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Left Tailrace

4 Reviews

About This Campground

US Army Corps of Engineers


Left Tailrace Campgound at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Big Bend Project, sits on the shore of Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River below Big Bend Dam. Just upstream of Left Tailrace, Lake Sharpe, a popular recreation destination in the Great Plains,was created by the…

Fee Info

Camping reservations can be made at or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

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  • Drive In
    Park next to your campsite
  • Walk In
    Park in a lot, walk to your campsite
  • Boat In
    Boat to your campsite

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group


For Campers

  • Market
  • ADA Access
  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Firewood Available
  • Phone Service
  • Reservable
  • WiFi
  • Showers
  • Drinking Water
  • Electric Hookups
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • 30 amp Hookups
  • 50 amp Hookups
  • Max Length: 89 ft.


4 Reviews of Left Tailrace

Ratings Breakdown

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 3
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2021

Excellent Experience

We had a wonderful experience! Sites were spacious, tables had shade. Bathhouse was spotless and showers were wonderful with plenty of hot water and good water pressure. The camp host was welcoming, friendly and helpful!

  • (4) View All
Month of VisitOctober
Leni K.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2021

Cozy Tent Camping on the Water

30 minutes off 90 along the Missouri river. Situated on a tiny peninsula is the campsite. We opted to camp in an electric site with our tent to be closer to the water since we were in for just one night. With double sites it's pretty tight, however everyone was super quiet while there and we were…

  • setting up the tent, site was just off the water.
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  • storm incoming
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  • storm late at night off the water
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  • (4) View All
Month of VisitJuly
Dene H.
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2020

Clean and a nice water view

It was a clean campground with shaded tables and pull through spots. Some spots are split in half so you’re right next to neighbors. Boat launch is right next to the campground. Showers and flushing toilets were clean and free.


Left Tailrace is located in South Dakota


* From west bound I-90 take exit 265 at Chamberalin SD, turn right on to Highway 50 travel approximatly 16 miles, turn left on to BIA Highway 4, travel 8 miles to FT. Thompson SD, turn left on to highway 47 travel 3 miles then take a left at the Left Tailrace Campground sign on Big Bend Dam then travel approximately 1 mile to the Left Tailrace Campground. * From East bound I-90 take exit 248 at Reliance SD take a left onto Highway 47 north bound, travel 18 miles to Big Bend Dam. Turn right after crossing the Power House bridge, then turn right at the Left Tailrace Campground sign, and travel about 1 mile to the Left Tailrace Campground.


44.04083359 N
99.43944427 W

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About This Campground


Left Tailrace Campgound at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Big Bend Project, sits on the shore of Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River below Big Bend Dam. Just upstream of Left Tailrace, Lake Sharpe, a popular recreation destination in the Great Plains,was created by the completion of Big Bend Dam in 1966.

Today, approximately 80,000 acres of public lands and water provide a variety of benefits to the public including flood control, recreation, conservation of our natural resources, fish and wildlife habitat, irrigation, and hydropower production.

It is possible to view many types of wildlife on the Missouri River at Lake Sharpe. Tribal bison herds can be seen grazing the lake area's grasslands north of the towns of Fort Thompson and Lower Brule. The shoreline areas of the lake also offer excellent waterfowl, upland game birds and big game hunting opportunities. Big game animals include whitetail and mule deer, elk, bison, coyotes and wild turkeys. Waterfowl and upland game birds include ducks, geese, pheasants, prairie chickens, and grouse. Hunting regulations are established and enforced by the State of South Dakota, and the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Tribes.

For more information, visit the Big Bend Project website .


Lake Sharpe provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Recreation areas vary from primitive to highly developed areas like the Left Tailrace area located below the dam. Facilities at the Left Tailrace include campsites with electrical hookups, comfort stations with showers, a dump station, boat ramp, fish cleaning station, courtesy dock, picnic shelters, tables, grills, drinking water, disc golf, etc.
Fishing is the main attraction to the area, with walleye being the primary sport fish, although sauger, smallmouth bass, white bass, channel catfish and northern pike also provide great fishing action.


Left Tailrace Campground offers 81 electrical hookups and 12 non-electrical tent sites. Electrical sites have a 30 and 50 amp pedastal, paved pull-thru and back-in sites. Left Tailrace Campground also offers men's and women's comfort stations with showers and toilet stalls. Each site has a picnic table and most with shelter covering, fire ring and shade nearby. Tents sites have fire rings and picinic tables. The area also offers large day use areas with shelters and grills, play grounds and a nine-hole disc golf range.

Natural Features

Left Tailrace Campground is located in central South Dakota, three miles from the town of Fort Thompson, 20 miles from Chamberlain and 65 miles from Pierre, which is the state capitol.
Lake Sharpe was the last of the Missouri River reservoirs completed and follows a serpentine course of 80 miles between Big Bend Dam and Pierre, SD.


For facility specific information, please call (605) 245-2255.

Nearby Attractions

Big Bend Dam tours offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day at 1:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, please call (605) 245-2255.

Charges & Cancellations

Reservation changes and cancellations can be made on or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

For more information on rules and policies regarding reservation cancellations and changes, please visit:

Connection Details

We rate connection speeds from campers like you who submit speed tests with Field Reports.

  • Good- 10+Mbps

    Campers can make calls and send texts & emails, watch an HD movie, play multiplayer games, and more.

  • Fair- 3Mbps-10Mbps

    Campers can make calls, send texts & emails, video chat, stream video, and play online games.

  • Poor- 0Mbps-3Mbps

    Campers might be able check email, send texts, and make calls.

  • Available-

    Campers have been able to connect here but we don’t know the quality of the connection.

  • Unknown-

    Connectivity is not known for this campground.

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