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Changes coming to camping at USACE campsites in South Dakota

Published March 16, 2016
Tent camping is a popular activity at one of many campsites located on Lake Sakakawea at the Garrison Project in western North Dakota.

Tent camping is a popular activity at one of many campsites located on Lake Sakakawea at the Garrison Project in western North Dakota.

FORT THOMPSON, SD - Fees changes are coming to campsites operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at several locations in South Dakota including Lake Sharpe at Big Bend Dam, Cold Brook Lake and Dam, and Cottonwood Springs Lake and Dam.

Changes occurring at Oahe Dam and Lake will only be to campsites in North Dakota.

At Big Bend Dam near Fort Thompson,  the Left Tailrace campsites will be available to campers May through October. The North Shore Campground is open year-round and free to use.

Campsites at Cold Brook Lake and Cottonwood Springs Lake near Hot Springs, are available to campers May through September.

Reservations for all sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Site Type

Per Night, Per Site Fee

Left Tailrace (Big Bend Dam)



Left Tailrace (Big Bend Dam)

Electrical Amenities


Cold Brook Lake (Hot Springs, SD)



Cottonwood Springs (Hot Springs, SD)



Beginning 2016, visitors to USACE recreation projects will be able to purchase or obtain the following interagency recreation passes -- Interagency Senior Pass, Interagency Access Pass, Interagency Annual Pass, Interagency Military Pass, and Interagency Volunteer Pass. These passes allow their holders free access to federally managed recreation areas throughout the United States. The senior and access America the Beautiful passes also provide holders a 50 percent discount on campsites at USACE-managed campgrounds.

America the Beautiful passes are available online through the U.S. Geological Survey or by calling 1-888-275-8747, option 3. 

Additionally, the Interagency Pass Program allows each of the federal agencies to retain and reinvest revenues collected from the sale of passes at the project level. USACE plans to reinvest its revenues at the projects where the fees are collected. 

USACE is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. 

Jackie Bultsma
(605) 245-2255
Eileen Williamson

Release no. 20160316-001