palisades state park

Palisades State Park: Explore South Dakota

Welcome to Palisades State Park! Located just outside of Garretson, South Dakota, this hidden gem is a nature lover’s paradise. With its stunning scenic hiking trails, camping facilities, and a variety of outdoor activities, Palisades State Park offers the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of South Dakota.

Key Takeaways:

  • Palisades State Park in South Dakota is a beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • The park features scenic hiking trails, camping facilities, and a range of outdoor activities.
  • Located just outside Garretson, it is conveniently close to Sioux Falls.
  • Explore the stunning Sioux Quartzite formations and enjoy the rushing waters of Split Rock Creek.
  • Don’t forget to take advantage of the park’s camping facilities and immerse yourself in nature.

Essential Information for Palisades State Park

Palisades State Park

Palisades State Park is a hidden gem located just outside of Garretson, South Dakota. With its stunning Sioux Quartzite formations, scenic hiking trails, and a range of activities, it offers a perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts.

Location: Palisades State Park is situated in Garretson, South Dakota, approximately a 30-minute drive from Sioux Falls.

Activities: Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of activities, including:

  • Hiking: Explore the park’s scenic hiking trails, surrounded by striking rock formations.
  • Fishing: Cast your line into the Split Rock Creek and try your luck at catching a variety of fish species.
  • Picnicking: Take advantage of the designated picnic areas and enjoy a meal with family and friends amidst the park’s natural beauty.

Accommodations: Palisades State Park offers camping facilities with beautiful secluded campsites. For those who prefer more comfort and amenities, there are also lodging cabins available for rent.

Directions: To get to Palisades State Park, you can refer to the directions provided on the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks website.

Explore the natural wonders of Palisades State Park and indulge in a variety of outdoor activities amidst the picturesque landscapes of South Dakota.

Park Highlights

Split Rock Creek

Palisades State Park is known for its beautiful Split Rock Creek, which flows through the park. The creek is lined with stunning Sioux Quartzite formations, ranging from shelves above the water to 50-foot vertical cliffs. The park offers scenic overlooks where visitors can take in the breathtaking views of the rushing water and unique rock formations.

Feature Description
Split Rock Creek A picturesque creek that flows through the park, surrounded by stunning Sioux Quartzite formations.
Sioux Quartzite formations Unique rock formations ranging from shelves to 50-foot vertical cliffs, creating a dramatic landscape.
Scenic Overlooks Elevated viewpoints that provide panoramic views of the rushing water and the natural beauty of the park.
Rushing Water The fast-flowing water of Split Rock Creek creates a captivating and dynamic environment.

These park highlights make Palisades State Park a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking extraordinary natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes.

Activities at Palisades State Park

hiking trails

Palisades State Park offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re an avid hiker, fishing enthusiast, rock climber, or simply love picnicking in nature, this park has something for everyone.

Hiking Trails

With four scenic hiking trails winding through the park, hikers can explore the breathtaking scenery and unique rock formations that Palisades State Park has to offer. These trails provide a variety of difficulty levels, catering to both beginners and experienced hikers. Lace up your boots and immerse yourself in the beauty of South Dakota’s natural landscapes.


If you enjoy fishing, you’ll be delighted to find several accessible areas along the creek that are perfect for casting a line. The serene surroundings and peaceful atmosphere make Palisades State Park an ideal spot to relax and indulge in your favorite pastime. Bring your fishing gear and try your luck in the crystal-clear waters of Split Rock Creek.

Rock Climbing

For the adventurous souls, Palisades State Park presents an opportunity to test your skills on the unique quartzite formations. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or just starting out, these natural rock walls offer a thrilling experience. Challenge yourself and conquer the cliffs with the stunning backdrop of the park.


Looking to enjoy a peaceful meal surrounded by nature? Palisades State Park has designated picnic areas where you can unwind and savor a delicious meal with friends or family. Breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sunshine, and create lasting memories in this tranquil setting.

Experience the joy of hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and picnicking in the picturesque landscapes of Palisades State Park.

Accommodations at Palisades State Park

camping at Palisades State Park

If you’re looking for a serene camping experience surrounded by nature’s beauty, Palisades State Park offers secluded camping facilities with breathtaking campsites. The park’s campsites on the west side of the river provide stunning views overlooking the water, creating the perfect backdrop for a peaceful getaway. Camping at Palisades State Park is a great way to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the tranquility of the park’s surroundings.

Camping Rates Restroom Facilities
$26 per night Available for campers’ convenience

When camping at Palisades State Park, you’ll have the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re pitching a tent, setting up a camper, or sleeping under the stars, the camping facilities at the park provide a peaceful retreat that allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.

Exploring the Area


In addition to the park itself, there are many attractions and scenic views in the surrounding area. Visitors can explore Garretson, a charming town near the park, or take a short drive to Sioux Falls to visit its famous falls and vibrant downtown area. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including raccoons, turkeys, and whitetail deer, making it a great destination for nature enthusiasts.

Services and Facilities

lodging cabins

Palisades State Park is dedicated to providing visitors with top-notch services and facilities to enhance their experience. Whether you’re seeking information, in need of restroom facilities, or prefer a more comfortable stay, the park has you covered.

Visitor Center

At the heart of Palisades State Park, you’ll find the visitor center, the hub of information. Here, knowledgeable staff are available to assist you with any questions you may have about the park, its attractions, and the surrounding area. From trail maps to wildlife sightings, the visitor center is your go-to resource for making the most of your visit.


