Game Fish and Parks urges campers to think ahead, reserve spots early

SD Game Fish and Parks

PIERRE, S.D. – Visitors planning camping trips to South Dakota state parks and recreation areas will soon be able to make reservations for the summer camping season.

“Camper numbers at state parks have increased in the past several years,” said Doug Hofer, director of the Division of Parks and Recreation. “The growing number of people camping in South Dakota state parks makes reservations even more important.”

Reservations for camping in most state parks can be made within 90 days of arrival. The first day to make reservations is Feb. 18 for a May 18 arrival. May 18-20 is Open House Weekend in South Dakota state parks. During Open House Weekend, no entrance fees are charged, but camping fees still apply.

Camping reservations are available for dates between May 18 and Sept. 3 in most parks. A limited number of parks also accept autumn reservations until Oct. 8.

Reservations for Memorial Day weekend can be made beginning Feb. 25 for a May 25 arrival. Reservations are currently being accepted for the entire camping season for campsites at Custer State Park and for lodges in all state parks and recreation areas.

Reservations can be made online at or by calling 1-800-710-2267. The telephone reservation center is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time daily. Online reservations may be made 24 hours a day, though campsites do not become available until 7 a.m. on the first day of the 90-day window, both online and at the call center.

There is a $7.70 per site non-refundable reservation fee, which does not apply to South Dakota residents.