The Downstream Campground is located on the East bank of the Missouri River below the Garrison Dam, which forms Lake Sakakawea. The area offers a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, sailing, scuba diving, bird watching, and hunting. In the winter time the area offers a cross country ski trails and bow hunting opportunities.
The Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea offers excellent boating, fishing, and hunting opportunities. Several state record fish have been caught down below the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River Tailrace and in Lake Sakakawea. Anglers fish for walleye, sauger, northern pike, bass, bluegill, crappie, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, white bass, large mouth and small mouth bass, . Chinook salmon can be also found in the lake, the only body of water in the state with this species. The best catfishing around is found directly below Garrison Dam on the Missouri River. Younger visitors love the three playgrounds in the campground, while the volleyball courts and horseshoe pits are enjoyed by campers of all ages. There is an amphiteater located in the campground which offers events for families with kids. Saturday nights usually show a outdoor movie and offer games or ranger staff to provide a interpretive program. The nearby trout fishing pond has a fishing pier for easy access along miles of hiking and biking trails leading to the National Fish Hatchery for hours of family filled fun! The Riverdale State Wildlife Management Area is also located directly across the campground and offers great hunting opportunities, its 2,250 wooded acres are open to hunting for deer, pheasants, sharp-tail grouse, cottontail rabbits, and tree squirrels during open seasons.
The campground consists of three loops with 98 electrical sites with either a 50/30/20 amp or 30/20 amp service and one loop for primitive camping with 16 primitive campsites; all sites have picnic tables and grills. Several amenities include flush and vault toilets, showers, drinking water, a fill and dump station, paved roads, paved sites, playground equipment, volleyball, and horseshoe pits.
The campground is located in a beautiful nautral cottonwood forest and is situated along the Missouri River with open grassy areas. Walk along the sand dunes along the Missouri River or the miles of walking trails leading to the National Fish Hatchery and trout fishing pond.
Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery is minutes from the campground and is open to the public. A visitor center, complete with five 400-gallon aquariums, provides great opportunities to view the fish of North Dakota in their environment. The Garrison Dam Power Plant does offer walk in tours during the months of June, July and the first part of August on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 2pm.
ADA Access: N
We’ve camped here a handful of times and have always enjoyed it. It’s below garrison dam and has many big trees, so it’s protected from the wind which makes bugs an issue at times so be prepared for that! Loop 1 - 3 are all paved and have very nice level pads for campers and all have fire rings. Loop 4 is primitive and usually always has space even if you arrive without reservations. Loop 1 cannot be reserved and is a first come first serve, vs loops 2-4 can be reserved 6 months in advance. Showers and bathroom facilities are kept up nice and are clean. There are also playgrounds and theaters there for kid/family activities.
You will need cash to purchase any firewood or ice. This is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground. Though nice in the sense of being clean and spotless from trash, it is located right next to a dam and you may be woken at random hours of the night due to the dam's alarm bell. There are both portable and flush toilets, showers are within a short walk of the tent spaces. Very buggy with mosquitos at night due to the several stagnant fishing ponds scattered along the nature trail nearby. A cheap campground for a quick stay on a late-night roadtrip, but not a destination site.