Palisades State Park RV & Campground Guide

South Dakota

At only 157 acres, Palisades State Park is the second smallest state park in South Dakota; however, the area overflows with scenic views, recreation, and loads of fun. Located in southeast South Dakota, Palisades features Sioux quartzite formations carved out by the Split Rock Creek. The creek flows through the park, with rock formations of varying sizes. These formations are as small as shelves just a few feet above the water to 50-foot vertical cliffs. Scenic overlooks and rushing water are the main draws to the area, with photographers, nature watchers, and rock climbers frequenting the park. Geologists estimate that the Sioux quartzite spires date back more than 1 billion years ago, giving visitors a true and authentic peek at geographical history.

Nearby Cities

  • Garretson, SD

  • Sioux Falls, SD

  • Dell Rapids, SD

  • Pipestone, SD

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Spring 43-69 F
Summer 79-84 F
Fall 44-74 F
Winter 25-29 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Palisades State Park

Campground Accommodations

Palisades State Park Campground

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length:

  • Other amenities: Playground, modern restrooms, drinking water, amphitheater, picnic table, fire ring, picnic shelter

Sioux Falls KOA Journey

Just a 20-minute drive from the state park is theSioux Falls KOA Journey, which features lush grass campsites, pet-friendly facilities, and enough on-site activities to keep adults and children entertained for days. The maximum pull-thru length is 100 feet, so the sites can accommodate larger motorhomes too.

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: yes

  • Wifi: yes

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: swimming pool, basketball court, mini golf, bike rental, pavilion, laundry facility, game room, children's play area, dog park, cable TV, firewood for purchase, toilets, showers, dump station.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Sioux Falls

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Sioux Falls is the ultimate RV camping destination if you’re traveling with children. It has been operating for over 20 years and is known for offering some of the best family camping and entertainment in the Sioux Falls area. Rates start at $40 per night.

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: yes

  • Wifi: yes

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: heated swimming pool, spa, two playgrounds, jumping pillow, corn maze, pedal cart and golf cart rental, indoor theatre, mini golf, sports courts, general store, gift shop, camping supplies, laundry facilities, dump station, restrooms, showers, picnic area.

Pipestone RV Campground

Just over a half-an-hour’s drive from the state park (across the Minnesota border) isPipestone RV Campground, which is located very close to Pipestone National Monument. Open from May 1st to October 1st, this family-friendly campground has lots of amenities to keep everyone comfortable and entertained. Rates range from $17 - $42 per night. 

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: yes

  • Wifi: yes

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: dump station, laundry facilities, heated outdoor pool, 18-hole mini golf, pavilion, camp kitchen, camp store, playground, fire pits, sports courts, toilets, showers.

RV Rentals Near Palisades State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Palisades State Park

This little park packs a big punch in the way of recreation! Rock climbers love the cliffs and formations, practicing their scaling and rappelling techniques. Anglers enjoy the creek, catching their haul for dinner at the campground. For those who love wildlife, birds and critters are bountiful in the park. The stunning views are perfect for photographers, both amateur and professional. Be sure to venture across the bridge for a 360-degree view of the creek and gorge.

Bring your climbing gear and hiking shoes for a real adventure among the cliffs. Check out yard games and volleyball equipment from the park office for some friendly competition with your crew. Or simply settle in at one of the picnic tables or benches to watch nature all around.

Inside Palisades State Park

With its unique rock formations, scenic overlooks, and tranquil creek, you won’t be bored during your time here at Palisades. From hiking and rock-climbing, to water activities such as fishing and canoeing – there’s plenty to do within the state park.

Hiking : Hikers have their choice of four trails that range from 0.2 to 1.5 miles in length. These include the Balancing Rock Trail, King and Queen Rock Trail, South Wall Trail, and Split Rock Creek Trail. View a hiking map and guidehere.

Fishing : Split Rock Creek allows visitors to partake in fly fishing, shore fishing, and fishing from a kayak or canoe. Anglers can expect to catch species such as northern pike, white crappie channel catfish, largemouth bass and walleye. If you don’t have your own fishing equipment, it can be rented from within the state park.

