If you’re camping in Badlands National Park, get ready for an adventure through otherworldly landscapes. The park itself houses two campgrounds that operate on a first-come, first-served basis—so plan on an early arrival during the busy summer months—or head to one of the excellent options just beyond the park. Here’s our roundup for a night in the Badlands:
Camping in Badlands National Park
Cedar Pass Campground (20681 Hwy. 240, 605/433-5460 or 877/386-4383, full-service season Apr.-Oct., tent sites $20 for two persons, $3 for each additional person, RV sites with electrical hookup $35 for two, $3 for each additional person, dump station $1; winter $10 for any site with no services) is located near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. In the summer, the campground has cold running water, flush toilets, and picnic tables, and pay-per-use showers are available. In the winter, only picnic tables and trash containers are available. The 96 sites are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Open campfires are not allowed; however, small propane grills may be used for cooking. There are also four group campsites available that can be reserved. The cost is $3 per person with a minimum charge of $35. The sites can accommodate 6-25 people.
The Sage Creek Wilderness Campground offers primitive camping facilities year-round. There are picnic tables and pit toilets. Pack in water, though, because none is available at this location. A portion of the campground is set aside for horse use. The price is definitely right, as camping here is free. This is the perfect place to begin an overnight stay in the park.
Camping Near Badlands National Park
Campgrounds in Interior
The Badlands Budget Host (900 Hwy. 377, Interior, 605/433-5335 or 800/388-4643, $75-95) is a motel situated within a mile of the southern entrance to the North Unit of Badlands National Park. Adjacent to the motel and run by the same folks is a small campground. RV hookups include 30amp-50amp ($26-30 daily, $150-173 weekly) to no hookups ($18 daily, $104 weekly.) Tent sites are also available ($18 daily, $104 weekly). The campground includes restrooms and a shower house.
Campgrounds in Wall
Campers should check out the Sleepy Hollow Campground (118 W. 4th Ave., 605/279-2100, Apr. 1-Nov. 1, tent sites $20, RV sites $30-35). The campground is located off I-90, exit 109, and is within easy walking distance of downtown Wall. Facilities include laundry and a small pool. There are free showers on-site, pets are allowed (there is even a fenced-in dog park!), and free Wi-Fi is available.
Campgrounds in Pine Ridge
The Lakota Prairie and Ranch Resort (7958 Lakota Prairie Dr., 605/455-2555, year-round, double $80, kitchenette or cabin $90) is a clean hotel located six miles southwest of Kyle, across the street from the main campus of the Oglala Lakota College. Each of the 30 rooms comes with free wireless Internet, a microwave, refrigerator, and coffeemaker. The rooms are primarily pine paneled with Native American/western decor. Laundry facilities are available for guests, and a restaurant is on-site.
There is also a campground on the grounds of the hotel. The cost is $15 for two for a tent site with no hookups, or $28 per night for an RV site with electric and water hookups. Pets are allowed for a one-time fee of $20. Most of the rooms are nonsmoking, though there are some rooms set aside for smoking.
Excerpted from the Third Edition of Moon Mount Rushmore & The Black Hills.