This Is The Baddest Toughest Place To Camp In South Dakota
South Dakota has one wilderness campground in the middle of nowhere. NOTE: Beware of the Prairie Dogs! They are cute but they could be carrying the Black Death!
I've camped all over South Dakota. The state park system in South Dakota is great about accommodating people with various camping comfort levels.
If you are looking to ditch the comforts of a cabin or RV and really rough it among the heat, cold, wind, and rattlesnakes ... there is one campground just for you in the middle of nowhere.
The Sage Creek Campground in the South Dakota Badlands National Park.
They don't take reservations. It's first come first served. There is no electricity or running water.
There are 22 sites located at the rustic Sage Creek Campground located on the unpaved Sage Creek Rim Road.
This road may temporarily close after winter storms and heavy rains.
Motor homes pull-behind trailers, and other recreational vehicles greater than 18 feet in length are prohibited.
If you're looking for an even more challenging backcountry adventure you are allowed to do what they describe as “dispersed camping” anywhere in Badlands National Park.
You can set up camp anywhere as long as you are a half mile off any road or trail and can't be seen.
So what is the reward for venturing into the unforgiving elements of the Badlands?
Dramatic landscapes with breathtaking views of rock formations, steep canyons, and towering spires.
You'll sleep among the Bison, Bighorn Sheep, Pronghorn Antelope, and Golden Eagles.
You'll see brilliant stars and constellations in the dramatic night sky without the light pollution of any city.
But stay clear of the Prairie Dogs! They are cute but they could be carrying the Black Death.
The National Park Service posts the following advisory:
“We advise using caution when viewing the prairie dog towns. Pets and service animals are not permitted out of vehicles near prairie dogs. We also recommend humans remain in the parking area or pull off to view the prairie dogs. Fleas in the area can transmit sylvatic plague to your pets. This is the same plague as the Black Death (bubonic plague) and can be spread to humans as well. Please give the wildlife plenty of space when viewing.”
You don't have to tell me twice.