19.07.25 Hidden Jewel

By Scott Shephard

If you search for state parks on the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks web site, the Little Moreau State Recreation Area shows up as a lone orange marker on the Cheyenne Indian reservation. From the looks of it, this spot is in the middle of nowhere, which is exactly why I, and our blue camper Ozzie, went there this week. (Deb was in California, leaving me with little else to do.)

And if you ask me what I saw when I got there, I’d have to quote the famous archaeologist Howard Carter: “I saw wonderful things.” Little Moreau Lake and the park surrounding it, are a man-made oasis in the middle of thousands of acres of rolling West River prairie. This is clearly a place so far off the beaten path that only locals are likely to come here. And given that locals are few and far between, it tends to be a quiet place. For most of the two full days I was here, the only company I had was plentiful birdsong and the sound of the water in the Little Moreau River. Perfect!

To get here, cross the Missouri River at Mobridge on highway 12/20 and then follow highway 20 to Timber Lake. Turn south and traverse 7 miles of gravel road and you will arrive. Caveat: after a heavy rain, the road is very sloppy (ask me how I know); also, there is no cell service, no electricity and no running water. You don’t really want to visit this desolate place, do you?

(See more photos I took here.)

Mavic Pro 2 Hasselblad L1D-20c 1/160s f/4.5 ISO100 10.26mm (35mm eq:28mm)

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