best campgrounds Black Hills
There are so many incredible campgrounds in the black hills of South Dakota. This blog lists our top 10 favorite campgrounds in the Black Hills.

There are so many great campgrounds in the Black Hills of South Dakota that it can be overwhelming when it comes to booking your campsites ahead of time. We spent 3 weeks camping in the Black Hills and fell in love with many of the campgrounds.

I loved that almost all the campgrounds listed below are big rig friendly, which is really saying something considering a majority of the campgrounds are national forest campgrounds.

best campgrounds Balck hills South Dakota Grace Coolidge

You may want to cross-reference my 1-week itinerary for the Black Hills (COMING SOON) along with our Custer State Park blog before you start booking campsites.

Map of Best Black Hills Campgrounds

1 | Pactola Reservoir Campground

$26 per night + $8 reservation fee
Dry Camping; Pit Toilets; Water
Tents or up to 80 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

We stayed in site 10 and had incredible views of the lake. I even caught an incredible sunrise from my bed! Plus, we had great T-Moble cell service at our campsite which is rare. This is a great lake for boating, swimming, and fishing. There is one 2-mile hike down to the lake but that is about all for hikes here.

2 | Sylvan Lake Campground

Sylvan lake, Custer State Park
Sylvan Lake has so much to explore you could spend days at the nearby campground to really enjoy it all

$30 per night
Electricity; Flush Toilets; Water; Showers
Tents or up to 30 foot RVs
Click here to reserve or call 1.800.710.CAMP (2267)

I really wanted to stay here but there weren’t sites large enough for our RV at the time. Two of the best hikes in the Black Hills start from Sylvan Lake. There is also great rock climbing that you can walk to from the campground. Getting reservations here is hard so if you can, book early.

3 | Fort Welikit Family Campground

$25-50 per night depending on tent site or full hookup site
Full Hookups; Flush Toilets; Water; Showers; Laundry
Tents or up to 70 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

If you can’t get a campsite in Sylvan Lake Campground but want to stay close to the lake, this campground looked really nice. It’s big-rig friendly and set in the forest. It’s near the town of Custer and would be a good home base to access Sylvan Lake and the rest of Custer State Park, as well as Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.

3 | Horsethief Lake Campground

$26 per night + $8 reservation fee
Dry Camping; Pit Toilets; Water
Tents or up to 45 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

It was such a treat to stay at this campground. By luck, we happened to book site 17 and it is one of the best campsites because you have no neighbors next to you and the views of the lake are incredible. This is a great fishing lake and on a hot day, there is a nice rock to jump off of.

4 | Horse Thief Campground and Resort

$50 (full hookups) + $3 per child + tax
Full Hookups; Flush Toilets; Water; Free Hot Showers
Tents or up to 80 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

We rarely stay at full-service campgrounds like this and while it’s not really our preferred element, the place was packed. It’s a perfect home base for exploring the area if you like having amenities like full hookups, showers, pool, playground, and laundry facilities. They also have cabins to rent. The pool was heated to 86 degrees and would’ve been fun if it wasn’t quite so crowded. There is Wifi but it didn’t work at all here.

Note that if you are in an RV and want to drive from this campground to Sylvan Lake, you have to go all the way around through Custer due to the tunnel restrictions.

5 | Grace Coolidge Campground

$30 per night
Electricity; Flush Toilets; Water; Free Hot Showers
Tents or up to 40 foot RVs
Click here to reserve or call 1.800.710.CAMP (2267)

The camp host asked me not to tell you about this campground 😉 So I’m not going to tell you how much I loved it here or the fact that it has free hot showers and that Bison roam right through the campground.

Instead, I’ll tell you that just 5 minutes away is the Game Lodge Campground which also has showers, bison, and beautiful scenery.

The only negative with these two campgrounds is that there is no cell service (at least for T-Mobile) here. We did, however, have cell service while driving the Wildlife Loop.

Related Blog: 8 Awesome Things To Do in Custer State Park

6 | Oreville Campground

$20 per night + $8 reservation fee
Dry Camping; Pit Toilets; Water
Tents or up to 55 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

The best part of this campground is the large grassy area in the center. We loved hanging our hammock and setting up our slackline on the trees. The only slight negative is that this campground is close to the road so you do hear some traffic. However, it is in a central location for exploring Custer SP, Mount Rushmore, Hill City, and Crazy Horse.

7 | Spearfish City Campground

$25-45 depending on a tent or full hookup site
Full Hookups; Flush Toilets; Water; Hot Showers
Tents or up to 55 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

The main reason you would want to stay here is to be able to walk to town. This city campground is only a 15-minute walk to a few of our favorite spots in the town of Spearfish including Spearfish Brewery, The Green Bean Coffee Shop, and Good Earth Natural Foods.

Sites in the campground are surrounded by grass. The river, which has a nice bike/walking path running alongside it, runs through the campground and makes for a nice spot to fish or float down in an inner tube on a hot summer day.

8 | Spearfish/BlackHills KOA

$57-100 per night
Full Hookup; Flush Toilets; Water; Free Hot Showers; Laundry
Tents or up to 125 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

This is another wonderful campground to stay at in Spearfish. While it’s slightly on the outskirts of downtown, it is still close to Crow Peak Brewery, The Bees Knees Natural Food Store, and a great Mexican restaurant.

This is a luxury campground with everything you could want from a full-service campground. The sites are huge, the showers are free and some of the hottest I’ve ever experienced in a campground, and the bathroom and laundry facilities are extremely clean. You can read more about this KOA on my full blog review here (COMING SOON).

9 | Sheridan Lake

Sheridan Lake, Best Camping Black Hills
Sheridan Lake Campground nestled right on the middle of the Black Hills

$26 + $$8 reservation fee
Dry Camping; Pit Toilets; Water
Tents or up to 70 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

This is another beautiful national forest campground with great fishing, swimming, and boating. I even saw a great rock for cliff jumping if you’re feeling adventurous. One of our favorite hikes in the Black Hills, The Flume Trail, starts from this campground. If you have a large RV, it is better to get a site in the SMOK Loop since the road to the other loops can get a little narrow, however, it is doable if you are comfortable driving small roads.

10 | Cedar Pass Lodge Campground in Badlands National Park

$23 per night for 2 adults (additional adults $4 each) + 6% tax
Electricity; Pit Toilets; Water
Tents or up to 55 foot RVs
Click here to reserve

The Badlands is famous for it’s stargazing so you’ll definitely want to try and camp here one night. Your only choice for camping is either free camping on the outskirts of the Badlands or Cedar Pass Lodge. I was pretty happy with this one, although I wouldn’t want to make this a destination for an entire week. 24 hours in the Badlands was perfect for us.

Cedar Pass Lodge Campground is a typical national park campground as far as amenities go- flush toilets and water spigot. What I did like, however, was all the grass surrounding this campground, making it a cool spot for tent camping. We booked campsite 81 and had great views of the mountains.


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