10 Best South Dakota National Parks (2023)

South Dakota is a state in the United States of America. With South Dakota’s abundant wildlife and diverse landscapes, the city is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts  . In this article, I unveil the ten top South Dakota National Parks that offer awe-inspiring vistas, thrilling activities, and an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature.

South Dakota National Parks

National Parks: 10 Best in South Dakota

Below here are the ten leading South Dakota National Parks:

1. Badlands National Park

Prepare to be mesmerized by the otherworldly beauty of Badlands National Park. The park’s rugged rock formations, deep canyons, and expansive prairies create a unique landscape that will leave you in awe. You can immerse yourself in Badlands National Park’s ethereal beauty as you hike through the trails, encounter bison and bighorn sheep, or capture the magical sunset hues.

  • Address: 25216 Ben Reifel Road, Interior, SD 57750
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 433-5361

2. Custer State Park

Custer State Park is one of the best South Dakota National Parks. Nestled in the Black Hills, Custer State Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. At Custer State Park, you can encounter majestic herds of bison as you drive along the Wildlife Loop Road or embark on a scenic hike up Black Elk Peak for panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness. Also, Custer State Park offers horseback riding, fishing, and camping opportunities.

  • Address: 13329 US-16A, Custer, SD 57730
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 255-4515

3. Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park is home to one of the world’s longest caves. You can embark on a guided tour at this park through intricate limestone passageways adorned with stunning cave formations. Also, at Wind Cave National Park, you can hike on the surface to witness the diverse wildlife and rolling prairies.

  • Address: 26611 US-385, Hot Springs, SD 57747
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 745-4600

4. Jewel Cave National Monument

Jewel Cave National Monument ranks fourth among the best South Dakota National Parks. This park boasts of housing one of the longest caves worldwide. At Jewel Cave National Monument, you can choose from various cave tours that showcase the awe-inspiring stalactite formations and intricate chambers. Above ground, you can also explore the nature trails and enjoy the serene beauty of the Black Hills.

  • Address: 11149 US-16, Custer, SD 57730
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 673-8300

5. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

A true icon of American history, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a must-visit destination. At Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you will marvel at the colossal sculptures of four U.S. presidents etched into the granite cliffside. Also, you can learn about the nation’s heritage at the interactive exhibits and enjoy the stunning views of the Black Hills.

  • Address: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 574-2523

6. Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is number six among the ten best South Dakota National Parks. Although primarily located in North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park extends into South Dakota. This park offers captivating landscapes and an ode to the 26th U.S. President. You can explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s diverse terrain, including the stunning Badlands, as you hike, bike, or drive through its scenic byways.

  • Address: 315 Second Avenue, Medora, ND 58645
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (701) 623-4466

7. Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

Nestled along the banks of the Missouri River, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is a haven for water enthusiasts. You can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing in the shimmering waters or relaxing on the sandy beaches. Also, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area offer camping facilities, hiking trails, and captivating views of the surrounding natural beauty.

  • Address: 43349 SD-52, Yankton, SD 57078
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 668-2985

8. Sica Hollow State Park

Immerse yourself in the enchanting woodland beauty of Sica Hollow State Park. With Sica Hollow State Park’s mystical atmosphere and tranquil lakes, this park is perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking. At Sica Hollow State Park, you can be captivated by the legend and natural wonders of the park’s eerie “Coteau des Prairies” or explore its diverse flora and fauna.

  • Address: 13752 Day County 24, Sisseton, SD 57262
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 448-5701

9. Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve rank ninth among the best South Dakota National Parks. You can explore the restored 1905 farmhouse at this park and learn about the region’s history. Also, you can stroll along the nature trails, watch for wildlife, and enjoy the serene beauty of the Missouri River as it meanders through the preserve.

  • Address: 272 Westshore Drive, McCook Lake, SD 57049
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 232-0873

10. Palisades State Park

Discover the dramatic cliffs and serene riverbanks of Palisades State Park. Hike along the trails that wind through the quartzite formations, or paddle along the waterways to witness the park’s unique geological features up close. With Palisades State Park’s captivating landscapes and recreational activities it offers a memorable outdoor experience.

  • Address: 25495 485th Avenue, Garretson, SD 57030
  • Opening Hours: Open year-round
  • Contact: (605) 594-3824

South Dakota National Parks are home to natural wonders, providing endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. From the striking rock formations of Badlands National Park to the monumental sculptures of Mount Rushmore, each park offers a unique and captivating experience. So, check out the top South Dakota parks listed above, embark on a journey, and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of South Dakota National Parks.

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