South Dakota Isn’t the Most Landlocked State in America. But It’s Close.
You don't have to travel very far in South Dakota to realize that we are surrounded by land. Lots and lots of land.
In fact, with the exception of a few lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks, an abundance of dirt is one of our greatest resources.
So it should come as no surprise that the Mount Rushmore State ranks quite high on a list of the most landlocked states in America, according to World Atlas.
The site has South Dakota as one of ten states in the 'doubly landlocked' category. That designation refers to the number of states/provinces one would have to travel through to get to the nearest ocean, bay, or gulf.
From Sioux Falls, the closest major body of water is Hudson Bay in Canada, which is a 934-mile jaunt through North Dakota and Manitoba.
To the east, the closest bay is James Bay in Canada. To get there from here you need to traverse six locales: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and then Ontario.
To the south, the Gulf of Mexico is four states away: Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana (or Texas).
To the west, South Dakota is three states removed from the Pacific Ocean: Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.
Other 'Doubly Landlocked' states:
As isolated as these states are, there's one state that is the sole entrant on the list of places that are 'triply landlocked'.
It's our neighbor to the south - Nebraska.
From the Cornhusker State, it's a minimum of three states/provinces to get to the nearest ocean, bay, or gulf.
The Gulf of Mexico can be accessed through Kansas, Oklahoma, then Texas.
Hudson Bay is three states/provinces away: South Dakota, North Dakota, and Manitoba.
Three is also the magic number to get to the Pacific Ocean, through Wyoming, Idaho, and either Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic Ocean is a full four states away: Missouri, Tennessee, then North Carolina, Virginia, or Georgia.