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Free Camping Collection

Dispersed Camping

Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping

About

USDA Forest Service

Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands

The Wall is a part of Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. It is near The Badlands National Park and is dispersed camping.

There is only one small developed recreation area on the Buffalo Gap National Grassland. The National Grassland Visitor Center is located in Wall, South Dakota. This site provides the history behind the system of the National Grasslands located across the West.

While there is only one developed campground, there are plenty of open spaces to camp. Bring your horse, your bicycle or your OHV and spend some quiet time in the wide open spaces of the Grassland.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nebraska/recarea/?recid=30333

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Location

Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping is located in South Dakota

Detail location of campground

Coordinates

43.89319380924242 N
102.2290965436505 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Good
  • Verizon
    Good
  • AT&T
    Good
  • T-Mobile
    Good

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Dispersed
  • Group

Features

For Campers

  • Phone Service
  • WiFi
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Big Rig Friendly

Reviews

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5.0

out of 5

113 Reviews

Olivia E.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2024

A must stop

If you’re visiting the Badlands you gotta stay here! Plenty of spots mid July, the road is long so just keep driving until you find one you like. The road is gravel and our old van did it no problem. The views are beautiful. Spots are somewhat spread out but you can still see everyone, so not a lot of privacy during the day if you gotta pee outside, but we made it work. There aren’t any bathrooms, but the town of Wall isn’t far up the road. Short drive to get into the Pinnacles entrance of the badlands. Service was good for both Verizon and T-mobile.

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Olivia E., July 10, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Olivia E., July 10, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Olivia E., July 10, 2024
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Corda B.
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2024

Amazing View

Stopped for 1 night before heading to the Badlands and stayed in a tent. We had a great flat spot to set up and admire the view.

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Corda B., July 5, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Corda B., July 5, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Corda B., July 5, 2024
KThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jun. 6, 2024

Amazing

this place was absolutely beautiful, the sunset and sunrises were unbelievable. Great place to go hiking if you don’t mind the wind. anywhere you park will be an amazing view and it’s really quiet. very peaceful, will definitely come again!

Month of VisitJuly
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  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Kayla W., June 6, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Kayla W., June 6, 2024
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Michael M.
Reviewed May. 29, 2024

Unreal views, quick park access

The views are beyond words, truly an incredible experience to wake up to. Plenty of space for all. Not 5 minutes drive from the park entrance. Will be coming back.

Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Michael M., May 29, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Michael M., May 29, 2024
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KThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 29, 2024

Crowded but pretty

The night we stayed was very windy. It was really hard to find a spot, even 2 hours before sunset. Cows will come right up to the campsite (sorta cool).

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Kai K., May 29, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Kai K., May 29, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Kai K., May 29, 2024
sThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 9, 2024

nothing fancy

Honestly, nice view for a night but nothing more. Too many people that park right next to you even with multiple open spots and all the views are the same. Wind is non stop, no biggie if you wanna stay inside a camper but not a good tent spot during spring or if you wanna be outside. Also dont plan on taking a crap theres zero privacy or places to dig a hole. just go to Badland National and move on.

Sitefarthest south
Month of VisitJune
Logan W.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2024

Amazing views and plenty of sites

The campsites are basically outcrops off of the main road which means typical dispersed camping with no amenities. The views from the campsites are astounding. Very serene landscape with plenty of wildlife. The road is long and I suggest following it all the way before picking a campsite.

Month of VisitApril
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Logan W., March 28, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Logan W., March 28, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Logan W., March 28, 2024
  • (6) View All
Fabian S.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2024

Amazing

A wonderful place to sleep. Windy but quiet. Making a fire is forbidden.

Month of VisitJanuary
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Fabian S., January 1, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Fabian S., January 1, 2024
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Fabian S., January 1, 2024
James B.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 1, 2023

Free camping in amazing area

We stayed here for 5 days There were a lot of others here, but everyone keeps a good distance between campers so it’s really great.
We did have to work a bit to get level(most areas are slanted so being leveling blocks or wood to lift) Super quiet at night so great sleeping. Here at end of September so night nice and cool Has quick access to Badlands and Wall, SD.
We will defiantly stay again.

