How Safe Is South Dakota for Travel – South Dakota Safety Guide

How Safe Is South Dakota for Travel - South Dakota Safety Guide

In this South Dakota travel safety guide, we have covered all safety-related questions, such as how safe is South Dakota, the safest and most dangerous places, safety tips, and more.

So without further ado, let’s begin –

How Safe is South Dakota for Travel – South Dakota Safety Guide

How safe is South Dakota
How safe is South Dakota

Located in the southern part of North Dakota, the state shares the border with Iowa and Minnesota. The state is mostly known for its Pierre lands and Mt. Rushmore. The two third part of the Black hill is located in South Dakota, making it one of North America’s most famous states.

Mississippi River, Big Stone Lake, and Lake Traverse are well-known to tourists for their calming atmosphere.  Culturally the state is abundant with traditional native Americans with their cultural events. Some of these events include Northland fest and Indian powwows.

South Dakota is ranked as the 7th safest state in the US, meaning you don’t need to worry about how safe is South Dakota or whether you should visit this state.

Warnings & Danger in South Dakota

Warnings and Dangers

Overall Risk – Low 

In the safest states index, the state ranks 7th, and 74 % of state people feel safe here. Therefore, the overall risk associated with South Dakota is very low. However, there are a few cities in the state that you should avoid, and we have covered those cities in the below sections.

Transportation & Taxi Risk – Medium

Even though South Dakota has big cities, you might face challenges finding public transport and taxis as the transportation service isn’t great in the state. The situation is even worse in rural areas, and renting a car is the best option. However, you can easily find taxis in airports and popular tourist locations.

Pickpocketer Risk – Low

Pickpocketing-related cases are not so prevalent here, allowing you to roam in the state freely without worrying about pickpocketing or similar threats. However, it is still advised to keep all your valuables close to you in crowded areas.

Natural Disaster Risk – Medium

The state is not so preferable for natural disasters as many records of earthquakes and tornadoes exist. Nature can pose challenges to tourists. In winter, snowfalls are enough to hinder the trip, so you must keep the weather report handy.

Mugging Risk – Low

South Dakota does not witness such violent crimes in most places; however, mugging can be seen in some cities. Therefore, stay aware of your surroundings and avoid visiting shady areas.

Terrorism Risk – Low 

The state is relatively safe from terrorist attacks as South Dakota hasn’t witnessed such crimes in recent years. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about terrorism here. However, there are some instances of local terrorism, and in that situation, we recommend avoiding any sort of fights with locals.

Scam Risk – Low

The tourists are safe from scammers as the state crime reports show that scammers primarily target the residents and they target them through telephones or the internet. Targeting a tourist can be difficult for scammers.

Women Travelers Risk – Low

Women will feel quite safe in North Dakota as the people here are often open-minded and accept women equally. However, there are some shady areas where rape-related crimes have taken place. Therefore, we recommend avoiding such places and following all safety measures.

Tap Water Risk – Low

The tap water risks are negligible in the state. The officials have confirmed the water is safe here, meaning you don’t need to worry about carrying a water bottle with you.

Also Read – How safe is Pennsylvania for Travel

Safest Places to Visit in South Dakota


Great Bear Recreation Park South Dakota
Great Bear Recreation Park South Dakota

Brandon city leads the board of the safest places in South Dakota. The crime rate of this city is 85% below the national average crime rate, whereas violent crime is 87% lesser.

Brandon is primarily famous for its Huset’s speedway, a car racing venue, and Aspen park for basketball lovers. Besides that, you can also enjoy Great Bear Recreation Park, Valley of the Giant Trails, the Big Sioux State Recreation Area, and more.


Sica Hollow State Park South Dakota
Sica Hollow State Park South Dakota

When the violent crime rate in the USA is 388 among 100k people, Sisseton stands at 84. Overall, the crime rate is 82% lower than the national rate, making it one of the safest states in the United States. 

Webster city park, Fort Sisseton State Park, and Pickerel Lake are the most visited places in the city. Besides that, you can also visit Sica Hollow State Park, Stavig House Museum, and Nicollet Tower & Interpretive Center.


Prairie Village South Dakota
Prairie Village South Dakota

Among the 7357 total population, the city has not reported a single case of murder. The violent crime rate is 68 out of 100k people, which is 82% lower than the nation’s average.

Maddison is the home of Dakota University, and Prairie Village is the city’s biggest attraction. Apart from that, the most visited places are the lakes, trails for hiking, and two state national parks.


Sioux falls
Sioux falls

Lennox consumes a population of 2520 and is the 4th safest city in South Dakota. The chances of being a victim in this city are 1 out of 141. violent cases are 39% lower than the national average, whereas non-violent cases are below 76%. 

Westerman park, The Good earth farm, and thunder road of Sioux falls are the most visited places in South Dakota. Besides that, this city is known for its local cuisine.


South Dakota Art Museum
South Dakota Art Museum

Brookings is the home of 23,377 people and has recorded zero cases of murder in recent years, with a crime rate of 1.63 among 1000 people. These states clearly indicate how safe Brookings is in South Dakota.

You can visit McCrory Garden, Wooden Legs Brewing Company, and Brooking Summer art Festivals. Besides that, you can also visit the South Dakota Art Museum, enjoy the outdoors of the Dakota Nature Park, or play Disc Golf at Larson Park.

Also Read – How safe is Ohio for Travel

Places to avoid in South Dakota

Even though South Dakota is quite safe to visit, the state has some cities that have higher crime rates, therefore should be avoided –


Mitchel comes first on the list of the most dangerous cities in South Dakota. The crime rate is 61% above the national rate. The overall crime rate is 3771 among 100k people, whereas the whole country counts a 2346 rate.

Rapid City

Rapid City stands second on the list of most dangerous places in South Dakota. Every one person among 111 people in this city has the risk of being a victim of violent crime. Rapid city witnesses every type of crime like murder, rape, manslaughter even deadly weapons are ubiquitous in this city.


The crime rate in Chamberlain is 66% higher than the national average rate, making it one of the most unsafe places in North Dakota. Though murder is not so prevalent here, the violent crime rate is 3892 among 100k, much higher than the state records.


The capital city of South Dakota stands at 8th in the crime index. Among 1000 people, the property crime rate is 29.31, whereas the state records 19.7. The total crime rate is 38.39 among 1000 citizens, making the city less live-worthy.

Sioux Falls 

Sioux falls, one of the famous cities in South Dakota, is a threatful city that does not soothe the question – is South Dakota safe? The city is the home of 192,517 people, and for every 172 people, one person is at risk of witnessing a crime.

Also Read – How safe is North Dakota for Travel

Safety tips for traveling to South Dakota

Safety Tips

  • Weather reports – As the state is quite vulnerable to earthquakes and tornadoes, you must keep the weather report handy.
  • Beware of the wild animals – The state has many national parks and lakes. Tourists experience the attacks of wild creators like snakes and Scorpios, so you must be careful while traveling to the state. You can cover your legs with long boots.
  • Avoid remote areas – Rural areas are the most prone to signal to cut, so if you are planning to go there, ensure you inform the close ones. 
  • First aid kit – Keeping the first aid kits handy can be a lifesaver, so make sure you have one.

How safe is South Dakota for solo Travelers?

The state is relatively safe for solo travelers as tourists are pretty safe here; however, staying alone at night in remote places can invite trouble. Therefore, avoid any such instances.

How safe is South Dakota for solo female travelers?

How safe is South Dakota for solo female travelers?
How safe is South Dakota for solo female travelers?

South Dakota is very safe for solo female travelers, but some cities in the state have witnessed some rape cases recently. Therefore, you must be careful with strangers and avoid going to vacant places.

How safe is South Dakota for travel?

If I have to summarize everything, I would say South Dakota is quite safe for travel. The state has seen some crimes in recent years, but those crimes are mostly restricted to some specific areas. If you are planning to visit the state, you can definitely visit it, as the state is home to several national parks, lakes, and other tourist attractions.

The rural area of South Dakota is the safest in the state, with fewer crimes. With that said, here I am wrapping up this article. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them in the comment section below. Our team will try to respond ASAP.

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About the author

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is a tech-savvy editor at World-Wire, renowned for his expertise in writing detailed technical articles and user-friendly how-to guides. With a background in Information Technology, he excels in demystifying complex tech topics. His work is highly valued for its accuracy and practicality, earning him awards like "Innovator in Tech Journalism" in 2023. Alex's role at World-Wire is pivotal in making technology accessible to a broad audience.

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