Restroom facilities are conveniently located throughout the park to ensure your comfort during your visit. Clean and well-maintained, these facilities offer a refreshing break during your exploration of the park’s breathtaking natural beauty. Take a moment to freshen up and continue your adventure feeling rejuvenated.

Lodging Cabins

If you prefer a more comfortable stay while immersing yourself in nature, Palisades State Park offers cozy lodging cabins. These cabins provide a retreat from the elements and come equipped with essential amenities for a relaxing and enjoyable stay. Experience the tranquility and beauty of the park while enjoying the comforts of home.


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Make your stay at Palisades State Park even more convenient and comfortable with the available services and facilities. Whether you’re seeking information at the visitor center, taking a break at the restrooms, or opting for a cozy cabin stay, the park is dedicated to ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

Park History

Palisades State Park has a fascinating history that adds to its allure and charm. Situated near the site of a former flour mill, the park has deep-rooted connections to the once-thriving town of Palisades. The flour mill, powered by the fast-flowing Split Rock Creek, played a significant role in the local economy and daily life.

During the late 19th century, Palisades experienced a period of growth and prosperity when silver was discovered downstream in 1886. The news of the silver discovery spread like wildfire, attracting fortune seekers and business entrepreneurs to the area. The town flourished as people flocked to take advantage of the newfound wealth and opportunities.

However, the initial excitement and anticipation quickly faded as it became apparent that the silver ore was of low quality. The dreams of a prosperous silver mining industry were shattered, and the claims were eventually abandoned. Despite the disappointment, the remnants of the flour mill and the memories of the silver discovery remain as testament to the park’s storied past.

Planning Your Visit to Palisades State Park

park entrance fee

When planning your visit to Palisades State Park, it’s important to consider the park’s operating hours. The park is open year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty in all seasons.

Here are the park hours:

Day Hours
Monday – Sunday 8:00 AM – Dusk

In order to access the park, there is an entrance fee of $8 per day. This fee helps support the maintenance and preservation of the park for future generations to enjoy.

When visiting the park, it’s important to follow all visitor guidelines to ensure the safety and conservation of the park’s natural environment. Here are some visitor guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Properly dispose of waste in designated trash receptacles.
  • Stay on designated trails and respect all signage.
  • Observe wildlife from a safe distance and refrain from feeding them.
  • Do not remove or disturb any plants, rocks, or artifacts.
  • Leave the park as you found it, taking all your belongings with you.

Remember, by following these guidelines, you not only protect the park for future visitors but also contribute to the overall preservation of its natural beauty.

Now that you have all the necessary information, you can plan your visit to Palisades State Park with confidence. Enjoy your time exploring the park’s stunning scenery and engaging in outdoor adventures!

Nearby Parks and Trails

Palisades State Park is not the only outdoor destination in South Dakota. There are several other parks and trails nearby that offer additional opportunities for outdoor recreation. Visitors can explore the numerous hiking trails in the area or visit other South Dakota parks to experience the state’s natural beauty. Some popular nearby parks include Falls Park, Big Sioux Recreation Area, and Newton Hills State Park.

When it comes to outdoor recreation, South Dakota has plenty to offer. In addition to Palisades State Park, there are several other parks and trails that provide a variety of activities and breathtaking scenery.

Falls Park is a standout destination with gorgeous waterfalls that flow through the heart of Sioux Falls. It’s a perfect spot for picnicking, strolling along the walking paths, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature.

Big Sioux Recreation Area is another popular option for outdoor enthusiasts. Located on the banks of the Big Sioux River, this park offers opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife observation. The hiking trails provide stunning views of the river and surrounding landscapes.

Newton Hills State Park is a peaceful and scenic park known for its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife. Hikers can explore the park’s trails, which wind through dense forests and meadows. The park also offers camping facilities and is a great place to spot deer, wild turkeys, and other animals.

Whether you’re looking to hike through the rolling hills or relax by a tranquil river, the nearby parks and trails in South Dakota have something for everyone. These outdoor destinations provide opportunities to connect with nature, unwind, and create lasting memories.


Palisades State Park in South Dakota is the ultimate destination for outdoor adventurers. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a camping enthusiast, or simply someone who loves to soak in the breathtaking natural beauty, this park has it all. With its magnificent rock formations, picturesque hiking trails, and a wealth of activities to enjoy, Palisades State Park offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Located just outside of Garretson, South Dakota, Palisades State Park is a hidden gem that showcases the unique Sioux Quartzite formations, with towering cliffs that reach up to 50 feet in height. The park’s scenic overlooks offer stunning views of the rushing waters of Split Rock Creek, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor adventures.

Whether you’re embarking on a challenging hike, casting a line in the creek for a day of fishing, or simply lounging at one of the park’s designated picnic areas, Palisades State Park is a playground for nature lovers. Its serene atmosphere and abundant wildlife provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

So, if you’re searching for an unforgettable outdoor adventure in South Dakota, look no further than Palisades State Park. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, explore the scenic trails, and create lasting memories in this remarkable destination.


Where is Palisades State Park located?

Palisades State Park is located outside of Garretson, South Dakota, just a 30-minute drive from Sioux Falls.

What activities can I do at Palisades State Park?

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at Palisades State Park, including hiking, fishing, picnicking, and rock climbing.

Are there camping facilities available at Palisades State Park?

Yes, Palisades State Park offers secluded camping facilities with beautiful campsites. The park also has lodging cabins available.

What are the park’s operating hours?

Palisades State Park is open year-round. Visitors can enjoy its beauty in all seasons.

How much is the entrance fee to Palisades State Park?

There is an entrance fee of $8 per day to access the park.

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