On #Vanlife Day 32, we left our lovely camping spot at 99 Bottles Winery and Vineyard to continue our road trip west. We drove 185 miles (298 km) to Palisades State Park near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I couldn’t find a ton of information about the park online, but it was a convenient stop on our way to the Badlands and a few bloggers I follow mentioned it as South Dakota’s Best Kept Secret. After having a chance to explore a little bit, I completely agree! Read on to learn more about this hidden hideaway!
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
South Dakota is an American Midwest state bordered by North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. Although it is larger in area than half of the other United States, it is the 5th smallest in population at just under 900,000 people. North and South Dakota are named after the Lakota and Dakota Native American tribes; both groups call this area home. Currently, the Native American population of South Dakota makes up nearly 10% of the state’s population.
We have a few stops planned for South Dakota, the first of which is just outside of South Dakota’s most populous city, Sioux Falls. The Big Sioux River runs through the city, and, appropriately enough, there is a series of waterfalls in the middle of town. The Lakota people call Sioux Falls “Stone Shatter City”, and it is easy to see why, given the dramatic cracked and stony landscape.
Palisades State Park Campground
We’ll be spending the next couple of days camping out in the van at the Palisades State Park Campground. A tent site near the river is costing us $17 per night. We have two large parking spaces, a fire pit with an attached grill, and a picnic table, but no electricity or WiFi. So far, we are very happy with our site. The bathrooms are very clean and the showers are hot. There are quite a few other campers, but everyone has been very quiet and polite so far. It has actually been quite nice to not be the only ones for once. Maybe we’ll even make some friends!
Until then, it is time to plan our adventures for the next couple of days. Already, I am very impressed with the scenery of the Sioux Falls area and can’t wait to explore it. Stay tuned for a tour of Palisades State Park!
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