Sitejust north of entrance road
Month of VisitOctober
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by James B., October 1, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by James B., October 1, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by James B., October 1, 2023
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Alexis R.
Reviewed Aug. 21, 2023

Great boondocking experience

Had a fantastic experience at the “wall”. I pulled into what seemed like pure grassland only to be wonderfully surprised by the scenic wall of badlands! We arrived Friday afternoon and there were some RVers but plenty of room and spaces were still available.

Snagged a great spot our first day, pitched our tent, and enjoyed the view. Fellow tenters, beware, it does get a bit windy at night.

10/10 experience. Most definitely would come back

SiteThe Wall
Month of VisitSeptember
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Carissa J.
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2023

Amazing!

This place is very beautiful, staying at the badlands was so cool. The sunset over the field was gorgeous and being able to stay right on the edge of the rocks was fun. We woke up to some cow neighbors so make sure to put your food away at night.

Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Carissa J., August 16, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Carissa J., August 16, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Carissa J., August 16, 2023
SThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2023

Amazing Experience

I’m here right now in my tent, and I can say that this is my favorite camping experience I’ve ever had. I pulled on in and got an excellent spot right on the cliff without looking hard at all. I set up my tent and started boiling water to boil some eggs, and make some Ramen noodles because I was hungry And some people nearby were being friendly and we were talking and they invited me to have dinner with them at their RV and they had cooked steak, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes. It was an amazing experience, and the place was absolutely stunning. 10 out of 10 would definitely recommend again. There are quite a few people here but that’s all right. If you don’t have a big problem with generators running, you’ll be fine. I kind of enjoy the sound. It’s like a nice ceiling fan. Rather quiet but you can still tell that it’s there.

SiteN/A
Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Seth R., July 28, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Seth R., July 28, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Seth R., July 28, 2023
  • (8) View All
Cari E.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2023

Best of the best

I stayed at 7 paid campgrounds during 3 weeks in SD and this free dispersed site remains my favorite. I got there shortly before sundown on a Wednesday and it was PACKED. Luckily there was still a good spot by the entrance, but over the three days I was there it was always pretty full. Early afternoons seemed the best time to arrive and grab a location.

The sunrises were beautiful, but it does get VERY windy! Also nothing else level and the potholes in the road will rock the daylights out of you if you accidentally hit one (guilty), but it’s all worth the view.

Cell service is also phenomenal (the best I’ve had in months) as a cell tower is literally right in front of the sites. A great spot for anyone who also works remotely.

Month of VisitJuly
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  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Cari E., July 25, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Cari E., July 25, 2023
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Art S.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2023

Beautiful dispersed camping

This beautiful place overlooks the badlands. We entered on the second road right by the cell tower. We heard that turning left at the wall was a smoother route. Even though the place was full we kept going and found plenty of spots to camp. We choose one opposite the edge but it was too small and angled for someone to camp there. This gave us a perfect spot to set up our chairs and enjoy the view. This is dispersed camping so there are no services. Pack in/pack out is important. This also means that folks have dogs off leash but they were respectful of keeping their dogs away from our reactive dog. This is a beautiful, free gem of a place to stay at.

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Art S., July 12, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Art S., July 12, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Art S., July 12, 2023
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Tania N.
Reviewed Jun. 7, 2023

Breathtaking

The views are amazing and the sunset is beyond words. There was minimal wind and the temperature was tolerable. Glad I made this stop.

Sitedispersed
Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Tania N., June 7, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Tania N., June 7, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Tania N., June 7, 2023
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hThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jun. 4, 2023

Beautiful

Only drove by and checked it out, looked amazing, everyone we talked to said it was so fun to be camping up on the cliff. Wish I had known about it before we made reservations to camp in interior. Definitely will be staying there next time we go through SD.

Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by holly C., June 4, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by holly C., June 4, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by holly C., June 4, 2023
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Gregory L.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 21, 2023

Amazing Boondocking area

Camping at “The Wall” is an amazing experience! Waking up to miraculous views and ending your days with stunning sunsets is truly what camping is all about. Here at The Wall, you are camping on a cliff that runs along the Badlands. Prairie on one side, the badlands on the other.

