overlooking picturesque vineyards, these glamping spots have something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family retreat, or a unique escape, these top glamping spots in Nebraska are sure to provide an awesome experience.
8. Chadron State Park Location: Chadron, NE Popularity: Busiest spring through fall. Park Info: Archery Range, biking, fishing, food service, hiking, picnicking, swimming, and trail rides. Price: $15+/night
Established in 1921, Chadron State Park, Nebraska's inaugural state park, is nestled amid the picturesque buttes and canyons of the Pine Ridge area. With a century-long legacy, it remains a beloved destination for camping, family gatherings, and traditional vacations, allowing visitors to escape and revel in one of the state's most iconic landscapes.
Chadron State Park offers year-round Electric and Basic campsites with facilities like showers, laundry, and playgrounds. Reservations can be made up to a year in advance for half the campsites, with the remaining sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. The park also provides 22 cabins with amenities like air conditioning and cooking facilities.
9. Kimberly Creek Retreat
30010 Kimberly Dr, Ashland, NE 68003, USA
Location: Ashland, NE Popularity: Very popular. Park Info: All glamping cabins and domes include air conditioning, heating, ensuite bathroom, private shower, all bedding and pillows provided, mini-fridge, microwave, toaster oven, coffee pot, toaster, dishes, flatware, private propane grill, and private propane fire pit. Price: $125+/night
Kimberly Creek Retreat spans over 20 acres of wooded terrain, boasting hills, cliffs, Pawnee Creek, hiking trails, fire pits, and picnic spots for visitors to enjoy. The retreat offers activities suitable for both kids and adults and is conveniently minutes away from Mahoney State Park, the SAC Museum, wineries, and charming boutiques in nearby small towns.
For lodging options, guests can choose from unique geodesic domes, providing a one-of-a-kind and luxurious nature-based experience. Additionally, Kimberly Creek Retreat offers a selection of cozy, tiny glamping cabins for those seeking an alternative way to enjoy their stay.
10. Slattery Vintage Estates
8925 Adams St, Nehawka, NE 68413, USA
Location: Nehawka, NE Popularity: Very popular. Park Info: Mid-May to mid-October is the glamping season. Price: $250+/night
Slattery Vintage Estates, situated in rural Cass County, just 25 miles west of Nehawka, is renowned for its award-winning wines and unique offerings. One highlight is their Glamping Bungalows, which provide a luxurious camping experience without the hassle of packing bedding and camping gear. The Bungalows, adorned with antiques, are perched on decks with porches that offer picturesque views of the vineyard. Inside, you'll find full-size, queen, or king beds, coffee service, tables and chairs, cozy rugs, and soft bedding. These bungalows are fully equipped with electricity, including lamps, fans, and heaters, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay.
11. Two Rivers State Recreation Area
Two Rivers State Recreation Area, 27702 F St, Waterloo, NE 68069, USA
Location: Waterloo, NE Popularity: The cabooses are available April 15 through the end of September. Park Info: To make the most of your caboose stay, please remember to bring bedding/sleeping bags (mattresses provided), pillows, towels, soap, eating utensils, charcoal, lighter fluid, and cooking utensils for the grill. Cabooses are open from April 15 to the end of September, and no pets are allowed. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance. Price: $75+/night
Two Rivers State Recreation Area, in eastern Nebraska near Omaha, offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, swimming, and picnicking. What sets it apart is the option to stay in one of the 10 refurbished Union Pacific cabooses that can sleep up to six people. These air-conditioned cabooses feature bunk beds, mattresses in the cupola, modern bathrooms, and kitchens with stoves, microwaves, refrigerators, and sinks. Additionally, each cabin has a dining area with a table, chairs, and a two-person couch, and there's a deck with a picnic table, grill, and fire ring for outdoor dining and relaxation.
Best RV Camping Sites in Nebraska
Discover the best RV sites in Nebraska, where the adventure of the open road meets the comforts of home. Whether you’re a seasoned RV enthusiast or embarking on your first RV journey, Nebraska offers a range of campgrounds that cater to all levels of experience. From scenic lakeside locations to family-friendly parks with top-notch amenities, these RV campgrounds ensure a memorable and convenient outdoor experience. Whether you own an RV or
prefer to rent one, these sites are your ticket to exploring the beauty of the Cornhusker State with all the comforts of RV living. 12. Fort Robinson State Park Location: Crawford, NE Popularity: Peak season is April-November. Park Info: Biking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, equestrian trails, fishing, food service, hiking, hunting, picnicking, playground, swimming, and trail rides. Price: $15+/night
Nestled within the scenic Pine Ridge landscape, Fort Robinson State Park sprawls across over 22,000 acres, offering a captivating blend of Old West history, comfortable accommodations, picturesque camping areas, and its own herds of buffalo and longhorns.
Fort Robinson State Park offers unique historic lodging in former military buildings. You can choose from various options, accommodating two to 60 guests.
