BLM Camping

Ft. Meade Horse Camp

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for 1 in every 10 acres of land in the U.S.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offers various recreation and campgrounds throughout the country as part of a nationwide preservation program. The Ft. Meade Horse Camp, also known as the Alkali Creek Horse Camp, is located in the grasslands of South Dakota. 

Visitors partake in activities like horseback riding, picnicking, auto touring, hiking, hunting, wildlife viewing, fishing, biking, and visiting historical sites at this horse camp and the surrounding Fort Meade Recreation Area. Some of the most common attractions that draw visitors to this area include the Fort Meade Cavalry Post, Fort Meade Post Cemetery, Fort Meade Reservoir, Centennial Trail, and the Old Fort Meade Museum.

Apart from the Fort Meade Horse Camp, there are two national parks that you can visit in South Dakota. These include Badlands National Park and Wind Cave National Park.

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Centennial Trail

This trail offers a variety of streams and wildlife viewing as you move through the Fort Meade Recreation Area. This is a portion of the 111-mile Interagency National Recreation Trail that travels across the state.

Length: 11 Miles

Intensity: Moderate

Fort Meade Back Country Byway

This is a lightly trafficked trail that offers scenic views. This is a point-to-point trail that is accessible all year round.

Length: 4.4 Miles

Intensity: Easy

Sturgis Reservoir Trail

This out-and-back trail features beautiful views of a lake.

Length: 3.7 Miles

Intensity: Moderate

Bulldog Gulch

This trail is located in the Bear Butte National Wildlife Refuge. It's an out-and-back trail that features a river and that is best used between April and October. 

Length: 14.7 Miles

Intensity: Moderate

Bear Butte Trail

Bear Butte is an out-and-back trail where you can see wildlife. It's best utilized between May and November. 

Length: 2.8 Miles

Intensity: Moderate

Fishing and BoatingFishing and Boating

One of the most popular fishing spots near Fort Meade Horse Camp is the Fort Meade Reservoir. This is a 50-acre lake that is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. Other recreation spots include Sheridan Lake and the Pactola Reservoir. If you prefer stream fishing, there are over 370 miles of trout fishery streams throughout the area. You'll find many off of Centennial Trail.


You can hunt at the Fort Meade Recreation Area during archery season. This recreation area is not open to hunting with firearms.

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

The Black Hills at Fort Meade Recreation Area provides a great habitat for a variety of wildlife species. These include mule deer, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, antelope, elk, turkeys, and mountain goats.


Picnicking facilities are located at the Alkali Creek Trailhead. The Fort Meade Reservoir has a couple of picnic tables where you can enjoy the view of the lake and water-based recreational activities. Close to Highway 90, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Chapel offers a picnic facility with water and restrooms. Some other notable picnic locations include Bear Butte Visitor Center, Bear Butte Lake, and the Fort Meade Horse Camp.

Horseback RidingHorseback Riding

With miles of multi-use trails, horseback riding is a popular activity at the Fort Meade Recreation Area. The Fort Meade Horse Camp contains horse tie-downs for your non-riding hours.

Historical Sites and Auto Touring

This location offers an auto touring route known as the Fort Meade Back Country Byway. This is a 4.5-mile gravel road that connects Highway 34 to I-90. Some notable stops to learn about the history of the area include the Old Fort Meade Museum, Fort Meade Post Cemetery, Black Hills National Cemetery, and the Fort Meade Cavalry Post.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

The Fort Meade Horse Camp has six fee camping sites. There are restrooms, water, fire rings, grills, horse tie lines, and picnic tables on site. This horse camp is open from May 15 to October 1. There are numerous RV camping options surrounding the Fort Meade Horse Camp. Some of the most popular include Vanocker Campground, Big Rig RV Park & Campground, Kickstands Campground, Katmandu Campground, and the Bulldog Creek Campground.

Free Camping Campground Icon

There are three dry camping sites at the Alkali Creek Trailhead that can be used from May 15 through September 30. There is water available, picnic tables, fire rings, and a vault restroom.

RV Rentals Near Ft. Meade Horse Camp Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your Ft. Meade Horse Camp BLM trip

  • The access road may undergo temporary closures due to dangerous weather conditions. It's best to plan your arrival when the weather is fair to ensure successful entry into the horse camp.

  • This horse camp is open from May 15 through September 30, with the exception of the Black Hills Motorcycle Classic.

  • While camping sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, they may be booked for group camping reservations. It's best to check with the camp a few weeks prior to arriving to ensure there are no reservations booked.

  • Water is available from approximately May 15 to October 1 each year.

  • Before you head out on your trip, check our blog for all you need to know about BLM Camping

Leave No Trace Leaf

When visiting any BML campground and property, it's important to follow the Leave No Trace Initiative. Some guiding principles of this program include disposing of your waste properly, leaving what you find behind, respecting wildlife that you encounter, being considerate of other campers, and minimizing your campfire's impact. These guiding principles help to keep these campgrounds natural and self-sustaining.

Leave No Trace

Ft. Meade Horse Camp Location

You can access this horse camp, also known as Alkali Creek Horse Camp, from Interstate 90 at Exit 34, which is for the Black Hills National Cemetery. When accessing this horse camp from Route 34, you'll make a left onto Cemetery Drive just before the Fort Meade Recreation Area Park.

Ready to visit Ft. Meade Horse Camp? An RV rental is a great way to experience your destination. Not only will you be close to all the action, but at the end of a long day exploring, you'll have your RV to return to for the night, where you'll enjoy a full kitchen, bathroom, and nice soft bed. Not sure about renting an RV? Here's a step-by-step guide to renting an RV with RVshare.