Photo © Sam Stukel

COVID-19 Information for Parks and Camping

COVID-19 State Park and Camping Information 

State Park Guidelines

  • Visit parks close to home. Follow any stay-at-home guidelines your city or state have enacted.
  • Be self-contained. Dump stations are open to fill your drinking water storage and empty your holding tank. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, water systems may be closed
  • Limit contact with shared spaces and surfaces. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if you do touch them.
  • Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings. Maintain proper physical distance at all times.
  • Observe the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
  • Stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms of illness.
Facilities and Services
  • The majority of park facilities remain open at their normal service level. 
  • Between Oct. 1 and April 30, water systems may be closed for the winter. Water systems include comfort stations (flush toilets and showers), dump stations, and fish cleaning stations. Contact the park directly before your visit for current status. Vault toilets remain open year-round where able.
  • Park entrance stations are open in limited capacity during the shoulder season.

Taking responsibility for your own health is imperative during this time. To limit exposure when using a shared facility, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Use your own facilities whenever possible (camper, tables, camper bathroom, etc.) 
  • Limit contact with frequently-touched surfaces
  • Follow CDC personal hygiene guidelines 
  • Bring a personal supply of hand sanitizer, disinfectant and soap to decontaminate shared spaces before you use them; wash hands or use hand sanitizer after use 
  • Leave facilities and spaces clean after use.
  • Practice social distancing at all times; stay six feet away from others
  • Wear masks when you interact with others

Camping Reservations

  • Camping and modern lodging reservations are ongoing at and 1-800-710-2267. 
  • Campsite spacing in the state parks allows room for social distancing. Responsible use and respect for CDC and local guidelines is key. 

Staff Interaction

There are several ways you can limit interaction with staff during your visit:

  • Purchase your annual park entrance license before you arrive. It usually arrives in the mail within 10 days, but your receipt will serve as your license until then. 
  • If you’re only staying a few days, you can purchase your daily park entrance licenses online, too. Just enter your dates and print your permit. 
  • Self-registration stations also exist at park entrances that allow you to purchase your annual or daily licenses if staff members are unavailable.
  • Consult your reservation confirmation and campground map to locate your site. No need to check-in when you arrive; proceed directly to your site to set up.
  • Be respectful of check-in and check-out times so staff have time to prepare it for the next visitor.
  • Where able, parks have modified entrance stations to include drive-up window service or provided other low-interaction options.
  • Staff are making rounds and entrance booths are staffed as able. Emergency numbers are being monitored.
  • Firewood is available at on a self-serve basis or from campground hosts. Please call ahead to check or purchase it at in-state retail businesses. Do not bring out-of-state firewood or wood that has come from within the quarantine area into the parks. Learn more at
  • Many park programs are available online. Visit the events calendar and follow GFP or your local park on Facebook for fun activities and challenges you can do on your own, from virtual park tours to online fishing contests.
Exercise and Recreation 
Choose activities that maintain social distancing guidelines and avoid shared spaces with those outside of your isolation group. Equipment rentals in the parks might not be available at this time.
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Geocaching
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Birdwatching
  • Disc Golf
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Archery Ranges
  • Shooting Ranges

More Information on COVID-19

COVID-19 Information on Access 

COVID-19 Information on Hunting and Fishing

COVID-19 Information related to Educational Activities

COVID-19 Information related to Habitat

Contact South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks 

Recommendations from Governor Noem and the CDC:

  • Recreate locally and responsibly. 
  • Practice social distancing and avoid crowds.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Stay home if you have any symptoms and contact your doctor.

Please make mindful decisions as you care for yourself and your loved ones. For more information on COVID-19 in South Dakota,