SD: 2012 Lodge and Group Camping Reservations in S.D. State Parks Open Soon

PIERRE, S.D. – Beginning Nov. 1, visitors can begin making lodge
reservations for 2012 arrivals at South Dakota state parks. On Dec.
1, those planning group outings to state parks can book their
campsites.

“Lodge reservations open on Nov. 1, and reservations for group
camping open Dec. 1,” said state Parks and Recreation Director Doug
Hofer. “The opening days used to be the same, but we have split
them up in order to ease the number of calls we receive and reduce
the amount of time callers are on hold.”

Lodge reservations for all arrival dates in 2012 will be
accepted beginning Nov. 1. Lodges are found at Lake Thompson
Recreation Area near Lake Preston, Shadehill Recreation Area near
Lemmon, Mina Lake Recreation Area near Aberdeen, Newton Hills State
Park near Canton, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area near Pierre and
Palisades State Park near Sioux Falls.

Reservations for group campsites during the 2012 reservation
season open Dec. 1 and will be taken until Feb. 1, 2012. After that
time, campsites are available on an individual basis within 90 days
of arrival. To qualify as a group reservation, a minimum of 10
sites must be reserved, with the exception of Lewis and Clark
Recreation Area where “group loops” consisting of eight sites are
available. Reservations can only be made for those sites designated
as group sites. A limited number of campsites are available in
select parks for group reservations. Prime sites are not included.
Cabins and picnic shelters may be included in the group reservation
in some parks. Regular camping fees apply. Parks that offer group
camping include: Custer State Park, Lewis and Clark Recreation
Area, and North Point Recreation Area.

At Custer State Park, group camping takes place in separate
group areas and a per-person fee applies. Reservations for Custer
State Park group areas are accepted through the reservation season
and do not close Feb. 1.

Group sites are reservable for arrival dates between May 18 and
Sept. 3, 2012 at North Point Recreation Area, and can be made
through Oct. 8 at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area and Custer State
Park. A two-night minimum stay is required. Group sites are not
available on the weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor
Day. Some special-event weekends are also unavailable at select
parks. A two-night stay is not required and holiday weekends can be
reserved at Custer State Park.

After a group reservation is made, a fee of one night’s stay
will be charged for each campsite cancelled. A $25 fee will be
charged for camping cabin and lodge cancellations. Cancellation
fees are effective immediately upon making the reservations. This
is a change from previous years when the fee was charged only for
cancellations made less than 90 days prior to arrival.

Lodge reservations can be made online at www.campsd.com or by
calling 1-800-710-2267. Group camping reservations are only
available through the call center. The call center is open 7 a.m.
to 3 p.m. daily (CT) through Feb. 17. Online reservations can be
made 24 hours a day once the inventory becomes available. It is
commonly understood that reservations become available at midnight
90 days before arrival. In fact, campers can begin making their
online reservations when the call center opens at 7 a.m. Central
Time. All camping fees must be paid at the time the reservation is
made. There is a $7.70 per site, non-refundable reservation fee,
which is not applicable to South Dakota residents. A valid park
entrance license is required in designated fee areas.

The first day to make individual campsite reservations for the
2012 reservation season is Feb. 18. Campsites are reservable within
90 days of arrival for arrivals between May 18 and Sept. 3, 2012,
and until Oct. 8 for parks accepting autumn reservations. Custer
State Park accepts reservations for the entire camping season,
starting January 2, 2012.

For more information on reservations, visit the Division of
Parks and Recreation website at www.gfp.sd.gov or call
605-773-3391.

 

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