What images do you think of when you picture the Black Hills? I’m guessing you might envision the faces of Mount Rushmore. Or maybe some of the granite spires stacked along the hillsides of the Black Hills National Forest? Or maybe you’re seeing the mighty buffalo that stand tall and proud in many of our state and national parks?
While these are some of the most idyllic scenes that may come to mind, I’m here to paint another picture for you… Imagine a picture-perfect blue sky, adorned with fluffy white clouds, cast over expansive lake waters with sandy beaches, all surrounded by rolling hills. This is the setting at Angostura Recreation Area—a large reservoir located near Hot Springs, SD—where a dam was built in 1949 by the Bureau of Reclamation across the Cheyenne River for irrigation purposes.
Angostura is a hidden treasure that doesn’t see near as much of the limelight as some of the more prominent Black Hills attractions. Accessible from US Hwy 79 (it’s also US Hwy 18 & 385 in this section), Angostura offers breathtaking views of crystal-clear waters and 36 miles of shoreline and boasts some of the best opportunities for summer fun: camping, boating, fishing, and swimming.
For the fishermen in your party, Angostura is most well-known for its walleye, smallmouth bass, and crappie. It also supports northern pike, largemouth bass, perch, and bluegill. Conveniently, there are two fish cleaning stations located within the rec area.
With an average summer water temperature of 66°F, Angostura is the perfect place to cool off during the hottest days of the year. The reservoir has multiple designated swim beaches which draw families and friends together for afternoons of fun in the sun. Those in search of more privacy can simply venture a little further along the shoreline to find uninterrupted space to claim as their own for the day.
Make a relaxing stay out of your visit by taking advantage of the variety of camping offered along the reservoir’s shores. There are four campgrounds within the recreation area: Cheyenne, Hat Creek, Horsehead, and Cascade. These lakeside campgrounds feature restrooms with showers to accompany unlimited camping cabins, tent sites, and RV sites (with hookups and dump stations), in addition to the park’s numerous picnic shelters, swimming bathhouses and beachside concessionaires.
In 2016, the recreation area unveiled the opening of “Inferno on the Beach” —a full-service bar and restaurant located at the main swim beach. Inside, they offer specialty salads, gourmet pizzas, and chicken entrees, all with a wide selection of adult beverages—bottled & draft beer, wine, frozen drinks, cocktails, and more.
If you’re looking to incorporate a lazy lake day into your itinerary, surprise yourself with a visit to Angostura. It will give you an entirely different perspective of the Hills that will leave you speechless and amazed with beauty and scerenity—accompanied by just the right amount of comfort and luxury!
For more information on Angostura Recreation Area, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/angostura/.
To reserve your campsite, call 1.800.710.CAMP (2267) or visit www.campsd.com.