The Palisades: Little Park, Big Views
Palisades State Park may be South Dakota’s second-smallest state park, but it stunningly delivers on natural beauty. At the heart of the park, the steady flow of Split Rock Creek carves its way through 50-foot cliffs of pink Sioux Quartzite. For years, visitors have marveled at the beauty of the landscape—truly unique to South Dakota—and have traveled to the site to camp, picnic, swim and hike.
Located in southeastern South Dakota, “the Palisades” are located 10 miles outside of Garretson. Only a 30-minute drive from Sioux Falls, the park is the perfect destination for an excursion with family and friends.
In the 1870s, a large flour and feed mill, powered by the creek’s rushing waters, was located on the site, and silver was discovered downstream only a decade later. Today, you won’t find any precious metals at the park, but you will see rock climbers scaling the cliffs and kayakers leisurely paddling through the creek. If you can make it to the top of a quartzite formation, the views are truly breathtaking.
In addition to a few short hiking trails, Palisades State Park also offers six cabins for rent, one group lodge, and 34 campsites that accommodate tents or RVs. The campgrounds are open year-round, and picnic tables and fire pits sprinkle the entire park grounds, so if you’re staying late into the evening, you can choose the perfect location to get cozy and make the perfect s’more.