They also have a variety of campsites, including Full Hookup, Electric Plus, and Basic options set against the backdrop of the scenic Pine Ridge region. The park provides modern amenities such as restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and a dump and fill station. Equestrians with horses or mules can camp at the Mare Barn Complex, which offers Electric and Basic campsites. This campground is close to modern restrooms, the park's coin-operated laundry facility, and the Mare Barn stalls.
13. Sutherland Reservoir State Recreation Area
Sutherland, NE 69165, USA
Location: Sutherland, NE Popularity: Hidden gem. Park Info: Boating, fishing, hunting, picnicking, and swimming. Price: $10+/night
Sutherland Reservoir State Recreation Area comprises a 3,017-acre lake and 37 acres of land. It provides excellent opportunities for fishing, power boating, camping, and swimming at its beach. Conveniently situated near Interstate 80, the recreation area offers 22 Electric Plus sites and over 100 primitive sites for camping. Campers have access to water sources and vault restrooms. Primitive campsites are on the east and west sides of the lake, making it a fantastic spot to camp if you're looking for water views.
14. Branched Oak State Recreation Area Location: Raymond, NE Popularity: The peak season is April-October. Park Info: Archery range, biking, boating, equestrian trails, fishing, food service, hiking, hunting, marina, picnicking, playground, shooting range, and swimming. Price: $15+/night
Branched Oak State Recreation Area boasts eastern Nebraska's largest lake, a hotspot for fishing, boating, and camping. The area features various campsite options, including Full Hookups, Electric Plus, Electric, Basic, and Primitive sites, along with facilities like shower houses, restrooms, and playgrounds. Camping reservations are available for specific sites, while others are first-come, first-served. Additionally, there's an equestrian camping area with pull-through Electric Plus sites, corrals, and other amenities.
Best Primitive Tent Camping in Nebraska
Escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Nebraska’s wilderness with
the best primitive tent camping experiences. These campgrounds, scattered across the state, offer a back-to-basics approach to camping, where you can truly disconnect from the digital world and connect with nature. 15. Toadstool Geological Park and Campground Location: Harrison, NE Popularity: Hidden gem. Park Info: First come, first serve. In the off-season, pack in/pack out. Fees are from mid-May to mid-November. Price: $15/night
Toadstool Geologic Park features unique geological formations and valuable fossils, with an interpretive kiosk explaining the area's geology and history. Three hiking trails are accessible from the campground, including a one-mile loop showcasing clay and sandstone formations. The Bison Trail leads to the Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center, a 3-mile hike from the campground. A five-mile loop explores badlands and grasslands along the Great Plains Trail. The campground offers six sites with amenities and two vault toilets, but no water. Portions of these trails are part of the Great Plains Trail network.
16. Whitetail Campground in the Bessey Ranger District Location: Dunning, NE Popularity: Usage: light-medium. Busiest Season: Rifle deer season, mid-November. Park Info: Campfires are allowed in the provided fire rings, and you can collect firewood on-site. Avoid bringing wood from outside. Price: $15/night
Whitetail Campground, positioned in the southeastern area of the Bessey Ranger District along the Dismal River, features ten campsites. Visitors can access a hand pump for water, horse corrals, picnic tables, fire rings, and modern vault toilets. This campground is conveniently situated along the OHV trail system, although it doesn't offer electricity.
17. Steer Creek Campground Location: Cody, NE Popularity: Secluded. Busiest Season: Rifle deer season, mid-November. Park Info: First-come, first-served. Tent camping, camping trailer, picnic tables, and toilets. Price: $15/night
Nestled beneath the shade of ponderosa pines, this 23-unit campground can be found in the southeastern section of the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest. Equipped with amenities such as a hand water pump, picnic tables, fire rings, and modern vault toilets, it offers an inviting base for exploring the Sandhills. Additionally, the campground serves as the starting and ending point for the one-mile Blue Jay Trail, a nature loop. For horseback enthusiasts, there's an eight-stall corral with a nearby manure bunk available.
18. Yankee Hill State Wildlife Management Area
68523, Lincoln, NE 68523, USA
Location: Lincoln, NE Popularity: Very quiet, bare-bones camping spot popular amongst fishing enthusiasts. Park Info: If you are into ice fishing, this is the lake to visit. Price: Free.
Yankee Hill State Recreation Area, situated a short 3.5 miles east of Denton, Nebraska, covers 208 acres and boasts five miles of scenic shoreline. The park offers primitive camping options, a designated dog training area, and a convenient boat ramp for visitors. Please note that only boats equipped with electric motors are permitted on this lake.
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More to Explore
Best Camping In Nebraska
What are the most popular state parks in Nebraska?
The most popular state parks in Nebraska are:
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Homestead National Historical Park
Missouri National Recreational River
Niobrara National Scenic River
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Platte River State Park
Pawnee State Recreation Area
Ponca State Park
What time of year is best for camping in Nebraska?
The ideal camping seasons in Nebraska are late spring (May to June) and early fall (September to October), providing mild weather with less humidity and fewer mosquitoes compared to peak summer.
Where can I find secluded campgrounds in Nebraska?
The best secluded campgrounds in Nebraska are:
Oglala National Grassland
Lake Minatare State Recreation Area
Twin Lakes State Wildlife Management Area
Steer Creek Campground