The best camping in
South Dakota

698 Reviews 406 Campgrounds
Camping South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State is home to seven National Park Service sites that range from jewel-encrusted caves to ancient fossil beds. Black Hills National Forest in the western side of the state covers an additional 1.2 million acres that spill over the border into Wyoming and hold the highest peak east of the Rockies. At about 71,000 acres, nearby Custer State Park is one of the largest state parks in the country and home to an annual buffalo roundup that offers a true taste of the American West. The Black Hills, often referred to as the “island in the prairie,” is a perfect spot to start your South Dakota camping trip!

Travelers looking to lounge lakeside will be pleased with the many camping options available near the region’s 17 lakes. With stunning rock formations reaching out from the water, Sylvan Lake is one of the area’s most iconic places to take a dip and do some South Dakota camping. Nearby, Horsethief Lake is tucked into the surrounding ponderosa pines, yet only two miles away from the ultimate road trip stop, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Those looking to pick up some speed can head north to Pactola Lake for a day of water skiing and a night of s’mores.

Prefer solitude? Strap on your backpack and hike the state’s 111-mile Centennial Trail, which provides a north to south taste of the Black Hills through prairie grasslands, dense forests, and high country terrain. Check with the different land management agencies along the way for specifics on where backcountry camping is allowed or where to find established campgrounds. Rather bike? The 109-mile George S. Mickelson Trail runs parallel to the Centennial Trail and is a rails-to-trails, car-free dream.

South Dakota camping is for everyone, and whether you’re exploring by foot or by RV, you’ll be able to find the perfect place to rest your head. Private and public campgrounds near the town of Custer offer RV hookups, and are a quick drive to Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest in-progress mountain carving. Begun in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski at the request of Oglala Lakota Chief, Henry Standing Bear, this memorial is more than a work of art. It is a mission to preserve and honor the culture and tradition of Native Americans.

After camping on the island in the prairie, make sure to head east and watch the landscape roll into waves of grasslands before crashing into Badlands National Park. Head east farther still, and you’ll meet up with the mighty Missouri River. Use The Dyrt to find South Dakota camping options along the way that will open your eyes to the hidden beauties of the heartland.

EXPLORE
Recent Reviews in South Dakota
Too much traffic around this campground.

This is right off Hwy 50 in a university town, traffic is nonstop! Bathrooms are closed over winter months. No fire pits or fires allowed. Sewer dump station available. No water hook-ups but there is potable water at the dump staion. Electrical hook-ups are 30 amp and 2 110 plug ins. There is a child's playground, a small sheltered picnic area. On the up side it's free camping for up to 3 days and 2 nights. $5.00 a night after the third night. RV length is max of 40 feet.

Busy small campground

This is kind of an amazing campground, area is relatively flat and a large wooded hill pops up, at the top of the hill is the campgrounds. The RV sites are also unusual, you drive up a ledge and park next to a electrical box, then leaving you drive down the ledge on to the road. Electricals consist of, 50 amp, 30 amp and 2 110 plug ins. Fire pits and picnic tables at each site. Pit toilet is open year round. Flush toilets are closed in the off season. Hiking trails, large picnic shelter and extremely large play area are found just down the hill. Children's playground is also found at campground. Equestrian campsite has four electrical hook-ups, corrals and parking for trailor. Several picnic tables are located through out the wooded area.

Just off a busy drive through.

This is a city park with 4 locations for RV's. The first site has electrical hook-ups that include 50 amp, 30 amp and 2 110plug ins, the other three have 30 amp, 2 110 plug ins. No fire pits or fires allowed. Bathrooms are across the park but closed for winter. There are picnic tables available for each site. Across the road are three picnic shelters. 2 enclosed and 1 opened. Wheel chair accessible for the two enclosed shelters. Swimming pool, frisbee golf, tennis courts, volleyball courts, children's play area and 2 softball fields are present. Behind the camp sites is the local track and football field. Costs are $10.00 per night.

Autumnus Flumen

This park was once a hot spot for family gatherings. The Pavillion, bath house, water slide, beach are long gone, but, the cotton wood trees that remain are over 100 years old. This park has a boat dock, not at all sure when it was last used. There are two fire pits in the entire park. No water, no toilets, no electrics and no pads of any kind so I guess you park where you like and set up a boondock. The river flowing by is pleasant. There is also a short paved walking path that runs next to the road and winds through some trees that line the river. Camping here is free. The town is a short drive away.

Campground is closed.

This campground is closed down. November 15 2019.

Great small town campground.

This Campground has 3 pull through RV sites with 50 amp, 30 amp and 4 110 electric hook-ups. It has 6 back into sites and they also have a full compliment of electric hook-ups. There is no water available in the winter months, but, two hydrants for potable water in the summer months.

