Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Unknown
Pets Unknown
Drinking Water
About Nebraska Tailwaters

Nebraska Tailwaters Recreation Area, nestled along the Nebraska bank of the Missouri River, is a fun-filled camping destination just downstream of Gavins Point Dam. 

The 31,400-acre Lewis & Clark Lake and Gavins Point Dam are nestled in the golden, chalkstone-lined valley of the Missouri River growing into one of the most popular recreation spots in the Great Plains. Gavins Point Dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944, commonly called the Pick-Sloan Plan. Ground was broken at the damsite 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 Powerplant began producing electricity for customers. The total cost of the dam totaled just under $50 million. Yearly benefits from the dam are estimated at $35 million dollars. Below the dam is Lake Yankton and the Missouri River. Each of these bodies of water provides excellent fishing, boating and numerous other great outdoor recreational opportunities.

For more information, please visit the Gavins Point Project Website or call the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center at 402-667-2546.

Recreation

Located just below Gavins Point Dam in the dam "Tailwaters" provides exceptional access to the Missouri River. A large 2-lane boat ramp, large parking area is available, along with an accessible fishing pier and many areas for bank fishing. The Lewis and Clark Lake area attracts more than 2 million visitors each year to its shores. Recreation opportunities around the lake include camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, sailing, swimming, bird-watching, and photography.

For the biking and hiking enthusiasts, three trails are available in the area. They include a paved trail that runs from Yankton to the Gavins Point area, a multi-use trail in the Gavins Point area and the Calumet Bluff hiking trail located near the visitor center. Wintertime activities include ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and sledding.

Developed public parks and recreation 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 boat ramps, picnic areas, campsites with electricity, modern restrooms, playground equipment and trailer dump stations.

Facilities

Nebraska Tailwaters offers 42 campsites, 31 of these campsites have electric hookups and 11 of the campsites are non-electric and are for tent camping only. Amenities include modern shower facilities with flush toilets, river access with shore fishing, handicap accessible fishing pier, boat ramp, fish cleaning station and RV dump station. There is also a Group Camping Area with electric hookups, picnic shelter, fire pit, grill, and vault toilet. 

Natural Features

The campground sits on the south bank of the Missouri River, along the tailwaters of Gavins Point Dam. Surrounding the area is the golden, chalkstone-lined Missouri River Valley. Nebraska Tailwaters is known for its exceptional Bald Eagle viewing year-round, along with many other birds of prey. 

Nearby Attractions

The Lewis and Clark Visitor Center is located just south of the campground off Highway 121. Stunning views of the Missouri River Valley along with exhibits showcasing local history including the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The visitor center is open daily from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend and open weekdays during other times of the year. For more information, please contact the visitor center at (402) 667-2546. Gavins Point Dam Powerhouse Tours are available on weekends, contact the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center at (402) 667-2546 for more information. The Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, located just east of Gavins Point Dam off SD Highway 52 is open daily during summer months and features an aquarium, hatchery facility and nature trail open to the public.  Visit nearby Yankton, South Dakota - the historic capitol of the Dakota Territory. ADA Access: N

Sites
43
Price
$14.00 - $30.00
Operator
US Army Corps of Engineers
Access
Drive In
Walk In
Boat In
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Showers
Toilets
Trash Available
Location
Nebraska Tailwaters is located in Nebraska
Latitude
42.8489 N
Longitude
-97.4703 W
Get Directions
Directions
From Yankton, go south on U.S. Highway 81 for 2 miles, then west on Nebraska Hwy 121 for 4 miles.
8 Reviews of Nebraska Tailwaters
Nice clean campsites

Spent a weekend here. The campsites are nice and clean, and the bathrooms are the cleanest bathrooms I have ever seen at a campground! The campground was quiet and peaceful. Great showers and views of the river. Just a 5 minute driving to the damn and a swimming area… In front of the campsites is the river (this is riverfront camping, and behind is a little wooded area that helps you feel a little more secluded. Will be returning.

Nice clean campsites

Spent a weekend here. The campsites are nice and clean, and the bathrooms are the cleanest bathrooms I have ever seen at a campground! The campground was quiet and peaceful. Great showers and views of the river. Just a 5 minute driving to the damn and a swimming area… In front of the campsites is the river (this is riverfront camping, and behind is a little wooded area that helps you feel a little more secluded. Will be returning.

USACE camping just below Lewis and Clark Lake

Army Corps Campground with all the bells and whistles. It was closed when we went, but we will return. The interpretive center was very informative and Lewis and Clark Lake is huge with nice beaches and great fishing.

The ranger said that electric sites in season were only $16. That is less than the state parks at the lake. Yankton is nice but don't miss the Nebraska tribal museums.

Look out for Camp Squatters

We ended up at the Trailwater site because of a overbooking at lewis and clark. The afternoon was pleasant but as soon as it started to get dark all of the camp squatters started to arrive. First, about 9:30 PM, a group with several small children arrived and they were running all over the place crying screaming. The adults didn't seam to care and for some reason kept locking their car repeatedly. Beep, Beep, honk!This continued until about midnight when the children passed out. Then at 1:15 AM a large group with about 15 adults, several children, 2 dogs, 6 trucks and a boat arrived. They proceeded to set up their 6 tends even right next to ours and in front of our fire ring as if they were sharing it with us. They were loud and intoxicated. The yelling and commotion continued. They were carrying on as if it were the middle of the day. At 3:15 AM I asked if they could quite it down. I was met with hostility and and was told that they did not give a F@%*. Then they proceeded to mock and insult us in spanish. We felt very intimidated and scared for our safety. Needless to say we packed up our camp all wile being jeered and insulted and drive 2.5 hrs back home. DONT TENT CAMP HERE. We will never stay at this campground again.

Had a good time fishing in the Missouri River

This campground is situated along the Missouri River. There is a fishing pier and boat ramp. There are only about 10 tent campsites and a bunch of RV sites. The shower facilities were clean. It is near Lewis and Clark Lake which is a very nice lake. There is a dam which takes away from some of the natural feeling, but hey, there are showers here too. The Missouri River Valley is worth seeing at some point in your life. There are a lot of birds in the park which my wife appreciated.

Awesome weekend getaway

Great campground. Great views of the Missouri River. Clean campsite and well maintained. Lots of activities such as fishing along the river. Beautiful sunsets and great camping space. I highly recommend this campground.

Really nice

I loved the lake! go and experience it for your self

First to Review
Nice and Private

I've been to this camp ground many times and usually there are a lot of spots left over it is a Hidden Gem that is rarely ever packed full of people. The lake is a fun place to hang out during the day and then have a nice little campfire during the night it's a very nice place to take the family we've been coming here for years and we probably won't be changing anytime soon