Camping near the river
Missouri National Recreational River Camping
The National Park Service operates no developed campgrounds in the park. Primitive, Leave-No-Trace camping is available at the 220 acre Bow Creek Recreation Area, which is accessible only on foot or by boat. Developed campsites are provided by our partners:
Corps Of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages two campgrounds in the Gavins Point Dam area: Cottonwood and Nebraska Tailwaters, both in Nebraska. For reservations call 1-877-444-6777 or go online for reservations. Reservations are taken for the period from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Nebraska State Parks
- Lewis and Clark Lake State Recreation Area - just above Gavins Point Dam - has 150 camping pads with hookup areas, 24 non-pad sites with electrical hook-ups and 140 non-pad sites without electricity.
- Ponca State Park - just 25 miles outside Sioux City, Iowa - has 92 camping pads with electrical hookups, 75 non-pad sites without electricity and 31 cabins that can be reserved.
- Niobrara State Park - just outside of the village of Niobrara 76 camping pads with electrical hookups,30 dispersed non-pad sites without electricity and 20 cabins that may be reserved.
For camping reservations at these Nebraska State Parks call 402-471-1414 or go online.
South Dakota State Parks
- Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area - located just a few miles outside of Yankton, this is the most visited outdoor recreation area in the eastern half of South Dakota. It has hundreds of sites along with a number of rental cabins at five different campgrounds: Gavins Point, East Midway, West Midway, Yankton and Horse Trail Camp. The area also includes the Chief Wite Crane and Pierson Ranch campgrounds.
- Springfield State Recreation Area - is between Yankton and Fort Randall, it lies just below the 39 mile reach of the Missouri National Recreational River. It has 22 sites along with 2 cabins available.
- North Point Recreation Area - is just above Fort Randall Dam. It has 111 sites along with 6 cabins, including 2 that are handicap accessible.
- Randall Creek Recreation Area - is right along the banks of the Missouri River just downstream from Fort Randall Dam. It has 132 sites along with 4 cabins available.
For camping reservations at these South Dakota State Parks call 1-800-710-2267 or go .
All of the above campgrounds have both reservable and first-come sites in addition to electric hook-ups.
Clay County Park
Located 4 miles southwest west of Vermillion, first come sites are available. This is a quiet, secluded campground with tall trees and nearby access to one of the last natural stretches of the Missouri River. It has 32 electrical campsites and restrooms with showers.