The best camping near
Spearfish, SOUTH DAKOTA

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Most Recent Spearfish Camping Reviews
Amazing view of a natural wonder

Devil's tower has some of the most unique rock climbing we've ever experienced. And the adorable prairie dogs were an added bonus! Main downside of the campground in the summer is that there isn't much shade. Still five stars, as the facilities are very clean and the short driving distance to the tower is really convenient.

Fine place to camp last minute

We were looking for a campground in the area for a same day reservation on a Friday. We called in the early evening and they still had some spots left, very friendly staff. The forecast predicted some rain, so we wanted to find a campground that had some roofed structures at each site. The roofed shelters at each site don't cover the tent area, but we were able to connect our tarp to the side of the shelter and spread it over our tent for some extra protection from the wet. It worked really well. The campground has shower onsite for no extra charge, they were very clean and functional. The drinking water tasted strongly of chlorine to us, which was unfortunate. Another downside is that the sites are quite close together and not very scenic, so the experience feels more like a  place for vacationing families.

Beautiful park

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

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.

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.

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.

So close you could almost touch it

Went off-season (early October) and was able to take my pick of sore’s from the nearly-empty location.

Bathrooms were open. At the tower itself, both visitor centers were closed, though rangers were present.

Note: registration is available on-site via cash or check only. To use a credit/debit card, you must pay at the entrance station. Take the placard they give you (or the stub from the envelope if you pay at the site) and attach it to the pole next to your campsite.

Great Stopover for Late Night Drives

We were in and out late night and early morning so we didn't get to see it in the daylight but it fit the bill for an overnight stop. 

Nice grassy spots next to the highway. 

Not a lot of privacy.

$20 a night. 

Pit toilet bathrooms, fire rings and picnics tables.

Ranger Review: Banner and Oak Mug at Sylvan Lake Campground

Campground review: This lake is amazing! It makes the busyness of the road and the cost of the state park. We were staying there for a day and had to pay for a 7 day pass which was$20 just to enter the park. The campground is across the road from the lake and it is the perfect distance to there in about 2-3 mins.

 The sites are well covered but the campground is right next to the road so it is a bit loud on busy weekends. The general store at the lake was basically empty when we were there because it was a busy weekend but typically it is stocked with food and basic essentials. 

Gear review: As a ranger we often get to review fun gear! This trip I was able to bring along the Steel Camping Mug from Banner and Oak. 

https://bannerandoak.com/collections/gear-we-love/products/steel-camper-mug-white 

This mug is perfect for a casual campground mug. It radiates the temperature of the drink so be careful with hot beverages. The design on it is perfect for starting the day with the intention of trying something new! It holds about 8 oz of liquid. 

The one thing I would be aware of is the lip on the mug. It is a bit of a dip on the underside so if you don’t drink out of it just right, it will spill down your chin.

Not great for tents

Maybe if your in an RV it’s better? Tent sites are all the way at the top of the hill. Not even in walking distance to bathrooms, showers or the pool. We felt remote up there, which I suppose isn’t a bad thing. Very uneven grassy spaces. They did have shuttle to town. Convenient to town deadwood and lead and to attractions.

Nice campsite

Not many tent sites, but decent amount of space. Some shade. Very clean bathrooms and showers. Nice pool area. Convenient off the interstate. Good location.

Free camping spot

There’s dispersed camping here with quite a few pad options. It’s a quiet place with a lot of very cool hiking trails off of the camp site. The tent spots are all very reasonably close to the parking lot so even if you want to walk off a bit to place your tent it won’t be much of a burden or hassle to set up. I got a spot out off the parking space far enough to not be bothered by anyone’s lights and to get a really nice view of the stars as I went to bed. A wonderful spot to have a night of sleep that’s so close to Rushmore you can walk there if you don’t want to pay for parking.

A magical snow globe

I stayed for 2 nights in the off season. When I called ahead the hosts said it was on them due to the off season and said to enjoy the space. Very very lovey people. It was like as if I had walked into a wonderland of nature. The day was beyond perfect and the space was magical. I cannot recommend this place enough. Hands down the best camping spot I have ever been too. If you get the chance it’s beyond worth it to stay here. The space is nature at its best. I will be coming back as soon as I am able.

Roadside camping

I arrived too late to get a site within the park, so the campground host there directed me to this small private campground just a mile away. I’m a tent camper, so they gave me a grassy site literally right in front of the bath house. The campground is right on the road, and there was some traffic all night, as well as bright lights. The bath house is very clean, and I slept ok despite the traffic. I heard Coyotes and Great-horned Owls! Not an ideal place, but did the trick.

Nice campground without hookups

We stayed September 5-9 . It was peaceful & enjoyed our stay. This campground has no hook ups. Most of the campground was closed except for about 10 sites. They stay open for hunters & fall campers. It was 20 a night which is spendy for no hook ups or comfort stations.The have vaulted toilet & water for personal use not for camper.We hiked around the lake & kayaking and fishing.

Camp among the ponderosa pines

Beautiful site on the lake. Vault toilets, not the cleanest but expected. Came in September and was very open. First come first serve. Had a nice dinner at Alpine Inn in Hill City (they only have two menu options FYI)…. love!

Spectacular views and solitude at hike in sites

Great site in the Black Hills. Book early to get a good site. The hike in sites are recommended if you don't want neighbors. We were at site 17 - a hike in site - felt almost like we were in the wilderness, but flush toilets and a full service lodge and camp store within walking distance. We were there in July with few mosquitoes and low humidity. Great stargazing. This is higher altitude than most of Custer State Park, so lots of huge boulders and pine trees.

