Pactola Reservoir Complex


Pactola Lake

Pactola Reservoir is located 15 miles west of Rapid City. It is the largest and deepest reservoir in the Black Hills National Forest, boasting 14 miles of shoreline and 150 foot depths on 800 acres. The Bureau of Reclamation manages the dam and water. Record lake trout are caught each year. Large brown trout are caught in Rapid Creek above and below the reservoir. Facilities include a full service marina with seasonal, monthly and daily slips, gasoline, oil, groceries, food service, shower and laundry. Forest facilities include an 88 unit campground, a group campground, swim beach, picnic areas, two boat launches, a paved accessible trail, day use trails and portions of both the Centennial and Deerfield trails. Fly fishing below the spillway is exceptional. A National Forest visitor center on the south side of the dam is open seasonally and provides visitors with information about the building of the dam and forest management.

Reservoir water levels and boat ramp data can be found on the Bureau of Reclamation website for Pactola and Deerfield Reservoirs:

Pactola Reservior

At a Glance

Fees Day use fee $7/vehicle/day; campground fees variable
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Rapid City, SD
Operated By: Forest Recreation Management

General Information

Directions: Take State Highway 44 from Rapid City, South Dakota, 15 miles west, turn left or south on 385; travel 2 miles to the dam

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Water Activities

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Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

The Pactola Reservoir Complex has two boat launches and a marina.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

The Pactola Reservoir Complex has two boat launches and a marina.


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:

The Pactola Point Swim Beach is a sandy beach located on the south shore of Pactola Reservoir.


Recreation areas with activity Waterskiing:

Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities


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