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Status: Open through Sun Oct 19 2014   Season Dates


Cottonwood recreation area is on a lush piece of land between the border of Nebraska and South Dakota.

On one side is the smaller Lake Yankton and on the other, visitors will find the much larger, Lewis and Clark Lake--an impoundment of the Missouri River.

Natural Features:

Lewis and Clark Lake forms behind Gavins Point Dam, which was part of the Pick Sloan plan enacted in 1944.

The lake is nestled in the golden, chalkstone-lined valley of the Missouri River, and has grown to become one of the most popular recreation areas in the Great Plains region.


Both land and water based recreational activities are abundant around the lakes.


All sites have electric hookups, and 45 of the 75 sites are reservable. Other amenities include a playground, picnic shelter, shore fishing, showers, modern restrooms and a nearby boat ramp.

Nearby Attractions:

Enjoy the nearby Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, take of tour of Gavins Point Dam, or visit the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium.

Visit nearby Yankton, South Dakota, the historic capitol of the Dakota Territory.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Boat Ramp
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Electric Hookups
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Flush Toilets
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Playground
  • Showers
Know Before You Go
  • Sites are first come, first served outside the reservation season
  • All pets must be on a leash
  • Fireworks Prohibited
  • Campsites limited to one wheeled camping unit and two tents, or three tents
    Due to the spread of invasive insects, firewood from outside the area is not permitted. Help protect our forests by purchasing or collecting firewood at or near your camping destination and burning it on-site. Click here for more information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
42.85861, -97.4825
42°51'31"N, 97°28'57"W

From Yankton, South Dakota, drive four miles west on SD Highway 52, then south on Dam Toe Road and follow signs.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Phone Number:

Information: (402)667-2546