Lewis and Clark in South Dakota

Lewis and Clark Vacation Ideas in South Dakota

KOA Camping in South Dakota

South Dakota - Lewis and Clark Vacation Ideas

First encounter of the Sioux kind. Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, was built on a bluff overlooking Lewis and Clark Lake and Gavins Point Dam, on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River across from Yankton, South Dakota. It is an ideal place to learn more about the expedition, the tribes they encountered and the river itself. Near this site Lewis and Clark met with the Yankton Sioux and as the exhibits explain there were many discoveries made. There is a 30-minute video presentation about the entire Lewis and Clark expedition. Adjacent to the Center is a short trail leading to the Dorian Prairie Garden with variety of grassland plants labeled to make identification easy. The Lewis and Clark Recreation Area frames the Missouri River (Nebraska and South Dakota) upstream from the Visitor Center. The area offers a full-service marina, sandy beaches, hiking/biking trails and paved trail that traces the South Dakota shoreline. (Highway 121. 1(402) 667-2546 or lewisandclarktrail.com/section2/sdcities/Yankton/LCVisitor)

River Mission Impassable? The Adams Homestead & Nature Preserve is one place visitors can see some of the natural “roadblocks” discovered by the members of the expedition. The river is still unpredictable but no one needs to pull keelboats over sandbars anymore. Nevertheless, this is one of the last free-flowing segments of the Missouri River that retains its original character. More than ten miles of hiking and biking trails crisscross the preserve. Located near southeast corner of state and north of Sioux City, Iowa. (McCook exit off I-29 and follow the signs. McCook Lake. (1(605) 232-0873 or gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/adams-homestead)

Campsite on a haunted hill. Spirit Mound Historic Prairie is located along Highway 19 about six miles north of Vermillion. This location is important because most of the sites where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped are now underwater. This prairie mound is one of a few places described in the journal and accessible today. There is a trail for hiking to the top. The land is currently being restored to original grasses similar to the prairie 200 years ago. According to historic accounts, this is the hill that local tribes believed was inhabited by dangerous spirits. The explorers could not find evidence of the danger but a journal entry indicates that from the vista they did see herd of bison in the distance. (There is parking at the NW corner of the intersection of SD Highway 19 and 312th Street, Canton. 1(605) 987-2263 or gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/spirit-mound)

When worlds collide. The South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center exhibits on Sioux life and culture include a walk-through a tipi as well as clothing and tools typical for North American Plains Indians. European-American exhibits include France’s claim to the area and a replica of the Jefferson Peace Medal that Lewis and Clark presented to tribal leaders along the way west. (900 Governor’s Drive, Pierre. 1 (605) 773-3458 or history.sd.gov/)

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