Camping in Nebraska

      Everything you need to know before camping in Nebraska.


      Your End-to-End Nebraska Camping Guide

      Craving wide-open spaces and starry nights? Look no further than Nebraska. Swap the desert dunes and mountain peaks for rolling hills and pitch a tent under a sky bursting with stars, or set up camp with the family at a state park. 

      Given its stunning natural locations, you can also hike or bike through diverse landscapes, cast a line in a serene lake, or simply relax and soak in the quiet beauty of the Great Plains. Nebraska’s your ticket to a peaceful escape and lasting memories under the big sky!

      Best Places To Camp In Nebraska

      Chadron State Park

      Campers can choose from various campsites, including primitive sites nestled amongst the trees or family-friendly options with amenities like electrical hookups and showers. The park offers diverse activities like hiking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, and exploring the nearby Fort Robinson State Park, a historic military outpost.

      Chadron State Park Nebraska

      Fort Kearny State Recreation Area

      Steeped in history and natural beauty, Fort Kearny State Recreation Area offers a unique camping experience. This site was once an important military outpost on the Oregon Trail, and visitors can explore the restored buildings and museums to learn about its past. Camping options range from primitive sites to fully equipped campgrounds with amenities, catering to different camping styles. The park also offers hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the historical and natural landscape.

      Fort Kearny State Recreation Area Nebraska

      Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Areas

      Spanning over 31,000 acres, Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Areas are a haven for water enthusiasts. These interconnected lakes provide a vast playground for boating, fishing, swimming, and water sports. The surrounding landscape offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing, making it a perfect destination for a family getaway.

      Lake McConaughy And Lake Ogallala State Recreation Areas Nebraska

      Niobrara State Park

      Carved by the scenic Niobrara River, Niobrara State Park is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. The park is renowned for its dramatic canyon scenery, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, including bald eagles and wild turkeys. The park offers kayaking, canoeing, and hiking opportunities, allowing visitors to experience the unique beauty of the Niobrara River Valley.

      Niobrara State Park Nebraska

      Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

      Located near Omaha, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park provides a convenient escape into nature for city dwellers. The park features a picturesque lake surrounded by rolling hills, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming. The park also boasts a network of hiking and biking trails, perfect for exploring the diverse flora and fauna.

      Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Nebraska

      Things To Do In Nebraska


      Nebraska's capital city, Lincoln, blends urban energy with historical charm. The majestic Nebraska State Capitol, adorned with a golden dome, offers guided tours and stunning architectural features. Visitors can learn about the state's history at the Nebraska History Museum, housing exhibits on indigenous cultures, pioneer life, and the state's agricultural legacy. Nature lovers can find solace at Pioneers Park, featuring scenic walking trails, a botanical garden, and a scenic lake.

      Scotts Bluff National Monument

      Located in western Nebraska, Scotts Bluff National Monument stands as a testament to the resilience of pioneers who traversed the Great Plains during the 19th century. The monument encompasses a series of bluffs, rising prominently from the surrounding landscape, once serving as a landmark and campsite for westward migration. Visitors can explore the area through interpretive trails, learn about the region's history at the visitor center, and witness breathtaking views of the surrounding plains.

      Chimney Rock

      Towering over the vast prairie grasslands in western Nebraska, Chimney Rock is a natural landmark with significant historical and cultural importance. This iconic geological formation, resembling a giant chimney, served as a navigational guide for pioneers on the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. Native American tribes also hold a deep reverence for Chimney Rock, weaving stories and legends around its formation.


      This city boasts a world-class zoo, the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, which houses the largest indoor rainforest in the world and diverse animal exhibits. History buffs can delve into the city's past at the Durham Museum, showcasing artifacts and exhibits on Nebraska's rich heritage. Art enthusiasts can admire masterpieces at the Joslyn Art Museum, featuring collections spanning centuries and cultures.

      Sandhill Cranes

      Every spring, a breathtaking spectacle unfolds in Nebraska's central region - the migration of the Sandhill cranes. These majestic birds, with their elegant wingspans and distinctive calls, gather in large numbers at various locations across the state, including the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center near Grand Island. Visitors can witness the cranes feeding, preening, and engaging in courtship displays, experiencing the wonder of nature's migration patterns firsthand.


      Channel your inner Stonehenge enthusiast at Carhenge, a quirky art installation near Alliance. This unique "car-henge" features 38 automobiles arranged in a circular formation, mimicking the iconic British monument. The installation, created by Jim Reinders in 1987, serves as a tribute to his father and has become a popular roadside attraction. 

      Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

      Embark on an ecological adventure at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, a haven for diverse birdlife and a vital wetland ecosystem. Spot over 300 species of birds, including majestic sandhill cranes, playful otters, and elusive pronghorns, and explore the refuge's network of trails, traversing through grasslands, marshes, and woodlands, offering opportunities to observe the region's diverse flora and fauna.

      Strategic Air & Space Museum

      Take this opportunity to explore iconic bombers, fighters, and reconnaissance jets that played a pivotal role in history. Explore the museum's exhibits, delving into the evolution of air warfare and space exploration. Climb aboard historic aircraft to experience their cockpit firsthand and gain a deeper understanding of the technology and engineering advancements in aviation.

      Arbor Day Farm

      The birthplace of Arbor Day and a haven for nature enthusiasts, explore the expansive grounds featuring diverse trees, shrubs, and breathtaking floral displays. Learn about the importance of trees and their role in the environment through interactive exhibits and educational programs. Take a guided tram tour or explore the scenic trails, immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature. Attend workshops and events throughout the year, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

      Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park

      At this renowned location, known for its exceptional collection of fossilized plants and animals preserved from a volcanic eruption millions of years ago, explore the visitor center to learn about the park's diverse fossil record and witness the painstaking process of excavation and interpretation. Embark on guided tours through the fossil sites, marveling at the petrified remains of ancient camels, rhinos, and other prehistoric creatures. Hike scenic trails weaving through the park's scenic landscape, offering stunning views and opportunities to observe local wildlife.

      Niobrara Valley Preserve

      Kayak or canoe down the scenic Niobrara River, winding through dramatic canyons and lush vegetation. Hike or bike along scenic trails, offering stunning vistas of the valley and opportunities to spot diverse wildlife, including bald eagles and bighorn sheep. Explore ancient petroglyphs left by indigenous tribes on the sandstone cliffs, offering a glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage

      Fort Robinson State Park

      Explore the restored fort buildings, including barracks, officers' quarters, and a hospital, offering a glimpse into the lives of soldiers stationed there. Visit the fascinating Fort Robinson Museum, showcasing exhibits on the fort's history, the American Indian wars, and the story of Crazy Horse, a Lakota Sioux warrior who surrendered at the fort. Hike or bike along scenic trails within the park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

      Featured Nebraska Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Nebraska

      Cruise Nebraska's iconic landscapes and charming towns in the comfort of your own home-on-wheels! Ditch the hotel hassles and embrace the freedom of the open road with an RV rental. Explore the vast Sandhills, discover hidden gems in the vibrant small towns, or stargaze under endless skies – the possibilities are endless. When you book your Nebraska RV adventure, you get to make memories that will last a lifetime!

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Spring (May-June) and fall (September-October) offer pleasant temperatures with vibrant fall foliage in autumn. Summer can be hot, but perfect for water activities at lakes and rivers.

      Absolutely! Nebraska offers a diverse landscape perfect for various camping styles. Whether you seek serene lakes, rolling hills, or vast sandhills, Nebraska has something for everyone. With numerous state parks, recreation areas, and private campgrounds, you can find options with amenities catering to different needs and budgets.

      Camping fees in Nebraska can vary based on several factors. Generally, expect costs to range from around $15 to $50 per night. 

      There are limited opportunities for camping on dispersed campsites on public land in Nebraska. Most designated camping areas are within state parks, recreation areas, or private campgrounds. These offer amenities like restrooms, showers, and designated fire rings, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

      You don't need a special permit for camping in Nebraska, but a park permit or camping reservation is required depending on the location. Check with the specific park or recreation area for details.

      Yes, there can be restrictions on campfires depending on the location and fire danger level. Always check for fire restrictions before starting a campfire and follow all guidelines.

      Many campgrounds in Nebraska cater to families, offering amenities like playgrounds, swimming areas, and family-friendly activities. Popular options include Two Rivers State Recreation Area, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, and Ponca State Park.

      Amenities vary depending on the campground, but many offer restrooms, showers, picnic tables, fire rings, and some have electrical hookups and dump stations.

      Nebraska offers a range of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, boating, swimming, wildlife watching, and stargazing. Some parks also have historical sites or nature centers to explore.

      Camping fees vary depending on the location, type of campsite (primitive, basic, electric, etc.), and length of stay. Generally, expect fees to range from around $15 to $50 per night.

      Yes, many campgrounds in Nebraska allow pets, but there may be specific rules regarding leash laws and pet waste disposal. Always check individual campground regulations before bringing your pet.

      Become a Go Camping America Member!

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      Maximize your experience with member-only benefits and discounts at participating campgrounds, saving you money and enhancing your stay. And don't just plan your RV trip, unlock the ultimate RV travel companion with an OHI membership. Visit to learn more and start planning your dream adventure today!