Lewis and Clark Lake, Nebraska & South Dakota, USA

Stretching 25 miles long and straddling the Nebraska and South Dakota border, 28,000-acre Lewis and Clark Lake is the smallest of the Missouri River reservoirs. Lewis and Clark Lake has become one of the most popular recreational spots in the Great Plains. It is located along Highway 121, near the town of Crofton, on the Nebraska side, and a few miles west of Yankton on Highway 52 on the South – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lewis and Clark Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Lewis and Clark Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lewis and Clark Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Lewis and Clark Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lewis and Clark Lake

Stretching 25 miles long and straddling the Nebraska and South Dakota border, 28,000-acre Lewis and Clark Lake is the smallest of the Missouri River reservoirs. Lewis and Clark Lake has become one of the most popular recreational spots in the Great Plains. It is located along Highway 121, near the town of Crofton, on the Nebraska side, and a few miles west of Yankton on Highway 52 on the South Dakota side. The area is rich in Native American history and made famous by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Originally designed to provide steady outflow of water to assist navigation, the Missouri River was dammed to provide flood control, hydroelectric power, irrigation, improved water supply, fish and wildlife management, and recreation.

Lewis and Clark Lake was created as a project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by impounding the Missouri River. The Gavins Point Dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944, also known as the Pick – Sloan Plan to recognize the leaders of the Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation, Lt. General Lewis Pick and William G. Sloan. Ground breaking for Gavins Point Dam began in 1952; it is 74 feet high and 8,700 feet long. Completed in 1957, Lewis and Clark Lake currently covers 28,000 acres at full pool and 31,400 acres at maximum pool. On September 1956, Gavins Point generators began producing electricity for customers, and currently provide enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 68,000 homes.

Lewis and Clark Lake features lush, rolling hills, sandy beaches, and golden chalkstone bluffs. The Eastern end of the lake is dominated by the Gavins Point Dam and the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center. The Visitor Center, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is located at the historic site of Calumet Bluff, where the famous meeting between the Yankton Sioux Tribe and Lewis and Clark took place. The Center provides information concerning the history and development of the Missouri River, along with hands-on displays of the geology, exploration, early navigation, settlement, and natural history of the river. Some of the exhibits include Native Americans, steamboats, and the history of the Corps of Engineers. The Center also features the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Walk, the Calumet Bluff Theater, and the Dorian Prairie Garden. Traveling to the western end of the lake on the Nebraska side, you will find the Santee Indian Reservation. You are welcome to visit the Indian Reservation; each year they hold an annual tribal pow-wow.

Lewis and Clark Lake is a naturalist’s delight, and is best known for its nature trails. South Dakota’s Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is one of the most popular campgrounds, hosting about 1 million visitors annually. It has over 400 boat slips and three trail systems, the Gavins Point Nature Trail, Chalk Bluffs Multi-Use Trail, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail. Whether you are a walker, hiker, biker, or equestrian rider, you will find a trail to suit your needs. Another popular recreation area on the South Dakota side is Chief White Crane Recreation Area. It was named after Chief White Crane who was one of the members of the Yankton Sioux Tribe who met with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Chief White Crane Recreation Area also has trails, as well camping and accommodations for overnight guests.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission State Recreation Area (SRA) includes five areas on the south side of the lake: Weigand- Burbach, Miller Creek, Bloomfield, South Shore, and Deep Water. South Shore and Deep Water are access-only areas with parking. A park entry permit is required for all areas. Close by is the Niobrara State Park and the Brazile Creek Wildlife Management Area. There is a checklist of birds that was prepared for the Niobrara State Park, which can be used while visiting the lake. Check with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission SRA to acquire this checklist. Lewis and Clark Lake is a prime area for bird watchers. Depending on the time of the year, geese, great blue herons, and bald eagles can be spotted while visiting the lake.

In addition to bird watching, hunting and fishing are popular recreations at Lewis and Clark Lake. Weigand – Burbach area is closed to hunting, but the other State Recreation Areas are open when in season. Some of the animals that are hunted are white-tailed deer, mourning dove, waterfowl, and wild turkey. Lewis and Clark Lake is great for channel catfish. According to South Dakota Game, Fish, and Park Services, the average size channel catfish are nearly 20 inches long. The largest fish sampled in 2006 was 10 pounds. Other fish of interest are the largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, and sauger. Spawning of walleye and sauger can overlap, causing them to sometimes spawn together forming hybrids. Lewis and Clark Lake has one of the highest percentages of walleye/sauger hybrids. Jetties were installed in the Weigand – Burbach area to improve habitat, therefore making it a great place to catch fish.

The Lewis and Clark Lake is a great spot to learn about our nation’s history, as well as enjoying many types of recreations all year long. Whether you like to fish, hunt, boat, bird watch, ice fish, or cross country ski, there is something there for everyone.

Things to Do at Lewis and Clark Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Lewis and Clark Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sauger
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Walleye

All About Lewis and Clark Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lewis and Clark Lake

The Lewis and Clark Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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.


More Ways to Book a Lewis and Clark Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lewis and Clark Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lewis and Clark Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lewis and Clark Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lewis and Clark Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com 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.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com 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.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

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.

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 28,000 acres

Shoreline Length: 90 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,208 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,204 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,210 feet

Average Depth: 16 feet

Maximum Depth: 45 feet

Water Volume: 388,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1957

Drainage Area: 15,872 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.

More Lewis and Clark Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

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Do you have a vacation rental property at Lewis and Clark Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

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Click here to advertise your Lewis and Clark Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Lewis and Clark Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lewis and Clark Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

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Explore local Lewis and Clark Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

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New Lewis and Clark Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi