Lake Pactola

Lake Pactola

For both a relaxing break and exciting recreation opportunity within the Black Hills head straight for the gorgeous Lake Pactola, just 11 miles north of Hill City. Actually a reservoir created by the Pactola Dam, this spot is legendary in both the sense that it is a buzzing beach site in the area and the sense that there are literally legends on a supposed (locals still say there absolutely is) city of Pactola, later called Camp Crook, at the bottom of the water.

The lake was created by the dam in 1952, quickly becoming the largest reservoir in the Black Hills at 800 total acres. The max depth here is impressive for the clear waters, sitting right at 160 feet, though the average is 55 feet. There are 16 miles of shore, meaning water recreation here is practically endless. Grab a pontoon, speed boat, ski boat, sailboat, or fishing boat and set sail, or perhaps stay closer to shore and kayak, water ski, or scuba. Guests also really enjoy hiking and biking in the scenic surroundings, and the more adventurous cliff dive off of Jenny Gulch and Alcatraz (seen in the video below).

Your group can add an educational aspect in by taking a hike to wildlife watch the various local fauna, such as bighorn sheep, elk, fox, and rattlesnakes. We suggest packing a picnic lunch/dinner or camping overnight to ensure you get enough time here, the ‘place to enjoy life with outdoor fun in every direction’.