Where to Fly in South Dakota

Discover the Top Locations for Drone Flying in South Dakota

South Dakota, known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and stunning natural beauty, is a haven for drone photographers. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 locations in South Dakota that are perfect for capturing breathtaking aerial photos. So, pack your drone and let’s discover these amazing locations.

1. Badlands National Park

Contact: Badlands National Park

Location: Southwestern South Dakota

Open Hours: Park open 24/7, Visitor Center hours vary by season

Key Features:

  • Unique geological formations
  • Expansive prairies and canyons
  • Rich fossil beds and diverse wildlife

Badlands National Park, located in southwestern South Dakota, is renowned for its unique geological formations, expansive prairies, and deep canyons. The park also boasts rich fossil beds and diverse wildlife, offering a stunning backdrop for aerial photography. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the striking Pinnacles Overlook, the panoramic Sage Creek Basin, and the colorful Yellow Mounds.

2. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Contact: Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Location: Keystone, South Dakota

Open Hours: 5 am to 11 pm

Key Features:

  • Iconic presidential sculpture
  • Scenic Black Hills landscape
  • Visitor facilities and activities

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is home to the iconic sculpture of four US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The surrounding landscape offers a stunning setting for drone photography, with beautiful forests, mountains, and valleys. Capture unique aerial perspectives of the famous sculpture, the Avenue of Flags, and the surrounding Black Hills.

3. Custer State Park

Contact: Custer State Park

Location: Custer, South Dakota

Open Hours: 24/7, Visitor Center hours vary by season

Key Features:

  • Scenic drives and wildlife viewing
  • Granite spires and rock formations
  • Sylvan Lake and Stockade Lake

Custer State Park, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, offers a variety of picturesque landscapes, scenic drives, and wildlife viewing opportunities. The park is known for its granite spires, rock formations, and beautiful lakes, making it a prime destination for drone photography. Be sure to capture the stunning Sylvan Lake, the unique Cathedral Spires, and the peaceful Stockade Lake.

4. Spearfish Canyon

Contact: Spearfish Canyon Foundation

Location: Northern Black Hills, South Dakota

Open Hours: Public access, no specific hours

Key Features:

  • Limestone canyon walls
  • Bridal Veil Falls and Roughlock Falls
  • Scenic drives and hiking trails

Spearfish Canyon, located in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota, is a breathtaking natural wonder characterized by towering limestone canyon walls, crystal-clear streams, and dense forests. The canyon is home to two spectacular waterfalls, Bridal Veil Falls and Roughlock Falls, as well as numerous scenic drives and hiking trails. Capture the majestic beauty of the canyon, the picturesque waterfalls, and the vibrant foliage from an aerial perspective.

5. Falls Park

Contact: Falls Park Visitor Information Center

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Open Hours: Park open daily, 5 am to midnight

Key Features:

  • Iconic waterfalls and historic ruins
  • Observation tower with panoramic views
  • Beautifully landscaped gardens

Falls Park, situated in the heart of Sioux Falls, is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The park’s centerpiece is the iconic waterfalls on the Big Sioux River, which cascade over a series of quartzite formations. The park also features the remains of a historic Queen Bee Mill and beautifully landscaped gardens. Aerial photography enthusiasts can capture the dynamic beauty of the waterfalls, the historic mill ruins, and the lush park surroundings.


Before embarking on your drone photography adventure in South Dakota, remember to check federal, state, and local laws to ensure that you are flying safely and legally. By doing so, you can fully appreciate the diverse landscapes and stunning beauty that South Dakota has to offer.

To further enhance your drone photography skills and expand your business, don’t miss our comprehensive guide: Soaring High: A Comprehensive Guide to Building and Growing Your Drone Business. This invaluable resource will provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed in the rapidly growing drone industry.

If you need assistance with a LiDAR or Orthomosaic project or have any questions, feel free to contact Blue Falcon Aerial. Our team of experts is ready to help you achieve your aerial photography goals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to Learn More on How we can Help Your Next Project?

Scroll to Top