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Pactola Reservoir Campground, SD

Status: Closed through Thu May 15 2014   Season Dates
 

Overview

This campground is nestled in forested area along the south shore of Pactola Reservoir, offering guests lake views and access to a multitude of recreational opportunities both on land and water.

Natural Features:

Located in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, Black Hills National Forest encompasses nearly 1.25 million acres of rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches, open grassland parks, tumbling streams, deep blue lakes, and unique caves.

Derived from the Lakota language, the words "Paha Sapa," meaning "hills that are black," honor the dark, pine-covered hills rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie.

Pactola Reservoir is the largest and deepest reservoir in the Black Hills, boasting 14 miles of shoreline and 150 foot depths on 800 acres. The Bureau of Reclamation manages the dam and water.

Wildlife in the area abounds. Bighorn sheep navigate mountainous terrain, while elk, deer and pronghorn gather in forests and prairies. Bald eagles, hawks, osprey, peregrine falcon, and hundreds of other bird species can be found in the forest, especially along streams, lakes and rivers.

Recreation:

Black Hills National Forest offers recreational opportunities for all ages. Visitors can take advantage of opportunities for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on moderate terrain.

From Pactola Reservoir, hikers can access the 2.2-mile Osprey Trail which includes two loop trails and a spur trail to an overlook. The trail is named for the ospreys that are often seen in the area.

Pactola Reservoir is an ideal spot for fishing and boating. The reservoir is stocked with rainbow, lake and brown trout as well as largemouth and rock bass, kokanee salmon and yellow perch. Record lake trout are caught here annually, and large brown trout find habitat in Rapid Creek above and below the reservoir.

Facilities:

Pactola Reservoir Campground has sites able to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs, including several tent-only sites. Several sites have views of the reservoir.

The campground is equipped with picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water. Electrical hook-ups are not available.

Access to the reservoir and beach is within walking distance, and 2 boat ramps are available on-site. A full service marina is nearby, offering seasonal, monthly and daily slips, fuel, oil, groceries, food service, showers and laundry facilities.

A National Forest visitor center on the south side of the dam is open seasonally and provides visitors with information about the building of the dam and forest management.

Nearby Attractions:

Nearby Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the world at 159.29 miles. It features sparkling calcite crystals and other rare formations, as well as some of the largest concentrations of passageways in the world.

Other possible day trips include Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Monument, Devils Tower National Monument and Wind Cave National Park.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Beach
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Boating
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water
  • Firewood
  • Flush Toilets
  • Hiking
  • Lake Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Swimming
  • Trails
  • Visitor Center
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Slips
  • Fuel Available
  • Grocery Store
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Marina
  • Restaurant
  • Showers
  • Telephone
Know Before You Go
  • These campsites are non-electric sites. Generators may run from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. only.
  • Non-reservable sites may be available on a first come, first served basis
  • Prevent the spread of invasive species by inspecting and cleaning packs, equipment, and tires before using lake or trails
  • A pet fee of $2 per pet per night is required upon check in
  • Click here for more information about Black Hills National Forest.
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing organisms by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.07528, -103.5325
44°4'31"N, 103°31'57"W

Drive 17 miles west on State Highway 44 from Rapid City, South Dakota. From Highway 44, turn on 385 south. Campground located 2 miles off US Highway 385.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Pactola Reservoir Campground
BLACK HILLS
SD

Phone Number:

Project Office:(605)574-4402