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Weekend Trip: Beach Camping at Lake McConaughy

About 5 hours away from Omaha and an hour away from the Colorado border sits Lake McConaughy, Nebraska's largest lake. For just $20/night plus a $16 park entrance fee you can drive your car right up on the beach and pitch your tent (or camper) next to the water.


If you want to camp on the beach, you need to book your stay online and there's a two night minimum. You'll need to choose which camping area you want to be in. I originally booked "beach area 4" but realized that had a terrible view so I ended up going to area 5 which was right next door. Lake McConaughy is a state park so you'll need to pay a park entrance fee, but you can do that at the welcome center when you arrive.


If you plan to camp on the beach make sure you have a car that you trust to drive on the sand. I was fine in my Honda CRV but I would be careful taking a smaller car. Showers and bathrooms are available in the day-use area. Bathrooms are free but showers cost money to use. There's some trees farther back on the beach that provide shade but there's no shade close to the water. Lot's of people had big umbrellas or tarps for shade.


I was a little worried about being in the middle of nowhere while on this trip but I was happy to discover that the town of Ogallala is only 15 min away and had more than I was expecting. There's a Walmart and Safeway to stock up on groceries, plus a few local coffee shops, clothing boutiques, a bookstore, and a farmers market on Saturday. I was even able to work for a few hours at @slowlanecoffee, so this trip is totally doable if you still need to work remotely during the day.


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