4 Campgrounds In Custer State Park In 2023

Custer State Park camping gives you the largest state park in South Dakota, and it protects a wide range of landscapes.

Granite cliffs, soaring mountains, deep lakes, and grassy plains are only some of the area’s features.

Custer State Park in the Black Hills offers miles of hiking trails, fishing, boating, bicycling, and about every other outdoor activity you might imagine.

We believe that sleeping in your tent or RV is the ideal way to take advantage of everything on offer.

You’ll get a personal look at this distinctive terrain if you camp at Custer State Park.

Custer State Park offers a variety of camping options to satisfy practically everyone’s needs.

The park has nine campsites, and a backpacking area’s name is French Creek Natural Area.


GuideCuster State Park Camping
CampgroundsBlue Bell Campground and more
Best placesCrazy Horse Memorial, and more
Things to bringTent, torch, etc

Camping In Custer State Park

1. Blue Bell Campground

Blue Bell Campground
Blue Bell Campground

The Blue Bell Campground is immediately north of the Blue Bell Entrance Station on the western edge of Custer State Park.

This is a popular entry point into the park and a good spot for camping. The park has 31 campsites with power connections that can accommodate RVs.

This campsite is directly adjacent to French Creek, so any fisherman out there will love it! In addition, the Blue Bell Lodge, which has a small restaurant, laundry, small shop, and petrol station, is just up the road.

Flush toilets, showers, and potable water are available at the campground. From May 1st to October 14th, Blue Bell is open periodically during the summer months. Anyone planning to camp there should make a reservation.

Address: 12882 Lame Johnny Rd, Custer, SD 57730

2. Center Lake Campground

Center Lake Campground
Center Lake Campground

The Center Lake Campground is in Custer State Park’s northern part, making it quite accessible if you intend to visit Mt. Rushmore as well.

The lake itself is lovely, with plenty of swimming, fishing, and boating activities. The park is spacious, with 71 spots suitable for tents and small RVs.

The Custer Lake Campground has basic facilities such as vault toilets and potable water.

The campground is open from May to September and is Custer State Park’s only campground that allows same-day bookings.

This allows you to reserve a campsite starting at 6 a.m. MT on the day of your travel by calling or going online.

Address: 13176 Center Lake Rd, Crazy Horse, SD 57730

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3. French Creek Horse Camp

French Creek Horse Camp
French Creek Horse Camp

The French Creek Horse Camp, as the name implies, is a campsite, particularly for horseback riders.

Along North Lame Johnny Road, just east of the Blue Bell Campground, sits the campground. Because it is off the major park roads, this site provides some privacy.

There are 28 unique campsites in the campground, each with two corral places for your horse buddies.

There is a dump station, flush toilets, and drinking water for both you and your horses at French Creek Horse Camp.

French Creek is accessible all year, but you’ll only have access to the complete range of amenities from May to October.

You should definitely make a reservation if you want to visit there and you should do so using their form.

Address: 13016 N Lame Johnny Rd, Custer, SD 57730

4. Game Lodge Campground

Game Lodge Campground
Game Lodge Campground

The Game Lodge Campground is right off Highway 16A, Custer State Park’s primary east-west thoroughfare.

Campers are within a short distance from both the main Visitors Center and the park’s eastern entrance. Game Lodge has 59 campsites with power connections that can accommodate RVs.

Grace Coolidge Creek runs through the campsite, giving it an especially peaceful place.

You’ll also be close to the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center and the State Game Lodge, two notable Custer State Park attractions.

There are flush toilets, showers, and an RV dump station at the park. From April to November 15th, the Game Lodge Campground is open all year with complete facilities. We recommend booking a reservation in advance.

Address: 13399 US-16A, Custer, SD 57730

Custer State Park – A Guide!

Best Places To Visit Near Custer State Park

Best Places to visit near Custer State Park
Best Places to visit near Custer State Park

Crazy Horse Memorial

The Crazy Horse Memorial, a Mount Rushmore-style mountain sculpture, is a few miles north of Custer.

Standing Bear, a Lakota chief, was the driving force behind this other massive, 606-foot rock sculpture.

It aimed to remind the world that the Indians, too, had produced great heroes like Crazy Horse, the true winner in the Battle of the Little Bighorn River.

Korczak Ziolkowski (1908-82), a sculptor of Polish ancestry, began work on the memorial in 1947.

His family finished the work after his death. Although it is still not done, the memorial was officially dedicated to finishing the head and upper body in 1998.

Jewel Cave National Monument

The Jewel Cave National Monument, a karstic cave with crystals that glitter like jewels, is about 13 miles west of Custer.

Jewel Cave is one of the world’s longest cave systems, with more than 195 miles of surveyed channels.

It has calcite crystals, fragile gypsum threads, and other cave formations. Boulders, narrow crawl spaces, and dark crevices lead into the unknown across the huge halls.

Only on a regularly planned tour conducted by a park ranger is it possible to go underground at Jewel Cave. From 20-minute Discovery Talks to all-day Wild Cave Experiences, guided tours are available.

The 80-minute Scenic Tour, the most popular, has concrete floors and a reasonable number of steps.

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Checklist Before Camping In Custer State Park

A master camping supply list can guarantee you have all the required materials to enjoy your vacation, no matter what style of camping your plan includes.

An ideal camping supplies list will assist you in shopping and packing for your big journey.

Compile many camping checklists to cover all of your bases for optimum camping preparedness.

  • Pillow
  • Tent
  • Batteries
  • Clothing
  • Boots
  • Waterproof matches
  • Rope
  • Medications

Read: Camping In Durango, Colorado 


Do I have to pay for Custer State Park Camping?

For the majority of the campgrounds, yes, you have to. Some state parks might not need you to pay anything, but that solely depends on the campground.

Can I bring pets to Custer State Park Camping?

You have to ask this question to the campground you made a reservation to.

Do I have to make reservations for Custer State Park Camping?

It is highly recommended as nearly everyone goes there with a reservation in advance and you might not be able to find a place at all, especially during peak times like summer.

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