Black Hills National Forest Camping Overview

Active days and comfortable nights—most of the Forest's campgrounds are at an optimal 4,500 to 6,400 feet in elevation. You'll enjoy warm temperatures during the day and cool nights for sleeping. Typical summer daytime highs are between 75 and 85º F with nighttime lows of 50 to 55º F. Low humidity is the kicker to the pleasant temperatures.

During the summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, daily use fees are charged at most campgrounds. At campgrounds open after Labor Day and before Memorial Day, campers must provide their own water and trash disposal.

Most National Forest campgrounds have water and toilet facilities, but there are no hookups for water, sewer, or electricity at any campgrounds. Camping reservations can be made for 50 to 60 percent of the campsites at Cook Lake, Reuter, Sundance, Bismarck Lake, Comanche Park, Iron Creek Horse Camp, Dutchman, Horsethief Lake, Oreville, Whitetail, Pactola, Sheridan Lake Southside, and Roubaix Campgrounds. Willow Creek Horse Camp, Sheridan Lake North Cove, and Bear Gulch Group Areas are on a reservation-only-basis, and rates vary depending on the size of the site. Reservations may be made by calling 800-280-CAMP (2267). All other campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Camping is also permitted outside developed campgrounds except around highly developed recreational areas such as Bismarck, Deerfield, Pactola, Roubaix, and Sheridan Lakes. Although open fires are not permitted in the South Dakota portion of the Forest, fires may be built in grates that are provided in campgrounds and picnic areas.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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