Western Region Camping

Western Region Camping

A camper’s dream, western South Dakota provides no shortage of scenic and historical camping opportunities, from adventure camping in the wilderness to family-friendly RV parks. By far the most popular region of the state for tourists, the western portion of South Dakota is home to the natural wonders of the Black Hills and the Badlands. A striking paradox, this wholly unique landscape boasts awe-inspiring granite spires, mysterious caves, forest-covered mountainsides, otherworldly rock formations, and rolling prairies.

Below, we’ve compiled a listing of some of the most popular camping destinations in this region below. However, we encourage you to check out the all the state park campgrounds in the area.

National & State Parks

Badlands National Park

With two year-round campgrounds, Cedar Pass and Sage Creek Primitive Campgrounds, there are plenty of opportunities to sleep under the stars in the geological wonders of the Badlands National Park. Cedar Pass caters to campers who desire such modern-day conveniences as running water, restrooms, and picnic facilities. The more rustic Sage Creek is preferred by those seeking a primitive form of camping. Both sites provide accommodations on a first-come, first-serve basis. For backpackers seeking a wilderness adventure, backcountry camping is also permitted in the Badlands at a distance of at least ½ mile from the park roads.

Bear Butte State Park

Bear Butte State Park is located in the city of Sturgis, this peaceful and scenic park is considered sacred ground to the many American Indians who worship there. Registered as a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places, the park is rich in heritage and culture. 16 non-electric camping sites are located along Bear Butter Lake.

Black Hills National Forest

The crowning beauty of western South Dakota, the Black Hills are a majestic range of pine-covered mountains that span an area 125 miles long. Home to dramatic geologic formations, deep gorges, rolling grasslands, and pristine water reservoirs, the area is a prime destination of campers who want to experience the natural and cultural wonders of South Dakota. The Black Hills National Forest offers 30 campgrounds with nearly 700 campsites. The sites are fairly primitive, with no electric, sewer, or water hook-ups. In certain areas of the forest, dispersed camping (away from established campgrounds) is permitted for limited periods of time.

Custer State Park

A nature lover’s dream, Custer State Park is rife with wildlife and scenic landscapes. Twelve campgrounds are situated along streams, lakes, and in forests, providing a wide variety of natural settings. Camping cabins are also available.

Wind Cave National Park

This popular park is home to the natural phenomenon that is Wind Cave National Park, one of the largest and most intricate caves in the world. The park is also home to thick pine forests and rolling grasslands. Elk Mountain Campground provides year-round camping for tents and RVs. Occupancy is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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