With its rich diversity of landscapes, terrain, and water reservoirs, the scenic state of South Dakota provides an abundance of camping opportunities for those looking to become more attuned to the great outdoors.
State Park Campgrounds
South Dakota is blessed with over 50 state parks located throughout the state. Many of these parks offer excellent camping opportunities.
Many have direct access to multiple outdoor activities including water activities, fishing, hiking, biking and so much more.
South Dakota camping is one of the more enjoyable outdoor activities to do in the state. There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars to the soundtrack of chirping crickets or gently lapping water to help you relax and escape today’s fast-paced lifestyle. With its rich diversity of landscapes, terrain, and water reservoirs, the scenic state of South Dakota provides an abundance of camping opportunities for those looking to become more attuned to the great outdoors.
While it’s considered a recreational pursuit today, camping was once a way of life for the original natives and European settlers of South Dakota. During the 18th century explorations of the region, settlers traveled by horseback and set up camp alongside the Missouri River and lake reservoirs. Modern-day campers can experience the area from the same vantage point as those earliest explorers.
Like any outdoor recreational pursuit, there are varying degrees of camping. Some prefer very primitive forms, while others incorporate modern conveniences. A majority of the camping in the state is done at the campgrounds either by tent or RV. If you feel really adventurous there are many more skilled campers who backpack out into the Black Hills.
Whether you prefer to camp along the banks of a river, on a tree-covered mountainside, or on the high plains, South Dakota offers hundreds of scenic sites. From pristine wilderness areas to more commercial campgrounds, the state provides a bevy of opportunities for those who enjoy experiencing the great outdoors.
Obtaining a Fishing License
If you are looking to fish while camping, one thing you will want to do is purchase a valid fishing license. Purchasing one is very simple. Learn how to purchase a South Dakota fishing license here.
South Dakota Campgrounds
Whistler Gulch Campground
Sheps Canyon Recreation Area
Pickerel Lake Recreation Area
Bear Butte State Park
Farm Island Recreation Area
Oahe Downstream Recreation Area
Lake Herman State Park
Roy Lake State Park
Rushmore View RV Campground
Sunset RV Park
Burke Lake Recreation Area
West Whitlock Recreation Area
Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch
Palisades State Park
Pease Creek Recreation Area
Sandy Shore Recreation Area
Spirit Mound Historic Prairie
Great Faces. Great Places.
South Dakota is an incredibly unique state in that each region offers a completely different experience then the others. Check out each of the regions to see what each has to offer!
Western South Dakota
Featuring the Black Hills, Badlands, the Sturgis Rally. This region tends to be the most popular.
This region of South Dakota offers some of the best hunting and fishing in the entire central US.
The eastern region is home to the largest city in the state and provides visitors with a true "prairie" experience.