South Dakota Cities, Rivers and Lakes

South Dakota Cities, Rivers and Lakes

According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern United States, and is bordered by North Dakota to the north, Minnesota and Iowa to the east, Nebraska to the south and Wyoming and Montana to the west. The state is divided into two distinct regions: East River and West River. East River is home to rolling hills and tall bluffs carved by hundreds of years of wind erosion. This region also features vast grasslands and prairies that are home to many species of wildlife. West River consists of scenic buttes, canyons, badlands and other rugged landforms created by millions of years of erosion from ancient rivers. This region also contains some of the most diverse plant life in South Dakota, ranging from cacti to cottonwood trees.

The Missouri River forms part of South Dakota’s eastern border with North Dakota, as well as its western border with Montana and Wyoming. This river provides a great opportunity for outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, boating, camping, hiking and more. Additionally, South Dakota has two major lakes: Lake Oahe in the north-central part of the state near Pierre; and Lake Francis Case near Chamberlain in southeastern South Dakota. These two large lakes offer plenty of opportunities for water sports such as swimming, skiing or tubing. Other smaller lakes throughout South Dakota provide great places for fishing or simply relaxing on a summer day.

The Black Hills are another important geographic feature located in western South Dakota. This mountain range was formed when an ancient inland sea dried up millions of years ago leaving behind sedimentary rock that was eventually uplifted by tectonic forces creating this unique mountain range with its world-renowned granite spires known as “needles”. The Black Hills are home to Mount Rushmore National Memorial where four presidents are carved into a granite cliff face overlooking this majestic landscape. Additionally there are numerous other attractions found within this area such as Custer State Park with its abundant wildlife including bison; Wind Cave National Park which features some spectacular cave formations; Badlands National Park which offers an incredible landscape filled with deep canyons; Jewel Cave National Monument which houses one of the largest caves in the world; Devils Tower National Monument which stands 867 feet tall from its base; Crazy Horse Memorial which honors Native American culture; plus many more attractions making it one of America’s most popular tourist destinations each year!


South Dakota is home to several major cities, each with its own unique features and attractions. According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, the largest city in South Dakota is Sioux Falls, located in the southeastern corner of the state. With a population of nearly 180,000 people, Sioux Falls is the economic and cultural center of the state. It is home to a variety of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism. The city also boasts numerous parks and recreational activities such as golf courses and trails. Other attractions include the Falls Park Visitor Center on the Big Sioux River and a variety of museums.

Rapid City is another major city located in western South Dakota with a population of around 75,000 people. Rapid City serves as an economic hub for western South Dakota due to its proximity to Mount Rushmore National Monument and other tourist attractions such as Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens. The downtown area offers many shops, restaurants, galleries, museums, live music venues and more for visitors to explore. Additionally, Rapid City hosts several events throughout the year such as Fourth Of July celebrations and bike rallies that draw thousands of visitors from all over the country.


South Dakota is home to many rivers and streams, some of which are the longest in the United States. The Missouri River is the longest river in South Dakota, spanning over 745 miles. It starts near Three Forks, Montana and flows eastward through the state before turning southward into Nebraska. Along its journey, it passes through numerous cities including Pierre, Fort Pierre, Yankton, and Sioux City. The Missouri River also forms Lake Oahe, a reservoir that extends from Pierre to Bismarck, North Dakota.

The James River is a tributary of the Missouri River that starts in central South Dakota and runs for about 445 miles before entering North Dakota. It passes through several cities such as Huron, Mitchell and Yankton on its way to its confluence with the Missouri River near Jamestown. The James River is used for irrigation purposes throughout much of its course and offers excellent fishing opportunities for trout and walleye.

The Big Sioux River originates in northwest South Dakota near Summit before flowing eastward into Iowa. This river spans 325 miles and passes by several towns such as Watertown on its way to Iowa where it eventually joins with the Mississippi River near Sioux City. The Big Sioux provides numerous recreational opportunities including fishing for catfish and bass as well as kayaking during periods of high water levels.

The Cheyenne River is located in western South Dakota and spans nearly 250 miles before crossing into Wyoming where it eventually flows into Montana’s Yellowstone National Park region. This river originates near Deadwood before passing through Eagle Butte on its way to Wyoming where it offers excellent recreational opportunities including fishing for trout species such as browns and cutthroat trout as well as canoeing or kayaking during periods of high water levels.

The White River begins in northwestern South Dakota close to Badlands National Park before flowing northward towards Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Nebraska where it joins with other rivers such as Little White Clay Creek to form Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge just south of Valentine, Nebraska; this refuge provides habitat for numerous species of birds including bald eagles which can often be seen soaring above the river’s banks during migration season.


The largest lake in South Dakota is Lake Oahe, with a surface area of over 370,000 acres. It is located in the northeast corner of the state and stretches for 231 miles along the Missouri River. This lake is a popular spot for fishing, camping, and boating activities. Other popular lakes in South Dakota include Lake Francis Case, which was created by the impoundment of the Missouri River and is located on the border with Nebraska; Lewis and Clark Lake, which is located just south of Sioux Falls; and Big Stone Lake, which sits on the Minnesota-South Dakota border. All these lakes are great spots for fishing as they are full of walleye, bluegill, crappie, smallmouth bass, northern pike and more. Boating activities such as jet skiing, wakeboarding and tubing are also available on these lakes. Additionally, many of these lakes have campgrounds or cabins available for rent so that visitors can stay overnight or longer to enjoy all that South Dakota has to offer.

South Dakota Cities