North Pole Road, Custer, SD

Hell Canyon Ranger District

Black Hills National Forest

Free Camping Near Custer, SD

North Pole Road (also known as Forest Road 287 on USFS maps) is a popular dispersed camping area due to being only 7 1/2 miles into downtown Custer, SD. The Black Hills National Forest allows dispersed camping along this road according to its Motor Vehicle Use Map (see link below).


Hell Canyon Ranger District logo

Hell Canyon Ranger District

Black Hills National Forest

Custer, SD Office

Tel: (605) 673-9200


GPS: 43.75103, -103.73341

Elevation: 5,689 feet

Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: None

Max stay: 14 days in a 60 day period

Amenities: None

Submitted by

Kyle & Michelle

Kyle & Michelle

The Wandering Shores

Camping at North Pole Road

Along a firm-packed dirt & gravel road, solid enough for full-sized RVs, North Pole Road offers some large, previously-used campsites perfect for camping with two or more vehicles, including those hauling motorcycle trailers for Sturgis Bike Week.

The area makes for a great base camp to visit popular destinations like Mt. Rushmore National Park, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, and the historic downtown Custer.

Several of these previously-used campsites are shaded under tall pines, creating an idyllic camping environment in the Summer.

If you find all previously-used campsites are full here, Black Hills National Forest does allow you to drive your vehicle off the road no further than 300 feet from the center of the road, hence it is legal to set up camp on a spot that has not been camped on before (this is stated in the Motor Vehicle Use Map).

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Associated Documents

Black Hills National Forest Order BHNF-046-98, Occupancy rules, maximum camping limits, (eff: December 9, 1998)
Motor Vehicle Use Map, Hell Canyon Ranger District, Illustrates dispersed camping restrictions & OHV restrictions, (eff: January 1, 2024)

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