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For information, contact:
Devil's Lake State Park
S5975 Park Rd.
Baraboo, WI 53913-9299
608-356-8301

Devil's Lake State Park Camping and reservations tips

Devil's Lake State Park has three regular campgrounds with a total of 407 sites that each accommodate a family or one to six individuals. Of the sites, 353 are reservable and the rest are first-come, first-served. There are also nine group campsites that can accommodate a total of 240 campers.

Accessible sites

Six wheelchair-accessible electric campsites (sites A1-A6) are scattered through Devil's Lake's three campgrounds. Each accessible site has a paved driveway, paved pathway leading to a running water rest room building and right to use to a handicapped accessible restroom and shower. Three sites are wooded and three are in mostly open grassy areas.

Double campsites

Double campsites in all three campgrounds are rented individually or as a pair, but double sites are always adjacent to another double site and may be rented by people who wish to camp together. Each site still has a two-car parking spot, a picnic table and a metal fire ring just like other campsites. There are 42 pairs of double campsites.

Tent camping

Tenters may use any of the park's campsites, with or without electricity. Each campsite has enough room for at least one family camping tent. Most wooded sites have room for one to two tents, although a few might be cramped with two. Grassy campsites usually have room for several tents. The number of tents per campsite is not limited, but the number of occupants and vehicles is limited.

Vehicle camping

Recreational vehicle campers may use any of the campsites in the park, with or without electricity. Small pop-up camper trailers will fit on almost any campsite. Drivers of larger motor homes and large trailers sometimes find it awkward to fit on smaller wooded campsites and congregate in the more open camping areas. If you have a large rig, it is best if you personally know the campsites before selecting or reserving a site. Driveway length information is available when you reserve a site, but that may not tell you how much maneuvering space you have at a given site.

Self-registration

A self-registration station for campers is available on the north shore adjacent to the Visitor Center. The self-registration system may be used only when the Visitor Center is closed, campsites are available and registration is completed and the campsite occupied before 11 p.m. Registration procedures provided at the window of the Visitor Center must be followed before occupying a site. Self-registration is not available during the summer.

Camping is allowed only in designated camping areas and designated campsites, not in the backcountry, along trails, or in parking areas. There is no overflow camping area for when the campsites are filled. Mirror Lake State Park sometimes has vacancies when Devil's Lake State Park is filled. Three private campgrounds are directly outside park borders and there are at least two dozen other private campgrounds in Sauk County.

Off-season camping

Camping is available all year at Devil's Lake State Park. During the winter, 12 campsites in Quartzite campground are kept plowed open. Another 20 sites in Quartzite campground may be available for tent campers wanting to experience winter snow camping. The running water rest rooms, water taps and showers are closed during the winter. One winterized water tap and pit toilets are available to winter campers. Running water restrooms are open and available 24 hours/day in the Visitor Center and Headquarters buildings.

Campground hosts

In the summer, campground hosts are available at varying hours to help you with park and local information. Each of the four campground areas has a labeled camp host site. Some of these volunteer hosts also donate their time and skills in other areas of the park, so you may see them driving a tractor, working in the Visitor Center, or directing traffic. Campground hosts can be found at campsites 60, 150, 345 and 437.

Camping reservation tips

Camping reservations are highly recommended for any summer camping stays and are almost mandatory for summer weekend stays. You can make camping reservations up to 11 months ahead of your desired camping start date.

Wooded electrical campsites are the first to fill, followed closely by open/grassy electrical campsites. Among the non-electric campsites, wooded sites usually fill first, leaving the non-electric open/grassy campsites as the last to be occupied.

During the summer 50 campsites are non-reservable and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis in-person at the park only. On summer weekends, electrical non-reservable sites often are filled by Tuesday or Wednesday before the weekend and non-electrical non-reservable sites often fill by Wednesday or Thursday before the weekend.

In the summer, campers arriving without reservations still have a reasonable chance at getting a campsite if:

  • you arrive on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday;
  • you arrive by early afternoon or earlier;
  • you don't need an electrical campsite; and
  • you are looking for only one or two nights of camping.

Otherwise, it can be very difficult to get a campsite without a reservation at Devil's Lake State Park in the summer.

If you arrive on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday morning in the summer, hoping to get a campsite, be aware that you’re likely to encounter a Transfer List or a Waiting List with names that have priority over yours.

Transfer list

If a current camper has a campsite for a night and if they want to transfer to a different site the next night, they may put their name on the "Transfer List". Then they must be at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. the next morning when the transfer list is served. Doing this will put them in the group that has first choice of whatever campsites are opening for that morning.

Waiting list

This is for persons wanting a site for the following evening and they are being turned away because the campground is full. This list will start at 9 a.m. the next morning.

Both lists are available to people in person only (not by phone) at the north shore visitor center.

If you are arriving in the morning to get a campsite, you may have to wait until both of these lists are served, before you are served. Being first in line at the Visitor Center doorway at 8 a.m. is not a guarantee of getting a campsite on any particular night.

Last revised: Friday October 17 2014