US 281 in South Dakota

By | October 18, 2022


US 281
Get started Pickstown
End Frederick
Length 227 mi
Length 365 km

Lake Andes





North Dakota

US 281 is a US Highway in the US state of South Dakota. The road forms a north-south route through the east of the state, from the Nebraska border through Aberdeen to the North Dakota border. US 281 is 365 kilometers long in South Dakota.

  • ElectronicsMatter: State facts of South Dakota, covering history, geography, demography, economics, politics, and administrative division of South Dakota.

Travel directions

US 281 between Wagner and Armour.

US 281 in Nebraska comes from Grand Island and almost immediately crosses the Missouri River in South Dakota, where there is also a double numbering with US 18. The route heads straight north almost everywhere and only visits one larger town in South Dakota, Aberdeen. In this area, US 281 is also a part of a divided highway with 2×2 lanes. US 281 in North Dakota then continues towards Jamestown.

  • Fun-wiki: Brief information of the state South Dakota, covering basic history and geography as well as top cities of South Dakota.


US 281 was added to the network in 1932 and at the time consisted of a northern and southern section. The northern portion of US 281 began in Tripp, South Dakota on US 18, about 20 miles east of today’s US 281 in the south of the state. In 1938, the North and South Routes were connected to create the current South Dakota route. Because there is only one larger town on US 281, the route is mostly a two-lane, single-lane road. Only around Aberdeen the US 281 is a divided highway with 2×2 lanes for about 40 kilometers. This has already been realized in the 1980s or earlier.

Traffic intensities

Every day, 600 vehicles drive near the border with Nebraska, rising to 1,000 to 1,500 vehicles on the double-numbered US 18. Further to I-90, 1,100 to 1,400 vehicles drove. Further north to Aberdeen, 1,000 to 2,200 vehicles drove up to 2,900 on the 2×2 section south of Aberdeen. This drops back to 1,400 vehicles near the North Dakota border.

US 281 in South Dakota