Circle 10 Campground, SD

circle-10-campground-sd1That would be the campground I’ve been staying at while employed here in the Badlands. Like the Lodge, it’s owned by Forever Resorts, and this is where all the employee housing is for us out-of-state seasonal folks. But there are also tent and RV sites available for guests, so I thought it deserved a review.

Circle 10 is located about 3 miles out from the NE entrance to the park, just off of exit 131 on I90. It is close to the interstate and you will hear vehicles passing, but you’ll only see the ones entering and exiting because there is a bit of a hill in the way. There are no badlands views to be had here, but as a tradeoff there are trees, a rare commodity around these parts, and you can also have campfires and grill, open wood or charcoal flames are not allowed in the Park.

circle-10-campground-sd2Tent sites are $20 a night, electric sites are $29, and full hookups are $31. Tent sites are located around the outside perimeter and are grassy. Some of them have a sort of wooden awning that a tent can be put up under, very handy for the strong thunderstorms that seem to pop up here so regularly.

RV sites are gravel, mostly level, and don’t have a lot of space between them, but with the exception of 4th of July weekend the place never filled up, so you can usually count on having at least one space between you and your neighbor. About ¾ of the RV sites are pull-through, there are a few back ins on one end of the campground (and those ones have more separation between sites). There is a dump and water-fill up station near the entrance for those who go with just electric sites.

circle-10-campground-sd3On site is a lobby and store where camping essentials, food, drinks, and Badlands souvenirs can be purchased. Right across the road is a gas station that also has a bit of a store. There is one centrally located restroom/shower complex, which is older but cleaned regularly and was repainted this year. A laundry facility with 2 washers and dryers – the dryers take quarters but washing is free, just bring your own detergent (or buy it in the store). There’s also a pool that gets up to 8 feet deep, but right now it’s too dirty to swim in.

Local attractions besides the Badlands include the Minuteman Missile site, also right across the road. Just a mile or so down is a prairie dog town where you can feed the prairie dogs and buy souvenirs, just beyond that is the Historic Homestead site, a dugout dwelling in the side of a hill from the time of the early settlers.

circle-10-campground-sd4All in all, Circle 10 gets a thumbs up. It’s quiet, cared for (well, except for the pool), conveniently located, and is nestled in a nice prairie setting. But I will say, if you have the chance to stay at Cedar Pass Campground located within the actual park, take that option for the badlands views, unless not having shade or a campfire is a deal breaker to you.

* * *

A few times now people have asked for a way to donate to IO, because they wanted to say thanks but didn’t do much online shopping. Well, with a bit of help from a more web-savvy individual than I (thanks Emily!), it has finally arrived. The shiny new Donate button may be found in my side bar paired with my affiliate link for Amazon. It uses Paypal, but you don’t need a Paypal account to donate, just a credit card.

circle-10-campground-sd6And speaking of Amazon, in an e-mail response to the last post I made about money earned at the Lodge, I was asked by a reader how much I’ve made on my Amazon links, and I thought that was worth sharing here. Since I put them up in February, I’ve earned a total of $44.38 (not all of it has been paid to me yet, gotta meet a monthly threshold). That’s already 22% of the cost of the catalytic heater I want to buy for Cas so I can go boondocking!

Thank you all for your support. Both the monetary, and by keeping this community alive with your comments and e-mails with their questions, insights, observations, and wisdom. Interstellar Orchard wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Dawn on August 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Glad you’re having fun at this job. Very cool that you can move around between seasonal jobs and see part of the country! I don’t know, though….I think if I ever get to go full time RV I won’t want to work at all! 🙂 Love reading about your plans and lifestyle!

    • Gayle on August 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Not work at all — my sentiments, exactly! Of course, I’m a wee bit older than you and have paid my dues with those 60 hour weeks. Books! Naps! Sightseeing! Not being depressed on Sunday nights! Love it, and hope you, too, Becky, can capture these pleasures without waiting 50+ years!

      • Becky on August 17, 2013 at 11:58 am

        Hey Dawn and Gayle,

        Books, naps, sightseeing and not being depressed on Sunday nights? I already do all of that now! (Okay, except maybe the naps thing, just not a nap kind of person). I just do it around work is all. 🙂 Still much more enjoyable than my old life. I get to go full-time RVing now because I’m willing and able to work while on the road. Much more preferable to me than waiting.

  2. David Roderick on August 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Becky,
    Good info on the campsites. I was just confirmed for our Amazon campsite at Desert Rose this morning in Fernley. Just waiting for start date from the big A.

    Regarding blogging, I have been reading a very successful one called “Retire by 40”. This is two years old or so, and the author is making about $2500 a month off the blog. IMHO, this is a great blog for young people who want to do their own thing and create financial independence. And it is done in such a way that he invites comments. In any case, Joe is very responsive (from Portland, OR) and I’m sure he would be willing to assist you as to how to increase blog readership.

    Since I am starting new blogs soon, I have been reading up big time. I must have over 25 blogging how-to books on my kindle (all free). Also…I hope you do have a Kindle. I have about 1400 books on my Kindle Fire which I love (mostly free) For an RVer, they are an incredible asset like having a travelng library.

    Happy Travels,
    David Roderick recently posted..Eastern Sierra NevadaMy Profile

    • Becky on August 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Heya David, yep I love my Kindle too. And have fun at Fernley!

      As for making money from IO, I’m sure I could slap up more ads, or sell other people’s RV related products and do a better job of it, but it’s not mission critical for me. I’m doing alright money-wise with my seasonal jobs, and I enjoy them a lot more than I enjoyed my two ‘real’ jobs out of college.

      I peeked at Joe’s site, and I laughed a little because he basically talks about what I already did: escaping the rat race to pursue a better life. It’s a good site, but I feel okay where I am right now. I feel like when blogs ‘push’ to make more money they end up losing something along the way. IO is growing at a slow but steady pace and that’s alright with me. 🙂

  3. Wayne from PA on August 12, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Becky, thanks for the info…have you gone to the Minuteman site yet? I think I’d find that interesting, having lived through the whole “cold war” thing.


    • Becky on August 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I’ve heard it’s very good Wayne but I haven’t been there myself. There are no advanced reservations, so you pretty much want to show up early in the day to make sure you can get tickets. I’m not a huge history buff, but if it works into my schedule one weekend I’ll check it out. 🙂 I might wait till after Labor Day when the crowds die down again.

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