Campsites in the Black Hills National Forest are officially open for summer

South Dakota News

CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KELO) — Today marks the first day of camping season in the Black Hills. However, reservations for campsites are booking faster than ever.

People are already out fishing, boating, and camping at the Bismark campground.
Ty Gerbracht, with Forest Recreation Management, says this summer is going to be a busy.

“Last year we had a record-breaking year because these facilities are perfectly socially distanced, it’s already done for you, just bring your family and have some quality family time. So this year, our reservations are substantially higher than they were last year,” Gerbracht said.

Gerbracht says the reservations are more than 100 percent over what they were last year. She says this could be due to the pandemic.

“Last year, you couldn’t go to Disneyland and you couldn’t go on cruises and you couldn’t do all those things that they’ve come to turn to so everybody got back to nature, put their family in a little camper and they’re camping and they’re going to keep camping,” Gerbracht said.

“For those that are wanting to do some camping and maybe over the years you were able to get out to a campsite and pull in on a Friday and find something available, I don’t envision that being the case this year,” Block said.

That’s why, Bradley Block with the Black Hills National Forest Service says, you should make your reservations ASAP.

There are over 30 campgrounds and 583 campsites out here in the Black Hills.

“Campout, hike, boat, fish, swim, there’s so many things to do in the Black Hills and the Black Hills National Forest tries to provide those assortment of activities for them to participate in and have fun as a family, explore as an individual and just enjoy the Black Hills,” Block said.

The Black Hills campgrounds open this weekend until September 13th, but several campgrounds are kept open until September 27th.

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