Lewis and Clark Lake

The smallest of the four reservoirs, Lewis and Clark Lake is a charming body of water that attracts over two million visitors per year. Situated on the border of South Dakota and Nebraska, the area boasts beautiful chalky bluffs along the shore near Gavins Point Dam in Yankton. The twenty-five mile long lake holds a special attraction for sailing enthusiasts and brightly colored sailing masts dot the water all summer long. They share the waters with boaters, skiers and fishermen.

Outdoor recreation, camping, fishing and hunting are popular attractions in and around the Lewis and Clark Lake area. It was in this area, at Calumet Bluff, that Lewis and Clark had their first meeting with the Yankton Sioux in 1804. Today, the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, overlooking Gavins Point Dam, offers exhibits on the river's natural resources, the people who have lived along its banks and Lewis and Clark's expedition.

On either end of Lewis and Clark Lake sit two natural segments of Missouri River that flow unrestricted. These narrow, winding waters more closely resemble what Lewis and Clark would have seen as they came up the Mighty Mo.

Gavins Point Dam

Gavins Point Dam, located four miles west of Yankton, was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944. Ground was broken at the dam site on May 18, 1952, in a ceremony attended by Lieutenant General Lewis Pick, then Chief of Engineers, and the Governors of South Dakota and Nebraska. Construction began immediately and in September 1956 the power plant began producing electricity.

Tree-lined public camping areas surround the lake above and below Gavins Point Dam. Camping facilities provided by the Corps and the States of South Dakota and Nebraska include campsites with electricity, modern restrooms, playground equipment and trailer dump stations.

The Lewis and Clark Center is located on top of Calumet Bluff just downstream from the Gavins Point Power plant. The visitor center provides a spectacular view of Lewis and Clark Lake, Gavins Point Dam and the Missouri River.

Exhibits in the center include information and displays about the development of the entire Missouri River Basin as well as the geology, exploration, early navigation, settlement and natural history of the Missouri River region. The Calumet Bluff Theater programs highlight construction of Gavins Point Dam, the Lewis and Clark Expedition and native wildflowers. The Visitor Center is open Memorial Day to Labor Day with off-season hours September through October.