Camping in South Dakota
Over 50 state parks and recreation areas offer camping in South Dakota. Comfort stations close down during the winter months, but camping is welcome year-round in most parks as some are closed due to eagle nesting.
Purchase a Park Entrance License | 1.800.710.CAMP (2267)
Camping reservations are available in most state park and recreation areas within 90 days.
Top 10 Things to Remember When Making a Reservation
- Make sure to download the newest version of your internet browser.
- Create an account before you want to reserve a campsite.
- Log into your account to save time as it saves your preferences.
- Reservations open 90 days from the day you want to arrive except at Custer which is one year in advance.
- You can find parks with openings by using the search availability feature - simply put in your dates and search.
- Make sure to include the length and width of your camper to make sure it will fit on the site.
- Find your site on the map by using the map tab or look to see when your favorite site will be open by using the site availability grid tab.
- After a reservation is made, a cancelation fee applies to each site.
- You can transfer or move your site for free as long as you keep the same number of days.
- Save money by making your reservation online at campsd.com.
- Reservations are not required for campsites, but are highly recommended. For summer weekend stays, most campsites and cabins are reserved within a week of reservations opening. Reservations open 90 days before arrival, except at Custer State Park, which accepts reservations one year before arrival. Campsites and camping cabins become available both online and through the call center at 7 a.m. CT / 6 a.m. MT on the first day reservations open. After the reservation window has opened, reservations can be made at any time.
- Camping fees must be paid when reservations are made. Credit card or gift cards are accepted. Only one payment is accepted for multiple-site reservations.
- Cancellations can be made by accessing your account online or by calling 1.800.710.2267. Cancellations or changes to the beginning of a reservation are not allowed. Changes in departure dates can be done through the call center. Reservations for cabins, lodges and picnic shelters must be made by midnight two days before you arrive. The call center is open 24 hours a day.
- Cancellation Fees
- Campsite: Amount equal to one night's camping fee
- Camping cabin: $25
- Lodge: 30 or more days in advance: $25; less than 30 days in advance, $25 per night
- Large Groups: One night's stay for each campsite cancelled.
- Cancellations at French Creek Horse Camp in Custer State Park:
- Cancellations made 30 days or more before arrival are subject to a minimum 1 night camping fee
- Cancellations made within 15 to 29 days of scheduled arrival are subject to a penalty equal to 50% of the reservation fee.
- Reservations cancelled within 14 days prior to scheduled arrival date are non-refundable.
- Picnic Shelter reservations can be made within 90 days of your arrival (except at Custer).
- Canopies - To reserve a 20 x 20 foot or 20 x 40 foot canopy for special events held at Newton Hills or Union Grove state parks call 605.987.2263.
- Pierson Ranch - Reserve the kitchenette shelter online at www.campsd.com or by calling 1.800.710.2267.
- Good Earth - Reserve the classrooms, picnic shelter and wedding events by calling 605.213.1036.
- Bear Butte State Park
- Burke Lake Recreation Area
- Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Area
- Lake Louise Recreation Area
- Little Moreau Recreation Area
- North Wheeler Recreation Area
- Okobojo Point Recreation Area
A friendly face is generally waiting for you at South Dakota state parks. But if we're not at home, a self-registration station will allow you to pay all necessary fees.
Both entrance and camping fees can be paid through self-registration envelopes at these stations:
- Bear Butte
- Burke Lake
- Little Moreau
- North Wheeler
- Okobojo Point
- Lake Louise (10 sites)
- All Lakeside Use Areas
Simply remove an entrance license envelope or camping permit from the dispenser, complete the information, enclose the fee and drop it into the tube. Place your temporary license in the lower passenger-side corner of your windshield. It is your responsibility to pay these fees.
Burning restrictions may be enacted by the counties due to dry conditions. Learn more from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Division of Wildland Fire.
State parks may also prohibit campfires in these areas. Please contact the individual park directly or go to their webpage for the most current information.
Do not bring out-of-state firewood into South Dakota.
Firewood from another state may contain the Emerald Ash Borer, which could be harmful to trees in this state. To help contain these destructive pests, we ask that you please leave out-of-state wood at home. Firewood is available for purchase at South Dakota state parks.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an insect from China that is destroying ash trees. Through the movement of infested firewood and nursery stock, the beetle has expanded across the United States and into Canada.
South Dakota is heavily dependent on ash trees for urban and shelterbelt trees. If the insect is introduced in South Dakota the economic impact will be enormous. It is critical that out-of-state firewood not be brought into South Dakota to avoid the introduction of this pest into the state.