View of Cedar Shore resort over the water

4 of My Favorite Campgrounds along the Missouri River

I have spent most of my summers camping, boating, hiking and fishing somewhere along the Missouri River in South Dakota.  I absolutely love how the fishing and the landscape change along the river as you move from one end of the state to the other!


Being an outdoorsy family, we will always choose camping over any other type of overnight lodging. After spending many weekends in the outdoors of South Dakota, I have gathered a few of our favorite campgrounds that sit nestled into the banks of the Missouri River in South Dakota!


All campgrounds listed offer both campsites and camping cabins for booking. Each one just a little bit different than the next - you will definitely find one that fits your preferred camping style!

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Woman sitting on picnic table in front of a camper
Location | Southeast South Dakota, 7 miles west of Yankton

Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is one of our favorite campgrounds along the Missouri River in South Dakota because of how large and active it is. There is no shortage of things to do, from hiking, archery, boating, fishing, frisbee golf, bike riding, swimming, and so much more all within the state park! We absolutely love the stationary archery range/trail as well as the hiking options!


Recreational boating is extremely popular on the lake. The campground also offers multiple swim beaches for countless weekends of summer fun! Campsites offer tons of shade and super clean bathrooms, adding to the reasons we love the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area. You can find a pre-planned itinerary for your next stay at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area here!

View of Cedar Shore resort over the water
Location | Central South Dakota, 2 miles west of Chamberlain

Arrowwood Cedar Shore Resort is located off I-90 to the north and directly across the river from Chamberlain, SD, making it the easiest campground to access when traveling across the state. The campground is located directly on the banks of the Missouri River. Don’t feel like cooking one night? No problem! You can easily walk over to the hotel and delight in a meal at their restaurant and bar.


In the evenings, you can enjoy views of the stars above and the reflection of Chamberlain city lights on the river. Family & friends that don't love camping have the option to join you for the trip as the on-site hotel! Campground guests are also able to use the indoor pool, exercise rooms, sauna, hot tub, and other resort amenities.

Walking bridge near river at West Bend Recreation Area
West Bend Recreation Area
Location | Central South Dakota, 38 miles southeast of Pierre

West Bend Recreation Area is located along Lake Sharpe on the Missouri River, which is a premier hot spot for walleye and bass fishing. Campsites are a little bit closer together than other campgrounds. However, if you book early, you can snag one of the sites located right on the shoreline. These sites feel as if you have your own private beach to enjoy with family and friends.


Campground #3 seems to have the least amount of people during certain times of the summer, if you are looking for a more private experience! All campsites have ample amounts of shade and are located in proximity to the boat ramp for easy access.

View of Farm Island Recreation Area across the Missouri River
Farm Island Recreation Area
Location | Central South Dakota, 4 miles southeast of Pierre

Farm Island Recreation Area is a smaller quiet campground for nature lovers. Campsites are large with lots of additional green space for outdoor activities. Some of the sites are located along the water offering direct access to swimming and kayaking right outside your camper or tent! There are approximately 8 miles of hiking trails as well as a public archery range to enjoy during your stay.


The campground is also very close to Pierre, the South Dakota State Capital, offering you the option to see the State Capitol Building, Oahe Dam or Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center, guaranteeing a trip the whole family will love!

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Jetskiing on a lake at Lewis & Clark State Recreation Area
Jetskiing at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area
Fisherman on a boat with a fish in hand
Fishing at Arrowwood Cedar Shore Resort
Beach view at West Bend Recreation Area
West Bend Recreation Area Beach
Waterfront view at Farm Island Recreation Area
Waterfront at Farm Island Recreation Area
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Illustrated image of three bison grazing in Custer State Park. The Needles rock formation is visible in the background.
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