West Bend Recreation Area RV & Campground Guide

South Dakota

Located on one of the many twists and turns of the Missouri River as it flows through South Dakota, the West Bend Recreation Area is a state park that covers 151 acres along the west bank of Lake Sharpe as one of several reservoirs constructed to control the flow of the Missouri River. It sits in an area that provides access to hiking trails, hunting areas, and a lake famous for its fishing. Today, sitting beside this lake, it is hard to imagine the Lewis and Clark team found and conquered along this stretch of the Missouri. With a protected harbor, the park has the perfect place for anglers to store their boats between fishing trips. West Bend Recreation Area is situated in a sparsely populated area with towns like Stephan, SD, and Harrold, SD, the nearest to the park. South Dakota’s state capital, Pierre, is the largest population center, and it is only 35 miles away across flat prairie.

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Weather
Spring 23-70 F
Summer 56-87 F
Fall 23-76 F
Winter 9-32 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in West Bend Recreation Area

The wide-open spaces of South Dakota call for the use of an RV. Vacationing families that travel through this area find many parks to visit and sites to see. An RV allows a family to stay at one park for a few nights, to pick up stakes quickly, and to move on to the next RV camping location with a minimum of fuss. Look for RVs to rent in Harrold, SD.

West Bend Recreation Area Campground

The West Bend Recreation Area Campground offers 120 RV campsites. To access the lake, the campground provides a boat ramp on a protected harbor. No matter which way the wind blows, boats are sheltered. All features of the campground are ADA accessible, including the fish cleaning station.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amps
  • Sewer Hook-up: No
  • Wi-Fi Available: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, warm showers, dump station
  • Fee: $19 to $23 per night

Farm Island Recreation Area Campground

Located about midway between Pierre and the West Bend Recreation Area, Farm Island Recreation Area Campground provides 90 RV campsites on an island in the middle of the Missouri River. The island is connected to the mainland via a causeway. Several boat ramps give access to the river for anglers, water skiers, boaters, and kayakers. Nearly 8 miles of trails are available for bicyclists and hikers. The boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, and archery range are ADA accessible.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp
  • Sewer Hook-up: No
  • Wi-Fi Available: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station
  • Fee: $26 per night

New Frontier RV Park and Campground

Just 40 miles south of the West Bend Recreation Area lies the New Frontier RV Park and Campground. A privately owned RV park, this campground offers 59 RV campsites with pull-through access. Each campsite is 24 feet wide and 60 feet long. The road and pads are gravel, which means there is some leveling required at each campsite. A camp store provides access to firewood, ice, and typical camping supplies. Visitors enjoy a driving range, horseshoe pits, playground, and nearby hiking and biking trails.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp
  • Sewer Hook-up: Yes
  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station, laundry facility
  • Fee: $48 per night

RV Rentals Near West Bend Recreation Area

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
West Bend Recreation Area

Inside West Bend Recreation Area

The highlight of the West Bend Recreation Area is Lake Sharpe, a 56,884-acre reservoir on the Missouri River created by the construction of West Bend Dam. Since the recreation area sits on the lake's west bank and the land beyond the lake is flat, there are mornings when the sun appears to climb out of the lake to begin the day. Fishing is excellent for walleye and smallmouth bass. Hiking trails running alongside the lake are accessible from this area. Other activities during the warm months include biking, horseback riding, and stargazing at an uninterrupted night sky; during the winter months, the recreation area is a favorite spot for cross-country skiers.

Outside West Bend Recreation Area

Many visitors to the region use the West Bend Recreation Area as a central camping spot to explore the surrounding countryside. Though the area is sparsely populated, those communities that exist provide ample restaurants, shops, and sites to see. If it is necessary to seek a large urban area, then Pierre, SD, is only 35 miles away.

Restaurants

Branding Iron Bistro

Most of the best restaurants in the area are in Pierre, SD. It is worth your while to take the 35-mile trip to visit quality restaurants like Branding Iron Bistro. Here, you find unique breakfast opportunities like the egg cupcake or baked oatmeal with fruits and nuts included.

Type: American

Location: 420 West Sioux Avenue, Suite 4, Pierre, SD 57501

RedRossa Italian Grille

For some of the finest Italian cuisine found in South Dakota, visit RedRossa Italian Grille. As much as possible, the ingredients that this eatery uses are fresh produce and meats from local farms. Try the grilled walleye for an unbelievably fresh meal.

Type: Italian

Location: 808 West Sioux Avenue, Suite 200, Pierre, SD 57501

Longbranch

There are several fast food restaurants, but if you are looking for something a bit extra, try Longbranch. At this restaurant, you find those traditional sandwiches served at fast food places but with a higher taste value because of the extra care taken and the freshness of the cooking. Order the same hamburger, fries, or wrap at Longbranch that you find in so many places, and discover how those items are supposed to taste.

Type: American

Location: 351 South Pierre Street, Pierre, SD 57501

Myril Arch’s Cattleman’s Club Steakhouse

Myril Arch’s Cattleman’s Club Steakhouse offers an array of traditional American meals. Though the specialty is steak, it also provides fine seafood dinners. Try the prime rib for some of the finest taste in beef that you find anywhere in the world.

Type: American

Location: 29608 South Dakota Highway 34, Pierre, SD 57501

Shopping

Northridge Plaza

Northridge Plaza hosts 10 shops. If you are looking for items from a national brand, then this is the place in Pierre, SD, to visit. There are franchises located in this plaza, like Hibbett Sports and Hobby Lobby.

Location: 1615 North Harrison Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501

Song's Gift Nook

When it comes time to send gifts commemorating your time visiting the West Bend Recreation Area, drop by Song’s Gift Nook. Here, you find unique gifts crafted by local artists and from countries worldwide. The shelves are filled with special items such as Native American beadwork and Christmas ornaments from countries like Germany or Armenia.

Location: 358 South Pierre Street, Pierre, SD 57501

Sightseeing

Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Museum

One of the most interesting aspects of South Dakota residents is their dedication to the rodeo. To get a hint about this intense interest, visit Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Museum. Here, you get to see how rodeo began and the inventions and techniques that improved the sport's reputation and get a glimpse of its future.

Location: 210 Verendrye Drive, Fort Pierre, SD 57532

South Dakota National Guard Museum

The South Dakota National Guard Museum is dedicated to the memory of South Dakota civilians who volunteered to serve the state and the nation in times of crisis. There are displays commemorating individuals, groups, and generations of soldiers that suffered through wars from the founding of the South Dakota militia in 1862 through the conflicts in the Middle East. Whether volunteers serving in the infantry during the Civil War or pilots driving jets over Iraq in the Persian Gulf Wars, these men and women are celebrated as contributors to the continuing evolution of democracy.

Location: 301 East Dakota Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501

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How to Get to
West Bend Recreation Area

To get to the West bend Recreation Area from Pierre, find United States Highway 83 Truck Route (US-83 Truck), and drive east for 2 miles. Merge onto South Dakota Highway 34 East (SD-34 E), and go for 27.5 miles until you reach 319th Avenue. Turn right onto 319th Avenue, and drive for 5.5 miles when it gradually bends to the left and becomes West Bend Road. Keep going for another 3.1 miles, and you find the West Bend Recreation Area entrance on the left.

Entering West Bend Recreation Area

West Bend Recreation Area is a day-use area that is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Entry fee (per vehicle) : $8

You’ll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to West Bend Recreation Area. If you don’t have an RV of your own, rent one with RVshare! If you share your trip photos on social media, be sure to tag us, or send them to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.