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Free Camping In The Black Hills

About Free Camping In South Dakota Or Anywhere

Free Black Hills Camping

Whats free camping? Free camping is any land youre legally allowed to camp on with no payment for one or multiple nights. In fact, many free camping locations are within the boundaries of the Bureau of Land Management land.

Free camping is commonly referred to as boondocking. Boondocking is camping without access to electricity, water, or sewer hookups. You must be self-sufficient and come prepared with essentials such as enough fresh water to last the duration of your trip. Often those who are boondocking supply their own power by using a generator or solar panels to power their RV.

Its essential that those utilizing free camping respect the leave no trace practices. In other words, you leave all areas better than you found them. No one likes finally making their way to that perfect boondocking location only to find that the last people to use it left it a mess. If our public lands are not taken care of, they will not continue to be available for our use.

Its the campers responsibility to verify that they were legally allowed to camp in that location. Some public lands border private property, which could lead to trespassing if youre in the wrong location. Even if you are on official public land, youll need to verify the area is available for overnight stays.

Black Hills Trailside Park Resort

RV Camping in the Black Hills

Our RV camping grounds in the Black Hills is an experience like no other. You and your family will be able to see the sparkling waters of a mountain lake as they reflect the brilliant light of sunrise. Later you can feel the warmth of the sun as it shines upon the mesas and hills and crags that make up this stunningly beautiful land.

When you are here you will feel free, and when you go to bed at night you can fall asleep to the sound of the wind softly whistling through the ponderosa pines. The cool nights and warm days will be so refreshing that youll never want to leave. We truly love this land and want to share it with anyone looking for an incredible adventure.

You will get the full RV camping experience you are looking for at Black Hills Trailside Park Resort, as well as all of the amenities you are looking for on your vacation.

Why Choose Us?

Our camping grounds in the Black Hills offer you the things you need such as electricity and Wi-Fi access but also fun activities for the family to enjoy such as a nice playground area for the kids.

We have basic campsites available or spots that are closer to the Mickelson Trail or the beautiful streams that are located throughout Black Hills Trailside Park Resort camping grounds.

Adventure is waiting

Camping Near Black Hills National Forest Find A Free Campsite

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

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Family Friendly Black Hills Campgrounds

Some of the best memories are created around a campfire making smores or sharing ghost stories. Pass around the flashlight or play games like ladder ball, tag, hide-and-seek, and spend quality time with the whole family at one of these Black Hills campgrounds.

Western South Dakota is home to more than 30 campground sites. From tent camping to RVs with running water and electricity or even cabins, be sure to put these Black Hills campgrounds on your list of things to do this summer. Whether youre looking for small secluded spots or modern camping sites, there are plenty of options to choose from weve listed a few below!

Free Camping In The Black Hills National Forest

FREE Camping in Black Hills SD

Experience free camping in the black hills of South Dakota like the early pioneers – with no amenities and a hardy spirit.

The National Forest Service allows free camping in South Dakota for enthusiasts to set up their own primitive campsite – away from the developed sites and developed reservoir areas — for up to 14 days .

Dispersed campers must set up their tents 100 feet away from any road, stream, or trail, and the dispersed camping sites should be at least ½ mile away from any developed areas. The Black Hills National Forest is near Custer State Park and Mt.Rushmore National Monument.

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South Dakota Rv Camping

South Dakota RV camping is hard to beat! Fabulous scenery, interesting history, and of course, the faces on Mt Rushmore all await you. From RV resorts to basic service public campgrounds, there is something for everyone in South Dakota. Free dispersed camping is available on USDA Forest Service administered lands.

Sage Creek Wilderness Area

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is a pleasant, scenic loop away from fast-paced Interstate 90. Sage Creek Campground is a primitive campground near the middle, with designated sites, picnic tables and pit toilets. But the Badlands also offers superb dispersed camping in Sage Creek Wilderness.

Its hard to even explain how gorgeous it is out there, says Luke Mickelson, naturalist volunteer coordinator at The Outdoor Campus-West in Rapid City. And Ive never once run into another person while camping. Mickelson accesses the area from Sage Creek Campground. Theres a register book for recording your name, number in party and expected date back.

No designated trail system leads the way through Sage Creeks thousands of acres of grassland and rock so Mickelson recommends a map, compass or GPS. Sage Creek has almost maze-like plateaus and little valleys you have to navigate through. Often times you wont even see a bunch of buffalo until youre right upon them, he says.

