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Scenic shoreline, pristine waters, sandy beaches, and well-equipped campgrounds: Angostura Recreation Area is truly a sight to behold. Water sports lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, traveling families, and hikers all view this place as a rural sanctuary where they can swim, boat, fish, birdwatch, and relax.
Summer is definitely the best time to camp at Angostura Recreation Area, as you get to cool off in one of the largest lakes in the tri-state area (South Dakota/Nebraska/Wyoming). The park also hosts different educational programs, mostly geared toward families who want to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the nearby Southern Black Hills.
Considering the park's fully furnished RV campgrounds, visitors often choose to come here in an RV rental or in their own camper. It's easy to book an RV in Fall River County, or you can search for rentals in one of the nearby towns. Angostura Recreation Area is just ten miles away from Hot Springs and some 17 miles away from Oelrichs. Even though it's a bit further away, around 30 miles, the town of Edgemont is also a viable option for renting a camper near Angostura Recreation Area.
As Lake Angostura is an integral part of the park’s allure, most of the guests come here to spend time on the water. The lake has over 150 boat slips, a convenience store that floats, a lovely restaurant, and a pool where guests can swim. As far as the fishing goes, the game is pretty standard as in other South Dakota state parks. Northern pike, crappie, smallmouth and largemouth bass, perch, and bluegill can all be caught here, so make sure you bring your lucky gear.
Birding at Angostura Recreation Area is another popular activity, mainly because you get to do it while disc golfing. In other words, if you're bummed out for not getting a lot of “birdies” during your disc golf game, pay attention to the surroundings and you might spot western kingbird, American crow, osprey, mountain bluebird, great blue heron, turkey vulture, and more.
For those who love to spend their days exploring the park on foot, the three-mile Reservoir View Bike Trail is a good option used by bikers and hikers. The terrain is hilly and somewhat rugged, so it's not exactly a breeze to conquer. As a reward, you’ll get to soak in the scenic views and enjoy the natural surroundings of the recreation area.
Angostura Recreation Area's RV campgrounds feature a total of 169 sites, some of which are electrical, as well as an array of RV camping amenities that will make your stay more pleasant. Even though water and sewer hookups aren't available, you'll still have access to drinking water, showers, a dump station, and toilets. You'll probably choose the campground that best accommodates your plan of activities, or that can accommodate your RV rental. There are campgrounds close to the hiking area, the fishing pier, and the picnic area, so you can explore different options and decide where you want to park your RV rental at Angostura Recreation Area.
If you're traveling with kids, you might want to opt for one closer to the playground, or you might opt for one with the most camping amenities. The maximum vehicle length the park can accommodate is 60 feet, so make sure your motorhome rental doesn't exceed that length. Campers can also enjoy picnic shelters as well as boat and bike rentals.
Once you're done with all of the outdoor activities at Angostura Recreation Area, make sure you go to the town of Hot Springs. Along the way, just five miles from the park, you can find a gas station in case you need to refill your tank. Once in Hot Springs, feel free to treat yourself to a nice meal at the town's restaurants. You can find Mexican food places, bar and grills, pizzerias, fast food joints, and lots of other bakeries, cafes, and restaurants where you can dine.
While in Hot Springs, you can have both relaxing and exciting experiences at the aqua park. Here, you can visit the sauna or try out the slides, swimming pool, and steam room. This is one of the main attractions in Hot Springs as it features natural spring water with an average temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit.
For a more in-depth historic and cultural overview of the town and the area in general, you can visit the Pioneer Museum. There are over 20 exhibit areas all dedicated to showcasing what life was like in these parts a whole century ago. You'll see original art, handcrafted tools, old photos, classrooms, and instruments, so it will be a real treat for all visiting history buffs.
If you want to travel back in time even further, then definitely go to the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. See the dug up fossils that date back all the way to Ice Age, and sign up for educational programs related to paleontology and geology. Seeing the remains of these ancient behemoths is truly awe-inspiring and will make your vacation all the more memorable.