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Keyhole State Park

by Keith Kyhl

Nestled at the foot of the beautiful Black Hills and the eastern edge of the great Powder River Basin; Keyhole State Park offers many attractions for the outdoor enthusiast.


Last week I journeyed to the northeast corner of Wyoming for a two night stay at Keyhole State Park.  Upon arriving at the park it didn’t take long to spot two American white pelicans frolicking for fresh fish in the marshy wetlands on the northeast side of the reservoir.  Seated on the western edge of the Black Hills, Keyhole State Park is a meccafor both residential and migratory birds of all shapes and sizes.  In just the two days I was there I spotted mountain blue birds scavenging deserted campsites, wild turkeys feeding in the freshly cut meadows, Canadian geese swimming in the bays, and awoke to red-wing blackbirdssinging their lives away in the cattailsas if there were an audience.

As much as I enjoyed hanging out with the birds of Keyhole, there was much more to be found.  KH provides over 14,700 acres of water recreation!  From wet n’ wild water sports to sunset dinners on pontoon boats I witnessed it all first hand.  Keyhole is also known for its excellent fishing, providing underwater habitats for a variety of different fish species.  I watched several anglers try their luck at catching walleye, catfish, smallmouth bass and even northern pike in Keyhole Reservoir. 

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that a majority of Keyhole State Park campground sites have been built to meet these water needs.  Most of Keyhole’s campgrounds provide a backyard feeling to the lake, offering beautiful lake front views, on camp boat parking and shore fishing. 

Keyhole State Park also offers affordable cabin rentals for those looking for a homier feel to camping.

While investigating Keyhole State Park I discovered a lovely scenic paved walkway that meanders through the park. Providing the most breathtaking views of the lake and an up close look at the diverse wildlife found within, the park entertained my evening hike. I encountered Pronghorn Antelope, wild turkeys and watched fish rise from the calm waters off the shoreline.  The trail also provided hours of endless fun for kids as I watched them race each other down the rolling path on their bikes.  

If you need a day to dry off I encourage you to venture up to Devils Tower a mere 20 minute drive north of the park.  Devils Tower possesses some of the most incredible scenic hiking trails and infamous views in Wyoming.  Climbers can try their hand and test their skills on the rock climbing routes that dress this massive rock formation.

In the few days I spent at Keyhole State Park I was overwhelmed with stunning views and diverse wildlife.  The opportunities are endless here; whether its bird watching, fishing, playing or relaxing, I challenge you to come wake up on the water at Keyhole State Park for a taste of lake front living.


Published: 06/24/2011


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