Thousands of campers are enjoying South Dakota State Parks during the unofficial start to summer. But as the temperatures heat up, so does the competition for campground reservations as far out as Labor Day.
Cars lined up to get into Palisades State Park as families enjoy Memorial Day weekend in the great outdoors.
"It's just nice to get away from home,” Jason Christensen said.
Christensen and his family are among thirty-four lucky campers who planned ahead for the highly-coveted campgrounds at Palisades State Park.
"When it hits 90 days, we do that for Memorial Day, we do that for River Boat Days, Labor Day, just so we can get a spot that we want," Christensen said.
And competition for the campgrounds is fierce at South Dakota State Parks this summer. District Park Superintendent Travis Theilen says weekends are booked solid through most of the summer. Even the threat of soggy weather didn't slow down reservations.
"We had kind of a poor forecast going into the weekend and we saw some cancellations. But those were quickly booked up," Theilen said.
Theilen says nearly every weekend is booked and the weekday slots are filling up too.
And while Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial start of summer, if you want to camp at one of South Dakota's parks by the traditional last weekend of the season, you'd better hurry if you want a Labor Day campsite.
"The reservations allow people to make plans in their busy lives so they know they have something to get to. They don't have to show up and hope they have a campsite," Theilen said.
Reservations for campsites and camping cabins in South Dakota state parks can be made within 90 days of arrival dates.
To reserve a campsite, call 1-800-710-2267 or visit the South Dakota State Park Reservation website.