Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas, USA

Also known as:  Dardanelle Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Dardanelle — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Lake Dardanelle cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Dardanelle

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.

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

Find Places to Stay at Lake Dardanelle

If you’re considering a Lake Dardanelle lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Dardanelle Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Dardanelle lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

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Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

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On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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