Bagnell Dam

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles328 reviews
Excellent
114
Very good
110
Average
78
Poor
16
Terrible
10

Cameron D
3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
There is no tour of the dam anymore I guess (due to security concerns?) so you basically go to one end and look at some plaques and then you can drive to the other end where the “scenic overlook” is and look at more plaques and a slightly better overall view of the dam and the lake. I believe you could continue down an access road and view more of the lower side of the dam but I did not do so. For what it is, it’s very cool looking and you can see some of the giant parts of the hydroelectric generators near the plaques and of course, you can drive over it. Unfortunately we were in a small car and couldn’t see over the edges to the lake but if you’re in a higher vehicle I’m sure the view was great. This place is very naturally beautiful but unless you have a boat or plan on renting a boat, kayak, paddle board, etc. there’s not much to do but drink at the many bars and eat. Also, be aware you have to obtain a “boaters license” to rent a boat unless you were born before 1983 I think which is basically paying money to the state and taking a test online. Coming from Illinois this is no surprise as they actively try to get money from you doing literally anything like existing.
Written August 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karin N
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Family
The Bagnell Dam is not a family friendly place. Driving over the dam was creepy with the barbed wire across the top. The strip near the dam was really run down. We couldn't walk 10 feet without hearing people loudly swearing. It was definitely is not a place to bring kids. It is mostly full of bars and drunk people.
Written April 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather B
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
Just went shopping at the shops, and it was really trashy.Some of the shops had a lot of hateful and vulgar merchandise toward the president.One shop had flags all over the front of it, in the parking lot, and inside the place that said inappropriate, hateful things. It was a hot day, so we promised our kids ice cream, and it was the only ice cream place nearby. My kids had quite the experience and learned new cuss words today from those nasty people. I don’t care what you believe politically, but the profanity and hate have no place out for kids to see like that.I saved a lot of money by not buying one thing from that trash.
Written July 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IowaIndigoGirl
Iowa City, IA1,448 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
Worth our time to drive out and see this fascinating dam and surrounding area. The bridge over the dam is very narrow and the walkway is crumbling. I agree with other reviewers that the bridge could use some repairs, but the dam is still worth seeing, IMO. We didn’t stop into any of the stores or restaurants/bars, so can’t speak to them.
Written May 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RandyRoss
Ridgetown, Canada11,776 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
This is the dam that created Lake of the Ozarks. Construction began in 1929 and was completed in 1931. The road crosses the dam and there are a number of places to stop and get a view. There is a spot to stop just off the road before it crosses the dam and a scenic overlook. There is lots of information about the dam at Willmore Lodge.
Written July 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tropical_Breeze11
Wisconsin26 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Make sure to stop at the scenic overlook for a view of Lake of the Ozarks. Take a drive down the road towards the boat launch - this is where you'll find the dam. You are able to get very close to the dam. Plenty of anglers to watch. Make sure to look for the fish close to the dam trying to fight the current.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chrissymae13
Grand Island, NE38 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Family
The area all around the dam is very run down. The shops are very tourist trap and mostly bars. The viewing towers are both closed and in terrible disrepair. When driving over the dam, unless your in a vehicle with 20inch tires, your not going to see anything. The road is narrow and after the dam there isn’t a good spot to turn around. Locals are whizzing by at 45mph. I was hoping to see more history and more signs and more places to view the dam. Disappointed we drove up there.
Written November 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Geotreo
Saint Louis, MO311 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Family
Very interesting guided tour. Pretty informal and you'll have to walk and go up and down a few steps. But, this where the electricity comes from. This is why there is a Lake-Of-The-Ozarks. Take a little time and learn something. You'll be glad you did. Have fun!
Written March 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joe B
Lincoln, NE277 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
The dam has the highway going over it and you can look down and see the boats. Boats from little runabouts to the million dollar floating homes. Touristy stuff to do all along the dam area.
Written January 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen C
Independence, MO56 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
Has changed so much from the 1960's, very run down, businesses have closed, buildings closed and boarded up. Two t-shirt shops, tattoo parlor, arcade, fudge shop/salt water taffy, and maybe 3 bars. Was like a Ghost Town 6-15-14 and 6-16-14. Not a great vacation, unless you play golf.
Written June 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Bagnell Dam - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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