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Save on South Dakota State Parks!

Save on South Dakota State Parks!

South Dakota State Parks are home to some of the state’s most beautiful destinations. This scenic vistas may seem out of reach for some but there are a lot of discounts that can make your next adventure more affordable. You may even be able to visit for free!

In this article, we’ll review what South Dakota State Parks discounts you may be eligible for and how you can claim them!

SD State Parks Admission Discounts

There are more than 60 state parks in the state of South Dakota and each one houses a unique adventure. You can explore them all with an entrance license!

The state currently offers a few standard rates for state parks.

License TypeDurationPrice
Annual License1 Year$36
Daily Park Entrance License1 day$8
7-Day Park Entrance License7 days$20

Each license only covers one vehicle. The Daily and Annual Licenses are not valid at Custer State Park, as that location requires a separate temporary license.

FREE Park Rx Admission

An exciting new program in South Dakota allows medical professionals to prescribe exercise and fresh air to their patients. Doctors can literally prescribe you a pass to South Dakota State Parks!

Through this program, eligible patients can receive a free daily license or a discounted annual pass. If you’re interested, you can talk to your medical provider. If they don’t already participate, they can request a free information packet with Park Rx pads on the Healthy SD website.

FREE Admission for Veterans

Veterans can enjoy a South Dakota State Parks discount too! In fact, eligible veterans can get a FREE Lifetime State Park Entrance License!

In order to be eligible for the free admission program, veterans must meet the following guidelines:

  • You must be a resident of South Dakota.
  • You must meet one of these requirements:
    • You must be rated 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs; OR
    • You must receive a K award; OR
    • You must have been held as a Prisoner of War.

If you meet those requirements, then you will need to fill out an application. You can get one from your local park manager or by requesting one from the State Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

FREE Admission for Fourth Graders

Fourth graders can get a free or discounted South Dakota State Parks pass through the Go Forth program. The student can choose one of these three options:

  • A FREE Daily License
  • 50% off an Annual License
  • FREE 3-Year Subscription to Conservation Digest

Students may also receive a free one-hour equipment rental coupon, depending on availability. The Go Forth discounts are usually provided in March or April and must be redeemed by December 31 of that year.

FREE Admission for Tribal Members

Enrolled tribal members and their immediate families are exempt from park entrance license fees at certain locations.

Here’s a table we made from the Administrative Rules found on the SD State Legislature Website:

Crow CreekWest Bend Recreational Area
Yankton SiouxNorth Point Recreation Area
Fort Randall South Shore Recreation Area
Randall Creek Recreation Area
Fort Randall Spillway Lakeside Use Area

FREE Admission for Youth Groups

South Dakota also offers discounts for nonprofit youth groups. Youth groups are defined as an organized group of minors (under age 18) that are accompanied by a smaller group of adult leaders who are not supervising their own children.

Any youth group that is sponsored by a nonprofit organization can receive free admission to the park.

FREE Admission for Volunteers

If you don’t qualify for free admission, you can volunteer at your local park! Volunteers are exempt from paying the daily park entrance license fee, so it’s a great way to spend time in nature without having to pay money. You will, however, have to do some work while you’re there.

South Dakota State Parks Camping Discounts

Once you get to the parks, you’re not going to want to leave right away. There is so much to do, see and experience in these beautiful areas! Fortunately, the state has some great camping discounts for eligible guests.

Veterans Save 50%

Eligible veterans can get a 50% discount on any camping or electrical fees associated with their South Dakota State Parks trip.

In order to be eligible, you need to meet these requirements:

  • You must live in South Dakota.
  • You must meet ONE of these eligibility requirements:
    • You must be rated 100% disabled by the VA; OR
    • You must receive a K award from the VA; OR
    • You must have been held as a Prisoner of War.

The camping discount is automatically granted if you qualify for free admission. The applications are one and the same! You just need to fill it out at your local park or by requesting an application from the state department in charge of South Dakota State Parks.

