Pactola Dam & Reservoir

Pactola Dam & Reservoir (HMORW)

Location: Rapid City, SD 57702 Pennington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 4.539', W 103° 29.385'

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Flood Control, Irrigation & Recreation

Construction of Pactola Dam began in 1952 and was completed in 1956. At times nearly 200 men worked on the dam. Unskilled workers earned $1.25 an hour and skilled workers $2.75 an hour. The men placed 2,163,251 cubic yards of impervious earthfill and 2,156,742 cubic yards of rockfill for a total of 4,319,993 cubic yards of embankment fill. There were no accidental deaths in the four years of construction at Pactola, but numerous injuries resulted from the steep terrain and outcroppings of hard rock known as amphibolite.

In 1972, a severe thunderstorm dropped up to 17 inches of rain on the east slopes of the Black Hills. Rapid City was flooded but the drainage above Pactola Dam received much less rain. However, concerns about a possible future storm event led to modifications to ensure the dam's continued safety and reliability.

The largest modification to the dam was completed by Reclamation in 1987. It included raising the dam 15 feet and constructing a new and larger spillway to accommodate extreme floods. Additional modifications have been made to allow for frequent cleanup and maintenance in the outlet works while continuing to provide year-round instream flows below the dam for the blue ribbon fishery and other wildlife.

Today, Pactola Dam provides excellent recreation opportunities for the public. Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service and the South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks work together to provide the public with one of the best sites in the Black Hills. U.S. Forest Service facilities adjacent to Pactola Reservoir include 2 campgrounds, 2 picnic areas, 4 hiking trails, 2 boat ramps, a swim beach, marina and visitor center.

Welcome to Pactola Reservoir!

Caption for top photo: The town of Pactola as seen before the reservoir was filled.

Caption for second-from-the-top photo: Early construction of Pactola Dam in 1954 as seen from the location of the present day Visitor Center.

Caption for third-from-the-top photo: A view of Rapid City during the flood of June 10, 1972. The deluge killed 236 people and destroyed $300 million worth of property.

Caption for bottom photo: A pipe is installed to provide releases for year-round needs of fish and wildlife downstream from the dam.
Placed ByThe U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation of the U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 9:27pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 620929 N 4881383
Decimal Degrees44.07565000, -103.48975000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 4.539', W 103° 29.385'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 4' 32.34" N, 103° 29' 23.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)605
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7423 Pactola Basin Rd, Rapid City SD 57702, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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