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Old 04-01-2021, 04:16 PM   #1
Blue
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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
rjrelander
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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: https://www.campendium.com/stockade-...rth-campground
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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Old 04-18-2021, 08:01 AM   #10
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We will be in that area in September this year with our 29í.
We found Whistlers gulch just out of deadwood. We wanted to be very close to deadwood for a couple late night dinners and gambling. Itís within a long walking distance of town. With a 3 hour total drive you can see Rushmore, crazy horse and jewel caves.
Caution, there is a KOA in deadwood, but I read many comments about how tight and steep is was for bigger rigs.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:22 AM   #11
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Anytime a year is good to be in SD! We go anally and stay generally at in laws in Rapid city. I have towed RVs and other trailers there multiple times. Any of the campgrounds in Custer state park would be a great choice. I am thrilled that a photo of Crazy Horse was already posted. My wife and I belong to the Crazy
Horse Memorial Keepers Of the Dream, Story Tellers. If you go to Rushmore it is cool but Crazy Horse Memorial is only 16 miles away and the entire display at Rushmore will fit in the Space of Crazy Horse's Face. The Laughing Water restaurant at the Memorial is worth the drive from CNY. There is so much to see and do in the Black Hills. The Alpine House restaurant it Hill City makes Killer Reuben sandwiches. I am currently setting 1752 miles east of Wall SD. LOL
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:05 AM   #12
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I recommend calling NOW ! I have heard most places are filled up. Everyone wants to go to SD this year due to eased Covid restrictions.
Most CG’s in the area are great even the KOA’s are great.
Good luck
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:07 AM   #13
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Custer State Park personally, puts you in the middle of everything.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:22 AM   #14
Kevin H
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Smile Mount Rushmore

Summer before last we stayed here. Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch Resort. We pull a 36 foot Keystone Raptor toy hauler and had no problems at all. I do recommend getting to the park via Hill City, the ride from the Keystone side is a winding road. The resort is really nice with pools, horseback riding, and diners. Personally we are thinking about going back ourselves. Side note: If going to Mount Rushmore go both during the day and at night for the flag lowering. It is amazing. I do agree you are not in the campground much, there is just to much to see. Hill City, Custer, Keystone are pretty much in the center of everything you will want to see. No matter where you stay, have fun and take it all in.
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:53 PM   #15
speedy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue View Post
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.
Check the website for Crazyhorse and the dates they dynamite the mountain. Also, Custer State Park awesome for the grandchild. We found several parks around Custer SD limited places to eat. The Needles State Park is also awesome, donít pull the RV.
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:15 PM   #16
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June 26 and September 6 are the dates of night blasts. They are fairly popular so plan early. Today is probably too late.
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:16 PM   #17
James R Moneypenny
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We have stayed at Custer Gulch twice. You won't find a more pristene campground.

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Old 04-18-2021, 03:21 PM   #18
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My wife and I made a trip from Iowa to montana and stopped to see mt rushmore. We stayed at hidden valley campground between deadwood and keystone. Very nice place we thought. plus we were able to do the mt rushmore thing and keyston sd thing and deadwood sd thing.. we had a ton of fun
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:36 PM   #19
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Planning our trip to South Dakota has been a real challenge. I try to plan and find locations to visit and I get more ads that real info. I found a great idea for planning a trip, no ads, did I say no ads? and you can see your whole trip on one page. They are called maps, Iím going to get them for the whole route from Washington. They even work when thereís no cell service. Lol.
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:34 PM   #20
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My wife and I spent 70 days on the road this past summer with 30 of that in South Dakota. We stayed at Custer State Park. Perfect spot for making the Iron Mt. and Needles Hwy. Ride with a stop at Rushmore. We were there in early Sept. and had 4” of snow. We saw a herd of maybe 1000 Bison on the wild life loop in the park. We were in a 30 TT @ the Coolidge camp site.
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