MNRR From The Air

Fly the MNRR webpage
An aerial view of the Missouri National Recreational River near James River Island, downstream from Yankton

NPS Photo


On Monday, October 15th MNRR's Natural Resources staff flew over the 39 and 59 mile districts of the park. During the flight they shot aerial footage that gives a unique perspective on the Wild and Scenic Missouri. Click on the links below to achieve lift off!

39-Mile District

  • Running Water, SD to Sanctuary Island (7:42min)
    Beginning near Running Water, SD, the 39-Mile District's downstream boundary, this clip continues upstream to Sanctuary Island. Above the Chief Standing Bear Bridge is the city of Niobrara, NE and the Niobrara River confluence. Upstream several miles is the Lazy River Acres development and Sanctuary Island. The river changes markedly upstream of Lazy River Acres, becoming more narrow and undeveloped. Sanctuary Island is the largest island below Fort Randall Dam.
  • Sanctuary Island to Sunshine Bottom (6:55min)
    Sanctuary Island is the largest island within the 39-Mile District. The river here is characterized by a narrow channel, tall majestic bluffs, and clear waters from Fort Randall Dam. The river bottom is quite undeveloped and "wild and scenic".
  • Sunshine Bottom to Fort Randall Dam (6:41min)
    From Sunshine Bottom to Fort Randall Dam, the clip features more miles of scenic river, including the Karl E. Mundt National Wildlife Refuge, sandbars, and islands. The clip ends at Fort Randall Dam and Lake Francis Case.

59-Mile District

  • Ponca to Bolton (11:33min)
    Video clip begins over Ponca State Park, near Ponca, Nebraska and continues to Bolton, near Burbank, SD. The park boundary ends just below Ponca State Park and extends 59 river miles upriver to near Gavins Point Dam. The helicopter circles the Ponca reconstructed backwater complex, which has been altered somewhat by the flood in 2011. Continuing upriver, the video highlights miles with minimal development and stunning autumn colors.
  • Bolton to Clay County Park (12:16min)
    Clip begins at Bolton and continues upriver to Clay County Park. Video features islands, sandbars, and cottonwood forests. Note the Vermillion River confluence, the Vermillion-Newcastle Bridge, and the restored Gunderson Backwater. The helicopter circles the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' North Alabama Bend Property southwest of Vermillion before returning to the upriver track. Clip ends near Clay County Park.
  • Clay County Park to James River Island (8:56min)
    Clip begins at Clay County Park, just downstream of Goat Island. Goat Island splits the park for over 4 river miles. The undeveloped island is public. Upstream of Goat Island is Myron Grove (also known as Highline). The Bow Creek confluence and MNRR's Bow Creek Recreation Area are also highlighted. Video ends just downstream of James River Island.
  • James River Island to Gavins Point Dam (7:50min)
    Clip begins just downstream of James River Island and continues to Gavins Point Dam. On the South Dakota (right) side of the island, is the James River confluence. Continuing upriver, Rush Island is visible before the city of Yankton and Riverside Park. The historic Meridian Bridge (1924) and the Discovery Bridge (2009) connect South Dakota and Nebraska. Next is Green Island and Sister Island as the video continues upriver to Gavins Point Dam and Lewis and Clark Lake.

Last updated: February 20, 2019

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

508 East 2nd Street
Yankton, SD 57078


605-665-0209 x21

Contact Us