About South Dakota State Parks

There are 60 stunning state parks in South Dakota, each one with a unique adventure. If you’re interested in exploring the parks, here’s a list of the parks and their general locations.

Park NameLocation
Adams Homestead and Nature PreserveNorth Sioux City
Angostura Recreation AreaHot Springs
Bear Butte State ParkSturgis
Beaver Creek Nature AreaBrandon
Big Sioux Recreation AreaBrandon
Big Stone Island Nature AreaBig Stone City
Burke Lake Recreation AreaBurke
Buryanek Recreation AreaLake City
Chief White Crane Recreation AreaYankton
Cow Creek Recreation AreaPierre
Custer State ParkCuster
Farm Island Recreation AreaPierre
Fisher Grove State ParkFrankfort
Fort Sisseton Historic State ParkLake City
George S. Mickelson TrailVarious locations along the trail
Good Earth State ParkSioux Falls
Hartford Beach State ParkCorona
Indian Creek Recreation AreaMobridge
LaFramboise Island Nature AreaPierre
Lake Alvin Recreation AreaHarrisburg
Lake Cochrane Recreation AreaGary
Lake Herman State ParkMadison
Lake Hiddenwood Recreation AreaSelby
Lake Louise Recreation AreaMiller
Lake Poinsett Recreation AreaArlington
Lake Thompson Recreation AreaLake Preston
Lake Vermillion Recreation AreaCanistota
Lewis and Clark Recreation AreaYankton
Little Moreau Recreation AreaTimber Lake
Llewellyn Johns Recreation AreaPierre
Mina Lake Recreation AreaMina
Newton Hills State ParkCanton
North Point Recreation AreaPickstown
North Wheeler Recreation AreaBridgewater
Oahe Downstream Recreation AreaPierre
Oakwood Lakes State ParkBruce
Okobojo Point Recreation AreaAkaska
Palisades State ParkGarretson
Pease Creek Recreation AreaLake City
Pelican Lake Recreation AreaWatertown
Pickerel Lake Recreation AreaGrenville
Pierson Ranch Recreation AreaYankton
Platte Creek Recreation AreaPlatte
Randall Creek Recreation AreaPickstown
Revheim Bay Recreation AreaPickstown
Richmond Lake Recreation AreaAberdeen
Rocky Point Recreation AreaBelle Fourche
Roy Lake State ParkLake City
Sandy Shore Recreation AreaWatertown
Shadehill Recreation AreaLemmon
Sheps Canyon Recreation AreaHot Springs
Sica Hollow State ParkSisseton
Snake Creek Recreation AreaPlatte
Spearfish Canyon Nature AreaSpearfish
Spirit Mound Historic PrairieVermillion
Spring Creek Recreation AreaPierre
Springfield Recreation AreaSpringfield
Swan Creek Recreation AreaViborg
Union Grove State ParkBeresford
Walker’s Point Recreation AreaPickstown
West Bend Recreation AreaTyndall
West Pollock Recreation AreaPollock
West Whitlock Recreation AreaGettysburg


South Dakota State Parks offer great discounts on admission and camping for eligible guests! If you’re ready to save money on your next adventure, make sure that you check this list for the most up-to-date state parks discounts in your area. You can also check for ways to save money in other nearby states in our State Parks Discount Directory!

Nicole is the founder and lead researcher of Low Income Relief. After a personal experience with poverty and homelessness following her husband's sudden medical discharge from the U.S. Army, Nicole discovered the life-changing impact of community resources. This experience ignited her passion for empowering others to navigate similar crises. Nicole launched her writing career at age 16, working for various newspapers and publications. Her commitment to in-depth research and accessible content has been recognized by Google for Publishers and other industry leaders. For over 20 years, she has applied her investigative skills to uncover the most helpful, up-to-date information on benefits programs and community resources, ensuring Low Income Relief maintains the most extensive resource databases available.