THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
Badlands National Park, SOUTH DAKOTA
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Most Recent Badlands National Park Camping Reviews
Stay here to see Badlands NP

We stayed overnight in a W/E PT for $48. The campground has lots of trees and there's a nice size dog run. Only a few minutes drive from Badlands NP entrance.

Peaceful

Haven’t seen anyone else out here. It’s deafeningly quiet, except for the animals.

Take in the scenery

If you are camping here, you came for the amazing views of the Badlands, and you have them from your campsite. It is a wide open campground with little to no shade except for the built in shade screen on your picnic table. Expect wind. We struggled a little to get our tent up at first due to the high winds that whip through the campground. There is little privacy due to the lack of trees and no fires are allowed. The visitor center is nearby and has all your last minute needs as well as a diner. There is also an amphitheater close where we caught a concert of new music inspired by national parks. Bathrooms were average with pay showers. Whatever the campground is lacking in amenities is overshadowed by the scenery of the Badlands.

Badlands beautiful

This campground was great - it was fairly easy to get to (in an RAV4) and in the park which I liked a lot. They had rangers come and do some demonstrations which was fun. Only downsides were a lot of other campers and that morning heat.

Mid October

We spent one night at this site. We were traveling through. First come, first spot. On our night, the coyotes were around camp after dark. And it was very dark outside! We had a pop-up and could hear and feel them going under our slide outs. The tenters that we saw in the morning were in their vehicles. Not sure if it was the coyotes or the freezing rain later in the night.
We plan to come back and spend a few days there to get some hiking in. Beautiful country!

Nice Enough, But...

Great views, clean restrooms and showers, showers for a fee. Camping is on the roadside turnouts, and close together. If two larger units are on opposite sides of the road there is very little room to drive between them. Difficult to maneuver. We were there on September 25, with the campground about half full. I imagine that during peak season it would be really difficult to get around.

Stars for Stars!

I love the Badlands for the amazing views and awesome hiking trails they have to offer. The Cedar Pass campground is a very nice and clean site to stay at. They have tent, group, RV and cabin sites plus there is a shelter covering a picnic table at every site, which is great because there is usually a ton of wind. Obviously, it is the Badlands so there aren’t any trees, so do not expect shade or much privacy from your neighbors.

Be aware that some of the sites will flood during rainy days so I would call ahead and see before you reserve if the weather is not going to be great. It can also get quite cool so just make sure you bring the sunscreen even in the cooler weather because the Sun will still get you. The facilities were pretty clean while I was here. There are showers and also a dish washing station that is very convenient. There is also a restaurant and store on site which is awesome if you need supplies or just some hot food and coffee.

Now the campsite is great but what makes this place golden is that it is in the Badlands National Park. They have some of the most amazing trails and you cannot beat the view of the night sky. You are miles away from city lights. I love bringing my telescope and walking a little ways from the campsite at night to set up. This is the perfect place for star gazing! The views at this place will want you wishing to come back for years to come!

Fun and open campground surrounded by Badlands Landscape

Fun, open style campground. Heard distant coyotes at night, and woke up to bison strolling through in the morning. Make sure you have water, there is none available. If you can snag a spot, camp near one of the covered picnic tables. Amazing stargazing. Best of all, it is free!

Very cool

camping in badlands is like camping on mars. No trees, hard ground- plan accordingly. This is actually the land of a small motel so it’s super basic. But there’s a little store and restaurant and bathrooms.

Windy!

Really glad we decided to spend a night in the BL on our way to the black hills. it’s worth a night and Cedar Pass is the only option in the park. You camp here for the views around you--There’s not much to the cg itself. Windy! it had our pop-up rocking a bit even with all the windows open.

Be sure to get dinner at the restaurant--get the Sioux Taco on the special bread—-soooooo good! (looks big enough to share but once you taste it you won’t want to share!)

