Randall Creek Recreation Area is a beautiful place with plenty of shoreline for fun, lots of entertaining activities and 131 campsites with hookups for motorhomes. Located one mile west of Pickstown, South Dakota, the 184-acre recreation area is situated along the banks of the Missouri River directly downstream from Fort Randall Dam. Randall Creek Recreation Area was created in 2002 after being managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from the time Fort Randall Dam was constructed in 1954. The recreation area is unique and is listed as a National Natural Landmark for the bald eagles that roost along the shoreline of the Missouri River.
The surrounding area of Randall Creek Recreation Area was originally the homeland of the Yankton Sioux Indian Tribe and several other bands of Plains Indians. The tribes made the first contact with European fur trappers in the early 1800s and made contact with Lewis and Clarke during their Corps of Discovery Expedition. Today, the Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation resides just south of the recreation and is the second-largest Indian reservation in the United States.
After arriving at Randall Creek Recreation Area you will be thrilled with all of the available activities offered such as fishing, boating, swimming, biking, and wildlife viewing. The campground is ideal for RVers with all 131 campsites offering electric and water hookups. There is also a plethora of amenities within the campground that include a boat ramp, fishing dock, disc golf course, and several playgrounds for children.
The weather at Randall Creek Recreation Area is perfect for campers with summertime temperatures in the 80s along with up to three inches of rain per month. Winter time brings temperatures in the 30s plus five inches of snow monthly.
RVers can access Randall Creek Recreation Area from U.S. Highway 281 which connects with U.S. Highway 18 and Powerhouse Road. Traveling west from Pickstown along U.S. 281, RVers will find no problems navigating the undulating terrain of the grasslands, except for possible high winds that may prohibit your speed.
Once inside the park, larger vehicles will find traveling over the bridge that crosses over Randall Creek narrow. The five-loop campground area is vast within the recreation area and you will encounter congestion in day use parking areas near the first loop. The road that travels through the campground is two way and can be difficult for larger rigs or if you pulling a trailer. There are not any hairpins or difficult curves within the campground for you to navigate. While traveling in the recreation area please adhere to all posted speed limits. You can expect to share the roads within the recreation area with bicyclists, pedestrians, and children playing near their campsites and the several playgrounds within the campground.
The Randall Creek Recreation Area campground is situated along five loops that contain 131 back-in campsites with electricity. Most campsites within the campground offer privacy, there are trees at most campsites for shade, and you are within a five-minute walk to the shoreline of the Missouri River. Each campsite features a fire ring, picnic table, and gravel parking pad which may require leveling.
RVs are limited to 50 feet in length. There is a dump station located near the first loop. You are encouraged to fill your water tank before parking at one of the many freshwater spigots located throughout the campground.
The campground has a plethora of amenities including flush and vault toilets, an amphitheater, three playgrounds, horseshoe pits, a disc golf course, volleyball courts, and numerous freshwater stations. Water systems within the campground are turned off from October until April.
Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Pets are welcome but must be restrained by a six-foot leash at all times. The campground closes during the bald eagle roosting which is from November until the third week of March.
RVers want to make sure to pack their rod and reel. The fishing at Randall Creek Recreation Area is superb. You can throw your line in from the shore and try to catch trout, several species of bass, walleye, and there are a few bluegills to be found. You will want to be out in the open water to catch a stellar size catfish that prowl the waters of the Missouri River. If you like dock fishing, you are in luck with a dock within minutes from the campground. There is also a fish cleaning station to help you out after you catch the big one. Check the South Dakota fishing regulations for licensing, restrictions and bag and size limits.
Water sports on the Missouri River is fabulous during the summer months. The high temperatures allow for great swimming, jet skiing, water skiing, and pulling an inner tube. Other options include kayaking and canoeing where you can pack a lunch and stop next on the banks of the Missouri River. While indulging in your favorite foods, you will be pleased with the splendid scenery that is perfect for passing the day away in your kayak or canoe.
Boating is ideal at Randall Creek Recreation Area. There is a perfect boat ramp to help you get launched into the waters of the Missouri River. All types of boaters take advantage of the area including sail boats that will find plenty of wind in the summer months to help them propel their boat on the river. Motorized boats help out with trolling, water skiing and just cruising the river which is home to a large roost of bald eagles.
Wildlife watching is always interesting and you will need to pack your binoculars in your campervan when you visit Randall Creek Recreation Area. The recreation area is designated a National Natural Landmark for its roosting bald eagles that live near Randall Creek and the Missouri River. You can catch a glimpse of these amazing birds of prey while they feed on fish and waterfowl in the waters. Winter time is the best for viewing when the bald eagles roost in cottonwood trees just 50 feet from the water. When watching these majestic birds you need to stay away from their nests. Check local regulations for viewing distances and other regulations.
Although the campground is generally closed during the winter months there is plenty of winter sports activity to be found. Snowshoeing along the shoreline of the Missouri River is breathtaking when the river freezes and you will find the terrain perfect for families and experts as well as novices. Cross-country skiing is also popular in the winter months with the roads within the campground superb for swishing your way through the snow. There are also opportunities for tubing on the undulating grassland terrain.
Travelers in campers should think about bringing their Frisbee and disc golf equipment. The nine-hole course at Randall Creek Recreation Area is perfect for families and beginners who want to learn the intricate maneuvers of disc golf. The course is wooded along most fairways which can be cumbersome when you are not throwing accurately. All holes except number six are less than 300 feet in length from tee box to basket. The holes are mostly straight but you will find blind shots on number six and seven.