Bear Butte State Park RV & Campground Guide

South Dakota

Bear Butte State Park

is home to the geological laccolith feature of Bear Butte, which is an intrusive body of igneous rock. From the summit of Bear Butte, you can take in scenic views of four states. It’s not just a state park, but also an important landmark and religious site for many American Indian tribes, who often make pilgrimages to leave offerings and prayer clothes along the mountain, as well as to hold various religious ceremonies. The mountain is a place of prayer, meditation and peace, and visitors are sure to enjoy the serene, relaxing atmosphere while also enjoying nature activities such as hiking, boating and more.

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Weather
Spring 40s-60s F
Summer 50s-80s F
Fall 20s-70s F
Winter 15-30s F
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Nearby Cities
Deadwood, SD
Vale, SD
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Bear Butte State Park

Camping doesn’t always have to be in a tent under the stars! If you’re looking for a more comfortable, convenient camping experience, consider trading in your tent for an RV. With an RV as home base for your next trip, you’ll have a private bathroom, kitchen stocked with your favorite snacks and a comfortable bed. If you’re considering an RV for your next camping trip, consider renting one from RVshare.com. With a helpful support team, finding a completely custom RV that fits your needs and your budget is a breeze. Plus, all rentals include nationwide insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance.

 What could be better than parking your RV for the night right inside the state park? There are campsites located inside Bear Butte State Park, nearby horseback riding, fishing and boating activities. With a great location, these popular campsites fill up quickly. Luckily, there are several other campgrounds nearby. Here are some worth checking out:

Deadwood/Black Hills KOA

Located just about a half hour from the state park, nestled among the pines and aspen trees of the Black Hills, the Deadwood/Black Hills KOA is a family-friendly, serene campground. There are plenty of amenities to enjoy and the location is nearby many of the local attractions. Your entire group is sure to have fun here!  

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: yes

Pet-friendly: yes

Other amenities: cable TV, pool, hot tub/sauna, dog park, basketball court, playground, hiking

Bear Butte Creek Campground

Only 10 minutes from the state park, Bear Butte Creek Campground is one of the oldest campgrounds in the area! With plenty of shady sites and unique on-site amenities, you’re sure to have a wonderful time on your camping trip.  

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: no

Pet-friendly: no

Other amenities: 3 shower houses with hot water and bathrooms, portable water, outdoor dance floor and bandstand, picnic tables, bar, free morning coffee, general store, restaurant  

RV Rentals Near Bear Butte State Park

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What to Do at
Bear Butte State Park

Inside Bear Butte State Park

Bear Butte State Park is a serene, tranquil park, thanks in part to the rich cultural history, which visitors can learn about in the education center. There are also plenty of fun nature activities to enjoy, from hiking to boating, fishing and much more. Here are more details on some of the activities inside the park:

Water Activities – Bear Butte Lake offers plenty of water fun. The lake features a boat ramp for boating, and fishermen can try their hand at fishing on the lake or from the fishing dock.

Trails – Enjoy the natural beauty of the park and maybe even spot a bison or two on the trails! Bear Butte State Park has three trails, the slightly difficult Summit Trail that brings you to the summit of Bear Butte, where you can enjoy scenic views of four states. The easy lake trail is 2.5 miles long and goes around the lake. Bear Butte State Park is also home to the northernmost point of the 111-mile Centennial Trail.

Bear Butte Education Center and State Park History – Bear Butte has a rich history, and is still today sacred to many American Indian tribes, who see it as a place where the creator has chosen to communicate with them through visions and prayer. Religious ceremonies are also often held at Bear Butte. During your visit, it’s common to see colorful pieces of cloth and small bundles or pouches hanging from trees. These are prayer cloths and tobacco ties, which represent the prayers offered by individuals during their worship, and should be left undisturbed.   

The Bear Butte Education Center offers displays, books and brochures highlighting the park’s geological history, pioneer landmark days and the holy mountain role and cultural beliefs for American Indian tribes. Visit the center to take in a little history and enjoy learning!

Outside Bear Butte State Park

Bear Butte State Park isn’t the only historic site in the area! You can learn about local history in nearby museums, visit a century-old gold mine and even take a mini road trip to see national landmarks and sites. Here are some local activities to do outside the park: 

Restaurants

From fun saloons perfect for a quick, casual bite and a drink or two to casual fine dining restaurants perfect for dining with family and friends and even restaurants that double as a concert venue, the restaurants nearby Bear Butte State Park offer a variety of experiences and cuisines! Here are some local restaurants worth checking out:  

The Deadwood Grille

Just a half-hour from the state park, the Deadwood Grille is a casual fine dining restaurant that is perfect for a delicious meal with family and friends! The casual and warm atmosphere offers aged hand-cut steaks, seafood, pasta dishes, appetizers and much more.

Type: American

Location: Deadwood, SD

One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon

This local bar and restaurant features a rustic theme. Visitors can enjoy appetizers, steaks, sandwiches, salads and much more. They are also open for a breakfast buffet, so you can grab a quick bite before enjoying some fun at the state park! 

Type: American

Location: Sturgis, SD

Loud American Roadhouse

The Loud American Roadhouse isn’t just a restaurant – it’s a concert venue, too! Visitors can enjoy live music and other events while also enjoying a delicious meal. The menu offers classic options like prime rib, BBQ pulled pork sandwich, tenderloin beef, salads, burgers and more.

Type: American

Location: Sturgis, SD

Sightseeing

Broken Boot Gold Mine

Just a half-hour from the state park, Broken Boot Gold Mine is a former gold mine that allows you to dig into the local past! Visitors can go into century-old shafts and take a mine tour, or even try their hand at gold panning. It’s a fun, family-friendly activity that combines history and fun, sure to be enjoyed by all ages!

Location: Deadwood, SD

Adams Museum

Take in some local history at Adams Museum! It’s the 1892 home of one of Deadwood’s founders and is also a Black Hills history museum. There are four unique properties within the Museum, each of which showcases the history of Deadwood and features exhibits, personal and powerful stories of people, places and events and much more.

Location: Deadwood, SD

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is a little over an hour from Bear Butte State Park, and is worth the drive to take in a national treasure! Mount Rushmore is the enormous sculpture of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, and visitors can enjoy it in a variety of ways. Walk a trail to get up close and personal, listen to a ranger talk about the carving process and much more.

Location: Keystone, SD

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How to Get to
Bear Butte State Park

Bear Butte State Park is located 6 miles northeast of Sturgis, SD on Hwy. 79.

Entering Bear Butte State Park

Fees are waived for those holding religious ceremonies at the park.

Daily : $6

Annual Pass : $30

From taking in scenic views of four states to learning about local culture and religious ceremonies, there is so much to do and see at Bear Butte State Park. You are sure to have a wonderful time taking it all in! And we want to hear all about it and even see your great photos, so don’t forget to tag us on social media, or shoot us a photo and some details at [email protected]. We may just feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!