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Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area




Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area
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General Information

Description - This information was provided by NEBRASKA GAME AND PARKS COMMISSION

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.

Fishing and paddling are the primary Lake Ogallala water sports. Only the hardiest swimmers venture a dip in water entering Lake Ogallala from the bottom of Lake McConaughy at a chilling 51 degrees, and there are no true beaches along its five-mile shoreline.

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.

Lake Ogallala's modern campground is a pay-for-use area, but has all the conveniences electricity, modern restrooms, hot showers and fire grates. Its camper pads are nestled among mature cottonwoods in a serene lakeside setting.

On the west side, a more primitive atmosphere prevails at campsites without all the amenities. Serious anglers gather there at the two boat ramps. A wheelchair-accessible fishing dock is also available.

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. Reservations are accepted. Reservations are taken for 50% of the modern camping at Lake Ogallala campground. Reservations are taken up to 1 year in advance of arrival day. .

Attractions - Camping: Yes Water: Yes Modern Restroom: Yes Showers: Yes Trails: Yes Hiking: 2 miles Picnicking: Yes Picnic Tables: 139 Grills: 145 Boating: Yes Types: All (5-mph limit) Ramps: 2 Docks: 2 Fuel Avail.: Yes Boat Rental: Yes Fishing: Yes Cleaning Stations: 1 Concessions: Yes Cabins, Boat Rental, Supplies Hansen's Kingsley Lodge - (308) 284-2775 Admiral's Cove - (308) 355-2102 Lake View Fish Camp - (308) 284-4965 Otter Creek Lodge - (308) 355-2372 Cedar Vu - (308) 355-2793 Lakeview - (308) 284-4965 Visitor Center: Yes Lake McConaughy Winter Office Hours 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Memorial Day - Labor Day Sunday- Thursday Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday - Saturday Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 pm Office on Site: Yes Lake McConaughy Winter Office Hours 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Memorial Day - Labor Day Sunday- Thursday Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday - Saturday Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 pm

Recreation -

Fishing and paddling are the primary Lake Ogallala water sports. Only the hardiest swimmers venture a dip in water entering Lake Ogallala from the bottom of Lake McConaughy at a chilling 51 degrees, and there are no true beaches along its five-mile shoreline.

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.

Lake Ogallala's modern campground is a pay-for-use area, but has all the conveniences electricity, modern restrooms, hot showers and fire grates. Its camper pads are nestled among mature cottonwoods in a serene lakeside setting.

On the west side, a more primitive atmosphere prevails at campsites without all the amenities. Serious anglers gather there at the two boat ramps. A wheelchair-accessible fishing dock is also available.

Climate - Nebraska has a moderate climate with high humidity. The relative humidity in this state averages 70 percent throughout the year. Winter temperatures normally average between 20 and 45 degrees F. March brings warmer weather and temperatures above freezing for most of the month. Spring is in full swing by late April when temperatures often reach above 60 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach highs of 95 degrees F frequently, with warm weather continuing into mid September. Crisp fall weather truly begins in October when nighttime temperatures begin to dip into the low 40s. The wettest time of the year in this state is late spring through summer.

Location - 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.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area, 1450 Highway 61N , Ogallala, NEBRASKA, 69153-5930, Phone: (308) 284-8800
, Lake.McConaughy@ngpc.ne.gov

Additional Information:
Nebraska Recreation Areas -

Links:
Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area - Official site of Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area

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