The site is about 6-8 miles from the town of Wall, so while you are in a remote area, you still have ready access to food, shopping, and gas if you need it. Wall Drug is also pretty cool and worth a stop.

You are about 15-20 minutes away from the Minuteman Missile Museum, which is an awesome place to visit. There are three sites, so make sure you take the time to see them all. Some of the staff at the Visitors Center actually worked the facility during the Cold War and have tons of information to share.

You are (obviously) very close to the Badlands NP, one of the entrances is a stones throw from the Boondocking area.

Pro tips: Most of the Boondocking area is not level, and the ground is a soft-ish volcanic soil. Bring wooden planks to level your rig and use as Jack pads as the Lego levelers will sink. Also plan to be really out of level, up to 6” off on some sites.

It’s a cool area, but the roads in the Boondocking area are dirt, not level, steep in places, and full of potholes. Be very careful driving in as it can be very hard to see the potholes, and they are pretty serious.

SiteSouthern end, second entrance
Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Gregory L., May 21, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Gregory L., May 21, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Gregory L., May 21, 2023
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Ellery K.
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2023

Stunning view, plenty of places to park.

Completely unobstructed view of the Buffalo gap. After turning onto the main road for the site (gravel, potholes), you’ll come up to the gap. There isn’t a bad place to park, but we parked about 500 yards along the gap to the left after the road meets it. Stunning view.

We stayed overnight mid April- it got down to 26 degrees so dress for the weather! The landscape is unforgiving (windy, no shade, etc.) Water is key!

Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Ellery K., April 16, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Ellery K., April 16, 2023
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Ellery K., April 16, 2023
Ellery K.
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2023

Beautiful, unobstructed view right on the gap

This dispersed campsite has a stunning north-facing view (depending on the angle you park) with the gap right below you. Honestly, don’t even bother paying to get into the National park unless you’re passionate about seeing Buffalo up close.

Not too crowded, got to 26 degrees in mid April (so pack for the weather!)

Month of VisitMay
  • View from right outside our car. After pulling into campsite road, turn left at the ridge and go about 500 yards
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W
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2022

Wow

This is a super awesome place to camp. RIGHT ON THE RIM of the badlands.

Sitedispersed
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Will  E., December 18, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Will  E., December 18, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Will  E., December 18, 2022
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Come Wheelin’ with John & Christie W.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2022

Wow!

We absolutely loved staying here!  We only staid one night because of the high heat temp 100 degrees.  We could have staid longer, but .... we decided to keep on going.  There are some down, up, down, up hills as you are coming into the boon docking area.  Don't let that stop you, however, be prepared.  Go slow. Nothing will ever match this experience.  We heard coyotes, saw an awesome sunset and enjoyed peace and quiet.  Wind was of no concern.  We appreciated the wind!  Easy drive to the Badlands and Wall.  We will never forget this epic day, night and sunrise.

Month of VisitSeptember
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  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Come Wheelin’ with John & Christie W., September 3, 2022
Wayne H.
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2022

Awesome

We stayed for 3 days. Plenty of spots to camp. Very peaceful. 14 day limit.

SiteStayed along the rim.
Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Wayne H., September 2, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Wayne H., September 2, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Wayne H., September 2, 2022
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Nancy Q.
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2022

Beautiful sunset

Small fire pit, dusty, no grass , lots of places for people to park with RV’s and fifth wheels.

Sitedispersed
Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Nancy Q., August 28, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Nancy Q., August 28, 2022
k
Reviewed Aug. 19, 2022

Must see

Had a beautiful spot right along the rim

Sitedisbursed camping
Month of VisitSeptember
DestinationFreedom Y.
Reviewed Aug. 19, 2022

Boondocking With a View

Love, love, love this place! Park right along The Wall for the most incredible views. Just a mile from the entrance to Badlands National Park and 7 miles from the town of Wall, SD (home of the famous Wall Drug store). We stayed here for 4 nights and it was the perfect base camp for us to go see Badlands, Wall Drug, Mount Rushmore, and Deadwood. Go to sleep to the sounds of coyotes and wake up to bighorn sheep just feet away from your RV!

Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by DestinationFreedom Y., August 19, 2022
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  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by DestinationFreedom Y., August 19, 2022
Jackie F.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Aug. 13, 2022

Most Amazing Camping

This has to be one of the best spots in America. The view and accessibility is incredible.

Plan well when driving back here if windy or rainy. Lots of ruts where you can see folk of yesteryears getting stuck.

Dog friendly. Not sure on generators though. We didn’t hear anyone else running theirs but other friends said they heard generators all night just a few nights earlier. So we skipped ours out of courtesy but we paid for it with the fridge rising to temp and not being able to charge our medical equipment. It was just so quiet we didn’t want to be the ones to disrupt that peace. Even though ours it a quiet version.

All in all it’s beautifully temped and breezy at night, but gets hot during the day. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you pull off the road and go through the teal-ish green gates. Making a left is not as fruitful - go right once approaching the cliff road and you’ll find plenty of spaces!

Month of VisitSeptember
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Alyson M.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2022

Busy but Great Views

This spot is very well known, so expect it to be busy. I went when it was cold out in May, and still we struggled to find a spot far away from others. The views are incredible, so I didn’t mind sacrificing space and privacy. It is very open and has no shade, so be prepared to be pretty exposed. Perfect spot for visiting the badlands.

Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Alyson M., July 19, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Alyson M., July 19, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Alyson M., July 19, 2022
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AThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 18, 2022

Awesome boondocking!

The views here are stunning! It’s an easy drive off a gravel road super close to badlands and wall drug. You defiantly won’t be alone, but there’s plenty of room for everyone.

  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Alyssa L., July 18, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Alyssa L., July 18, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Alyssa L., July 18, 2022
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Chris N.
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2022

Pretty Impressed

Just before entering the Badlands official entrance is a side road leading up to a ridge. Expect a breeze to winds that can be forceful so tie things down. I got lucky and had a beautiful sunset, light breeze, and warm but not too warm of temps. Lots of spots to chose from but first come first serve boondocking. I can see the interstate from here but can’t hear it making it a great stop over spot when traveling. Highly recommend!

SiteFacing east
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Chris N., July 17, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Chris N., July 17, 2022
  • pano video looking east a couple hours before sunset
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Duncan G.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2022

Lived Up To Its Reputation!

I arrived around 7 p.m. and setup my table and chair to enjoy the view with a glass of wine. It was a beautiful cloud-free evening. The wind was blowing at 15-20 mph and I thought…what’s the big deal? I prepared dinner for my dog and a late supper for me. Then it happened. Out of nowhere lightning, thunder, and hurricane force winds accompanied by hellacious hail(gravel size). We were rocking back and forth in a frightening way. I went out to lower the jacks on my Artic Fox to help stabilize the camper and was pummeled by hail. I didn’t have time to rescue the Starlink receiver, and I was sure it was a goner. I also thought the truck and the camper would both sustain some serious damage. My dog was terrified and so was I. Things finally calmed down and we were able to fall asleep only to be awakened again about 4 a.m. with an encore of the show. BTW, Rescue Remedy is helpful to my dog in anxiety situations like this. When I went out in the morning to survey the damage I was shocked to find Starlink receiver in place and the truck and camper unscathed.

 I have a friend who travels with a sail boat towed by his truck camper. He has an anemometer and measured wind gusts here when he stayed here on 7/3 at 103 mph….yikes. I am including his photo of a pop up next to his site that was destroyed the night they were here. I know we are requested to only upload our own photos, but I think this is important for future campers to be aware of.

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Duncan G., July 12, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Duncan G., July 12, 2022
  • Review photo of Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping by Duncan G., July 12, 2022
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Frequently Asked Questions

Are fires allowed at Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

Does Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping have wifi?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping does have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Buffalo Gap Dispersed Camping?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is good, AT&T is good, and T-Mobile is good.