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Missouri River in South Dakota

Trip Overview

A pleasant 2-hour trip from Gavins Point Dam to Yankton Riverside Park, including a couple of stops on islands. Release from the dam was about 30K CFS for a fairly fast current. Few snags showing, but turbulence everywhere from submerged obstructions.

Took the back channels south of the 2 islands; nice fast water chutes at the head of each. "Shooting the pier" not recommended. (old stabilization pilings built by German POWs).

On the main channel, there's a nice beach on the second island. Riverside park on the left has a boat ramp and dock, picnic shelters and rest rooms.

This is probably the least wild and scenic stretch of the Missouri National Recreational River, but still nice for a short paddle.

Accommodations:

Everything available in Yankton, camping at South Dakota state parks and Corps of Engineers parks at the dam.

Fees:

No

Directions:

There are launch sites either side of the river just below Gavins Point Dam, accessed from SD 52 or NE 121. The turn for the Riverside Park takeout is off 2nd Street a half block west of the National Park Service office.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip