Contact Info
Missouri River Institute
The University of
South Dakota
414 E. Clark Street
Science Center
Vermillion, SD 57069

Financial support for website development provided by the
Living River Group
of the
Sierra Club




The Lewis & Clark Lake delta begins near the Missouri-Niobrara River confluence and extends 16 miles downstream into Lewis & Clark Lake. This portion of the MNRR Water Trail is characterized by numerous braided channels separated by densely vegetated sandbars. The delta is the result of a significant amount of sediment from the Missouri River, Niobrara River and other tributaries entering the slower moving waters of Lewis & Clark Lake.

Watch a video to learn about the history of the delta and the Niobrara-Missouri River confluence.

The delta is set in a unique landscape and offers a paddling experience that is different from that of the Missouri River main channel. The current here is slower than that of the river, allowing paddlers to travel upstream with relative ease and therefore the option to begin and end at the same location. Both the delta and Lewis & Clark Lake offer several access points, most of which feature water trail signage. Much of the delta is bordered by steep bluffs of the chalky Niobrara Formation. The delta's many channels are separated by numerous sandbars that are mostly vegetated with common reed grass and cattails. Because of the numerous channels, we don't offer suggested routes through this portion of the water trail but rather encourage paddlers to explore the area on their own. While the delta is a great paddling experience, it also requires some preparation in terms of navigation. All who plan to paddle the delta should bring a GPS to aid navigation through the many channels this area has to offer.

View a map of access points located in the delta.