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South Dakota is a beautiful place when it comes to nature and the great outdoors! It is home to the Black Hills National Forest, rolling prairies, and towering granite peaks.

The state is home to lots of National and State parks, all of which have many different campsites available. Whether you’re looking for primitive camping or sites with more amenities available, there is something for everyone!

So, if you’re looking for the best campgrounds in South Dakota for your getaway into nature, you’ve come to the right place! This article has compiled a list of some of the best spots to camp in South Dakota.

Best Campgrounds In South Dakota

1. Angostura Reservoir, Angostura Recreation Area

This campground and recreation area is located to the east of Angostura Reservoir. This is within the Fall River County of the state. It is perfect for those who love the water, as it is home to 36 miles of beautiful shoreline, with sandy beaches, scenic views, and fantastic watersports.

This area is home to several different campgrounds, each of which is perfect for tents, trailers, vans, and RVs. The grounds have lots of great amenities, including fire rings, picnic tables, toilets, and warm showers!

If you’re looking for somewhere in the great outdoors from which you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and watersports, this is the perfect place for you!

If you’re interested in fishing, you can also enjoy participating in this at Angostura Recreation Area. It is well known for crappie, bluegill, pike, and bass.

If you would prefer to stay in a log cabin, these are also available. They come with heating, air conditioning, and electricity.

As well as the features listed above, this area also includes a play area, making it the perfect place to bring the whole family!

2. Badlands National Park, Sage Creek Campground

The Badlands National Park is an amazing place to visit in South Dakota. It is known for its fantastic rock formations, canyons, spires, and grasslands.

In this area, you are likely to come across some fantastic wildlife such as bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs!

If you choose to camp in this area, you will have access to lots of different attractions. The Fossil Exhibit Trail is definitely one that you shouldn’t miss! It is an amazing Broadwalk that displays fossils being uncovered in the park. The Badlands Loops Road is also worth having a look at, as it comes with amazing scenic lookouts.

The Sage Creek Campground is a great place to set up camp in the area, although there are a large number of other options, too. This campground doesn’t take reservations.

Instead, it works on a first-come, first-served basis. The campground is fairly basic, with pit toilets, potable water, and covered picnic tables.

If you love being directly amongst nature, you can opt to camp anywhere in the park. You may be quite far away from the amenities, though!

3. Custer State Park, Game Lodge Campground

Best Campgrounds In South Dakota

Custer State Park is an amazing park and wildlife reserve. It was named after Colonel George Armstrong Custer. This park is the first state park in the state of South Dakota, making it very significant and well worth a visit.

The park is 71,000 acres in size, and it is one of the last places in the US where buffalo can freely roam! Keep an eye out for these creatures while you’re out in the park.

Game Lodge Campground is one of the best places to camp in the area. It is suitable for tents, vans, RVs, and trailers. It has a large number of amenities that will make your camping experience the best it can be.

These include picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, and hot showers. There is also access to water on site.

If you’re looking for some great activities to participate in on your trip, this is the place for you! You can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking in the area. The campground has fantastic views, so you can soak in nature from the comfort of your camp chair, too!

4. Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake Campground

This campground is also located in Custer State Park, but it provides a different experience from the Game Lodge Campground above. As Custer State park is one of the largest state parks in the country, there are many different options for places to stay.

The Sylvan Lake Campground is one of the most popular campgrounds in the area. It is located on the North end of the park, near Sylvan Lake. This is one of the most beautiful places in the park.

Nearby, there is a restaurant and gift shop. The campground is only suitable for tent camping with 39 tent sites available.

The campground has showers and flushing toilets. It is only open between May and September and it is possible to make reservations at this campground, unlike others in the area.

5. Black Hills National Forest, Spearfish City Campground

The city of Spearfish is located to the North of the Black Hills National forest. It is a very laid-back city, which is home to lots of very adventurous people. This is likely due to the amazing nature that surrounds the city.

The best way to experience the city and the surrounding nature is by setting up camp at the Spearfish City Campground.

The campground is located within walking distance of Spearfish, allowing you fantastic access to Spearfish Creek. This creek is well known as one of the best places to fish in South Dakota.

This campground has 61 electric sites for tents and RVs, and it has restroom and shower facilities on site. You can make reservations for these sites.

There are also around 100 primitive campsites that work on a first come first served basis. It is the perfect place to stay for easy access to the great outdoors and the city of Spearfish.

6. Pactola Lake, Black Hills National Forest, Pactola Campground

Best Campgrounds In South Dakota

The Pactola Campground is located on Pactola lake. This lake has 14 miles of shoreline, which is the largest in the Black Hills. You can enjoy lots of different water and land activities at this campground, including boating, hiking, and scuba diving!

The campground is in a great location for access to some of the famous Black Hills attractions. You can visit Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and the Crazy Horse Memorial from here. The location of this campground is one of the reasons for its popularity.

There are 80 sites on the campground which often fill up quickly. There is no access to electricity on this campground, but those who visit have access to toilets and water. You can also rent boats nearby.

7. Lewis And Clark Recreation Area, Gavin’s Point Campground

Lewis and Clark’s lake is the impoundment of the Missouri River. This is the river that separates South Dakota from its neighboring state, Nebraska. It is a very popular site for visitors.

This area is made up of three different campground areas and over 400 sites. It is a very popular place to spend the night, and lots of people fight over a site in Gavin’s Point section.

There are 90 sites available for RVs and there are 10 cabins on site, too. There are lots of amenities on the site, including restrooms, playgrounds, and a bike trail through the beautiful nature of the area.

Gavins Point Dam is one of the best things to see in the area. The dam is holding back the Missouri River to create this reservoir, and it is well worth a visit! The campground is open all year round.

8. Mount Rushmore, Horse Thief Campground

The Horse Thief Campground is located between Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. It is in the Black Hills, and it provides plenty of options for both campers and RV users.

There are some non-electric tent sites on the campground, as well as plenty of RV sites. The campground is near the attractions in the Black Hills, making it a great base to explore the area.

You can also make use of WiFi and an on-site store that sells firewood and snacks. These features are what make this campground a very popular family camping destination.

There are also some cabins at the Horse Thief Campground. These cabins sleep 3, 5, or 8 people. These are a great alternative to staying in a tent and they are a very comfortable way to explore the area.

Final Thoughts 

This article has compiled a list of the best campgrounds in South Dakota. The state has a lot to offer, including plenty of fantastic campgrounds for you to enjoy!

There is something for everyone in this state, and this list should have provided you with all the information that you need to decide on the best campground to visit in South Dakota!

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