This campground has 2 cabins available.

No fires allowed, no sewer, no on site water hook-ups. They have picnic tables available for each site and fixed picnic shelters in the back into sites.

There is a wonderful gravel walking path that goes around two man made lakes in the park. There are bridges that allow access to the peninsula that cuts the two lakes in half. They have a fishing dock.

There is a large bird feeder station and benches so you can watch the different varieties of birds eat.

You can drive around the complete site on a well maintained gravel road.

There is a large children's playground.

There is a sewer dump station.

Nice community campground.

I believe there are 11 sites. 2 sites have 50 amp, 30 amp and 110 electrics. The rest of the sites have 30 amp and 110 electrics. 8 of these 11 sites have butt-up campsites, that is to say eight campers can fit into four sites, each with there own electric hook-ups. No water hook-ups, no sewer hook-ups. 2 different picnic shelters with tables, no picnic tables at the campsites. Tennis courts and a children's playground located near at hand. Toilets open during summer months only. This is a friendly community with many stores downtown.

Parking lot with electrics.

I always find it difficult reviewing this type of camping area. It is a parking lot with 3 sites that have 50amp, 30 amp and 2 110 electrical hook-ups. There is no water, no sewer and the bathrooms are closed during the winter. It has adjacent to it horseshoe pits, picnic shelter with tables and a large children's playground and 2 sand volleyball lots. No fires are allowed. This campground is located in city limits.

Quaint campground located in town.

This campground has 6 sites. One is a RV pull through and five are back into sites. They all have water and sewer hook-ups with 50 amp, 30 amp and 110 electrical posts. There is a toilet house that is closed during the winter. Garbage dumpster. Tennis courts, swimming pool, picnic shelter and large children's playgrounds bordering the campgrounds. There are no fire pits or rings because this is located in town and fires are not allowed.

Beautiful park

Close to highway easy on and off from hiway Nice level sites Friendly folks

This is a small cozy campground.

On the east side of the Campgrounds are 5 paved pads. Electric hook ups include 50 amp, 30 amp and 2 110 plug ins. On the west side of Campgrounds there are 6 sites all grassy rock pads. The west side offers 30 amp and 110 plug ins. Picnic tables located at each site plus three shelters with electrics and picnic tables. One unisex pit toilet located on the west side. There is a pit toilet in the middle which looks like a stone shell, honestly, it would work in an emergency…lol…it's simply barbaric and there is nothing comfortable connected with it. They have a metal dock you can fish off of that is ADA accessible. There is also a boat ramp and dock located towards the north west end of campgrounds. There is a small play ground for children. Lake surrounds one side and private property around the rest of the grounds, this makes hiking and the such out of the question. We did not see any dump station, there are no water hook-ups except for the fish cleaning station and I don't know if that source is potable. Each side of grounds have red boxes you can drop your payment into. The campgrounds charge $10.00 a night to stay there for a maximum of 7 nights. It is located 2 miles off highway US 18 and 3 or 4 miles from town.

Still closed Nov. 06, 2019

Flooding of the James River has shut down this campground, as of November 06, 2019 it is still closed. It is unknown when the city will get it re-opened. I will do my best to keep this post updated.

Nice spot

A little way from town. Roads were pretty good to get there. Rustic site but settled on a nice lake. Stay limit is 14 days. We were there overnight and were completely alone. Very quiet. Could tell that it was a good spot for bird hunters. We stayed there on a Monday and noticed that it had been busy over the weekend. Would stay again.

An overnight stop off.

This is really just a parking lot with electrical hook ups. Few trees for shade. Ok for an overnight stop on your way to anywhere else. Community is pleasant.

Small Quiet Clean Campgrounds

Wow, if you want peace and quiet, here you go. This campground has a brand new shower/toilet house. There is a playground located in the middle of the Campgrounds for children. Sites were borderline small to normal size. Camp locations in the middle of grounds have no shade. There is a boat access road runs next to grounds and seems to be busy most days. No water or dump hook ups at sites. They have 50 amp - 30 amp - 110 power provided at each site. Handicap site available next to bath house.

Located between small town and golf course.

This is a quiet small campground. A road to the golf course cuts the Campgrounds in two. We stayed on the side next to a farmers field and enjoyed watching nearly 30 deer coming in at night and going out in the morning. Campgrounds is clean and tidy. Toilet rooms are old but was told by campground host slated to be torn down and new put up. The town (Springfield) is located up a small hill to the west of campground (borders campground) and the golf course borders the east side of grounds. The Missouri River runs to the south of the grounds.

Entry road washed completely out.

As of November 08. 2019 the road is fixed and the campgrounds are open.

