If you’re thinking of going camping in South Dakota, then make sure you take a look at this list full of the best campgrounds in South Dakota.
South Dakota is a sparsely populated, but massive, state in the Midwest.
It’s a state that is full of great things to do, especially if you love the great outdoors.
Some of South Dakota’s National Parks include Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park.
South Dakota State Park campgrounds are some of the best in the Midwest. The same could be said for the national park campgrounds as well.
No matter what you’re looking for there are some awesome campsites in South Dakota.
So, let’s take a look at 15 of the best places for camping in South Dakota!
15 Best Places For Camping In South Dakota
Experience Breathtaking Views At Badlands National Park
Some of the best South Dakota campgrounds can be found in Badlands National Park.
There are two campgrounds within this national park grounds.
At the Cedar Pass campground, there are 96 sites.
These are some of the best South Dakota campsites for sweeping views of the Badlands’ famous formations.
One of the downsides of this particular campsite is that campfires are strictly forbidden due to the risk of a forest fire.
The second campground is the Sage Creek Campground.
It is a free campground, that is first come first serve, and has 22 sites.
Campfires are currently not permitted at this campsite in South Dakota either.
If you’re looking for campgrounds in the Black Hills SD, then Badlands National Park is a perfect choice.
One Of The Best Campgrounds Near Rapid City And The Black Hills Is This KOA
This Rapid City KOA is a great South Dakota RV park.
It is also near the Black Hills and is perfectly situated if you plan on visiting Mount Rushmore.
If you’re looking for a centrally located campground near Rapid City SD, it’s perfect.
At the Rapid City KOA, you’ll find spacious campsites with plenty of room for RVs of all shapes and sizes.
For those who don’t have an RV, they also have cabins and deluxe cabins you can rent.
Along with the excellent accommodations, they have some great amenities.
They have an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, a dog park, giant chess and checkers, a pool, and you can sign up for guided tours of the local national parks.
There are lots of things to do in Rapid City SD, and if you have a few minutes to spare, go check it out!
Go Camping At Buryanek State Recreation Area Along The Missouri River
This particular campground in South Dakota is popular with boaters.
That’s because this state recreation area is located along the Missouri River.
Lewis and Clark traveled through the area too.
So you can stay at one of the South Dakota State Parks campsite that Lewis and Clark may have spent time in. While you’re at Buryanek State Recreation Area, you can enjoy watersports like kayaking and boating.
There are over 40 campsites, both electric and non-electric.
If you want to go camping in South Dakota but tents aren’t your thing, Buryanek State Recreation Area also has cabins you can rent.
Try Camping At Custer State Park Game Lodge Campground
There are several Custer State Park campgrounds, and all of them have some great amenities.
But the Game Lodge Campground has a little bit of everything.
There are 59 campsites within this Custer State Park campground. Some of them are electric and some are non-electric.
For camping at Custer State Park, but without the tent, you can stay at one of the 11 cabins.
Custer State Park also has a Game Lodge that you can tour. It was the summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927.
The Custer State Park campground is near the visitor’s center, the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center, and the Tatanka Barn.
It’s a great place for camping in South Dakota that has something for everyone.
Echo Valley Park Campground Is One Of The Best South Dakota RV Parks
For those looking to go RV camping in South Dakota, the Echo Valley Park Campground is a great option.
Echo Valley Park Campground is pretty centrally located if you want to explore some of the best parks in SD.
This South Dakota RV park is just a little under 7 miles north of Custer State Park.
You’ll be right by Crazy Horse Mountain, one of the most iconic formations in the Black Hills.
They offer mostly RV sites, but there are a few South dakota campsites for tent campers as well.
It’s one of the best RV campgrounds in Black Hills SD because it’s just so close to everything.
Enjoy RV Camping In South Dakota At Rush No More RV Resort
Rush No More RV Resort is a great Sturgis campground.
It’s another great option for those looking for awesome RV resorts to go camping in South Dakota.
The campground is only open seasonally, but it’s still one of the best campgrounds in Black Hills SD.
In June, if you’re staying at this Sturgis campground, you can enjoy a three-day Blue Grass Festival.
For those camping in South Dakota during the Sturgis Bike Rally, this is one of the most popular SD campgrounds.
The sites are spacious and perfect for all RV sizes.
Rush No More RV Resort also has cabins you can rent if you don’t want to go tent camping or bring an RV.
Sturgis is one of the coolest towns in SD!
Equestrians Will Love Iron Creek Horse Campground
Believe it or not, there are campgrounds in South Dakota that are specifically designed for horses.
One of those is the Iron Creek Horse Campground.
The Iron Creek Horse Campground is fairly small.
It’s actually probably the smallest SD campground on this list.
However, it’s perfect for equestrians looking to go camping in South Dakota with their horses.
The campground is just 13 miles outside of Custer and has 9 campsites.
Each of these South Dakota campsites has a picnic table, firepit, vault toilets, and a parking area.
There are also water tanks specifically for horses available.
Find Seclusion At The Badlands Overlook Buffalo Gap National Grasslands
The Badlands Overlook Buffalo Gap National Grasslands is easily one of the coolest South Dakota campsites.
It’s not technically a campground as it is a dispersed camping area within the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.
The dispersed camping area is known as the Badlands Overlook for its amazing views of the Badlands formations.
To camp in this area is completely free and it’s pretty easy to get to as well.
