Backcountry Camping

backcountry camping

NPS / Kim Acker

 
Backcountry camping is allowed only in the northwest area of the park, outlined in red on the map below. This area, north of Beaver Creek, east of Hwy. 87, south of NPS 5 and west of Highland Creek Trail, holds several different habitats - prairie, forest, and riparian - each with a variety of plants and wildlife. Several marked trails wind through that section of the park. Off-trail hiking is allowed here and throughout the park, as well.
 
Backcountry Camping Map
The backcountry camping region in Wind Cave National Park is outlined in red on this map.

NPS Map

 
Are You Ready to Go?

Permits
A free permit is required for all backcountry camping. Permits are issued at the visitor center.

Campsites
All backcountry campsites must be at least 1/4 mile from and out of sight of any road. Campsites also must be 100 feet (33 meters) away from any trail or water source.

Minimum Impact Camping
Please practice Leave No Trace principles during your visit. Pack out all items you bring in with you.

Water
Carry all the drinking water you will need as there are few water sources in the park. Boil or filter any water obtained in the backcountry.

Fires
Open fires are not allowed. Use self-contained fuel stoves for cooking in the backcountry. Wildfire threat is moderate to extreme most of the year.

Encountering Wildlife
Be aware of your surroundings and wildlife at all times. Bison may appear tame but are unpredictable and may charge without warning.

Resource Protection
Do not disturb or remove plants, wildlife, antlers or bones, or any other cultural or natural feature.

Travel
Pets, bicycles, and motorized equipment are not allowed in the backcountry.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600
Park information

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