Paddling N. and S. Dakota

Are they really as bad as they say? I was reading particurlarily about lake Oahe and Lake Sakakawea and the author says that it’s up to 50-70 mile an hour winds all the time.

I don’t doubt he’s right, but is it possible he just went in a bad year? I mean, how would anybody boat there if it’s always that windy. And if it was that windy I think it would be the windiest place on earth and I don’t think it is.

I thought it was kinda nice there in the summer, if not a bit hot and buggy.

Paddling ND & SD
I grew up in SD near Ft. Randall Dam. I spent a lot of time on the river and reservoirs. Most of it was in southeast SD, but I did some boating on Oahe, as well as at the confluence of the Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin Rivers and near Helena in Montana, and did a lot of camping and swimming along the river. None of the places that I have been, or stories I have heard, could verify that wind information. I can verify that it definitely gets windy out there vs. anyplace I’ve lived on the east coast. I also lived in Casper, WY. For whatever reason, approximately from October through June, the wind consistently blew the same direction along Casper Mountain through town, I believe around 35 mph, but that I’m sure you could look up. This same type of thing could exist somewhere along the way possibly. I can’t verify it. My brother lived in Pierre and regularly boated on Lake Oahe. There were days when he wouldn’t go out boating because of the wind and chop, but there were many nice days in between. I would bet it was an individual experience during a particular weather pattern, but I could be wrong. All I know is there will be some wind, and if you live in the east like I do now, you will find the thunderstorms to be truly amazing out there.

its good but windy
Ive paddled both s and N on the Missouri river including the big reseviours etc. They are low of water so many of the old submerged tree forest are now sticking up ourof the water which can be difficult if you think about it.

SOme of the bays and marinas are either closed and or miles from the water, get local condititons. However its awesome paddling, remote, beautiful and very green like ireland this time of year. a million camping places too. Bring a copy of lewis and clarks journals to read and see what they said about the area.

Its funny that this website (P-NET) doesnt even mention the state of N. Dakota in the Places to Paddle destinations. IN fact those big reservious or Sakawaea and Oahe have MORE shoreline than the east coast of the USA… least they did till the water was stolen.

Let me know if you need more info.

YEs the wind blows and did blow the entire time i was n the lakes…from 5mph to 70 mph. It keeps the bugs away and cools you down too.


from experience
I live in sioux falls, SD its in the southeast corner. Yes it can get pretty windy here but for the most part on the rivers it is not windy at all due to the trees all along the sides, on the lakes i’ve canoed on it can be pretty windy but it all depends on the day it could be windy one day and calm as can be the next.