Terms of Service


  • “Camping” means erecting a shelter or arranging bedding, or both, or parking a recreational vehicle or other vehicles for the purpose of staying overnight.
  • “Disorderly Conduct” means the performance of acts that will alarm, anger or disturb others or acts that may provoke an assault or other breach of the peace.
  • “Firearm” means pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and other devices what are capable of propelling a projectile when discharged, including those powered by gunpowder, springs, air, or compressed gas.
  •  “HorseThief Reservoir” means HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District.
  • “Knife” means any object that has a pointed or sharpened edge.
  • “Manager” means the Park Manager of HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District.
  • “Motor Vehicle” means a vehicle that is self-propelled.
  •  “Park” means all land, water and other areas owner or leased by the HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District.
  • “Park Enforcement” means the Park Manager and the Park Ranger.
  • “Permits” means receipts for fees paid entitling the holder to participate in the activities
  • “Pets” means domesticated wildlife, including dogs and cats.
  • “Quiet Hours” means the hours between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
  • “Ranger” means the Park Ranger of HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District.
  • “Recreational Vehicle” means a vehicle, trailer or boat unit that contains sleeping or housekeeping accommodations, or both.
  • “Reservations” means to reserve any campsites, utilities, lodging units or other facilities.
  • “Trail” means an established, maintained and marked pathway for use by hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers.  Horses are to be on trails on South side of Reservoir ONLY
  • “Vandalism” means the destruction, alteration, injury, or removal of any real or personal property, vegetation, ruins, relics, or geological formations in the park.
  • “Weapons” means archery equipment, firearms, knives, hatchets, clubs and other devices, objects or projectiles capable of inflicting serious harm upon a human being.
  • “Area” users are those whose vehicles are tagged in Ford, Finney, Gray, or Hodgeman Counties (HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District).
  • “Out-of-Area” users are those whose vehicles are tagged in any other area.
  • “Off-season is October 1st – April 30th; Prime season is May 1st – September 30th.
  • “Gray Water” means waste water which originated from sinks or shower facilities within a recreational vehicle, trailer or boat.


Additional Definitions:

  • All words or phrases pertaining to the parks or activities in the park that are not specifically defined in this or other HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District resolutions shall have the meaning as defined by K.S.A. 32-101, K.A.R. 115 or other Kansas State laws.  Any words or phrases not defined by Kansas State Laws shall have the meaning as defined by any commonly accepted dictionary.


Park Hours:

  • The Park/Reservoir is open 24 hours a day.
  • Summer Office Hours (May 1st – Labor Day): Tue – Sat 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Off Season Office Hours: Mon – Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Portions of HorseThief Reservoir may be closed for construction or at certain times of the year for events and hunting season.  Road or trail closed signs will be posted or gates closed.


Safety /Emergencies

  • For non-life-threatening emergencies or if you observe any activity you believe to be of concern, please call our office at 620.253.8464. Follow the prompts for after-hours calls.
  • If you need to call 9-1-1 for any reason and time allows, please call the office so our staff can be prepared to escort the emergency personnel to your location.
  • In case of severe weather, seek shelter in the main bath/shower-house located next to the playground.


Daily Permits:

  • Daily Permits are required to enter the park.
  • State Park Permits are not valid at HorseThief.
  • Permits can be purchased at the self-pay machine by cash or card, located at the entrance of the park. Or stop by the HorseThief office during open hours.
  • Daily Camping Permits expire at 2 pm. All other Daily Permits expire at 10 am.
  • Campsites require reservations and are not open for day use without making said reservation and paying daily permit fees.


Quiet Hours:

  • Quiet hours are between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.  Actions which alarm, anger, or disturb others, as well as the operation of a generator, radio, television or other sound producing devices at a noise level which may disturb the peace of others are prohibited.



  • Canceling campsites or lodging units 8 days or more prior to arrival result in a refund less a $10.00 transaction fee.  Cancellations within 7 days of arrival will not be refunded.
  • If unable to arrive on the day of your reservation, please call the office to notify us of the late arrival. If you do not call the office by 9:00am on the day after you are due to arrive, the site will be re-opened for booking.



  • Reservations can be made in person, by phone, or online by visiting: https://campspot.com/book/horsethiefreservoir.
  • All online reservations must be made two (2) days in advance.
  • Lodging reservations require the security deposit at the time of booking with the remainder due upon arrival.
  • Camping reservations require payment in full at the time of booking.