Canoeing and kayaking : Along Split Rock Creek, on the east side of the park, provides visitors with ample opportunities to enjoy canoeing or kayaking. You’ll love seeing points of interest (such as the historic bridge or Sioux Quartzite rocks) from the water. Just be wary of falling rocks near the cliff edges and circular currents. 

Rock-climbing : The cliffs and formations at Palisades are used by rock climbers to practice their scaling and rappelling techniques. Some of the best climbs in the park include Balancing Rock, King and Queen Rock, and South Wall. Just keep in mind the park prohibits drilling, bolting or altering the rocks in any way.

Fishing Fishing

Anglers frequently pull channel catfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, white crappie, and yellow bullhead from the waters of the creek. Fishing is available in many shoreline areas where the rock formations are lower. Fly fishing is popular at Palisades State Park. If you're looking to try your hand at fishing but don't have the necessary gear, visit the park office to check out fishing equipment.

Geocaching Geocaching

Ready for a treasure hunt? Check out the official Geocache website or mobile app for clues and coordinates, then head out in the park to find the prize. Two known caches are hidden at Palisades State Park. Have your GPS handy and be sure to stop and enjoy the nature that surrounds you as you hunt.

Nature Watching Nature Watching

Dozens of bird and animal species call Palisades home, making for endless amusement watching them fly, run, and play in the park.

Stargazing Stargazing

From a spot atop the cliffs, with no trees in the way, visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of the starry sky on a clear night. Download a stargazing mobile app to help locate stars, constellations, planets, and much more in the South Dakota night sky. You may also find a limited view of the sky from your campsite, though many are partially or fully shaded.

Flora and Fauna

Some of the more common critters you'll find in the park include raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, turtles, prairie dogs, and river otters. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer, elk, or pronghorn. In addition, dozens of songbird species fly overhead through the seasons.

Hiking Hiking

The River Trail carves a path along the Big Sioux River, giving hikers a scenic tour to see the cliffs. The Nature Trail travels through the park's woodlands and along the river as well. For a more intense hike, the Palmer Creek Trail winds visitors through the rugged terrain of the park for scenic views of cliffs and valleys.

Climbing Climbing

The cliffs in Palisades State Park are popular among rock climbers. Some of the cliffs stand up to 50 feet tall and are perfect for practice. Keep in mind that bolting is not allowed.


Guests are welcome to pedal around the park via all park roads. There are no biking trails at Palisades State Park.

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How to Get to
Palisades State Park

Palisades State Park occupies land just 10 miles north of I-90 outside of Garretson, South Dakota. From I-90, take the Brandon/Corson exit for Highway 11. Take Highway 11 north to 485th Ave. Follow the signage to the park entrance.

Entering Palisades State Park

Parking is available in many areas along the roadside at Palisades State Park. An entrance fee of $8 per vehicle is charged to all visitors. You may also choose to purchase an annual pass for $36.

We’re very excited that you’re planning a trip to Palisades State Park. Once you’ve finished exploring all that the park has to offer, there are also some incredible opportunities waiting for you outside of its gates! During or after your stay, we encourage you to tag us in any of your social media posts, or why not share your photos and experience with us at [email protected]? We may even feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Palisades State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Palisades State Park?

Palisades State Park is open to visitors every day of the year. However, the winter weather can be downright brutal. For fishing, hiking, and other recreational activities, the park is best enjoyed during the mild spring, summer, and fall months.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Palisades State Park?

Raccoons, squirrels, prairie dogs, turtles, white-tailed deer, river otters, beavers, elk, and pronghorn live in and travel through the park. Songbirds, bats, and owls also frequent the area.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Palisades State Park?

Palisades State Park campground has 21 RV camping spots with electrical hookups. The park also has 13 tent-only, non-electric sites.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Palisades State Park and what is the cost?

Reservations for camping at Palisades State Park require a two-night minimum stay. Reservations can be made online, by phone, or in the park office. Electrical campsites are $26 per night, and non-electric tent-only sites are $15 per night.

Are pets allowed at Palisades State Park?

Guests are welcome to bring their pets on their visit to Palisades State Park. Please keep your pet under control and on a leash at all times and always remember to clean up after your furry friends.