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State Parks Still Open for Camping

If you want to get away from it all, South Dakota’s state campgrounds are still open… just bring your own toilet paper:

14. Can I still make camping reservations?

Camping reservations are ongoing and are not affected by state park office closures. If advised COVID-19 restrictions continue, we’ll be in touch with reservation holders before their arrival to discuss appropriate steps.

15. I have a camping reservation and offices are closed, am I still able to come camp?

You’re still welcome to camp in the state parks. Just keep in mind that services are limited and that most restroom facilities remain closed for the winter. Staff will be making rounds periodically and emergency numbers are being monitored. Parks are contacting reservation holders for cabins and lodges directly. If you have a paid campsite reservation, you can proceed to your campsite and set up. If you don’t have a reservation when you arrive, you can make one online at or call 1-800-710-2267. Park entrance licenses can be purchased online or via self-serve envelopes at the park’s entrance. Your receipt will serve as your license until we can mail it to you. Keep the CDC’s recommendations on social distancing and group limitations in mind.

16. Will I be able to camp this summer? Will campgrounds close?

We’ll be tracking the CDC’s recommendations carefully as things progress. If restrictions will impact future stays, we’ll be in touch with reservation holders before their arrival to discuss appropriate steps. If you have a future reservation and want to cancel now, call 1-800-710-2267 and our operators will assist you [South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, “COVID-19 and South Dakota Outdoors: FAQ,” updated 2020.03.20].

For me, camping is all about social distancing. I love our state parks, but even on a quiet night, a public campground still has too many people for my tenting taste. You can still take your RV to Lake Herman or Custer State Park, but consider strapping on your backpack, hiking into the Black Hills National Forest, and camping somewhere off trail where you will see absolutely no one.

One Comment

  1. Debbo 2020-03-25

    “emergency numbers are being monitored”

    What does that mean? They’ll check it once a day or so? Emergencies better not be very emergent.

    I’m with you Cory. Campgrounds aren’t much fun. There are plenty of great places in the Hills fit for camping.

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