  • Lodging check-in is at 2:00pm, check-out is at 12:00pm. Early arrivals or late departures will result in additional fees.
  • Linens and kitchen essentials are not provided in lodging units.
  • Pets are allowed in lodging units but are not on furniture or beds. Additional cleaning should be done to remove pet hair and dander after your stay. See section on “Domestic Animals” for additional regulations on pets.
  • Grilling and cooking are not permitted on the lodging decks and should be kept 10 feet away from the unit when in use.
  • Renters are required to complete the departure check-list posted inside the unit.
  • Security deposits are required at the time of booking. These funds will be used to cover damages or additional cleaning costs. Renter will be notified of any funds withheld from said deposit.



  • Camping check-in and check-out are at 2:00pm. Early arrivals or late departures will result in additional fees.
  • Camping shall be allowed only in designated areas and subject to provisions or restrictions as established by posted notice.
  • Campsites are only for employing a tent, travel trailer, motor home or other similar devices for establishment of temporary accommodations.
  • All campers and camping units are limited to a stay of not more than 14 consecutive days.
  • Upon completing 14 consecutive days, each person and their property shall be absent from the campground of last use for not less than 5 days.
  • One extended camping stay of not more than 14 additional consecutive days at the same campground may be granted through a written permit issued by the Park Manager.
  • Camping units and campsites shall not be left unoccupied for a period in excess of 24 hours.  Occupation consists of a physical presence within the camping unit. Exception shall be “long term campers and camp host.”
  • Camping units equipped with air conditioners that are left unoccupied over 24 hours shall have the air conditioners turned off to conserve resources.
  • When a recreational vehicle or any other personal property is abandoned for 48 hours or longer or when the recreational vehicle or other personal property interferes with the public use of the parks, park law enforcement may remove or impound the recreational vehicle or other personal property.  Impounding, storage and dispositions of any recreational vehicle or other personal property shall be pursuant to K.S.A 8-1102.
  • Campsites shall be kept in a neat and orderly fashion as determined by the Park Manager.
  • Any property unoccupied or unattended in excess of 48 hours or property abandoned upon HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District lands or water shall be subject to removal and may be reclaimed by the owner upon contacting the HorseThief Reservoir Manager.  Unclaimed property will be disposed of according to the HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District’s policy.
  • Once campsites are sold there shall be no selling, trading of campsites.  Please contact the office when needing to cancel or have any questions regarding the campsites you have purchased and need to make changes on.  
  • Only two (2) vehicles be parked at campsite. Other vehicles may park in designated parking areas.
  • Generators are prohibited during quiet hours! All generators must conform to National Park Service requirements; shall not exceed 60 decibels measured at 50 feet from generator.
  • Generators are prohibited in the Main Utility campground which shall include the gazebos. 



  • Fishing at HorseThief Reservoir is subject to al the laws and regulations of the State of Kansas and Kansas CFAP regulations.
  • Fisherman SHALL not park in Campsite UNLESS payment for use of utility campsite has been paid at the office.  (Fee $25)


Swimming, Bathing, and Wading:

  • Swimming is prohibited in all areas except those designated for swimming and subject to provisions or restrictions as established by posted notice.
  • Bathing is prohibited in all areas except within private temporary accommodations or within structures specifically designated for bathing or showering.
  • Body contact with water that occurs incidental to allowed activities shall be authorized.


Drink Containers:

  • No drink containers, other than shatterproof containers. NO GLASS BOTTLES!  
  • Exceptions shall be approved by park management in designated areas and the Lodge.


Water Supplies:

  • No person shall use the park’s water supplies for other than drinking, cooking, or bathing, and such uses shall be within the park.


Unattended Minors:

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to leave any minor under the age of 16 years unattended in the park.


