Standard (tent/RV)
Dispersed
Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Equestrian
No Fires
Pets Allowed
No Drinking Water
About Sage Creek Campground
Operator
National Park Service
Access
Drive In
Walk In
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
No Drinking Water
No Electric Hookups
No Fires
No Firewood Available
No Market
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Not Reservable
Sanitary Dump
No Sewer Hookups
No Showers
Toilets
Trash Available
No Water Hookups
No WiFi
Location
Sage Creek Campground is located in Badlands National Park in South Dakota
Latitude
43.895 N
Longitude
-102.4134 W
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42 Reviews of Sage Creek Campground
Camping in the heart of the Badlands

We had a lovely one-night stay here in the middle of August. It was very hot and we used our AC in the RV during the day. Little shade, lots of sun, and beautiful Badlands vistas in all directions. Sites are fairly close together, so not much privacy. Close to many hiking trails and vistas and the Visitors Center. Loved the scenery, this is a not to miss destination.

Remote primitive adventure

We drove out here at night and couldnt see a thing. It is extremely dark at night, which i love!! It gave us the rare opportunity to observe the NEOWISE comet with just our binoculars. Amazing! On the drive out we saw several deer. WARNING: if you go in an RV be prepared for a bumpy ride. The road out is terrible! We awoke to fog that quickly cleared and the squeaks of prairie dogs. There is a little trail that takes you up the hillside for a spectacular view. Saw a lot of bison droppings but didn't actially see one until the drive out. Then we saw a whole herd! This is definitely worth the trip. Mind you, no electric, no water, no sewer so go prepared. A tenter's paradise and an RVer's opprtunity to get back in touch with nature. The subsequent drive through the Badlands was breathtaking!

Prairie dogs are reclaiming their land and I love it.

Holy cats it was windy when I set up camp here. It's so flat that when the wind comes through, it just does not stop. AND the ground was SO hard. Super glad I had a real, metal hammer in my car to get my stakes in the ground. 

Lots of available spots when I arrived mid-afternoon, but the sites with covered tables were all taken. Lots of prairie dogs. 

Vault toilet was fine, but a line formed during busy times and ran out of tp. 

THERE IS NO WATER HERE. And the spigot at the entry was broken, so I had to drive to the complete other end of the Badlands to get more water. Bring your own in if you can. Sage Creek could be used with a filter, but it was pretty shallow, slow moving, and a nice sage green color. I took the drive.

Isolated but crowded

Pros:

  • Right in the middle of a prairie dog town! It seems very strange to be allowed to camp there, but they paid the campers no mind and went about their business.
  • Isolated, nothing for miles around the site.
  • beautiful views
  • plenty of first come, first serve sites available when I arrived around 4 PM (but it did fill up later in the evening, I believe at 100%).
  • Free

Cons:

  • Each site really is practically on top of the next, so don't expect any form of privacy. 
  • A few sites had a covered picnic table, but those were already gone when I arrived that's the only shade anywhere and it was blistering hot in August. I did the scenic drive the afternoon I arrived just to be able to be out of the 100 degree heat and sun.
  • Noisy given the lack of space between sites. One loud group chatting, laughing, playing music until around 11 om or so, which was annoying given we were all right on top of each other.
  • Had to wait in line for the latrine a few times given that there are only 2 latrines for the whole site.
Lots of area to camp

Nice and friendly people with plenary of small hikes around. Great spot for a free night of camping.

Buffalo and prairie dogs!

Nice, clean campground in the national park. The campground itself is free but you need to purchase a pass for the park. No host or registration required. There are some marked sites in the center of the loop but you can camp pretty much wherever you can find a spot, as long as you're within the campground area. While we were cooking dinner a buffalo walked right through! Clean restrooms, but no water so remember to bring some. There were hiking trails around the campground and the sunrise was beautiful from the top of the hill.

Beyond cool but crowded.

This was a really cool campsite, mostly because of the wildlife and the views! It’s only about 30 minutes away from the Badlands NP, and very close to Wall,SD. The campsite is actually made around a flat spot in the prairie lands, and the tents are set up in a circle. We set up camp around 5pm, and went to visit the Badlands which is a definite must! Upon coming back, we ran into a herd of bison on the road and because they were so close we got some awesome pictures! Prairie dogs are also everywhere, which if you can be quiet and quick enough you can maybe snap a pic! The only problem with this campsite is as it’s a popular campground, the amount of people there was too much for us. We had our tent moved by a group of rowdy people who kept us up at night and woke us up in the morning. Nonetheless, we had an awesome time and I would definitely recommend staying up long enough to check out the stars because it was quite a sight! Also we were traveling in a 2wheel drive, and the last part of the road to the campsite is a bumpy one so drive slow..!

Awesome

Super nice spot. No real negatives for free camping. Only problem I had was a ton of late arrivals keeping me up with lights and noise, but once again for a free night of camping I couldn’t care less.

Campground within the badlands

Free camping within the badlands! There are designated spots but also people just randomly popped up their tents/RVs! Lots of prairie dogs and buffalo around!

Amazing free campsite

We stayed here for one night as our first stop on our road trip and we were SO impressed! The prairie dogs were right there in the middle of the campground and bison roamed the fields around it. We stayed in our tent and there was plenty of spots even into the evening. Nice hiking trails right off the campsite loop.