Black Hills National Forest Campgrounds and Seasonal Gates Scheduled to Open

Contact(s): Media Contact: Scott Jacobson, 605-440-1409

Custer, S.D., May 11, 2021 - Black Hills National Forest campgrounds are scheduled to open Friday, May 14, and seasonal gates will open Saturday, May 15.

The Black Hills National Forest has 30 campgrounds with more than 680 individual sites. Many of the campgrounds on the Black Hills National Forest are operated by a Forest Service recreation service partner, Forest Recreation Management, (FRM) Inc. based in Hill City, SD, under a concession permit.

The fees in the Forest Service campgrounds range from $14 to $26 per night. Group camping is also available with advanced reservations near Pactola Reservoir and Sheridan Lake.

Many campgrounds have on-site hosts who can help provide information about nearby trails and outdoor activities in the area. While electric, sewer, water hook-ups and showers are not available, most campgrounds have potable water and either flush or vault toilets.

Note: Cook Lake Campground and Cliff Swallow Trail (near Cook Lake), on the Bearlodge Ranger District, will also open Friday, May 14, 2021. Cook Lake has been open for day-use only due to landslide concerns and a spillway reconstruction project. Landslide monitoring, including an audible siren, will continue on the west side of the lake, and this area will remain closed to the public. FRM will have a campground host on site. The State of Wyoming stocked the lake with over 8,000 fish in Spring 2020. A new kayak/canoe launch area is also available for use on the south side of the lake.

To reserve most Black Hills National Forest campsites, visit or call Toll Free 1-877-444-6777. Due to high demand, reservations are recommended.

Seasonal closed roads and trails are identified on the current Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and will open Saturday, May 15. 

Please remember that even if a road or trail is open, driving on soft surfaces or where rutting has been observed should be avoided until drier conditions prevail. Roads and trails in the hills may be unsuitable for driving until they dry out from recent moisture.

Damaging forest roads and lands is against the law. The legal and financial consequences can be steep, and damages done to the land can take years to repair.

For questions, please contact a local Forest Service office.

For more information on Black Hills National Forest, visit


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