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Old 04-01-2021, 04:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2021
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Mt. Rushmore

We plan on visiting Mt. Rushmore this summer with a 29 ft. 5th Wheel.
Any suggestions on times of year to go and camp sites that are not necessarily with all the amenities as KOA's. Just looking for beautiful camping experience. Will have dog and possibly a 10 year old grandchild.

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Old 04-01-2021, 06:33 PM   #2
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We went the end of May, beginning of June last year and stayed at Sylvan Lake Campground on the end of Needles Highway for a week. It's nice in the Black Hills any time of year although I prefer September. If you go in August, try to avoid Sturgis dates unless that's your thing. Fire season is May through October although that has been getting earlier. There was a 2000+ acre wildfire just west of Rapid City this week.

We usually camp in older campgrounds with smaller sites so I don't have any advice for you there. We're only 21 feet long. You're probably not going to want to bring a 5th wheel into the upper hills. There is only one road in from the south that's practical for trailers (Highway 89 out of Custer) and even that road has a lot of steep sharp turns. Unhooking and driving in is your best bet, just "watch your hips" if you're driving a dually. :-)


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Old 04-02-2021, 04:03 AM   #3
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In 2009, on our cross country trip we stayed at the KOA in spearfish. Very nice sites and we drove the truck only to Dead Wood, Rushmore and Crazy Horse. If you go to Crazy Horse make sure you eat the Indian fry bread and buffalo stew.

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Old 04-06-2021, 08:46 PM   #4
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Rafter J Bar ranch in Hill City , SD
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tooth Ferry View Post
Rafter J Bar ranch in Hill City , SD
Yes! Very nice campground and close to all of the local sites.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:13 AM   #6
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If you are looking for something "NOT" KOA, we really liked the Stockade Lake North campground in Custer State Park. Just outside the town of Custer and close to all the attractions. Best of all is you are in the middle of one of the best wildlife areas around. Look it up here:
Let me know if you'd like more detailed info.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:28 AM   #7
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We stayed at the Heritage Village Campground and got snowed out in the middle of May, 2017. Watch your weather conditions; they seem to be quite volatile in that area.

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Old 04-07-2021, 02:17 PM   #8
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About 4 years ago we stayed at Buffalo Ridge RV "Resort" at Custer, SD. It (was then) a Good Sam campground (don't know if it still is), so we got a 10% discount for our entire stay. We stayed almost 2 weeks. We also rented a tent site for my daughter, her husband and their (then) 4 kids. We also rented one of the TeePee there for a night so the grand kids could experience something different. They have a swimming pool, play ground, and lots of space to play. They also have a dinner theater and they have a train you can ride, this is free for people camping there.

It's right there at Custer, easy drive to all the sites, including Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Deadwood, Crazy Horse, all those great places. We took a driving tour through the Black Hills, Needles highway, explored all the little towns, and even went to Sturges (Full Throttle Saloon). We took an entire day to drive through Custer State Park, counted the buffalo herds, and got a kick seeing buffalo sleeping on the front porch of a house as we drove by. We went to the candy shop, the exotic pet zoo, and a lot of other places I can't even remember now.

The bottom line was ... we were so busy running all day long, every day, all we COULD use the campground for was for sleeping! There was just so much to see and do in that area.

If you are wanting a camping experience, then inside Custer State Park is your best choice.

However, we had to make reservations over a year ahead to get in at Buffalo Ridge. For this year, you are going to have a tough time finding any campsite anywhere in that area that still has any availability for 2021.
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Old 04-10-2021, 06:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tooth Ferry View Post
Rafter J Bar ranch in Hill City , SD

We stayed here ^^

Best campground in the area.

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