Beautiful View

This is a one of a kind campsite! It had the most beautiful view. Driving in we didn't think we would get a spot because there were already so many campers, but there were still so many spots left. It is a huge campsite! The only scary part was how windy it was because we were camping on a cliff, but there is parking further away from the cliff! There is a fence at the entrance that you have to open and close when entering. I would definitely stay here again!

Best kept secret

This is dispersed campgrounds that's beyond belief. The sites had their own cabana with a picnic table but no trees and no water. There was a vault toilet that was guarded by a field of prairie dogs that cheeped at us like we were invading aliens from outer space, There was also a herd of Bison that came into the camping area and on one occasion I woke up to find one within 5 feet of my tent just munching on grass. I arrived the last week of May but it was still pretty hot, there were a few raining windy nights and I ended up crashing in the car my last night but that didn't take away for the fact that it was wonderful. I stayed for 4 nights and hiked around the park during the day.

Beautiful and Primative

Sage Creek is a free and primitive campground in the Badlands National Park. It is absolutely beautiful and surrounded by grassland. The only amenities are vault toilets-there is no water at the site, but you can fill up at the outside faucet at the visitor center before heading down the road to the campsite. There are 12 miles of gravel roads (some great pull offs along this road for pictures) to get to the site, so low clearance vehicles may want to watch out when it rains. The early morning is awesome at this campsite, its quiet, the sun is rising over the hills and sometimes wildlife can be seen munching away.

The bison frequently roam through this site and I urge all campers to stay a safe distance from the bison as they are wild and unpredictable.

The only complaint I really have about this site, is more of a concern. In recent years there has been a problem with over crowding at the site, for example, more people staying than allowed, people driving and camping outside the designated campgrounds, being loud, crowding other campers, etc. While we were there, we saw a truck barrel over a prairie dog town, parents allowing their children to throw things at the prairie dogs or stick things into the animal's dens and an argument over a campsite. I just hope that those who choose to camp here keep the park rules and the leave no trace principles in mind. This is a beautiful place and a joy to visit the quiet grasslands.

Walk to Badlands Natl Park

The Tilson’s keep their campground and motel well maintained, have hookups for campers, and fire rings for campsites. Can purchase wood from them. Amazing view of the Badlands, and can walk into the park. beautiful pastures with horses surround. minutes from Highway 90.

Free!

Not much to this place. Two pit toilets, picnic tables, and trash service. we had some rainy weather and part of the campground was muddy but it held back the crowds. Prarie Dogs and Bison are right in camp along with the idiots who get way to close to the wild animals! A great find though and easy to access.

Great campsite

I really enjoyed the campsite. It rained the night before and the site we had originally booked had a puddle of water(site55). They moved us so we had a better site on higher ground before we checked in.

The site had a picnic table with extra shade. 50 feet from the site were the bathroom, hot showers, dumpster, cleaning station and water station.

The lodge is down the street which was convenient. Be prepared for windy conditions. If you need more supplies they have it at the lodge/store which was open until 9pm. We bought extra stakes just in case.The diner there was open until 830 with great food.

The evening ranger talk was great. Ranger Brad was amazing. He was animated and made bats interesting (audience's pick). It really showed how much he enjoyed his work.

Con: Only downside no fire pit but with the winds, you probably don't want one anyways. No trees for hammock but you're in the grear

T plains so not many trees in sight anyways.

primitive, open, remote, quiet, wild, scenic - a good road trip stop

I visited Sage Creek for one night in August 2017 during a solo cross country road trip. Though a very bare bones place to camp, it was one of my favorite overnight spots that month..

The only facilities are a couple pit toilets and picnic table shelters. No water. The campground is really one large circle, and it fills up with people. There isn't really an option for privacy.

