Bismarck Lake is a small, secluded 23-site campground in Black Hills National Forest, less than five miles east of Custer, South Dakota. While some sites offer obstructed views of the lake below, most sites are nestled back in the woods among ponderosa pines and large boulders. A lakeside boardwalk with benches and an elevated seated area leaves from the campground and offers greats spot for enjoying your morning tea or spotting wildlife.
Of the 23 sites, seventeen can be reserved in advance. The remaining six sites are first-come first-serve. All sites are equipped with picnic tables and fire rings. Some sites provide tent pads for level and even tent camping. Other sites are better suited for trailers and RVs. If you have a big trailer or RV, some sites have room for vehicles over seventy feet long.
The campground is non-electric and generators are allowed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Potable water and vault toilets are available throughout the campground. Each campsite is $24 per night. While pets are allowed at the campground, there is a $2 fee per night for each furry friend. A seasonal camp host is available for registration and sales of firewood at $5 per bundle (all prices as of August, 2015). The campground is open for the summer season beginning in May. Bismarck Lake is great for fishing and is typically stocked with rainbow trout. This location is convenient to much of the Black Hills including Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, and Jewel Cave National Monument. The campground even shares a border with Custer State Park.
To get to the trailhead: From the city of Custer, take Route 16A east for 4.7 miles and turn left (north) up a dirt road into the campground.
Campground address: Route 16A, Custer, SD57730
Campground coordinates: 43.7754, -103.512 (43° 46′ 31.43″N 103° 30′ 43.20″W)
Use the map below to view the trail and get directions:
|Rankin Ridge Nature Trail in Wind Cave Park|
This one-mile loop hits the highest point in the park at a lookout tower with views over the east side of the Black Hills.
|Crazy Horse Volskmarch|
This roughly 5-mile hike (designed as a 10-kilometer feat) ventures up onto the Crazy Horse Memorial for up-close views of the massive carving and is only open to the public a few days a year.