Domestic Animals:

  • No person shall bring or allow dogs, cats or other pets in the park unless said animals are penned, caged, on a leash under 10 feet in length, or otherwise physically restrained. Exception: This rule does not apply to hunting dogs during hunting season or approved special events on those areas designated for such activities.
  • All animals and pets are prohibited in or near designated swimming areas, in sanitary facilities and in any other posted area. Exception:  Those working as a “guide dog”, “hearing assistance dog”, “therapy dog” or “service dog” as defined in K.S.A. 39-1113 and amendments thereto.
  • Unclaimed, unattended or free-roaming animals are subject to immediate impoundment and removal by Park Enforcement or other duly authorized law enforcement officials in accordance with local laws.
  • Persons bringing or allowing dogs, cats or other pets in the parks shall be responsible for the removal of any waste produced by these animals from the park or shall dispose of waste within designated trash barrels or dumpsters.
  • No person shall bring or allow horses, cattle or other livestock within the park. Exception:  Horses are allowed in the equestrian campground and the designated trail area.  Trail and equestrian campground rules apply in those areas by posted notice.


Motorized Vehicles and Aircraft:

  • Any violations involving motor vehicles shall come under penalties provided by the “Standard Traffic Ordinances for Kansas Cities” and may be enforced by park law enforcement or other duly authorized law enforcement authorities.
  • Motorized vehicles shall be prohibited from being operated on an HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District lands and roads if:  1) the vehicle is not registered with the director of vehicles pursuant to K.S.A 8-127 and amendments thereto; or 2) the corresponding authority in another state or country.
  • Motorized vehicles shall be operated only on maintained roads and parking areas.
  • Motor vehicle shall be operated at speeds not in excess of 20 miles per hour or as otherwise established by posted notice.
  • Motor vehicles shall be operated in accordance with load limits as established by posted notice for roads and bridges.
  • Motorized aircraft are prohibited from landing and taking off within park boundaries.
  • No ATV’s shall be operated on any land owned or managed by HTR.
  • Park officials need to be notified if a drone is in use within park boundaries.
  • Motorized vehicles including UTV’s and golf carts shall only be operated by licensed drivers.
  • All motorized vehicles must have working headlights and taillights.



  • The possession and/or discharge of any fireworks in the park is prohibited.


Fires - Authorized Use:

  • The building or starting of fires in the open or in any other area except within park approved fire-rings, fireplaces, grills and stoves is prohibited.
  • Digging holes or pits is prohibited.
  • The use of personal charcoal-type or gas grills is permissible.
  • All fires are subject to no-burn policies issued by park personnel or may be subject to no-burn policies issued by Hodgeman County Board of Commissioners.  County wide burn bans will be posted at office and on Social Media sites.
  • Open fires shall be prohibited during time the wind is in excess of 15 M.P.H. via www.NOAA.com.
  • All fires shall be extinguished with water until cool to the touch in high winds and when not directly attended by an adult.


Littering and Dumping Trash:

  • Garbage, rubbish, trash or waste of any kind shall not be thrown, placed or left in any area in the park.  Garbage or trash generated from lawful activities occurring in the park shall be placed in barrels and/or dumpsters that have been designated for trash.
  • No trash or waste materials can be imported into the park.  This includes, but not limited to garbage; construction debris; vegetative waste; chemicals; oils; tires; appliances; batteries, etc.
  • Human waste generated within the park and stored within proper receptacles shall only be disposed of at designated waste dump stations.
  • Gray water will be disposed of at the waste dump stations only.
  • Tires, used oil, dangerous or poisonous chemicals, appliances, batteries, or environmental pollutants shall be placed in a designated dumpster for proper disposal.  Chemicals will not be spilled within the park area.


Disorderly Conduct:

  • Disorderly conduct is prohibited in the park and shall include but not limited to the following:  1) Engaging in brawling or fighting.  2) Disturbing an assembly, meeting or procession, not unlawful in its character.  3) Using offensive, obscene, or abrasive language or engaging in noisy conduct, tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.  4) Creating or contributing to excess noise as determined by law enforcement personnel.



  • Any act of vandalism is prohibited in the park.  Vandalism includes destroying, defacing, degrading, or removing signs; real or personal property, other than property owned by that person; geological formations; historical sites; archeological relics; and vegetation. HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District and Park Staff is not responsible for the theft or vandalism of private property in the park.


Special Use Permits:

  • A special use permit shall be required for any events occurring on HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District land or water, or both, if one of the following conditions exist: 1) An entrance, admission, or participation fee is charged.  2) Food, merchandise, or service is offered for sale.  3) The exclusive use of a facility or a specified land or water area is used.  4) An organized or advertised competition will be conducted.  5) Sound may be amplified that may disrupt park users.  6) Temporary structures, other than common camping equipment, will be erected.
  • A special use permit will not be required when that event is sponsored or co-sponsored by HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District, or Friends of HorseThief Reservoir.