My wife and I went to this campgrounds in July. The road was washed out (deep ravine) so we walked in. Campgrounds have a vault toilet building with water near building. 5 or 6 primative camp sites. The grounds were not kept up at this time (understandable of course). Great views of the Missouri River, not much there after. Shade was plentiful. Breeze coming off river. In my opinion, a nice quiet primitive location.

Ok place to spend the night, but could have been better

I spent the night here and had to pay the entrance fee to the park as well as the camping fee for my tentsite. They had only a few tentsites available amid all the RV sites, but they were right on the edge of the playground, so the families had to walk right through my campsite to get to the play area. Not too big a deal as no one wanted to use the play area at night while I was sleeping, but still.  I also looked over at the power lines. There was a flush toilet facility close by but there was a very bright light on all night. Good for families needing to navigate in the dark but not wonderful if you like sleeping in darkness. And though I was told that quiet hours began at 10PM, the site next to me was quite loud through the trees until at least midnight so the quiet hours are not enforced. Meh. I don't think I'll be going back.

Primitive and Wonderful Campground

You have to travel down 12 miles of gravel road in the Badlands to reach this campground but it is so worth it! The campsites are all on the outward edge of a big circular road, pretty close together, but still very quiet and respectful. There is NO COST and there are 2 vault toilet facilities provided. The adorable prairie dogs are everywhere but go to sleep with the sun. During the evening, a wild bison came to the campground edge to graze. The campground filled up by dark, so be sure to get there early for a place to camp. Picnic tables are also provided, some with sun shades.

Expensive

$750 monthly rate. Sewer hook up, water, and electric are the only amenities on site, unless you’re close enough to the WiFi. The water spigots stick up 2’ above the ground and you’re told if you don’t want it to freeze you’ll need to heat trace and insulate it at your own expense. I showed up mid October and the bathhouse is closed for the season. The campground is conveniently located between a highway and a railway, both are highly active.

Neat location. But the cottonwoods...

This is a great campground on the west band of the Missouri River. Very nice and well kept facilities but beware there are lots of cottonwoods and at times during our stay it looked like it was snowing.

Access to this area is off highway 44 but be prepared for several miles of minimally maintained dirt road (with some big hills) to get there. I'd stay here again but I'd also research when the cottonwoods are not shedding their seeds.

Beautiful setting, clean and well appointed.

I'll definitely be staying at this campground on my next visit to the Black Hills. Very nice for tent camping or boondocking with a small trailer. If you are looking for full RV hookups, they do have them but the RV sites are a bit tighter than I might prefer.

Boat ramp

Not a campground, boat ramp

Good site

Free dispersed camping is nice. Fire is not allowed. I had issues with the tent pad being about a foot too short for my tent (3 person tent) but that's more a personal issue. It was a pretty busy spot while the sun is out. We definitely had an intense hail/thunderstorm so ended up sleeping half the night in the car. Where nice places for morning hikes.

Basic and convenient campsite

Stayed here one night on my way to Mt. Rushmore. The actual campground is open late Oct-April I think. But there are 5-6 sites outside the access gate to use when it’s not open. Has a pit toilet that was clean. Easy place to stop for the night.

Roy Lake

Well maintained park with great fishing at Roy and many other surrounding lakes!

Close to sight seeing

Friendly staff at check in. We were tent camping and were given a weird site at the back of the tent area when nobody was there. Sorta weird but we rolled with it. They have a camp store, pool, laundry, showers and clean restrooms. The pool was nice but got crowed because it was smaller.
The best draw to this campground is that it’s a 2 block walk to the famous wall drug store. So there is tons to do. The badlands national park is a must see and very close as well. I would recommend this campground again for its location and friendly staff.

On the shores of Kampeska

Camp host greeted us upon arrival and helped put water on. We stayed 2 nights, in town for a wedding. Most of the sites were flooded with only 3 available, we were the only TT along with the camp host. Showers were clean and ADA. The beach was mere feet out the rear of the trailer. Watertown is close with plenty to do if one needs to wander.

Eclectic mix for just about anyone

This campground is right next to the road and is only 3 miles from Crazy Horse and a few miles from the town of Custer. It makes it easy to hop on and off the highway (which also makes it a bit loud). It is a perfect spot to be able to get to Crazy Horse for Sunrise or if Sylvan State Park is full and you are trying to find a site nearby (our situation). 

Sites include, picnic table, fire pit. Showers are hot and free to campers. However you should wear shower shoes in them. 

There is also a heated pool and a laundry room. 

Tent Sites: 5 People per site,$25 per night 

RV Sites:$50 per site 

There are also cabins and a deck house that fits more people.

What a gem!!!

We found this area and decided to stay at this campground. So glad we did!! Beautiful area. We stayed a few days longer than we originally planned because we loved the area.