Discover the 10 Absolute Best Camping Near Omaha

Written by Christina Eck
Published: May 27, 2023
© marekuliasz/
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You won’t want to miss out on the camping scene if you’re in or around the Omaha area. Nebraska often isn’t known for its camping, but you won’t want to miss plenty of stunning locations. Whether you’re just passing by or are living in the area, you will want to discover the ten absolute best camping near Omaha.

Most of these camping sites are nearby, with the furthest being a little over an hour’s drive away. Not only are there traditional camping options, but also RV, glamping, cabins, and more! So, let’s take a closer look at the best camping spots near Omaha, NE.

1. N.P. Dodge Park (15 Minutes Away)

The fine river Missouri smoothly flows between picturesque hills
The campsite is located alongside the Missouri River.


N.P. Dodge Park is a small 445-acre park located along the Missouri River. The park is small and quaint but has all the amenities you’d need for your stay. This includes electric, non-electric, showers, and restrooms. 

A full-service marina also includes access to boats and water sports. This includes over 326 docking slips with boat trailer storage. Despite boating being a major attraction, many individuals end up water skiing over the river.

If you’re not a water sports person, don’t worry! They also include plenty of outdoor activities. One major attraction is the surrounding trails, which range from beginner-friendly to medium hiking.

However, if you’re not a fan of outdoor life, you can alternatively stay in a hotel, a bed and breakfast, or rent a home. However, you’d be doing yourself a disservice as the outdoor camping spots are amazing. 

2. Glenn Cunningham Lake (19 Minutes Away)

Lake trail by waters edge Glenn Cunningham Lake
Trails lining Glenn Cunningham Lake.


The Glenn Cunningham Lake is a lakeside camping option located close to Omaha. In fact, it’s only a short walk from N.P. Dodge Park. The campsite includes many outdoor activities and is favored for its fishing spots. Fishermen can rejoice, as plenty of largemouth bass and panfish are available in summer.

They have youth programs and live concerts year-round if you’re with the family. You can also take a swing at the Lighthouse Disc Golf Course or host your own event.

In addition, the camp includes rental kayaks, paddles, bikes, and more! That way, you don’t have to lug all your gear to your campsite. If you’re into hiking, you can also enjoy the surrounding trails.

3. Hitchcock Nature Center (24 Minutes Away)

Loess Hills in Western Iowa near Honey Creek, Iowa.
The Loess Hills is located near the Hitchcock Nature Center.

©Doug Lambert/

Another favorite is the Hitchcock Nature Center. Located in the Loess Hills, the center includes multiple environments, including prairie, savanna, and woodlands. It features low-impact recreation and camping and is the perfect getaway from bustling city life.

Open year-round, the park allows visitors to go camping, picnicking, and star gazing. You can even go bird watching with an abundant bird population surrounding the waters and trees. In winter, the part has snowshoeing and sledding.

However, people come for the hiking trails such as the Fox Run Ridge, Badger Ridge, and Iowa West Foundation Equal Access Nature Trail and Boardwalk. The park is one of the only nearby locations that have accessibility to the disabled.

Multiple accommodations include a campsite and the Loess Hills Lodge and Gallery. Those with RVs can rent lots with electrical hookups. Anyone looking for a more cozy stay can rent a cabin and enjoy the surrounding views.

4. Two Rivers State Recreation Area (30 Minutes Away)

Nebraska/Iowa. Bob Kerrey Pedestrian bridge crossing the Missouri river from Nebraska to Iowa.  It is the first dedicated pedestrian bridge to connect two states.
The first bridge to connect Iowa and Nebraska.

©Michael Siluk/

The Two Rivers State Recreation Area is outside of Omaha. It is a perfect location for those wanting a weekend getaway. A beach is open on all government holidays, perfect for planning a mini vacation.

For activities, there is kayaking and canoeing available out on the rivers. For anglers, you can enjoy catching largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other carp species. Plus, you can also hike on the equestrian trails.

However, the main attraction is the 10 Union Pacific cabooses that have been altered into cabins that visitors can book to sleep in. Each cabin can hold up to six people comfortably, which makes it a fun historical getaway.

5. Louisville State Recreation Area (30 Minutes Away)

A lone Sandhill Crane near the Platte River in Nebraska during spring migration.
Louisville State Recreation Area has many wildlife animals, such as the Sandhill Crane.

©Benjamin Tillotson/

The Louisville State Recreation Area is a campground spamming 192 acres with almost 50 acres of surrounding water. The area features a multitude of nature, including cottonwood trees, shorelines, and more. 

There is biking, fishing, and hiking if you’re looking for outdoor activities. However, if you’re into watersports, you can enjoy kayaking, swimming, and canoeing. For fishermen, you can also enjoy fishing catfish, bluegill, and crappies on the surrounding lakes.

Campers have two choices between either tent camping or RV style. For both types of camping, you’ll have access to multiple facilities, including restrooms, showers, etc. 

6. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (36 Minutes Away)

Dirt road at sunrise, North Platte River valley, western Nebraska, USA
Views of the sunset on Platte River Valley.

©Don Mammoser/

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is a bit further away from Omaha but is worth the trip. It’s a perfect location for those looking for several camping options. 

Not only will campers be able to choose from camping pads, but also tent camping. You can also book a stay at one of the park’s private cabins if you prefer a homeier feel. For a more “cabin-like” experience, you can book a room at the Peter Kiewit Lodge atop a hill overlooking Platte River Valley.

There is more to do than just transitional camping and outdoor fun. The park includes a golf and mini golf track, restaurants, and more. There is also an aquatic center which is perfect for family fun.

However, the most popular activity is the equestrian trails. Even with little experience, you can ride a horse up the trails with a trained professional. This is a fun family activity and is a unique experience.

7. Platte River State Park (40 Minutes Away)

Broad Western River in the Great Plains on the Platte River Near Kearney, Nebraska
Fishing in the Platte River is a great relaxing activity.


Just a bit further from Eugene T. Mahoney is Platte River. The park is much closer to the river and draws campers in due to its magnificent waterfalls, fun family activities, and many camping accommodations. Aside from that, hikers enjoy the many trails surrounding the area.

The park itself is only good for short-term stays. It has the option to camp in tents or to book a visit in a vintage cabin. The campsites are very simplistic and do lack amenities. However, campers tend to say that’s what they enjoy most about this area.

For kids, there is a spray park with water slides, waterfalls, and dump buckets. They can also enjoy an educational tour of crawdad creek, which features interactive experiences with the mud and creatures. Kids will be able to catch tadpoles, crawdas, and more.

The Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex is great for novice and experienced shooters to practice their skills. It features a 50-yard small rifle range and a 10-meter pellet gun range.

8. Waubonsie State Park (50 Minutes Away)

Trail through Forest at Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is found in Waubonsie State Park.

©Zack Frank/

Waubonsie State Park is an exceptionally big park that spans over 1,990 acres. It’s located on the Loess Hills of Iowa and is surrounded by amazing wildlife. The environment is known for its stunning views and plenty of outdoor viewing.

Campers can choose between 40 campsites, some with electrical hookups and others with none. The campsite also includes amenities, including showers, restrooms, etc. If you’re indoors, you can reserve a stay at one of Waubonsie’s eight cabins or a room at the Wa-Shawtee Lodge.

Most people visit to walk the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail. It’s a narrow trail system that spans across the park. The trail is the same path that Lewis and Clark took on their expedition across the United States.

If you’re not interested in those activities, then there are also designated fishing and hunting grounds. The fishing areas have largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. You can catch whitetail deer, wild turkey, and other upland game for hunting.

9. Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area (50 Minutes Away)

A picture of Johnson Lake and its surrounding plant life.

©Mark Metzler Digital Art/

You might enjoy Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area if you want to drive further. It’s one of the area’s best campgrounds. The waterfront spans over 300 acres and is perfect for outdoor water recreation. Fremont has boating, water skiing, and swimming available on the lake.

In addition to that, the camping area includes 240 campsites. Some are electric plus, electric, basic, and primitive campsite options. There are four designated campgrounds, each with their own amenities. You can choose which one you want, and it will give you a different camping experience.

The recreation area doesn’t have as many activities as other places. So, it’s a better place for those who love watersports, fishing, and being outdoors.

10. Indian Cave State Park (82 Minutes Away)

Indian Cave State Park
The Indian Cave State Park’s viewing sights.

©Charles G. Haacker/

Indian Cave State Park is a marvelous location and home to a sandstone cave. The park spans over 3,000 acres and is located on the Missouri River. It’s mostly known for its stunning autumn camping and even hosts an annual Haunted Hollow Event in October.

In addition, campers will have a wealth of amenities, including showers, campfire rings, and shelter. If you’re an RV camper or require electrical hookups, you can also gain access to those. There are also RV spots that you can rent for the trip.

Some of the more unique attractions include an archery range and equestrian trails. For kid-friendly activities, there are playgrounds and trail rides. The park also hosts many family-friendly events, especially during the fall. Kids can get a chance to ride hayrack rides, join spooky contests during Halloween, and craft some unique outdoor accessories.

Those interested in hiking, camping, and biking will love the surrounding trails. With more than 22 miles of hiking and biking trails, there’s always something to do. Camping is also a wonderful experience, as the surrounding areas can be seen from the campsites. Lastly, the park includes hunting and fishing, which makes it a jack of all trades.

The Featured Image

North Platte River
The North Platte River just west of Omaha has some of the best duck hunting in the state.
© marekuliasz/

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About the Author

Christina Eck is a freelance writer who has been working in the industry for the past five years. She has worked in multiple niches, specifically in the travel, product review, and mental health niche. She loves mental health and medical writing and plans to move into the medical writing niche in the future.

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