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El Dorado Lake Recreation

All recreational facilities at El Dorado Lake are Kansas State Parks administered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks


Fishing and Hunting

With nearly 8,000 acres of water, El Dorado Lake has fair to excellent populations of walleye, channel catfish, smallmouth bass, crappie, largemouth bass, flathead catfish, white bass, bluegill and wiper.  A winter put-and-take trout fishery is located in the outlet area below the dam. For more information on fishing at El Dorado Lake and other Kansas lakes as well as Kansas fishing regulations, go to the website at:

The El Dorado Wildlife Area consists of approximately 4,000 acres of public hunting lands.  The area offers fair to excellent populations of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, quail, prairie chicken, squirrel, rabbit, doves and waterfowl. For more information on hunting at El Dorado Lake and other Kansas public hunting areas as well as Kansas hunting regulations, go to the website at:

Camping and Picnicking

There are approximately 1,000 campsites in the 4 primary campgrounds which make up El Dorado State Park – Boulder Bluff, Bluestem Point, Shady Creek and the Walnut River Area.  All these parks are administered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.  In fact, El Dorado State Park is the largest state park in Kansas. These parks offer the full array of amenities including an equestrian campground, a large amphitheater, and cabins.  Visitors should note that entry into any Kansas State Park requires a vehicle entry permit available at the state park office or gatehouses.  

For more information, call the El Dorado State Park office at (316) 321-7180, or go to the website at:


Boaters at El Dorado Lake will find 8,000 acres of water to indulge their pleasure.  Six boat ramps are found in the Kansas State Parks surrounding the lake.  Shady Creek Marina offers a multitude of services.    Contact them at (316) 321-0943 or go to the website at   The Walnut Valley Sailing Club is located in the Boulder Bluff area of the lake.

 Boating is in accordance with Kansas State Boating Regulations.  More information is available at

 El Dorado Lake has Zebra Mussels so be sure to adhere to the principles of cleaning, draining, and drying your vessel to avoid the spread of this invasive species.  More information is available at


El Dorado Lake is near the southern end of the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway which begins at Cassoday, KS, ( 22 miles to the north on highway 177) and follows Highway 177 for 48 miles to its northern terminus at Council Grove , KS.  This byway travels through vast expanses of rolling, grass covered hills, some of the best of the last remnants of the Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem in North America.   Along this scenic drive are a number of points of interest including the Cassoday Museum, the Chase County Courthouse, and the Roniger Native American Museum to name a few.  Council Grove itself is a National History District with two dozen historic sites.  For more information about the Kansas Flint Hills Scenic Byway click here.

The feature point of the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway is the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve a component of the National Park Service.  This is located along Highway 177 about 16 miles south of Council Grove.  The preserve showcases the native tallgrass prairie as well as turn-of-the century ranching practices.  A feature of the preserve is the 11 room Second Empire style ranch house built in 1881 from hand-cut limestone.  The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve also offers a visitor/interpretive center, ranch house tours, bus tours of the prairie, group tours, as well as front country and back country trails.  For information visit


El Dorado Lake has two developed swim beaches.  Visitors are reminded that Zebra Mussels are found at El Dorado Lake so footwear is recommended while swimming.


El Dorado Lake has 7 developed trails covering a multitude of uses including the 17 mile Boulder Bluff Horse Trail.  Other trails are  the ¾ mile Teter Nature Trail, the ¾ mile Walnut Ridge Trail, the ¾ mile Shady Creek Nature Trail, the 2 mile Bike Trail, the 2 mile Walnut River Trail, and the Linear Trail which connects the lake to the city of El Dorado. 

 For more information, go to