Lighthouses of the United States: Kansas and Nebraska

The U.S. states of Kansas and Nebraska are in the center of the country, far from the coasts. The Missouri River, flowing along the eastern border of Nebraska and the northeastern border of Kansas, is the only major navigable waterway touching either state. The Coast Guard maintains dozens of lights on the river, but as far as I know none of them qualify as lighthouses. The lighthouses on this page were built privately.

Note: to be listed in the Directory, a lighthouse must actually serve as an aid to navigation. This means it must be located on a navigable lake or river and must be lit as a navigational aid at least during the local boating season.

Special thanks to Ron Schooling for sharing his research on the lighthouses of Nebraska.

USCG numbers are from Volume 5 of the U.S. Coast Guard List of Lights.

Nebraska Lighthouses

Lake McConaughy Lighthouse
* The Dunes
2002. Active; focal plane unknown; continuous white light. 35 ft (11 m) round stone lighthouse with lantern and gallery. The tower is unpainted; lantern pained black. A small gazebo is adjacent to the lighthouse. A photo by Lori Parsons is at right, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Lake McConaughy is a large reservoir formed by damming the North Platte River in Keith County, north Ogallala in western Nebraska. The lake is 22 mi (35 km) long and roughly 4 mi (6.5 km) wide over much of its length. The lighthouse is atop a bluff on the south side of the lake, about midway along its length. Located off Meadow Lane near the entrance to the Dunes at Lake McConaughy development. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: The Dunes at Lake McConaughy.

Omaha Lighthouse
* Glenn Cunningham Park
1990s (relocated here in 2009). Active; focal plane 34 ft (10.5 m); continuous white light. 22 ft (7 m) round steel tower with lantern, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Terry Schmidt has a photo, Stephen Wigg also has a photo, and Google has an aerial view. This lighthouse was first installed in downtown Omaha on the Lewis and Clark Riverwalk. Later removed from that location, it was stored for several years before being reinstalled as part of a reconstruction of Glenn Cunningham Park. Located at the marina, at the southeastern corner of the park, on the north side of Omaha. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: City of Omaha (Glenn Cunningham Lake).
The Dunes Light
The Dunes Light, Lake McConaughy, February 2007
Flickr photo copyright Lori Parsons; used by permission

Kansas Lighthouse

Kansas City Water Intake
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 40 ft (12 m); green flash every 6 s. About 40 ft (12 m) round masonry water intake tower. Warren White's photo is at right, and Google has an excellent aerial view. This may be a historic structure, but we do not know its history. Located on the Missouri River about 0.6 mi (1 km) east of the I-635 bridge north of Kansas City. Site and tower closed, but there should be a view from the Missouri Riverfront Trail on the other side of the river. Owner/site manager: Kansas City Board of Public Utilities. USCG 5-19505.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Lake Minatare (1939), north of Scottsbluff in far western Nebraska, is a historic observation tower; it has never had a light. Barbara Morgan has a good closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view.
  • Linoma Beach (1939), beside US 6 at the Platte River, halfway between Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, has never been an aid to navigation. A 2010 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was restored in 2013.
  • Prairie Harbor, at I-70 exit 249 near Salina, Kansas. This often-photographed lighthouse marks a dirt-bike recreation area. Google has a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: Northeast: Iowa | Southeast: Missouri | South: Oklahoma

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted July 31, 2013. Lighthouses: 3. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kansas City Water Intake Light
Kansas City Water Intake Light, Kansas City, May 2013
photo copyright Warren White; used by permission