Camping 101 to 110 in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota | Black Hills Travel Blog

Camping 101 to 110 in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota

  • Camping 101 to 110 in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota
Friday, June 28, 2019
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Life is beautiful here in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. What better way to appreciate that beauty than by actually camping out in the middle of it? We have so many places to explore and types of camping available. It’s impossible to name them all, but I’ll give you a quick “course” in what is offered and how to find the best campsite for your adventure.

101: Bare Bones, Dispersed Camping
Load up your backpack and hit the trail. Black Hills National Forest has 1.2 million acres to explore. Setting up your own campsite away from developed campsites is allowed, and it is free. There are some general rules to follow. For more information on dispersed camping in Black Hills National Forest, click here.

102: Black Hills National Forest Campgrounds
There are 30 campgrounds scattered throughout Black Hills National Forrest. About half of them have on-site hosts. Most have potable water, and either flush or vault toilets. Electricity, sewer, and water hook-ups and showers are not available. For more information on these basic campgrounds, cabins, and general rules, click here.

103-109: Privately Owned, Full-Service Campgrounds/Cabins/RV Parks
Yes, we have more than a few! These campgrounds offer way more than the basics - tent camping, trailer camping, sites with or without electricity and water. They also offer shower houses, laundry rooms, and full hook-ups for your RV. Many have an on-site convenience store and dining too.

110: Glamping
The nicest and newest type of camping in the area is commonly referred to as glamorous camping or glamping! These campsites are for those that want to experience the ambiance and adventure of staying in a canvas tent, with all of the amenities of an upscale hotel. Currently, there are two locations that offer glamping in the Black Hills. Allen Ranch, in Hot Springs, is located in a picturesque valley surrounded by huge boulders and near the warm waters of Fall River. The campsites of Under Canvas – Mt. Rushmore are sprinkled amid the rocks and pines with majestic views of our Shrine of Democracy.

You’ll find a lot of places to camp throughout our region. The Black Hills, of southwestern South Dakota, stretch up into Wyoming. Breathtaking locations can be found in Badlands National Park as well. You’ll find sites tucked into the Ponderosa Pines, up against granite boulders, alongside streams or a lake, side-by-side with many opportunities for family entertainment, in a wide-open meadow or amongst buttes and spires. Most locations have hiking trails nearby. Many will allow ATV or mountain bike riding as well.  The choices are endless, and it’s a tough decision to pick which one is best for your adventure. Be assured that wherever you camp, wildlife viewing is abundant, the people you encounter will be friendly and helpful, and your memories will last a lifetime.

For suggestions on where to stay, visit

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