North Dakota’s immaculate wilderness provides the perfect landscapes for pitching a tent, parking your RV, or simply sleeping beneath the stars. So if you’re itching to get outside and get a little closer to nature, these 10 camping spots in North Dakota will help you out.
Located in West Central North Dakota, the 70,446-acre national park is one of the state’s greatest treasures. Part of the majestic Badlands, the park affords visitors the opportunity to see a plethora of wildlife—from bison, deer, and antelope to prairie dogs, eagles, and coyote. If you are into hiking, the park includes hundreds of miles or trails and path. A variety of camps sites are scattered throughout both the north and south units.
Located within the majestic Turtle Mountains on the shores of Lake Metigoshe, the 1,551-acre park is a popular spot among nature and photography lovers. Anglers come from all over for the lake’s northern pike, walleye, and perch fishing, while hikers are attracted to the park’s Old Oak Trail, a National Recreation Trail. Primitive and modern campsites abound and there are several cabins for rent.
Located on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Sakakawea, the 1,293-acre park is home to some of the state’s best salmon fishing. The lake itself is one of the three largest man-made structures in the country, trailing only Nevada’s Hoover Damn and Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam. The park is also the culmination of the North Country National Scenic Trail, which stretches across the northern U.S. to upstate New York. You will find a variety of campsites and cabin rentals sprinkled around the lake.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a perfect mixture of history and beauty. Made famous by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, the park includes the reconstructed Custer House and the On-A-Slant Indian Village, which features authentic earth lodges. The park’s campgrounds are located on the Heart River, which provides visitors with the opportunity to interact with nature on an intimate level.
Lewis & Clark State Park offers visitors an unparalleled view of the famous North Dakota Badlands and the gorgeous Lake Sakakawea. Few places in the state can boast such a serene and breathtaking combination of land and water. Famous for its excellent walleye and northern pike fishing, the park is also known for its washed sand beaches and excellent hiking trails. The park also includes many campsites and sleeping cabins available for rent.
Located on the tranquil Turtle River, the 784-acre park provides year-round recreational activities for the eastern part of the state. With an abundance of rainbow trout, the river offers prime fishing opportunities in all four seasons. A groomed trail system affords up-close looks at the wide variety of animals and birds in the area, and the wetlands are flush with natural vegetation. A variety of campsite and cabin rentals are available, as are a lodge and a chalet.
Called "Mako Shika" or "where the land breaks" by the Sioux, Little Missouri State Park offers some of the most unique landscape in the state. Much of the park is accessible only by foot or horseback, which gives it an authentically primitive feel. Although the campsites are also primeval, the views alone make the experience worthwhile.
Considered one of the state’s best kept secrets, the Maah Daah Hey Trail is a combination of unadulterated beauty and natural serenity. Located in the Badlands, the trail offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a little bit of everything—rolling plains, tranquil rivers, majestic plateaus, and captivating valleys. The entire trail is 96 miles long, and comprised of nine units of varying size and difficulty. Full service campsites are located approximately every 20 miles along the trail.
Located on the north shore of Lake Renwick, the 912-acre park is home to the Pioneer Heritage Center, restored historic buildings, the Gunlogson Homestead, and a 200-acre Nature Preserve. The natural wooded area along the Tongue River is a sanctuary for the plants, birds, and wildlife that depict the natural beauty of the state. Boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities abound in the summer, while hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are popular in the winter. A full-service campground and RV dump station is available for those interested in taking full advantage of the area.
For those looking for a secluded camping experience, Beaver Lake is the place. Located on the west shore of Beaver Lake, the park exemplifies the low-paced simplicity the Midwest’s rolling plains. That doesn’t mean, however, the 283-acre park doesn’t offer the same fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities of its more famous counterparts.