Bismarck Lake Campground is set amidst a scattering of aspen groves and Ponderosa pine on the southeast edge of Bismarck Lake at 5,000 feet. This is an ideal setting for guests seeking recreation and relaxation in the Black Hills National Forest. Sites in the campground are widely spaced and open up to views of lakes, providing adequate privacy for visitors.
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 highly accessible recreation for all ages. 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 Harney Peak is worth the effort. Harney 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 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.
Bismarck Lake Campground has sites able to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. The campground is equipped with picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water; however, electrical hook-ups are not available. Access to the lake is within walking distance of most sites.
Possible day trips include Jewel Cave National Monument, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Monument and Wind Cave National Park.
, South Dakota
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.
These campsites are non-electric sites. Generators may run from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. only. Non-reservable sites may be available on a first come-first served basis Prevent the spread of invasive species by inspecting and cleaning packs, equipment, and tires before using lake or trails A pet fee of $2 per pet per night is required upon check in Click here for more information about Black Hills National Forest. Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing organisms by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.