There is almost no end to the type of camping opportunities that South Dakota has to offer. With six National Park Service sites, and 56 state parks, you can see everything from majestic monuments to bizarre badlands to ancient artifacts. South Dakota has it all waiting for you.
You might know South Dakota by its most popular landmark, Mount Rushmore. A monument to America’s great presidents, the 60-foot-tall faces are said to represent the birth, growth, development, and preservation of the nation. But travel just a few miles from Mount Rushmore and you’ll discover there’s so much more to see.
In the Black Hills, known for their famous gold rush, you can visit Jewel Cave, the third longest cave in the world. Tours will take you underground, but there’s plenty of beautiful land to see on hikes above the cave, too.
The Badlands is a National Park that you won’t forget for how purely strange it all is--but with gorgeous views at the same time. Canyons and buttes, pinnacles and spires, the badlands are home to many ancient fossils, including saber-toothed cats. The park is good for hiking, camping, and biking.
Want to experience the Old West? Walk the streets of historic Deadwood, the town that was home to Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. The 1870s gold rush put Deadwood on the map, but it was preserved in 1961 and is now a place for parades, concerts, casinos, museums and spas.
Ready to get out on the water? The Missouri River, or “The Mighty Mo”, is great for canoeing and kayaking. As the longest river in the United States, it might not be the best river for beginners, but experienced boaters will have a wonderful time navigating the sandbars and strong currents.
For a glimpse of the Prairie that once dominated the midwest, take the 212 Prairie Highway, starting in Watertown, passing through Gettysburg, stopping in at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Eagle Butte for buffalo and wild horse tours. Get a taste of the South Dakota that once was, and the South Dakota that is being preserved for generations to come.