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Lake Information for Pactola Reservoir


Pactola Lake is the largest reservoir in the Black Hills of South Dakota. At the bottom of Pactola Lake is the submerged town of Pactola, an old mining camp and site of several military bivouacs during the original settlement of the Black Hills in the mid-1870s.

The lake is located on Rapid Creek in Pennington County, South Dakota. The lake provides the water supply for the Rapid City Metro Area. It is owned and operated by the U S Bureau of Reclamation, with the various recreational facilities operated by the US Forest Service, and is one of the recreational areas of Black Hills National Forest. Boating and fishing are very popular, with a walk-in fly-fishing area located on Rapid Creek below the dam.

Facilities and Parks: 

Facilities include a marina, improved swimming beach, campgrounds and group campground on the South Shore, campgrounds and a handicapped fishing path on the North Shore, and various picnic and overlook areas. In the summer, the USFS operates a visitor center on the dam, immediately off US Highway 385.

Fishing Description: 

Pactola Reservoir's main fish species are brown, lake, and rainbow trout. There are also some sunfish, rock bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, black crappie, and northern pike.

Directions to Lake: 

Pactola Lake is accessible via US Highway 385 north from Hill City, South Dakota and Sheridan Lake Forks or south from Lead and Deadwood, or via the Rimrock Highway, SD Highway 44 from Rapid City, South Dakota.

Brown Trout
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Rainbow Trout
Bass Family
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Pactola Reservoir
Lake type: 
South Dakota

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Kno Place Upholstery
  • 13069 Pine Cliff Cir - Rapid City, SD
  • (605) 343-3377

Vacation Rental

    Black Hills Vacation Rental Cabins
  • 21374 Big Sky Dr. - Lead, SD
  • (507) 920-5952

Bar and Restaurant

    Murphy's Irish Pub & Eatery
  • 510 9th St - Rapid City, SD
  • (605) 348-7270

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