Bismarck Lake Campground has sites able to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. The campground has picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water; however, electrical hook-ups are not available. Access to the lake is within walking distance.
Possible day trips include Jewel Cave National Monument, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Monument and Wind Cave National Park.
Located in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, Black Hills National Forest encompasses nearly 1.25 million acres of rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches, open grassland parks, tumbling streams, deep blue lakes, and unique caves. Derived from the Lakota language, the words "Paha Sapa," meaning "hills that are black," honor the dark, pine-covered hills rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie. Wildlife in the area abounds. Bighorn sheep navigate mountainous terrain, while elk, deer and pronghorn gather in forests and prairies. Bald eagles, hawks, osprey, peregrine falcon, and hundreds of other bird species can be found in the forest, especially along streams, lakes and rivers.
The forest offers accessible recreation for all ages and abilities. Visitors can take advantage of opportunities for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on moderate terrain. At the campground, a short foot trail traverses the forested shoreline, offering opportunities for birding in early morning or picnicking in the afternoon. For those seeking higher elevations, a day-long trek to the summit of nearby Black Elk Peak is worth the effort. Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Most of the summit is bare granite and offers expansive views of the surrounding area. An old stone tower (Harney Lookout Tower) at the top, once used as a fire lookout, is still open to hikers. Adjacent to the campground is Bismarck Lake, an ideal spot for fishing and boating. The lake supports populations of rainbow and brown trout, a variety of sunfish, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and catfish.
In Custer, SD, at the intersection of State Rt. 89/US Rt.16A (Mt.Rushmore Rd) and US Rt. 16/US Rt. 385 (5th St.), take US Rt.16A east for 4.8 miles (past Custer State Park entrance) to Bismarck Lake campground sign. Turn left at sign into campground.
Outlaw Ranch Road, SD 57730
For campground inquires, please call:(605)673-9300
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Amenities at Bismarck Lake Campground
Activities at Bismarck Lake Campground
Day use area