Summer camping reservations open Feb. 20

This winter in South Dakota will be remembered for bitterly cold temperatures and snow that has seemed to fall nearly every day.

Today, however, there’s a reminder from the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks that we’re rounding a corner toward spring — at least in terms of the calendar. Here it is:

Summer Camping Reservations Open Feb. 20 for SD State Parks
PIERRE, S.D. – Visitors planning camping trips to South Dakota state parks and recreation areas will soon be able to make reservations for the summer camping season.
"The number of campers at state parks has increased in the past several years," said Doug Hofer, director of the Division of Parks and Recreation. "The growing number of people camping in South Dakota state parks makes reservations even more important. If you have a reservation, you will already have a camping site when you arrive and will not have to worry about site availability."
Reservations for camping in most state parks can be made within 90 days of arrival dates. The first day to make reservations is Feb. 20 for a May 21 arrival. May 21-23 is Open House Weekend in South Dakota state parks. During Open House Weekend, no entrance fees are charged, but camping fees still apply.
Camping reservations are available for dates between May 21 and Sept. 6 in most parks. A limited number of parks also accept autumn reservations through Oct. 11. Reservations for Memorial Day weekend can be made beginning Feb. 27 for a May 28 arrival. Reservations are currently being accepted for the entire camping season for campsites at Custer State Park and for lodges in all state parks and recreation areas.
Reservations can be made online at or by calling 800-710-2267. The telephone reservation center is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (CST). Online reservations may be made 24 hours a day, though campsites do not become available until 7 a.m. on the first day of the 90-day window, both online and at the call center. There is a $7.70 per site non-refundable reservation fee, which does not apply to South Dakota residents.
The Division of Parks and Recreation would like to remind campers that the abbreviated 90-day reservation calendar in the 2010 Park Times publication is not accurate. The full 90-day window calendar can be found online at or by calling 605-773-3391.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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