Gumbo, thick mud that sticks to your boots like glue, is a hazard in rainy months like April or May. It takes so much energy to go a few steps once that gumbo starts and builds up, so it can really wear a person out quickly. And dehydration is a risk in hotter months since you have to pack in all your water.

Chris Pelczarski says Grizzly Bear Creek is like “a fairy tale land.”

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The Complete Guide To Camping At Devils Tower National Monument

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Devils Tower National Monument is Americas first National Monument and an incredible sight to behold. The stunning butte that rises above the Black Hills is sacred to many of the Native American tribes that call the Great Plains home and is sure to inspire visitors to this beautiful place. Climbing, hiking, and taking in the night sky are all quintessential experiences at Devils Tower.

We think the best way to experience Devils Tower is to spend a few nights in your tent or RV taking in this unique landscape.

Devils Tower and the surrounding areas have camping options to suit any style. From the national monuments lone developed campground, to nearby RV campgrounds, and the surrounding Black Hills National Forest, youll have plenty of options to find the perfect campsite.

Keeping reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip to Devils Tower National Monument.

Our Personal Criteria For A Good Rv Park

FREE Camping in Black Hills SD | Boondocking Secret Location [Full Time RV Living]

All of the campgrounds we’ve recommended meet the following criteria:

  • We would personally stay there
  • Max 50 amp service
  • Close proximity to the important sites

Our Personal Criteria:

We have a 2020 40′ toy hauler fifth wheel, as well as 3 teens and 2 dogs. Our RV is newer so we’re hoping to keep it looking newer.

While we aren’t necessarily looking for the luxury experience, we want to find a campground with an easily accessible road and a wide enough site . We hope it isn’t too dusty or muddy, OR on top of our neighbors. Gravel and/or concrete pads are important but not a necessity.

We also need full hookups, a dog area , Wi-Fi , and cable is a bonus. I think cable is optional – but my husband says it’s mandatory!

While my husband and I prefer a quiet serene environment, our kids like action and things to do. We try and locate places that work for all of us, which is hard ’cause we seem to have opposite interests, right? We aren’t asking too much, are we? Does anyone with teens know what I am talking about? LOL

Our first trip to the Black Hills was with our teen boys. The second trip was just my husband and me, two dogs, and two motorcycles. Since our needs are ever-evolving over time, what works on one trip won’t always work on another.

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Best Dispersed & Backcountry Camping Spots In South Dakota

To make sure getting away is part of your getaway, try some dispersed camping in South Dakota. Unless specified, dispersed camping means setting up 100 feet from water, road or trails. As you prepare your adventure, make sure to pack insect repellent, plenty of water, and clothing that will keep you prepared for winds or storms. Most importantly, have fun! For specifics on dispersed camping in the Black Hills National Forest, click here.

Developed Campgrounds At Devils Tower National Monument

There is a single developed campground in Devils Tower National Monument. For those interested in seeing additional camping options, check out the next section on campgrounds near Devils Tower.

There is a 14-day stay limit for all campers at the Belle Fourche River Campground.

Number of Sites: 46 sites Fee: $20/night for individual sites, $30/night for group sitesRVs: Yes, max length of approximately 35. No hookups available.Reservations: All sites are first-come, first-served.Season: Open seasonally from May 15th October 15th

The Belle Fourche River Campground is the lone campground in Devils Tower National Monument and is located just off the main park road to the south of the tower itself.

Belle Fourche features 46 campsites organized into two loops, known as Loop A and Loop B. Of the 46 total sites, three are designed as tent-only group campsites that can accommodate up to 20 people each. Additionally, the campground features four accessible sites.

RVs and trailers up to 35 are welcome at the campground, although you wont find any hookups available. Individual sites can accommodate up to 8 people, and no more than four cars per campsite are allowed.

Check out the NPS map below to get a better sense of the layout of the Belle Fourche River Campground in Devils Tower National Monument.

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The Best Free Camping Spots In South Dakota

Free camping in South Dakota is a great way to see this beautiful state. There, youll find plenty of places to camp in South Dakotas rolling hills, beautiful mountains, vast canyons, and lush forests.

RVing in South Dakota provides an excellent way to explore the states numerous offerings thoroughly. And the abundance of free camping in South Dakota helps you truly immerse yourself in its wilderness while youre there.

Lets dig in!

When To Camp At Devils Tower

RV Camping

The Belle Fourche River Campground is open seasonally from mid-May through mid-October.

Peak camping season in Devils Tower generally aligns with summer in this part of the world, with most visitors coming between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If youre looking for a bit of solitude during your visit, it is best to try and plan your camping trip just outside of these dates.

Find more information on the weather conditions you can expect to encounter in Devils Tower National Monument here.