However! It is a free place to camp and it is surrounded by hills and therefore sheltered by wind and morning / evening sun, and it is perfect if all you need is a place to sleep. A lot of folks passing through are also on long road trips, so you can chat and meet cool people on their own adventures. The sunset and sunrise were incredible, and at night you can hear coyotes howl and see the milky way. Bison and coyotes come through the campground on occasion. Despite being full of people, it felt quiet and peaceful and wild enough to have a taste of the landscape's true character. A bison grazed behind my tent all night and I slept incredibly sound.

I write when I travel, and as I watched the sunset from a hill above the campground I jotted down a poem:

Early August in the Badlands

The wind slides away today’s arid heat, swept

as if with a broom over the hills and horizon

following the sun’s trailing colors. The few trees and

grasses here sigh, relieved of harsh

hot

rays, but now deprived of productive light. The birds -

swallows, hawks -

make final swoops before giving way the sky to bats’ delight

of insects and nighttime desert flowers.

The moon shakes her shawl of clouds and dusty haze;

Brighter. Gleaming silver underwater. Twilight

is her shining moment before the first stars

chorus

behind her brief solo and eventually blanket the above

in a sparkling quilt. The crickets rejoice, as do the coyotes –

Now is their time to Sing and to Dance and to Thank

the moon and then roam, playfully, over the prairie.

spectacular

Dry camped at Buffalo Gap National Grassland just south of Wall South Dakota off of 240. Plenty of space with flat ground for tent or RV. Spectacular view and right by I90 for easy access. Would definitely stay here again.

Walk faster to Wall Drug

You can walk faster than you can from Wall Drug parking areas. Friendly service, great restrooms, and a small pool.

Basic campground with beautiful views

Ccampground with basic amenities (small pool, clean showerhouse) and attached motel for those who prefer to stay indoors. Storms can come up quickly in this part of the country and blow through unexpectedly so make sure your tent/camper is well secured!

Great view

You will have nice views of the Badlands from your campsite. A nice tent camping area for sure. You are in the open at this campground, not many trees grow here.

Great views!

We had a FHU site for our travel trailer. The sites are level, although a bit close to each other. There is some shade which was welcome! We had great views of the Badlands National Park since this campground is located just outside the park. Bathrooms are a bit dated, but adequate.

Gazed into the galaxy

Pretty basic camping if you are using a tent. Wide open prairie nestled around by rock formations; you see for miles to one direction; rock formations to another, just hundreds of yards away. And clear skies on moonless nights to view the galaxies and remind you of the insignificance that you hold in the universe. 

Shower house is cozy and be certain to bring quarters. At least you have water. And electricity at the shower house.

Great KOA

This KOA is kinda outside of anything which is nice. It is quiet and has a dog park for your pets which is awesome. The bathrooms were clean and the people who checked us in were super nice. I loved the little fast food place they had too. That was very convenient for us.

Go for the Views!

Tent camping in the Badlands is a one of a kind experience. The sites are basic, but the views are amazing. We stayed at tent site 81 and had unobstructed views. We read about the wind before going and those campers were not joking. A storm swept through with lightning like we’ve never seen before and the wind continued all night. Be prepared for the wind! Fires are not allowed due to the wind. Bathrooms were ok and they had a dishwashing station which was nice. Enjoy this unique campground!

Location! Clean cabins and great atmosphere

This KOA is located near the Badlands and provides excellent cabins and facilities. They also have options such as breakfast, dinner, pool, and a camp store!

July 2018: Must visit

Staff is very organized, just follow directions and they’ll get you all set up. Lots of trees and next to White River. Lots of sites, pool is very slippery so hold on. Close to the Badlands and great sunsets. Definitely coming back for a longer stay.

Close to hiking

A pretty minimal campground but they had the essentials. I loved that it was close to hiking trails and the views were amazing.

The only option

This campground was alright. They had a snack bar and activities for the kids. The tent sites were big and the facilities were mostly clean. It’s the only campground near Badlands NP and is quite a drive to the middle of nowhere. WiFi coverage was poor and Sprint has no cell service here.