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Camping at Lake Oahe Recreation Area

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Overview of Lake Oahe Recreation Area

Lake Oahe is a large reservoir created by the damming of the Missouri River stretching across central South Dakota and North Dakota. The recreation area around Lake Oahe offers a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife viewing, making it a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Camping Information

Campground Options

The Lake Oahe Recreation Area features numerous campgrounds with varying levels of amenities. There are:

  • Developed campgrounds with electric hookups, drinking water, picnic tables, and fire rings.
  • Primitive campgrounds for those who prefer a more rustic camping experience.

Reservations and Fees

  • Campsites can typically be reserved in advance, and it is recommended to do so, especially during peak season.
  • Camping fees vary depending on the campground and site amenities. Check the current rates as they can change annually.

Camping Seasons

  • The peak camping season is usually from May to September when the weather is most favorable for outdoor activities.
  • Some campgrounds may offer year-round camping, but services could be limited outside of the regular season.

Outdoor Activities


Lake Oahe is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with species such as walleye, northern pike, and bass commonly found.


Several boat launches are available around the lake. Boaters should follow all state and local regulations regarding safety and permits.

Hiking and Biking

There are trails available for hiking and biking that offer scenic views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.

Wildlife Viewing

The area around Lake Oahe is rich in wildlife. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts can look out for a variety of bird species and other wildlife.

Rules and Regulations

  • Fire Restrictions: Always check for fire restrictions before lighting a campfire.
  • Fishing and Boating Licenses: Make sure to have the appropriate licenses and permits.
  • Leave No Trace: Dispose of waste properly and leave the campsites and recreation areas as you found them.
  • Pet Policies: If pets are allowed, they should be kept on a leash and their waste should be disposed of properly.

Safety and Emergency Information

  • Always be prepared for changing weather conditions and have a first-aid kit on hand.
  • Make sure you have a means to purify water or bring enough for your stay.
  • Local emergency services should be identified upon arrival, including the location of the nearest hospital or urgent care facility.
  • Have a plan for communication in case of an emergency as cell phone service may be limited in remote areas.


For a successful camping trip to Lake Oahe Recreation Area, prepare in advance by making reservations, checking weather conditions, noting the local regulations, and creating a checklist of necessary supplies and equipment. Enjoy the natural beauty of the region while respecting the environment and practicing safety at all times.

Map of Campgrounds in Lake Oahe Recreation Area
Campgrounds in Lake Oahe Recreation Area
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