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Current Recreation Area Status  |  2015 Events Calendar | Oak Grove and Sandpiper Beaches are Open 


Saylorville Lake

Welcome to Saylorville Lake

Saylorville Lake is located on the Des Moines River in central Iowa, just north of the city of Des Moines. In addition to providing flood control, this 26,000 acre project fulfills a truly multipurpose role. The reservoir provides a minimum downstream river flow for water supply and water quality during drought periods. Park Rangers actively manage the natural resources, conserving river, woodland, wetland, and prairie habitats. Saylorville staff, volunteers and contractors take pride in offering quality outdoor recreation including camping, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, wildlife watching and more.

Since placed in operation in 1977, it is estimated that by reducing the flows of the Des Moines River below the lake, the reservoir has prevented approximately $181,932,300 in additional flood damages.

Come and explore the treasures of Saylorville Lake and rejuvenate your spirit!


Latest News

Blue - Green Algae at Saylorville Lake
Johnston, Iowa - Sandpiper and Oak Grove Beaches at Saylorville Lake have been closed in response to the presence of a blue-green algae bloom which has the potential to impact the health of humans and their pets. Routine water quality monitoring performed at the lake has identified high levels of microcystin, a compound produced by blue-green algae under certain environmental conditions.
Published: 8/6/2015
Acorn Valley Youth Camping Area
Johnston, Iowa - Nestled in the upland timber of Acorn Valley Campground at Saylorville Lake sets the perfect outdoor adventure opportunity for youth. The site provides a remote setting for organized youth groups looking for an opportunity to tent camp without the impact of neighbors and experience a degree of primitive camping.
Published: 7/14/2015
Junior Ranger Day Camp
Johnston, Iowa - Calling all future 4th and 5th graders! Saylorville Lake is holding a nature camp for you. Explore and discover while making friends and having fun learning basic nature safety, history, and environmental stewardship skills.
Published: 6/15/2015