Spreading over 5000 acres of wilderness, Shadehill Reservoir is a source of happiness and peace for many vacationers as they camp by the water's edge and enjoy endless recreation activities.
Built in 1951 by the Bureau of Reclamation, Shadehill Reservoir is one of the largest lakes in Western South Dakota. Hugging the shores of this massive reservoir is Shadehill Recreation Area that attracts thousands of vacationers, campers, and outdoor loving adventurers every year. One of the main attraction of this recreation area is a monument dedicated to the legendary fur trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass, the real-life protagonist of the movie The Revenant. This legendary man survived a nasty attack by a grizzly bear in the area in 1823.
Located 12 miles south of Lemmon, Shadehill Recreation Area is austere yet classy. The grassy shores and the deep blue lake water is serene, quiet, and calming. RV campers get all the peace they need and every campsite promises good times with friends and family equipped with comfortable amenities and fun factors such as BBQ grills, fire rings, picnic tables and astounding views of the surrounding forest landscape.
The campers can also leave the comfort of their RV trailers and challenge themselves with a hike or go swimming and boating. They can also try a more rewarding experience by testing their angling skills and patience; catching some big game fish from the deep reservoir waters.
Shadehill Recreation Area is located a few miles south of Lemmon. The town itself is home to the Petrified Wood Park and Museum. The annual Boss Cowman Rodeo and Tent Celebration are also held in this reclusive little town. Many people visiting the town take the opportunity to visit Shadehill Recreation Area in their trailers. Just drive 14 miles from Lemmon, off the South Dakota highway and you’ll arrive at the park entrance. The roads leading to the park are wide and once inside you have ample room to move about even if you are driving a larger than normal RV or motor home. If you wish to be a regular camper at Shadehill Recreation Area, make sure to get an annual pass.
Shadehill Recreation Area has a total of 62 campsites including seven lake facing cabins that are open year-round for guests. The campsites offer electric hook-up with 20, 30, or 50 Amp sockets. Each campsite is situated close to hot showers, comfort stations, and flush toilets. The campground also has a playground and ample space for RVs, trailers, motorhomes and Big Rigs.
Some of the campsites are back-in, and others are pull-thru, and all of them have paved roads for parking. The dump station is also provided at the campground. Water spigots are spread-out throughout the area; so fill up whenever you catch sight of one.
Families and friends will also find BBQ facilities and picnic tables at their campsites. All the facilities are also accessible to people with disabilities. Firewood can be purchased from within the premises of Shadehill Recreation Area.
The park is also pet-friendly so bring along your furry friends. Apart from the campsites guests can also choose to reserve luxury cabins or stay at the lodge to enjoy a luxurious yet remote camping experience.
A reservoir this large is certain to have some good-sized fish swimming in it. Anglers can have a great time sitting on the docks and waiting patiently to catch some large walleye, catfish, and even bass.
It is a popular spot for some father and son fishing or simply taking a peaceful breather from the daily stresses of life. Remember to bring your own fishing gear to the recreation area as no rental are offered. A fish cleaning station is however available for anglers who want to eat or take home their catch.
The summer heat pulls the locals towards Shadehill Recreation Area in order to take a dip into the cool lake waters and prevent the heat from getting to them. There are designated beach areas on the reservoir, however, there are no lifeguards.
RV campers who especially want to enjoy the water can book RV sites near the water’s edge. The water is kept clean at all times. Make sure to check in with the rangers regarding swimming safety guides and restrictions before jumping into the inviting waters.
Boat launch ramps are available on the shores of the reservoir so that campers can easily step-off land and step into the vast reservoir waters. Campers and guests can take their fishing gear on boats and throw in a line in deeper parts of the lake to try their luck at catching a real lake monster. Kayak, canoe or simply sail across this vast reservoir soaking in the views and picturesque natural beauty.
No camper can come all the way to the Shadehill Recreation Area and not visit the legendary Hugh Glass monument. Considered as one of the bravest men of the frontier, Hugh Glass dragged himself 200 miles after being mauled by a grizzly bear, in the very area where now stands the town of Lemmon.
If you fancy a spot of picnicking there couldn’t be a better place to drive to than Shadehill Recreation Park in South Dakota. The picnicking facilities in this park are high-end. Picnic areas have trimmed grass and come equipped with picnic tables, BBQ grills and shady trees that guarantee comfort and peace.
There’s also a playground near the picnic area so that the parents can relax and let the kids have some fun.
While there are several trails running all across Shadehill Recreational Area, the authorities have yet to give them all a name. Regardless of that, many people make good use of the hiking trails available and have a great time walking, hiking, and biking through it. Most hiking trails run parallel to the reservoir and hence offer scenic views of the lake and the chance to spot some wildlife and wildflowers.