Devils Tower National Monument generally is closed for the winter months, although it does open for 10 days or so around Spring Break. This is typically from about March 19th April 1st. If you plan to visit in winter, you can always enjoy the outstanding views from Highway 24, which runs adjacent to Devils Tower.

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Wrinkled Rock Campground & Climbing Area

If your main reason for looking for some Black Hills camping is to spend as much time climbing as possible, Wrinkled Rock Campground & Climbing Area is the spot for you. This campground is located just 1.7 miles from Mount Rushmore National Memorial. While climbing on the Mount Rushmore sculpture is prohibited, there are many climbing opportunities within the public lands surrounding the national memorial. Climbers can pick up information on routes at the Lincoln Borglum Museum or the Mount Rushmore Information Center.

As for the camping, this site is pretty bare bones perfect for embracing your inner dirtbag, but not suitable for large vehicles or RVs. There are toilets available, but no other amenities, so plan to bring your own water and pack out everything you pack in. The campground is considered dispersed camping by the Forest Service, which allows for a maximum stay of 14 days in any 60-day period and is fee-free.

This little gem is only a mile away from Mount Rushmore. Its nothing more than a gravel parking lot with a few tent pads and a vault toilet, but it was very quiet and perfect for hammocks. The Dyrt camper Gerri B.

The Complete Guide To Camping In Custer State Park

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Custer State Park is South Dakotas largest state park and preserves an incredible diversity of landscapes. Granite bluffs, soaring mountains, deep lakes, and grassland prairies are just a few of the highlights of this beautiful area. Located in the Black Hills, Custer State Park has miles of hiking trails, fishing, boating, biking, and almost any other outdoor activity you can think of.

To take advantage of everything on offer, we think youll be best served by spending a night in your tent or RV. By camping at Custer State Park youll get to experience this unique landscape firsthand.

Custer State Park has camping opportunities to suit nearly everyone. The park features nine developed campgrounds as well as the French Creek Natural Area for backpackers. In addition, the surrounding area has a plethora of RV campgrounds, car camping spots, and even some free dispersed campsites. No matter your preference, youre sure to find the perfect campsite near Custer State Park.

Keeping reading to get all the details on camping in Custer State Park.

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Federal Rv Camping Information

  • National Park Service NPS information about South Dakota RV camping in National Parks and other NPS administered lands.
  • US Forest Service USFS information about dispersed camping and developed campgrounds at the USDA National Forests and Grasslands in South Dakota.
  • Bureau of Land Management BLM information about the very limited South Dakota RV camping locations and dispersed camping rules.
  • US Army Corps of Engineers USACE/COE South Dakota RV camping information about Corps-managed lakes and campgrounds.

Pet Friendly Camping In The Black Hills

Free Camping in the Black Hills National Forest || 2019 Taxa Mantis

Though weve camped many times with our dogs in the Black Hills, this was our first stay at Angostura. And we fell in love! Its far enough south of Custer to avoid the crowds, while still being an easy drive to all the local attractions. And with four pet friendly campgrounds, a marina, disc golf, and a paved bike path, youll find plenty to do with your furry friend!

READ MORE Pet Friendly Custer State Park in South Dakota

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Elkhorn Ridge Rv Resort

“A newer beautiful resort with larger sites. Golf, pool, and tennis.”

Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort is a newer resort with 185 paved sites. The resort itself is very clean and well-manicured. This resort has more of a “higher-end” feel with its golf course, tennis courts, pub, and its espresso and brew bar.

This park is the furthest from Mt Rushmore but is closest to Devils Tower, Deadwood, and Sturgis. It is located close to 85 and I-90 making it a convenient in and out to explore other areas of the state.

In addition to golf and tennis, they have a beautiful pool, volleyball net, and basketball court. They also have 2 dog parks, a nature trail , a horseshoe pit, and a playground.

The RV park offers Wi-Fi, cable tv, 20/30/50, full hookups, back-ins and pull-thru’s.

Distance to the Sites:

  • Mt Rushmore: 58.8 miles, 1 hr 22 minutes
  • Wind Cave National Park : 85.3 miles, 1 hour 49 minutes
  • Custer State Park : 74 miles, 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Devils Tower: 65.6 miles, 1 hr 4 minutes
  • Badlands National Park: 105 miles, 1 hr 42 minutes
  • Rapid City: 42 miles, 42.4 miles
  • Deadwood: 9.5 miles, 14 minutes
  • Sturgis: 16 miles, 16 minutes


20189 US Hwy 85, Spearfish, SD 57783


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