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Tent Camping at Custer State Park

Tulsa, OK
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41 posts
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Tent Camping at Custer State Park

We are planning a trip to Badlands, Black HIlls, Yellowstone for next June and I have some questions to get me started!

First: How far in advance should I reserve a site - we'll be staying in a tent but I want electricity?

Second: Which campground should we go to? I do NOT like pit toilets and I really enjoy clean hot showers. We would like to be near a lake or something, but I don't guess it's really a necessity.

Third: Are there or are there NOT bears in the black hills? I seem to run across both answers to this question. Obviously, if there is - it should not be a concern?

I'm sure I can find the answer to this somewhere else, but can you rent canoes somehwere in CSP? If so, where?


chicago, il
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196 posts
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1. Re: Tent Camping at Custer State Park


We were at Legion Lake Lodge in a cabin this past summer, and I was talking to a women on the beach who was tent camping at Legion Lake. She said she couldn't believe how updated and clean the bathrooms were at her campsite. I am not a camper so I can't tell you first hand what specific campsite within the Lodge she was at...but definately look into Legion Lake Lodge.

Also, you are correct, according to the rangers there are NOT bears in the black hills. Although all animals are wild (and of course have the potential to be dangerous) the only truly "dangerous" animal" that I heard them talk about was the Mountain Lion. However, the rangers said that you will most likely never see them because they have so many of their natural prey (unlike in developed areas where you hear of mountain lion attacks) that they stay in the areas where they can get their prey.

Hope this helps,


Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: Tent Camping at Custer State Park

Visit Custer State Park website, there are photos of campsites and maps that tell if there is electricity at the site. www.sdgfp.info/Parks/Regions/Custer/index.htm

There also are many RV parks that also have tent areas. These places will have nice showers and bathrooms. KOA has a few in the area that look great.

Bears if they are there, are extremely rare and will not be an issue. I would keep a clean camp and don't take food into the tent.

Have fun.

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3. Re: Tent Camping at Custer State Park

There are mini bears in Custer State Park. Anyone from Oklahoma knows what they are. Chipmunks. No big bears.

Best tent campground for flushing cable, for women who need daily showers, yard games, occasional bison walkers, fishing streams and pond, easy in and out, popular as all get out---the winning campground in my opinion is State Game Lodge Campground. Tremedous bison ribeyes at State Game Lodge restaurant. Bring your credit card. Great pheasant stuffed ravioli, flan for dessert. No need to camp cook every night. (unless you're w/ Accommodator lizard)

Renting canoes? where do you canoe? paddleboats rentals @ Sylvan Lake, Legion Lake.

Rapid City, SD
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4. Re: Tent Camping at Custer State Park

Most of the campgrounds in CSP have similar facilities. Check out the CSP website and you'll find all that you're looking for. I'd reserve as far in advance as possible.

One of the better lakes to canoe in the park is Stockade Lake. Unfortunately, there are no canoe rentals that I know of at the lake. Sylvan is small but a lot of fun thanks to boulders that stick out of the water. Paddle boats are available there--you'll at least be able to get out on the water.

Canoe rentals are available at the marina at Sheridan Lake which is just north of Hill City (outside of CSP).

5. Re: Tent Camping at Custer State Park

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