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Cottonwood Springs, South Dakota Campground Photos, Directions & Reservations

Cottonwood Springs Campground Photos

Cottonwood Springs Campground Photos
Cottonwood Springs Campground Photos
Cottonwood Springs Campground Photos
Cottonwood Springs Campground Photos
Cottonwood Springs Campground Photos

Overview

Located just 5 miles west of Hot Springs, SD is a hidden gem of a campground. Cottonwood Springs Campground is a quiet, peaceful campground tucked away in the southern part of the Black Hills of South Dakota. It offers beautiful scenic views within a short walk of each campsite.

Facilities

Cottonwood Springs Campground features 17 primitive campsites with no water or electric hook-ups. Amenities like potable water, flush toilets, and a playground are provided to help increase camping experience. A camp host is also on site to greet visitors and help with any questions they may have. Access to Cottonwood Springs Lake is only a mile drive from the campground. The boat ramp at the lake is steep, limiting the size of the boat being able to be put in and no gas motors are permitted. Picnic shelters, grills, potable water, flush toilets, and a playground are also located near the lake.

Natural Features

Located in the Southern Black Hills of South Dakota, construction of Cottonwood Springs Dam began in 1968 and was completed in 1969. Cottonwood Springs Dam began construction in 1968 and was completed in 1969. Although the dam was originally built for flood control, it has created a park with approximately 600 acres of public lands and water that provides a variety of benefits to both the public and wildlife. Once here you will see how the rugged hills and evergreen trees create a picturesque site.

Recreation

While Cottonwood Springs Lake is a small lake, it provides a quiet opportunity to wet a line and possibly catch a large mouth bass, rainbow trout, or various pan fish. Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, or any other small non-gas motorized boat can commonly be seen on the lake. The non-motorized gravel path in the wildlife area is a great spot for a short hike or for letting pets enjoy being off a leash. Other popular outdoor recreational opportunities include picnicking, playing at the playground, wildlife viewing, photography, and archery hunting. Archery hunting is permitted in designated areas only and both hunting and fishing regulations are established and enforced by the State of South Dakota.

Recreation Sites

  • Standard Nonelectric
  • Overnight

Activities

  • Camping
  • Day Use Area
  • Fishing
  • Water Access
  • Birding
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Picnicking

Amenities

  • Boat Ramp
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water (peak season)
  • Flush Toilets (Seasonal)
  • Grills
  • Horseshoe Pit
  • Host
  • Lake Access
  • Paved Parking
  • Paved Roads
  • Paved Sites
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Picnic Tables
  • Pit Toilets
  • Playground
  • RV Parking
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Shade
  • Tent Pads
  • Trash Collection
  • Picnic Table

Nearby Attractions

Popular nearby attractions include:

Directions and Contact Information

From Rapid City, SD take US-79 S, turn right onto US-18 W/US-385N, turn left onto US-18 BYP, turn left onto US-18W, take a right on County Road 17/Memorial Road, stay to the left as the road Y’s staying on Couny Road 17 and then enter Cottonwood Springs by taking a right at the gate.

From Chadron, NE take US-385 N, turn left onto US-18 W/US-385N, turn left onto US-18 BYP, turn left onto US-18W, take a right on County Road 17/Memorial Road, stay to the left as the road Y’s staying on County Road 17 and then enter Cottonwood Springs by taking a right at the gate.

Need to Know

Summary of Park Rules and Regulations:

All public-use of Cottonwood Springs Lake & Dam Project is governed by Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) . Rules and Regulations are enforced by uniformed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers.
Maximum Camping Stay: Each person and camping unit is limited to 14-days in a 30-day period. 
All campsites are 100 percent reservable with a zero day booking This means you can check and reserve your campsite on the same day you are planning to camp. However, by that time all campsites might already be booked and not available.
Campsites are limited to either: (a) One (1) wheeled camping unit and one (1) small tent for dependents OR (b) Two (2) Tents per campsite. Camping is only permitted on designated campsites. 
All motor vehicles are restricted to designated roadways and parking areas only, off-road travel is prohibited.
Vehicles may only be parked in designated parking areas or on campsite pad, no parking along roadways or in a manner that restricts or prohibits traffic flow. Vehicles parked in campsites are restricted to two (2) wheels on gravel, two (2) on grass.
Fireworks are strictly prohibited. 
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs/UTVs), golf carts and dirt bikes are prohibited, unless licensed and street legal. 
Pets are allowed, but must be on a leash no longer than six (6′) in length within campground. All pet waste must be properly disposed of promptly. Pets may be off-leash within wildlife area. 
Quiet hours are from 10:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M.
All fires must be contained within designated fire rings or grills.
All visitors must properly dispose of all garbage in designated containers. Do not place garbage in fire rings or grills. 
Use of gasoline motors on Cottonwood Lake is strictly prohibited.
Archery hunting is permitted within designated areas during open seasons in accordance with South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks rules and regulations. 
Fishing, boating and hunting rules and regulations apply and are enforced by South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks .
In case of Emergency, Dial 9-1-1.
For more information, please contact the Corps of Engineers, Hot Springs Office at 605-745-5476.

Life Jackets Worn…Nobody Mourns, Wear your Life Jacket! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) asks you to please play it safe while on, in, or near the water. USACE public recreation fatality statistics show that 88 percent were male, 89 percent were not wearing a life jacket, and 47 percent were swimming in areas not designated as a swimming area. Most people that drown would have survived if they had worn a life jacket. Life jackets come in many styles, sizes, and colors. Choose the right one that fits you properly and make sure to wear it correctly. There is a life jacket for every kind of water activity including swimming. For more information, please visit www.PleaseWearIt.com . 

Firewood Alert! Don’t Move Firewood: Due to the spread of invasive insects, firewood from outside the area is not permitted. Help protect your forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. Visit DontMoveFirewood.org for further information.

Protect Your Waters! Attention Boaters, Paddlers and Anglers: Do your part to help stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) by remembering to always Clean, Drain, and Dry! Visit SDLeastWanted.com for more information. 

Be Weather Aware! Weather conditions can vary and can change rapidly year-round. Tune to local media or radio for weather alerts or visit the National Weather Service – Rapid City Office Website for up-to-date information.

Location Map

Latitude : 43° 26′ 21.5016″ N
Longitude: 103° 34′ 21.2304″ W

Mailing Address

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE
P.O. Box 664
HOT SPRINGS, SD 57747

Phone Number

(605) 745-5476.

Additional Information

South Dakota Tourism
South Dakota State Road Conditions
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks
Local Weather Conditions & Forecast
Rules and Regulations – Title 36 CFR

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