Nice Cabins!

This place was super clean and the two older ladies at the front desk where extremely nice. The showers where hot and not really busy ( We stayed here in July). This was close to Custers Park and about twenty minutes from Rapid City. Will definitely be back!

One of the only places to stay late in the year that has full hookups.

Small place on a little lake. Couldn’t really walk around the lake because of all the goose poop. Did have full hookups still in late October. Clean showers and bathrooms. Urban feel.

Cute spot, close to Mt Rushmore!

Smaller campground. Clean showers and bathrooms. Close to town but feels like you are out in the mountains. A dinner train does go by and blows the horn, but not too disturbing.

Nice Spot

We found this place after we couldn’t get the dispersed camping thing processed in our brains!

RV friendly as well as tent friendly. There are hot showers and clean bathrooms. The wife saw a laundry facility on property. They have a small pantry in the office Incase you find yourself needing something. You can tell the property is well maintained.

I gave 4/5 stars due to the close proximity to the main road. At night there really isn’t much traffic. However in the morning we woke up to the sound of constant vehicles.

We would definitely come back though!

Explore From Right Inside The Park

Devil's Tower can be one of those parks which quickly can have a line just to get in, especially on busy holiday weekends.    I visited on Labor Day and found that the early bird gets the worm when it comes to entry and camping alike.     While there are other camping facilities just outside of the grounds the ability to simply wake up and hit a trail from your campground is something of unique appeal.    

As you enter the park you will wind around the way with spectacular views of the Devil's tower, pass through prairie dog town and then stumble upon the campground just before ascending to the parking area for the tower's popular trails and small information center.     When crowds are large parking in this area is tight, which is why camping inside the parks bounds has even more of an appeal.    I found that the campground had an access trail which allowed you some of the best views of the tower and also the red beds.    

There are two access points, one to the lower area and one to the higher allowing you to completely bypass the majority of the tourism traffic unless you really want to take the paved ADA trail.

Campsite is spacious and has limited number of sites so registration on a busy weekend is best done online.   On a normal day of the week the campground can fill up by noon so keep that in mind if you are wanting to wing it.

Camp offers all the basics of home without showers.    Flushing toilets and running water are centrally located as is potable water.    This makes even camping in a tent feel luxurious as you are nestled under large shade trees with the Devil's Tower right in your backyard view.     Additionally there is abundant cell signal at all points around the park.    

While there is no firewood or a local store located in the park, less than 50 yards from the entrance gate is a general store and restaurant which has everything you need and despite being so close prices are fairly reasonable.   

I greatly enjoyed the area and also the company of the neighboring campers at this location, everyone was generally very friendly!!  I felt like in comparison to other area campgrounds the price was also just right for what was offered at only $20.     

TIPS:  

  • Get the Annual Pass for Parks for only $80 and save big if you are visiting more than one park.   There are several within a stones throw of this area you will want to visit including Wind Cave, Jewel Cave and Rushmore.
  • Try the Red Beds trail for a unique vantage point which seems completely disjointed from the look of Devil's Tower.   For more information about this I suggest doing a little research beforehand.
Secluded and Beautiful

If you’re willing to invest 45 minutes to go down a bumpy 8 mile dirt road the reward will be seclusion and beauty. 9 lonely campsites situated next to Castle Creek surrounded by hills and Lodgepole Pines and wildflowers. There is a clean vault toilet but no potable water so bring your own or be prepared to filter. About 16 miles out of Hill City well worth the trouble. The directions on the USDA website are accurate. Every campsite is next to the flowing creek. Campsites come with a picnic table fire ring (plenty of wood around) and a level campsite. We were there early September and no one was there!

Awesome camping place

We have stayed here for a week each year during rally week. They are super nice and very accommodating. Could not ask for better treatment.

Very quiet and secluded with lake views

We had the entire campground to ourselves.  The actual campground is called Whitetail Campground, located on Deerfield Reservoir. 

Be aware that you must have water in your tank if you come in an RV.  The campground pumps do not have threaded hose connections. 

We hiked the Deerfield Lake Loop and found the signage to be missing in many places, causing us to take a 15+ mile hike instead of the advertised 11 mile hike.  The trail was overgrown and washed out (lost into the stream) in 5 or 6 places where we had to  cross.  It is not well traveled when you get 6 miles in.

There are two loops to the campground and we stayed in the one furthest from the lake (as it was full….) The bugs weren't too bad and we had a fire one evening.  The thunderstorms were pretty regular every afternoon and things stayed wet.

We would definitely return.

Helped when I was wiped out

I had been having trouble with my van so finding a campground with hookups, great showers, clean bathroom, and outdoor sink for washing camping dishes was great. It's basically an RV park with a few spaces for tents. But they each have electricity which was nice for me. The spaces are close together. My fee was around $44 for the smallest site but this is par for the course for KOAs I think. A great one-night respite if you just want something easy. Showers were really great.

Best!!

I love this campground so much! It is so primitive and woodsy! I love the little trail that goes up to the top of the bluff! One of my all-time favorites!

Our favorite !!!!

Primitive campground, but absolutely !….the most beautiful spot to unwind, see the stars at night, and hiking is amazing, and very small so make reservations. …no regrets!

Best!!!Camping cabins, (no camper spots,) best kept secret in Black Hills

Been staying at these cabins since the 1960's, many owners but Les the current owners welcome like non others! Beautiful spot in the hills!

Good campground

Very friendly staff. Super open spots but not bad if you’re traveling through. Fort Hays just next door for a super awesome breakfast and tourist location