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French Creek Horse Camp (Equestrian use only)

French Creek Horse Camp

Only horse camp in Custer State Park

Located on the banks of French Creek, the French Creek Horse Camp is designed specifically for campers with horses. One corral comes with each campsite, and one additional corral is available to rent upon arrival at the campground.

Safety / Restrictions

Open fires are strictly prohibited.

Only one camping unit per site is allowed.


Be aware of the dangers of bison, rattlesnakes, and poison ivy. Bison are extremely dangerous. Do not feed horses at night. Be prepared for creek crossings, steep rocky climbs, and inclement weather.

Horse Tests

Horses must have a negative coggins test (swamp fever) within the last 12 months. ND, MT, NE has reciprocity.

Brand Inspections

SD law requires anyone transporting horses out of the ownership inspection area to have their horses inspected by a Brand Inspector. Contact: SD Brand Board 1.800.529.2333, visit their website for more information or see the campground host.

South Dakota State Brand Board
Weed Free Hay

Certified weed free hay or a complete horse feed is required. Start this feed three days prior to arrival. Refer to producer list for suppliers


Keep your horse confinement area clean. Picketing and portable corrals are not allowed. Electric fence is permitted in a designated area.

Horses cannot be left unattended overnight.

Make a camping reservation


FishingHorse TrailsWildlife Viewing

Facilities / Services

Sanitation / Water

  • Dump Station
  • Flush toilets and showers
  • Vault Toilet
  • Drinking Water


Park Specs

  • Camping Type: Modern
  • Reservations*: Available one year in advance www.campsd.com or 1.800.710.2267
    • 26 sites
  • Cancellations at French Creek Horse Camp:
    • Cancellations made 30 days or more before arrival are subject to a minimum 1 night camping fee
    • Cancellations made within 15 to 29 days of scheduled arrival are subject to a penalty equal to 50% of the reservation fee.
    • Reservations cancelled within 14 days prior to scheduled arrival date are non-refundable.
  • Open: Year-round (campsites)
    • May 1 - October 31: full facilities with electricity
    • November 1 - April 29: basic camping
  • Closed: November 1 (Camping Cabins)
  • Size: 28 campsites, 3 camping cabins
  • Staffed: Camp attendant and on-site campground host

* Reserved only for campers bringing their own horses


Campground Map
Horse Trails

Detailed topographic maps are also available for sale at the Peter Norbeck and Wildlife Station Visitor Centers (April-November).


Located near Blue Bell Lodge on North Lame Johnny Road.

GPS Coordinates
Lat: 43.713366
Long: -103.5

Area Attractions

  • Crazy Horse: 21 miles
  • Jewel Cave: 31 miles
  • Mammoth Site: 28 miles
  • Mt. Rushmore: 43 miles

Nearest Town

Custer: 15.5 miles
Rapid City: 46 miles
Hot Springs: 28 miles


Camping fees are subject to sales tax.

Park entrance license required year-round

  • Temporary license (1-7 consecutive days): $15 per vehicle or $10 per motorcycle
  • Annual License: $30


  • Campsite: $30 per night (includes electric hookup and 1 corral)
  • Camping Cabin: $50 per night (available May 1 - October 31)
  • Second Corral: $5 per night (payable on arrival)