Posted Notice:

  • The HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District shall have the power to post special regulations which will better protect, conserve, control, use, increase, develop, and provide for the enjoyment of the natural resources of HorseThief Reservoir by regulating the demeanor, actions and activities of persons using or within HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District lands, water and facilities.


Intoxicating Liquors and Beverages:

  • Individuals may possess, consume or drink cereal malt beverages with no more than 6.0% alcohol by weight.
  • Containers are limited to no more than 16 ounces in size.
  • The consumption or possession of alcoholic liquor as defined in K.S.A. 41-102 and amendments thereto, shall be prohibited.



  • Hunting at HorseThief Reservoir is prohibited.  EXCEPTION:  Hunting is allowed in designated Walk-In-Hunting-Areas and at designated times.  Hunting at HorseThief Reservoir is subject to all laws and regulations of the State of Kansas.


Discharge of Firearms and Other Sporting Equipment:

  • Weapons shall not be discharged or openly displayed within the parks boundaries.
  • EXCEPTION:  Hunting is allowed in designated areas and at designated times.



·      Knives with blades longer than 6 inches shall not be carried or worn on the person or openly displayed within the parks.  EXCEPTION:  Fillet knives for cleaning fish.


Artifact Discovery & Metal Detection:

·      Metal detection, ground penetrating radar devices may be used on park property. Digging is NOT PERMITTED without written approval from Park Management or Board of Directors. Historical artifacts SHALL NOT be removed from HorseThief Reservoir. All archeological and artifact recovery operations must be requested in written form.


Amplified Sound:

  • Amplified sound is prohibited, except by prior written permission authorized from the Park Manager. If written authorization is obtained, the amplified sound is to turned down to an acceptable level as determined by law enforcement personnel.


Radio Controlled Recreation Device:

  • A special use permit is required for the operation of any radio-controlled recreational device including but not limited to planes, helicopters, boats, or cars.


Concession Operations:

(To be determined)



  • Any organized gathering for the purpose of showing support for or against a political party or other special interest groups is prohibited, except by prior written authorization from the Park Manager.



  • The solicitation of any business or service is prohibited. No person is permitted to offer or advertise merchandise or other goods for sale or hire, or to maintain any concession or use any park facilities, buildings, trails, roads, or other park property for commercial purposes, except by prior written authorization from the Park Manager.


Boating and Water Safety:

  • Boating and water safety at HorseThief Reservoir is subject to all the laws and regulations of the State of Kansas, along with the following HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District restrictions:
  • All boating activities will be allowed in the main pool of the Reservoir.
  • All boats shall move about the lake in a counter-clockwise direction unless in the act of picking up a downed skier.
  • No wake and fishing activities will be the only activity allowed west of the designated buoy lines.
  • Only no-wake speeds will be allowed at swimming areas and boat ramps.
  • Some areas will be closed during periods of low water levels.
  • Motorboats and personal watercraft shall be launched and removed at designated boat ramps. Small non-motorized boats may be launched where convenient.


Authority of Park Enforcement Personnel:

  • Park enforcement officers are authorized to uphold and enforce the regulations and policies of HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District as well as the laws of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and are charged with the duty of enforcement of the above-mentioned laws within the boundaries of HorseThief Reservoir Benefit District. Park enforcement officers may confiscate any item that is directly related to or used to commit a violation of these regulations.
  • Park enforcement have the authority to close at any time all or part of HorseThief Reservoir for any reason they believe to be in the best interest or safety of the public.
  • Park enforcement have the authority to close a portion of HorseThief Reservoir to accommodate the participants of events for which a Special Use permit has been issued.
  • Park enforcement have the authority to write citations, to revoke any permits when they feel that a hazardous, negligent, careless, unlawful act or a violation of Park regulations has been committed. Revocation of said permit shall be effective for the balance of the permit year, or the balance of the calendar year with the determination made by the Park Manager.  The permittee may apply in writing for reinstatement.  Fees paid for permits that are revoked will not be refunded.
  • Park enforcement shall have the authority to remove or require campers to remove any camp when, in park enforcement’s opinion, said removal is in the best interest of the public.