Lake Thompson Recreation Area

Fees

Daily: $8 per vehicle
Annual: $36 first vehicle | $18 for second vehicle | $80 transferable license
Campsites: - electrical: $26 per night
Campsites: - non-electrical: $15 per night
Cabins:: $55 per night
Lodge: $280

Make Reservations

Make reservation online or call 1.800.710.2267.
Amenities
  • Beach
  • Boat Ramp
  • Campground
  • Camping cabins
  • Drinking water
  • Dump station
  • Electric campsites
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Fishing pole checkout
  • Flush toilets/showers
  • Game checkout
  • Lodge
  • Playground
  • Ski beach
  • Vault toilets

ADA/Accessible

Camping Cabins
  • Camping Site
  • Hiking Trails
  • Lodge
  • Activities
    • Basketball
    • Biking
    • Boating
    • Camping
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Horseshoes
    • Swimming
    • Volleyball

    Address

    Lake Thompson Recreation Area
    21176 Flood Club Road
    Lake Preston, SD 57249
    605.847.4893
    Email: LakeThompson@state.sd.us
    Home » Lake Thompson Recreation Area

    Originally called Dry Woods Lake by American Indians, the lake was renamed for Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior under President James Buchanan. In the 1930s, the lake was completely dry and used for pasture. In the 1980s, the area was a 9,000-acre marsh. Heavy rains and snowmelt in the mid-80s filled the lake to over 20 feet deep. The lake is so distinct it was designated as a National Natural Landmark.

    Laura Ingalls Wilder called the area around DeSmet her home. Lake Thompson itself is also mentioned as one of the Twin Lakes in her books, including By the Shores of Silver Lake and The Long Winter.

    Park Specs

    Open: Year-round. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, showers, flush toilets and other water systems may be closed. Please contact the park directly for current status. Vault toilets usually remain open.

    Park Size: 103 campsites and 5 cabins (4 sleeps 4 people, 1 sleeps 5 people)

    Directions:

    6 miles southwest of Lake Preston off US Hwy 14

    Nearest Town: Lake Preston

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