Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas, USA

Also known as:  Dardanelle Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Lake Dardanelle.

If you’re considering Lake Dardanelle vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Lake Dardanelle guide!

Lake Dardanelle visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - South - Arkansas - River Valley -

Lake Dardanelle stretches out over more than 34,000 acres in the River Valley region of northwest Arkansas, sandwiched between the Ozark Mountains to the north and the Ouachita Mountains to the south. Lake Dardanelle provides many excellent recreational opportunities, including parks and recreation areas with boat ramps, fishing docks, hiking trails, marinas with boat slips, camping sites, swimming areas, picnic sites, and playgrounds.

Lake Dardanelle was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by building a dam to impound the Arkansas River. Because the Arkansas River was difficult to navigate, the River and Harbor Act of 1946 authorized the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Construction of Dardanelle Lake, Dam, Lock, and Powerhouse began in 1957 and was completed in 1969 for the purposes of improved river navigation, hydroelectric power generation, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. 85 percent of Lake Dardanelle’s 315 shoreline miles are dedicated to protected areas, 9 percent to public recreation areas, and 6 percent to limited development.

Lake Dardanelle is very popular with anglers for its large catfish and white bass. Bream, crappie, and largemouth bass are stocked in the lake, providing excellent sport fishing. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission studies of bass tournaments across the state reveal that Lake Dardanelle is the most productive bass fishery in the State of Arkansas. With no closed season and mild winters, fishing is good year round.

The area has an abundance of wildlife with in-season hunting for deer, turkey, water fowl and other small game. The success rate of the growing Canada Goose Season is proof of the productive breeding ground provided by Lake Dardanelle. It is a favorite wintering area for the Bald Eagle often seen perched on snags and large trees. These animals and picturesque lake environs make for ideal conditions for nature enthusiasts and camera bugs.

Cabin and home vacation rentals are available in the Lake Dardanelle area. Four communities are located in the immediate vicinity of the lake: Russellville, Dardanelle, Clarksville, and Paris. Russellville is the largest with a population of over 23,000 and affords many shopping and restaurant locations. With easy access to Lake Dardanelle, the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests, and numerous canoeing and fishing streams, Russellville is an outdoor lover’s natural paradise.

Custom Lake Dardanelle house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Lake Dardanelle

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Dardanelle

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • White Bass

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Dardanelle

The Lake Dardanelle map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Lake Dardanelle photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Lake Dardanelle statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Not Known

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 34,300 acres

Shoreline Length: 315 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 338 feet

Average Depth: 14 feet

Maximum Depth: 60 feet

Water Volume: 486,200 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1969

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