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Indian Cave rock shelter and petroglyphs

Indian Cave rock shelter and petroglyphs. Photo: Dick Clark, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled within the southeastern part of Nebraska, about an hour and a half south of Omaha, Indian Cave State Park is a fascinating place to visit.

Named for the large sandstone cave located within its borders – which was used by Native American tribes for shelter and as a spiritual site – the park covers over 3,000 acres. It features a mix of prairies, forests, and rolling hills.

Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities at this Nebraska state park, including camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and horseback riding.

The park also offers several picnic areas, a sand beach for swimming, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Open year-round, the Indian Cave State Park invokes a daily park entrance fee or requires an annual park permit for all vehicles. But don’t let that put you off from coming, as it really is a special destination.

Activities

Guests at the park can immerse themselves within its stunning scenery in several different ways.

Outlined below is a brief overview of some of the various sites and activities you can engage in during your time at Indian Cave State Park.

Boating at Indian Cave State Park

If you are into boating you will love the opportunities presented by the park on the Missouri River, which borders it.

The park allows both motorized and non-motorized boats, including fishing boats and sailboats, although some restrictions and guidelines may apply. Visitors can launch their own boats or rent canoes or kayaks at the park’s concession stand.

If you do bring your own boat you should be familiar with boating safety rules and regulations and should always wear a life jacket.

Swimming at Indian Cave State Park

It is worth bringing your bathing suit with you to Indian Cave State Park as there is a lovely sand beach for swimming on the Missouri River.

The beach is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and is supervised by lifeguards during designated hours.

Visitors should follow posted rules and regulations, including those for swimwear, and should be aware of the potential for changing water conditions, including currents and underwater hazards.

Swimming is not allowed in any other areas of the park, including in the Missouri River or any other bodies of water within the park boundaries.

Fishing at Indian Cave State Park

Anglers from all over the state come to Indian Cave State Park for the excellent opportunities it offers to fish on the Missouri River.

The park is home to a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, and crappie, all of which regularly bite.

Visitors who wish to fish in the park must have a valid Nebraska fishing license, which can be obtained online or at a nearby retailer.

They should also be familiar with fishing regulations, including size and daily limits, and should follow all posted rules and regulations.

Fishermen are encouraged to practice catch-and-release fishing to help conserve fish populations and maintain the health of the river ecosystem.

Hiking at Indian Cave State Park

Hiking is a terrific way to explore the park’s natural beauty.

Meandering through the park are several trails that range in length and difficulty. They provide wonderful opportunities to explore the park’s prairies, forests, and rolling hills.

Some trails may be closed or have limited access due to maintenance or other conditions, so it’s recommended to check with the park office before starting a hike.

Visitors should always wear appropriate footwear and clothing, bring plenty of water and snacks, and carry a map or use a GPS device to stay on the trails.

Hiking in the park can be strenuous, so people who attempt them should be in good physical condition and always prepared for changing weather conditions. Guests are also encouraged to follow the Leave No Trace principles and to respect wildlife and park property while hiking.

Birding at Indian Cave State Park

Indian Cave State Park in Nebraska is a popular destination for birding.

The park is home to a diverse array of bird species, including warblers, vireos, orioles, and eagles, among others.

Birders can explore the park’s prairies, forests, and rolling hills in search of different species and can use binoculars and bird identification guides to help with their sightings.

Birders are also encouraged to report their sightings to the park office or to a local birding organization to help build a database of bird species and populations in the area.

Pets

Indian Cave State Park allows pets in the park, but there are some restrictions and guidelines that visitors should be aware of.

For instance, dogs must be kept on a maximum 6 foot leash and well behaved at all times. They are also not allowed in park buildings, including cabins, yurts, and restrooms.

In addition, visitors are responsible for cleaning up any mess made by their pets and for ensuring they do not disturb or disrupt other guests or the park’s flora and fauna.

Pets are also not allowed in designated swim areas, on the sand beach, or in any other areas where swimming is permitted.

For a full rundown of its pet policy it is worth contacting the park’s main office.

Camping

If you are fixing for an overnight stay, the park offers several camping options for visitors. These include modern and primitive campsites, cabins, and yurts.

The park’s modern campsites offer electrical and water hookups, fire rings, picnic tables, and toilets, while the primitive campsites are available for those who prefer a more rustic camping experience.

Cabins and yurts provide an alternative to traditional camping and offer a comfortable and convenient way to experience the park.

All camping options in the park require a reservation and a fee, and visitors should be familiar with park rules and regulations regarding camping, including quiet hours, campfire restrictions, and maximum stay limits.

Park Location

Indian Cave State Park
65296 720 Rd,
Shubert, NE 68437
Phone: 402.883.2575

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Indian Cave State Park: