Questions and Answers About Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Camping

Click on the question below to see the answer.

What’s the difference between the Rally Pass, Extended Rally Pass and Early Bird Pass?

Here it is, plain and simple:

  • Rally Pass – Aug. 7-13, 2023
  • Extended Rally Pass – Aug 5-13, 2023
  • Early Bird Pass – July 31- Aug. 13, 2023

If you arrive earlier than the dates covered in your package, you may check in at the box office and pay for the additional camping dates.

Can I buy passes for individual days?

Daily passes will become available in the spring or early summer as the schedule comes together. The earlier you reserve your passes the better the deal. Special presale prices end incrementally as the rally approaches. Pay close attention to the newsletter, website and Facebook and get your passes early so that you don’t miss out.

Can we get admission passes if we’re not camping at The Chip?

The Chip is a campground that celebrates freedom and hosts the best party anywhere®, also known as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  Bike shows, motorcycle stunts, burnout contests and good music and more go well with a party.  Access to all of that, including musical performances, are free to all who’ve paid the price of admission. 

Do I have to stay all night?

Hey, it’s still a free country so you can leave any time you want.  It’s up to you whether you camp with us or not.  You can see and hear all the activities and leave.  You could even mistakenly be camping at another campground or staying in a hotel.  But, for your own sake, you should be camping at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.  It’s a special experience you and your friends will never forget.  Avoid a DUI.  Meet your next wife.  Who knows?  It all happens at the Chip.

Purchase your camping passes online, call (605) 347-9000 or walk up to the box office without an advance reservation and buy a pass at the window. (If you want to bring in a camping vehicle such as an RV or motorhome you will need to rent a space to park it on. We have both water/power sites and dry sites.)

Can we show up without a reservation?

You bet! Just remember, you get the best price when you reserve in advance. RV sites and cabins sell out well in advance. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute. Instead, take advantage of the HUGE value you receive by planning ahead.

Can we reserve our tent camping spot?

Tent camping spots are available on a first come, first served basis. So if you have a specific space in mind, come join the party a little earlier. You’ll have a good time.

Can we reserve a specific location for our motor home?

RV spaces in these areas are all pre-assigned and have specific numbers associated with them:

  • Crazy Horse
  • Stage Hill
  • Water Tower RV
  • West End RV
  • Quarter Lane
  • Vendor Row
  • Helo Court
  • Fenske Park

If you are looking for a site in one of these areas, act fast! They are always the first to sell out.

Spots in these areas will be assigned once you arrive:

  • South 40
  • Blue Sky
  • Deep Lake
  • Bear Butte View Dry RV
  • Alkali Road Dry RV
  • Beach View Dry RV
  • ADA RV Camping

Are pop-up campers okay? What about a bus?

Yes! Pop-up campers and busses are allowed, and a lot of people bring them. They are considered to be an RV, and the RV fee applies. If you wish to put the bus or pop-up on an improved site with power and water, an advanced reservation is strongly recommended.

Does it cost money to bring my vehicle onto the site?

When camping at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, it’s free to bring one four-wheeled vehicle to your campsite. We will issue you a vehicle camping pass with your camping passes at the West Box Office.

All 4-wheel vehicles MUST ENTER the campground BEFORE 7:30 p.m. and must stay on roadways when traveling. They must remain parked from 7:30 p.m. until dawn. The campground is a busy place, and safety is of the highest priority. Motorized traffic after 7:30 p.m. within the campground is restricted to motorcycles, trikes and small recreational vehicles. Authorized service and emergency vehicles are the sole exceptions. Failure to comply could result in having your vehicle permanently removed from the campground.

What do I do if I made a reservation, but now I can’t come? Do you offer refunds?

When you make a reservation you do agree to our no-refund policy.  No person can make a reservation for admission into the Buffalo Chip Campground without first checking the box that confirms agreement with the following statement:

“I understand that admission purchases are for camping and that there are no refunds at any time for any reason.  This includes, for example, if I decide not to attend the event for whatever reason, I do attend and the weather is bad, cancellation of concerts and every other conceivable reason.  All sales are final and purchases non-refundable.”

Can we bring our own alcohol to the campground and concerts?

At the Buffalo Chip we don’t care much for rules.  We try not to have any that aren’t in the law books or aren’t for the safety of our visitors. SD codified law 35-1-5.6, makes it a crime “for any person to consume any alcoholic beverage upon the premises of a licensed on-sale dealer if the alcoholic beverage was not purchased from the on-sale dealer.”

The entire campground is licensed as an on-sale dealer.  It is therefore illegal to bring outside alcohol into the campground.  Law enforcement prefers we self-police and therefore bringing outside alcoholic beverages into the Chip is prohibited.

Can I bring my camera into concerts?

While we don’t care if you bring in your camera, the bands do. Bands uniformly prohibit professional cameras, and they require us to enforce the restriction. We encourage snapshooting, but please, no professional equipment.

Can we bring our pet?

For the safety of pets and in consideration of other campers, you’ll need to make arrangements for your pets to stay home or board them locally while you’re at the Chip. We can’t make exceptions, even if your pet knows how to fetch you a beer, but we would be happy to recommend a few good kennels:

Can I bring my service animal?

Persons with disabilities and their service dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for those persons with disabilities are welcome at the Buffalo Chip, as are service animals in training.

Some people have masqueraded their pets as service animals.

These pet owners are taking advantage of people with disabilities and threatening the health and safety of all people and of service animals.
Due to large-scale animal service fraud, and for the protection of all Buffalo Chip patrons, service animals must be actually certified or be a service animal in training. Please be prepared to produce certification or other credentials from a school in which the animal is currently in training.
The Buffalo Chip will NEVER ask for certification or other credentials of a disability.

All service animals must remain by the handler’s side at all times and must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Any animal whose task is to provide protection, emotional support, well being, comfort, or companionship, is not considered a service animal and will not be allowed into the campground.

Where is the nearest place to buy _________?

You name it, and you can probably find it at the 24/7 Buffalo Chip General Store. When camping at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, there’s no need to leave to buy the necessities.

Does The Chip have showers?

The Buffalo Chip has more than 60 free showers conveniently located at the North and South ends of the campground. We are proud to provide guests with hot, clean showers and well-maintained shower stalls. We employ a full time staff during the Rally to keep shower houses serviced around the clock.

For a more private shower experience you can visit the Vendor Deluxe Showers near the Water Tower Junction. For a small fee, you can expect shorter lines and more modern facilities.

What are the bathrooms like?

There are multiple buildings of flush toilets in the amphitheater area.  Both the north and south showers also have flush toilets.  There are hundreds of portable toilets grouped throughout the campground.  Each group of toilets has a staff of attendants assigned to sanitize the each toilet after each use and hand you a paper towel. Now that’s service!

Dozens of permanent outhouses are located throughout the campground. Each one is cleaned, sanitized and maintained daily throughout the Rally.

Is there food available?

You don’t have to cook while you’re on vacation. There are plenty of great food options available from temporary food vendors, as well as our own SpeakEasy Steakhouse and Stage West Café. In addition, the Sons of Light Ministry provides guests with a free pancake breakfast every morning.

What is there to do at the Buffalo Chip during the day?

There are enough activities and entertainment options at the Chip to keep you occupied throughout the entire day – and Night! Start your day with a free pancake breakfast from the Sons of Light Ministry, take a dip or participate in the wild games at Bikini Beach, stroll through the Freedom Field,  watch the talented performers on our showcase stages, do a burnout, see the bikes in the multiple bike shows, visit the world-class exhibition known worldwide as Motorcycles As Art, shop amongst the 100 or so vendors, have your bike worked on, flirt with some of the 150 bartenders, see the daredevil stunts, enjoy the food & beverages and so on.

How do you choose the bands?

Thank you for all of your suggestions for bands. We receive countless suggestions to book specific bands and we work all year to get the bands asked for. There are many bands we’d love to have perform for you during the Rally. Here is a quick run down of how the process pans out:

Take requests from fans;

Determine what bands are an appropriate fit for rally goers;

Attend trade fairs;

Meet with agencies;

Find out what bands are working, if they are on tour that time of year, if they are able and willing to make their way to the middle of nowhere and route through Sturgis, SD, if they are willing to perform for a bike rally, willing to perform at an outdoor festival and willing to perform with the other bands that are booked for the stage;

Determine if band has the dates open or if they will hold the dates as they are putting their routing schedules together;

Notify band agent The Chip might be interested in having the band perform;


Wait, and

Wait some more.

Occasionally bands prefer to visit the venue secretly first.

Some bands consider for years before all of the above work out and they finally commit.

Once bands get a taste of performing at the Chip and know how special the audience is during the motorcycle rally, many ask the Chip if they can return year after year. Some even plan their tours around it.

If the stars all align we get a confirmation and you get a terrific show!

