Nothing special about the campsites here (not very spread out and just off the main road), but they provide a good view of the badlands and it’s very close to the park itself.
Main problem was that, given the amount of storms that roll through in the summer, you’d hope the campgrounds were a little raised. I picked the highest spot I could and the tent still flooded a bit during a heavy storm that night. When I got up the next morning, other spots were in much worse condition, though. Basically ponds everywhere and the one couple a few sites down from me had to move in the middle of the night because the flooding got so bad. May have been a particularly bad storm, but the lady said that there are a lot of big storms that roll through at that time of year (mid August)
(Make sure your tent is durable in the wind and staked down really well because if a t-storm does roll through, the winds can exceed 50mph easily. It was a good test for my tent and I was lucky that it survived.)
The owner was really nice though and let me come back the next afternoon to shower after hiking in the Badlands all morning (despite not staying that night).
Very spacious campground that, according to the ranger, has filled to capacity maybe three times in the last decade. I got in during the evening and found a great spot up from the road on a small hill. I imagine it would’ve been hot during the day because there was no shade there, but good for just one night I figured. Unfortunately, a t-storm rolled through around 2am (my fault for not checking the weather before - no service here - nor did I check the bulletin board for weather) and I figured it was best to move my tent to the wooded area. Not fun to do in the middle of the night but at least I staked it back in about ten seconds before the storm reached me (next 1.5 hours was rough though).
The wind cave itself was closed for exploring while I was there which was too bad. A knock on the park, though, not the campsite. Was right around the corner from the visitor center/cave entrance otherwise which is convenient.
Looking at a map, you’d think this place would be great. It’s off the main road and by a lake. However, none of the campsites are very close to the lake. Instead, they occupy a short block away from the lake and though the parking spaces are lined with trees, the sites themselves are not so you are a good 20ft from the camp next to you. Oh, and did I mention that there’s a huge industrial factory right next door? I thought I might wake up a super hero…(or villain 😏). OH! And did I mention there’s a train track right nearby with trains that run pretty much throughout the night, tooting their horns to warn all of the people NOT driving on this random back road between the hours of midnight and 5am that they are barreling through?
Yeah, steer clear.
As the only campground in TRNP South, it’s the place to be when visiting this section of the park. Most of the best sites are reservable so jump on those if you can, otherwise there are plenty of good non reservable sites as well (evens I believe). I was fortunate enough to stumble across a couple leaving a non reservable site by the river around 10am and snagged that spot (52?). Great spot with plenty of necessary shade and a great view of sunset falling behind the hills.
There isn’t much to do right from the campsite but you’re a short drive from most of the parks highlights (scenic drive, hiking from the Valley Lodge). Be sure to take a drive at sunset one night. The view from the short Wind Canyon trail is stunning at this hour and you may run into some Bison leaving the river along the way.
Will use this platform to also note that TRNP is one of my favorite hidden gem NP’s around. Didn’t know a thing about it ‘til I got there and absolutely loved it. The more prairie-like section of the “badlands.”
I meant to crash here one night on my way from Glacier to Yellowstone but it was so beautiful I stayed an extra day.
Most of the sites are along the water, but seem a little close to one another. Fortunately, the woman at the gate told me about sites T1 and T3. They are both walk-in sites at the end of the campground (50ft to T1 and maybe 300ft to T3) and are SO worth it. I stayed at T3 and could not recommend it more. It’s large, you get nearly 100ft of private lakeside, plenty of sun but also enough trees to provide shade. It’s just spectacular. The only draw back is that the tent site is a bit sloped, but that’s it. Everything else is magnificent. I set my hammock up over the edge of the water and just read all day with a couple dips in the lake here and there.
Truly one of the best campsites I’ve ever had.