Park regulations are enforced for your safety and for the protection of the park and its natural resources. 

For additional rules and regulations: Click Here


·        Camping permitted only in areas designated for camping.

·        Electrical hook-ups are available only to campers registered on an electrical site. Extension cords may not be run from one campsite to another.

·        Generator Use - Applies to visitors to Custer State Park. Generators can be operated limitedly from 8a.m. to 8p.m., but for no more than two hours at a time.

·        Camping Unit - A camping unit is a powered vehicle, motor home, camping bus, pull-type camper, tent or any other device designed for sleeping. Additional tents for a family (parents or grandparents and unmarried minor children) are considered a single camping unit.

·        Campsite Occupancy - The maximum occupancy for a campsite is 6.

·        Maximum Stay - The Maximum number of consecutive nights that a camper may stay at any one state park area is 14, unless given written consent by the park manager.


·        Parks close to day use from 11p.m. to 6a.m.

·        Quiet hours are from 11p.m.-6a.m. - Please consider others in the park at all times. Disturbances caused by loud music, bright lights or disorderly conduct can lead to expulsion from the park.

·        Vehicles allowed after closing hours - Only registered campers and those involved in lawful fishing, boating, hunting, trapping, or snowmobiling activities are allowed in the park when it is closed for the night.

·        Daily Entrance License Expiration: Daily park entrance licenses expire at the start of quiet hours on the day they are issued, or, if issued to registered campers, at 4p.m. the following day.

·        At Custer State Park, seven-day temporary licenses expire at 6p.m. on the seventh day of the visitor's stay.

Cancellations or Changes:

Changes in departure dates and full cancellations can be done online or through the call center before your arrival date. Cancellations to the beginning of a reservation are not allowed. 

Cancellation fees:
  • Campsite- One night fee
  • Camping cabin- $25 fee
  • Modern cabin- 30 or more days in advance, $25 fee; less than 30 days in advance, $25 fee per night
  • Lodge- 30 or more days in advance, $25 fee; less than 30 days in advance, $25 fee per night
  • Standard picnic shelter- $5 fee
  • Cancellations at French Creek Horse Camp in Custer State Park:
    Cancellations made 30 days or more before arrival are subject to a minimum 1 night camping fee
    Cancellations made within 15 to 29 days of scheduled arrival are subject to a penalty equal to 50% of the reservation fee.
    Reservations cancelled within 14 days prior to scheduled arrival date are non-refundable

Check In/Out Times:


Campsites - Check In: 4 p.m. Check Out: 4 p.m.

Custer Campsites - Check In: 12p.m. Check Out: 11 a.m.


Check In: 4p.m. Check Out: 11 a.m.

Camping Cabins:

Check In: 4p.m. Check Out: 11 a.m.

Custer Camping Cabins - Check In: 4p.m. Check Out: 11 a.m.

Pets & Animals:

·        Leashes - Pets must be on a leash no longer than 10 feet at all times.

·        Outside of campgrounds and day use areas - pets must be under immediate control and no more than 200 feet from other park guests.

·        Areas where pets are not allowed:

Pets (except service animals) are not allowed on designated swimming beaches, in any park buildings (including camping cabins, lodges, and comfort stations) or on the Summit Trail at Bear Butte State Park.

·        Scoop It - Owners must clean up after their pets.

·        Horses - Keep horses on designated bridle trails or in the parks' designated equestrian areas. Horses can damage native vegetation and their behavior around others can be unpredictable.


·        No Jumping or Diving.

·        A person may not jump or dive from cliffs, rocks formations, or bridges into the water at Palisades State Park, Custer State Park, Big Sioux Recreation Area, and Angostura Recreation Area.

Alcoholic beverages may be consumed and possessed in state park areas except the following locations:

·        Lake Alvin: No person may consume or posses any alcoholic beverages when entering, using, or occupying the designated zoned swimming beach area.

·        Bear Butte State Park: No person may consume or posses any alcoholic beverages when entering, using, or occupying the lands inside the boundary of the park on the east side of Highway 79.

·        South Dakota state laws apply to the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages in all other state park areas.

·        Glass Containers are prohibited within the posted area at zoned swimming beaches.


These are valuable resources within all South Dakota parks. Please leave all plants, living or dead, where you find them. Many of these plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.

·        It is against the law to remove or damage any plants, rocks, natural formations, historic relics, antlers, skulls or any other natural features from state parks. Please protect our cultural resources.

·        Penalties are stiff.

·        Place all garbage and trash in its proper receptacle and recycle.

·        Aluminum, tin cans, glass, and plastic are collected for recycling in marked bins. When hiking, make sure you pack in/pack out all trash.

FIREWOOD:  Help slow the spread of Emerald Ash Borer into our state parks.

·        Do not bring wood that has been within the quarantine area into any South Dakota state park unless it has a label affixed certifying it as emerald ash borer treated and safe to move.

·        In parks located within the quarantine area, outside firewood must have a label affixed certifying it as emerald ash borer treated and safe to move.

·        Firewood is available for purchase in the parks or from local stores outside the quarantine area.

·        Smooth dimensional lumber scraps are acceptable if sized to fit within the firegrate. Wood containing nails, screws, or hardware - including rough and pallet lumber - cannot be brought into any state park area to be used as firewood.

·        If you purchase firewood from a state park within the quarantine area, do not remove it from the park.


·        Allowed only at designated campsites, and in approved fireplaces, stoves or grills.

·        Do not build large roaring fires and be sure your campfire is DEAD OUT before turning in for the night or departing.


·        Propane cooking stoves or enclosed cooking grills are allowed within established campgrounds and picnic areas.


·        Operation - Motor vehicles must stay on established roads and parking lots. Only licensed vehicles and operators may operate on park roads and a valid park entrance license must be affixed to the vehicle.

·        Speed Limit - All State Parks: The speed limit in all state parks and recreation areas (unless otherwise posted) is 20 mph. Please be cautious in campgrounds and other busy areas.

·        Speed Limit - Custer - highway and interior gravel roads maximum speed limit is 35 mph. Campgrounds, lakes, and day use area roadways' maximum speed limit is 15 mph.

·        ATVs and Scooters - View rules for off-highway vehicles in state parks.

·        All State Parks - Gas or electric powered ATVs, scooters and golf carts must be street legal and operated by a licensed operator only on designated roads or the state off-road vehicle areas.

·        Custer - Only licensed ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) are permitted in Custer State Park. Travel is restricted to established designated roadways in Custer State Park. No off-road, unlicensed, ATV use is permitted except to retrieve game by licensed hunters during established hunting seasons in Custer State Park.

For additional rules and regulations: Click Here