What does the staff do during the “off-season?”

Believe it or not, a party this big doesn’t just plan itself. While it may seem as if the Sturgis Buffalo Chip has an off-season outside of the Rally, our full time staff works year round to ensure you have the best possible experience once you arrive.

When the last camper has packed up his gear and hit the road, we get right back to work planning how to do things even better next year. After improving facilities, creating more campsites, meeting with sponsors, scouting new talent and bookings bands, it’s already August again!

How can I get a job working at the Chip?

We are always looking for smiling faces willing to “Chip In” during the Rally. You can find our employment application online. While we only employ a handful of people year-round, hundreds more join the staff during the Rally. Most of our Rally staff loves working here so much that they come back year after year.

What should I pack?

Pack clothes that will keep you comfortable in all temperatures. August weather in South Dakota is unpredictable. It’s often hot during the day and cool at night. We’ve also seen our fair share of storms.

Check out “The Essential Festival Packing List for The Best Party Anywhere®” for more packing tips.

If you could give me one tip for staying at the Chip, what would it be?

Be prepared to make friends and memories to last a lifetime.

Can I ship my stuff to the Chip?

Yes. You can ship your stuff and have your gear waiting for you when you arrive! Simply arrange with your local UPS to ship your gear and for an additional $15 fee, the Spearfish UPS Store will transport your package(s) to the Buffalo Chip and have them waiting for you to pick up. 

Note: You must contact the Spearfish UPS Store at (605) 717-8771 prior to shipping to make payment arrangements. 

Here’s how to address your package(s):

Your Name @ The Buffalo Chip Campground
The UPS Store
810 N. Main
Spearfish, SD 57783

Be sure to ship in a timely manner so that you don’t arrive before your gear does! You should plan to have your package(s) arrive by July 31st at the latest. Shipped items must be picked up between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the shipping storage container.

When you are ready to leave the Chip, you can also have the UPS Store ship it back for you. You may package your items yourself or have them packaged for you. The UPS Store charges for packing your items for you will depend on the number and size of boxes and packing materials needed. This charge does not include the actual shipping costs. The Buffalo Chip will collect your credit card information at the time of drop off and the UPS Store will charge the appropriate packing and shipping fees.

For more information, contact The UPS Store at (605) 717-8771 or email [email protected]

How can I ship my bike?

Ship and deliver your bike to Sturgis,SD and the Chip:
JM Logistics – 610-636-5848

How does the Sturgis Buffalo Chip compares to others?

Sometimes it’s good to have options. And as you can see below, only the original biker-dedicated destination that brought music and motorcycling together during the Sturgis Rally gives you more options than anybody else.

See for yourself why it’s the best choice for your vacation!

Activities & Entertainment Sturgis Buffalo Chip® The Other Guys
Multiple Stages of Entertainment X
World-Class Bands & Entertainers X
Concerts Free with Camping X
Multiple Days and Disciplines of Racing X
7 Days of Free Bike Show Access X
World-Renowned Motorcycles As Art Exhibition X
3 Signature Black Hills Rides X
International Bikini Team Nightly Pageant X
World-Record-Setting Stunts X
Amenities Sturgis Buffalo Chip® The Other Guys
Shaded Campsites
25+ Bars X
$1 Drafts & Dogs X
Motorcycle Retail & Mechanical Service Outlet X
Bikini Beach Swim Paradise with Rope Swing, Slip 'n' Slide and Sun Decks X
24/7 Gas Station with 93-Octane Fuel X
Free Daily Pancake Breakfasts X
Free Showers
Paved Roads
Accolades Sturgis Buffalo Chip® The Other Guys
Original Biker-Dedicated Entertainment Destination in Sturgis X
42 Years of Experience Throwing a Great Party X
AMA Track of the Year Award - 2014 X
American Flat Track Event of the Year Award - 2017 X
Locally Owned, Family-Run Business X
South Dakota Excellence in Tourism Innovation Award - 2017 X
Longest-Running Women’s Ride in Sturgis X
32 Years of Directly Supporting Veterans and Veterans’ Organizations X
Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association Special Achievement Award - 2021 X
Over $2.1 Million Donated to Charity X

You can’t get more for less anywhere else in the world.
Prices are at the lowest they’ll be all year, and they will increase at any time, so get yours now!

Have a question we didn’t answer? Leave a comment on our Facebook page, write us an email or give us a call at (605) 347-9000. We’ll do our best to get back to you with a response as soon as possible. Until then…Ride Free and Take Risks®!