State Parks

Photo © Chad Coppess

Palisades State Park

/userdocs/Palisades State Park

Palisades State Park is one of the most unique areas in South Dakota. Split Rock Creek, which flows through the park, is lined with Sioux quartzite formations varying from shelves several feet above the water to 50-foot vertical cliffs. Scenic overlooks and rushing water make Palisades a popular getaway. The park is popular among campers, photographers, sightseers, picnickers, rock climbers and hikers.

 A huge flour mill was once located on the bluff overlooking the park. The mill was powered by a large water-wheel installed along the rushing Split Rock Creek. The once-bustling town of Palisades grew up around the success of the mill. In 1886, silver was discovered downstream. The silver ore proved to be low in quality, however, and the nearly 300 claims were quickly dropped.

For millions of years, Split Rock Creek cut deep gorges through Palisades State Park. Geologists estimate the Sioux quartzite spires are 1.2 billion years old. Four hiking trails twist and turn through these beautiful Sioux quartzite formations. The cliffs and formations at Palisades are used by rock climbers to practice their scaling and rappelling techniques. Bolting is not allowed on the quartzite formations. Please contact the park before you head out for other climbing regulations.

2019 Development

Natural Resource Priority

Governor Noem and GFP have made expansion and selected development of Palisades State Park a top priority for 2019.  In a joint private-public partnership, GFP along with South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation (SDPWF) have secured land purchase agreements that will provide for park expansion and additional recreational opportunities.

In Governor Noem's 2019 legislative budget request, $500,000 was requested for additional park land development.  The SDPWF has agreed to raise $1,600,000 to match this and GFP's park expansion commitments.

Development Possibilitities

  • Approximately 70 new campsites
  • 4 miles of new hiking and biking trail
  • Picnic and day use areas
  • Additional Access along Split Rock Creek
  • Water trail features like canoe/kayak launches
  • Archery trail
  • Dog training area for exercising pets off-leash
  • Improved habitat and wildlife viewing opportunities
  • Educational and interpretive facilities

Getting Started

$500,000 in general funds will serve as a critical challenge grant to generate public/private partnerships and donations to facilitate the development of key infastructure and access to facilities.

Master planning and public input for the property and improvements will take place in 2019.

The first stage of development will include a new entrance road that wil serve as the main access to the park.  Landscape and habitat conversions will also take place.  Infastructure and utility needs will be implemented.  Campground, trail and other amenities will also be priorities.

Public comments regarding these developments can be submitted here.

Read More About This Park


  • Biking (on park roads)
  • Birdwatching
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Pole Checkout
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Historical Interest
  • Hunting
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Lawn Game Checkout
  • Picnicking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Stargazing
  • Volleyball
  • Volleyball Checkout
  • Walking (on park roads)
  • Wildlife Watching
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Upcoming Events

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  • Daily: $8 per vehicle
  • Annual: $36 first vehicle | $18 second vehicle (with coupon) | $80 transferable license

    Purchase Online

  • Campsites - electrical: $26 per night
  • Campsites - non-electrical: Tent-only: $15 per night
  • Camping Cabins: $55 per night
  • Group Lodge: $280 per night
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Park Specs

Open: Year-round. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, showers, flush toilets and other water systems may be closed. Please contact the park directly for current status. Vault toilets usually remain open.

Park Size: 34 campsites, 6 camping cabins and a group lodge

Directions: 10 miles north of I-90, Brandon Exit 406

Nearest Town: Garretson

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Make Reservations

Make reservation online or call 1.800.710.2267.

Contact Info

Palisades State Park
25491 485th Avenue
Garretson, SD 57030
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  • ADA/Accessible Features
  • Campground(s)
  • Camping Cabin(s)
  • Drinking Water
  • Electrical Campsite(s)
  • Flush Toilets
  • Group Picnic Shelter(s)
  • Hiking Trail(s)
  • Historical Site(s)
  • Picnic Tables
  • Playground(s)
  • Pollinator Plot(s)
  • Self-serve Entrance Kiosk(s)
  • Showers
  • Tent-only Campsite(s)
  • TRACK Trail(s)
  • Vault Toilets (open year-round)
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Modern Lodging

The group lodge at Palisades offers increased comforts in an outdoor setting any time of the year.

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ADA / Accessible

  • Camping Cabin(s)
  • Campsite(s)
  • Flush Toilets
  • Group Lodge
  • Group Picnic Shelter(s)
  • Picnic Tables
  • Showers
  • Vault Toilets (open year-round)
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GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 43.68764
Longitude: -96.51717
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