This map requires WebGL
Please update your web browser or enable WebGL to view the map.Troubleshooting Info
The #1 Camping App
Camp with confidence with the highest-ranked camping app for both iOS and Android. Search more than 1 million listings, reviews, and tips for campsites across the U.S.
Enter your phone number to get the app.
Close to beach, fishing dock and close to playground for kids!
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.
I’ll admit - I chose this campground because I am a HUGE Laura Ingalls Wilder nerd and it is on one of the lakes where she and Almanzo took their Sunday drives and just a few miles from the LIW Memorial Society in DeSmet. Apart from all that, this is a gem of a campground. We were fortunate to get a site right on Lake Thompson. There are clean and modern restrooms available with free showers. A hiking/biking trail goes along the lake, through the campground and to the swimming beach. Friendly staff - great facilities.
We have traveled in a RV for 6 years and been to 48 states (3 or 4 times each), visited 300 plus small towns and I can say this was one of my favorite camp spots. There are only 4 RV lots, and they are pretty close together, but we stayed before season, so we had the place practically to ourselves. For $30, we had W&E, fire pit (firewood not sold), picnic table and free access to the homestead. Bathrooms were so clean and smelled like cedar wood. There is a dump station but be fore warned it's on a slope, so emptying your tanks completely will be a challenge. Also a sign says grey water only, this is not true, you can dump your black water too. Since we were off season, during the day, they had school trips daily, so there were a lot of children, having fun playing right behind our rig. But it was only for a short period of time during the afternoon. There's a museum right next to the sites, which is always open. There's also is a tower you can climb to get some really great views. Several houses and buildings are on the property you can explore and hay rides are available. They also have a nice country store where you can by your souvenirs. If your a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, like me, this is a must stop, if only for a night! I also want to mention that the camp hosts and gal that ran the store, couldn't have been nicer.
A very cool and unique campsite on the grounds of the Laura Ingalls Homestead near De Smet, SD. Unique in that you can camp right on the open prairie and for only $10 a night. Just pick a spot of grass and you’re good to go. There are some picnic tables you can choose to be near or just head out on the frontier. There are also options to camp in a covered wagon as well as a bunkhouse. RV spots are available and include water and electric hookups. Well appointed and clean bathrooms (electricity and flush toilets) are on site with showers.
The other really cool thing about this spot—especially for families—are all of the fun activities at the homestead itself. There’s a one-room school house with tours, a barn with animals, a covered wagon ride where you (or your kids) can lead the horse-drawn wagon, opportunities to learn how to make a jump rope, twist hay, wash clothes—all things the Ingalls family had to do on a farm from long ago.
A night or two in the summer is great though with no shade for the campsites field, it can get warm but evenings on the prairie are gorgeous. All in all, a great spot to set up that is cheap but with nice facilities and staff.
This is a truly magical place, and if you’ve ever read any of the Little House on the Prairie books and are anywhere near De Smet South Dakota, do yourself a favor and swing by.
The Ingalls Homestead consists of two main parts. First is the "campground," which is a basically a large grassy slope where you can set up your tent for just $10. It includes hot showers, flush toilets, and a few picnic tables and fire-pits throughout the field. There's also fairly basic RV parking for $30 with electric and water hookups and a dump site as well as some basic but cool covered wagons for $60. We arrived just as the sun was setting, found a lovely spot for our tent, and then paid in the shop the next morning. The bathrooms were clean, the showers were a little strange but also clean and hot (basically a large room cordoned off by several shower curtains).
De Smet is where the Ingalls family lived during the "Long Winter" of 1880-1881, and the Ingalls Homestead is a "family run business" that brings to life many activities from the 1880s such as visiting a one-room schoolhouse, making a corn on the cob doll, going on a covered wagon ride, etc. It's truly hands-on and some of our favorite time was spent hanging out in "Pa's" lean-to barn with the barn kitties and riding horses and ponies. My oldest son also learned how to drive the covered wagon to the schoolhouse down the road (another treat). Each station on the self-guided tour has an activity with incredibly nice and informed hosts. Most of the buildings are based on the original plans and descriptions from the Ingalls family, though no original buildings remain on the site. Visiting the homestead is an additional $15 per person over the age of five, and while you could camp without visiting the homestead, it was definitely worth a half or full-day visit.
We had a reservation and told them we would be coming in late due to a family reservation in another campground. The woman I spoke with said that wasn't a problem and that, if the office was closed, she'd be in the house next door. The office WAS closed so I knocked on the door. No answer. I called and left a message that we had arrived and needed help finding our site. No return call. We finally found our site only to discover a truck parked in front of the pull through. Once the owner was found and moved the truck, we had to make a sharp turn between two trees on either side of the drive. We didn't even unhook as we had to be out at noon the next day. The next morning, we discovered the site had dead birds with flies buzzing around them, dog poop that hadn't been cleaned up, and cigarette butts on the ground. The dead birds had been there a while as had the evidence of dogs (we have a dog we always clean up after and follow leash rules). The park is nothing special but it is on the lake and may have some decent fishing access. The neighbors on one side had a dog off leash and it came over to check out our on-leash dog. Rules are not enforced and the hosts apparently don't check on things. We never did hear from them. The campground is a winding ways from I29 but we have Google maps so it wasn't a problem finding it. It just wasn't very convenient at all. We were not impressed with the service or lack of.
There are many sites for both tent and RV camping along with clean wash houses and located within a 10 minute drive to town. Cost was $22 per day.