Unlike most dispersed camping, you won’t have to do much backpacking to get to the perfect spot.
You’ll probably come across a few other people camping, but for the most part, you’ll be almost completely alone.
There is a dirt road that you can park on, which makes it pretty accessible.
If you want to experience one of the coolest places for South Dakota camping, this is the spot.
Lake Herman State Park Is A Great Place For Camping In South Dakota
Lake Herman State Park is a popular South Dakota State Park campground.
The lake itself was actually formed after a giant glacier that melted over thousands of years.
Today, the lake is 1,350-acres and is part of the park along with the surrounding peninsula.
The Lake Herman campsite has been popular for hundreds of years. Yes, hundreds!
Before European settlers began using it, it was a common stopping point for Native American’s passing through to camp.
This SD campground has over 70 campsites and a few cabins you can rent as well.
There is also a historic cabin in the park that you can tour.
Go RV Camping At The Sioux Falls KOA South Dakota
This is one of the best KOA South Dakota destinations.
If you are wanting to stay near Sioux Falls and all it has to offer, this South Dakota campground is a great option.
Visitors think it’s one of the best campgrounds near Sioux Falls SD.
It’s a South Dakota RV park that is actually just within the city limits of Sioux Falls.
But it still feels private and like you’re camping.
The campsites are spacious enough to fit even very large RVs.
There are also amenities like a swimming pool, dog park, basketball court, mini-golf, game room, and luxury laundry facilities.
You’ll quickly find this is one of the best campgrounds near Sioux Falls SD!
Try Primitive Camping In South Dakota At Grizzly Creek Primitive Campground
The Grizzly Creek Primitive Campground can be found in the Black Hills National Forest.
If you’ve never been primitive camping, this is a beautiful spot to try it.
You’ll need to be tent camping to use this campground, as vehicles are prohibited within the campground.
That’s because of the tight turns and spaces within the grounds.
Each of the primitive sites has a picnic table and a fire pit.
There are also vault toilets and drinking water available within the campgrounds.
However, you won’t find a larger bathroom facility or showers.
None of the sites have electric access, so keep that in mind as well.
You can’t go wrong with primitive camping at this campground in Black Hills SD.
Lake Vermillion State Recreation Area Is A Great Campground Near Sioux Falls SD
The Lake Vermillion State Recreation Area is another great campground near Sioux Falls SD.
Sioux Falls is just 27 miles east of Lake Vermillion.
The lake is known for its clean clear water and is actually a reservoir.
Lake Vermillion was created as a reservoir from the east fork of the Vermillion River in 1958.
Since then it’s been a popular campground near Sioux Falls SD. It’s especially known for its abundant room for watersports.
There are four separate campgrounds, with one in the east and three in the west.
Lake Vermillion has over 100 South Dakota campsites that come with fire pits, picnic tables, and some are electric and some are non-electric.
If you like watersports, this is a great place for camping in South Dakota.
Check Out The Seasonal Big Pine Campground
For those looking for Custer State Park camping that only want to be near the park, I suggest the Big Pine Campground.
Big Pine Campground is in Custer SD, just miles from Custer State Park.
It’s one of the best South Dakota RV parks in the area for a few reasons.
On top of being close to some of the best attractions in the Black Hills, the park has some great amenities.
The campsites are shaded and secluded, and they even have a few tent sites.
You can also rent camper cabins while you’re there.
The park also has bathhouses, laundry services, a game room, a horseshoe pit, free wifi, and more.
Stay Near The Entrance Of Badlands NP At The Sleepy Hollow Campground And RV Park
The Sleepy Hollow Campground and RV Park is a great option for those looking to go camping near Badlands National Park.
You can go camping inside the National Park as well, but this may be a better option for RVs.
This particular campground is near Wall SD.
Wall is home to the famous Wall Drug store, so that’s a cool activity you can explore nearby as well.
This SD RV park has 59 pull-through sites, perfect for RVs of all sizes.
You’ll also find camp-wide free wifi available.
On-site you’ll also find a dog park and a few other amenities.
Go Camping In South Dakota At The Popular Lake Louise State Recreation Area
The Lake Louise State Recreation Area is one of the more popular state parks in South Dakota.
Lake Louise itself was created in 1932 by the damning of the south fork of Wolf Creek.
On average, the water inside the reservoir is nine feet deep. But it can get as deep as twenty-five feet.
The campground is on the smaller side.
At the main campground, you’ll find a little over 20 campsites.
There is also a smaller campground with about 8 campsites.
Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire pit. At the main campground, there are also bathroom facilities.
Lake Louise Recreation Area also has two cabins you can rent, on a first come first serve basis.
Packing List For Camping In South Dakota
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when camping in South Dakota. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking selfies during your South Dakota camping trips.
Hydration is so important when traveling. You want to remain hydrated throughout your travels to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car.
Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. then this foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
With so many amazing National and State Parks, it’s no surprise that there are tons of places to go camping in South Dakota.
Whether you plan on bringing your RV, pitching a tent, or renting a cabin, there is a South Dakota campground perfect for your needs.
If you plan on visiting South Dakota’s capital, there are so many restaurants in Pierre to tempt you!
Many of these awesome campgrounds in Black Hills SD offer stunning views as well.
After one South Dakota camping trip, I think you’ll agree that it’s a beautiful state in the Midwest.