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Changes coming to overnight camping at Lake Oahe

Published March 15, 2016

BISMARCK, ND - Several changes are coming to campsites operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

Changes include how visitors can reserve and pay for campsites.

“To ensure compliance with recent changes in USACE regulations for recreation use fees, changes were made to the campsite reservation and fee collection process,” said John Voeller, a Natural Resource Specialist at Oahe Dam and Lake.

The changes provide an easier process for visitors and staff.

“We've had numerous requests to be able to make reservations for Hazelton Recreation Area Campground and now our visitors will have that opportunity,” said Voeller.

The recreation season will run from May 1 to September 30.  

Reservations for all reservable sites can be made through Reserve America by going online to Recreation.gov or by calling the toll free reservation line at 1-877-444-6777. Hazelton and Beaver Creek Recreation Areas have a two-day booking window, meaning if you want a campsite for Friday you must make your reservation by Wednesday, thus giving the Ranger staff time to get the reserved campsites marked.

Of the 30 campsites at Hazelton 26 have been made reservable. Four campsites, two electrical and two non-electrical, remain as first-come, first-served camp sites.

“We want campers to know they can make reservations before arriving. That way they know they will have a campsite waiting when they arrive instead of taking a chance that a campsite might be available,” said Voeller.

“If a visitor arrives without an advanced reservation, there will be information posted on bulletin boards at our registration stations explaining what to do to register as a walk-in camper on an unreserved campsite. This can be done by obtaining a Self-Deposit Permit envelope from the Iron Ranger filling it out and putting their payment inside the envelope and placing the permit and payment inside the Iron Ranger,” said Voeller.

There are no group campsites at either of the campgrounds, so all campers must be on their own numbered campsite, this includes any of the non-electric campsites.  This means multiple tents or multiple campers cannot occupy a single numbered campsite. Individual adjacent campsites can still be obtained if available. The exception to this rule is for a family who wishes to set up a camp site with a second smaller tent for family members under the age of 18.

The fee schedule is as follows:


Quantity - Site Type

Per Night, Per Site Fee

Beaver Creek Campground

 16– Non-electric

$14 off peak season/$16 peak season

Beaver Creek Campground

 45– Electrical Amenities

$16 off peak season/$20 peak season

Hazelton Campground

18– Non-Electric


Hazelton Campground

12 – Electrical Amenities


Also beginning 2016, visitors to USACE recreation projects will be able to purchase or obtain the following interagency recreation passes -- Interagency Senior Pass, Interagency Access Pass, Interagency Annual Pass, Interagency Military Pass, , and Interagency Volunteer Pass. These passes allow their holders free access to federally managed recreation areas throughout the United States. The senior and access America the Beautiful passes also provide holders a 50 percent discount on campsites at USACE-managed campgrounds.

America the Beautiful passes are available online through the U.S. Geological Survey, or by calling phone 1-888-275-8747, option 3. 

The Interagency Pass Program allows each of the federal agencies to retain and reinvest revenues collected from the sale of passes at the project level. USACE plans to reinvest its revenues at the projects where the fees are collected. 

USACE is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages.

Interagency passes will be available at the Project Office in Pierre, South Dakota and at the Bismarck Field Office for Lake Oahe. The Bismarck Field Office is located at 1513 South 12th Street, Bismarck, North Dakota. 

John Voeller
Eileen Williamson

Release no. 20160315-002