Glen Elder Reservoir, Kansas, USA

Also known as:  Waconda Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Glen Elder Reservoir — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Glen Elder Reservoir cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Glen Elder Reservoir

Glen Elder Reservoir, also known as Waconda Lake, is one of the most scenic and popular outdoor attractions in Kansas. Located in north central Kansas in the Solomon River Valley, you can see U.S. Highway 24 from Waconda Lake. Beyond that, you can see for miles in all directions and in the evening, you will witness some of the most beautiful sunsets that America has to offer. The lake and Glen Elder State Park are just east of Cawker City, Kansas and 12 miles west of Beloit, Kansas.

Glen Elder Dam creates a reservoir and was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation in Osborne and Mitchell Counties, on the Solomon River, just west of Glen Elder. Glen Elder Lake and Dam are key flood control features of the Kansas River Basin, providing prevention to the lower Solomon River Valley. Operating together with other basin reservoirs, Glen Elder Reservoir contributes effectively to the control of flooding on the lower Smoky Hill and Kansas Rivers. In addition to flood control, the earth-fill dam, embankment, dike, and spillway provide and serve 21,000 acres of valley lands for irrigation and provides a large municipal water supply, recreation, fish and wildlife conservation and pollution abatement benefits.

Waconda Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Kansas, featuring catfish, crappie, striped bass, white bass, largemouth bass, and walleye. In addition to the fishing opportunities, Glen Elder State Park provides camping, swimming, boat access, and hunting.

More than 13,000 acres of land surrounding Waconda Lake are managed for public recreation. The well-appointed campground provides electrical hook-ups, showers, picnic areas, fishing and hunting guide service, shelters, marina, beach area, boat ramps, boat rentals, nature trails, educational ranger programs, and annual fishing tournaments. The kids will love a uniquely Kansas attraction at Glen Elder State Park, a prairie dog area.

There’s so much to do in or near Glen Elder State Park. The Osage area has sand volleyball courts, a group shelter that can be reserved for special events, and a swimming beach. The Waconda Nature Trails have been recently developed. Concrete camp pads with secure tie downs, water and 50 amp electricity are available in Cheyenne and Kanza Campgrounds. A modern handicap accessible Fish Cleaning Station is at the east dump station. Cawker City Park has a nine hole artificial green golf course with a second nine holes for serious golfers. Whether your idea of a good time is swimming, boating, hiking, horseback riding, softball or bike riding, Waconda Lake is sure to have an outdoor activity to keep you busy, or maybe you’d rather just relax by the water in this lovely rural setting.

Things to Do at Glen Elder Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • City Park

Fish Species Found at Glen Elder Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Find Places to Stay at Glen Elder Reservoir

If you’re considering a Glen Elder Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Glen Elder Reservoir Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Glen Elder Reservoir lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Glen Elder Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Surface Area: 12,586 acres

Shoreline Length: 100 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,456 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,500 feet

Average Depth: 24 feet

Maximum Depth: 45 feet

Water Volume: 241,460 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1968

Drainage Area: 4,945 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Glen Elder Reservoir Gifts

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Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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