Explore the Pink Cliffs and Quartzite Formations of South Dakota’s Palisades State Park

King and Queen Rock at Palisades State Park, South Dakota
King and Queen Rock at Palisades State Park, South Dakota | Photo Credit: Wikipedia - McGhiever

Covering 157 acres, Palisades State Park is known for its towering cliffs and riverside vistas. Located near Garretson, South Dakota, this unique landscape features the beautiful Sioux Quartzsite known for its pink color.


Rising 50 feet above the banks of Split Rock Creek, the beautiful pink quartzite rock walls make a stunning landscape. According to geologists, the rock dates back over 1.2 billion years. Many Native American groups in the region have heritage dating back to the region as well. Remnants of the pink quartzite has been found in artifacts.

In the 1860s, settlers began moving in the area. The town of Palisades was established by these settlers who built a powerful mill on Split Rock Creek. The city of Palisades relocated when the railroad plundered through leaving behind the ruins of a 1908 iron bridge that still lies within the state park for visitors to see. This bridge is one of the only remnants of the ghost town that was once the original location of Palisades.

Things to Do

Visitors to the park will discover so much more than just the beautiful rock formations. Guests will find that there are hiking and camping as well as shore fishing and even a playground for the kids.


There are four hiking trails within the park that wind around both sides of the river for more exploration. Click here to see the official state park map with relevant hiking trails, lengths and difficulty.


Campsites are available within the state park. Options include electric and non-electric for a total of 34 sites. There are also 6 camping cabins and a group lodge that welcome visitors to spend time enjoying all the beauty that this place has to offer.

Plan Your Visit

Palisades State Park is located at 25491 485th Avenue in Garretson, South Dakota. There is an admission fee to the park that can range from day to annual passes.

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