Recommendations near Mt. Rushmore

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nmorgan

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Posts
18
Location
IL
We visited the Custer / Keystone, SD area many years ago and loved it. Now we want to take our youngest there (original trip was before her time) on an RV trip and was hoping for recommendations on campgrounds. We will soon have a 38' motorhome and looking for great campgrounds with shade, electricity, and water.

Where have you stayed and had a great experience?
 

Skookum

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Posts
122
We were driving through and wanted to see Rushmore and were trying to book whatever we could find. Just so happened Rushmore KOA had a site available.

KOA's for me are a place to park for the night and get going the next morning on a long trip when trying to make good time. But wow...Rushmore KOA is incredible. I call it "Disneyland of South Dakota". So many attractions, sports, games, fishing, fun rentals, and things to do with a billion other kids and families. Excitement everywhere...and very very busy!

We are childless and weren't quite expecting what the park was going to be. Definitely not our bag, but I realize that is specific to us as a childless couple! lol. But I think it would be awesome for families - judging clearly by the number of families there having fun!

The staff were wonderful, and the park was in order. Decent accommodations, but with a little less privacy and space than we'd prefer. Full hookups. We also booked last minute and didn't have any choice in sites. YMMV!
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,546
Location
Westminster, Colorado
We stayed at Hart Ranch a few miles south of Rapid City on a couple of occasions, and were very pleased with it, but we were there with members. I've not been back to check on what it's like just coming on it cold -- nice campground though.
 

Old_Crow

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,292
Location
California
We stayed at Custer's Gulch campground, east of Custer. They have full hookups, a water/electric section, and a tent section. It was pretty nice and it was close to town. I'd go back.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
143
Location
Bad Water Texas
We also Stayed at Custer Gulch RV. We stayed in RV Spot #60, Huge Pull thru Sites. You can actually see the Custer Park Entrance from our site (3 Miles away), after entering the Park you are a couple miles from the exit to take the wild life loop. Close to the visitor Center also. Here is our site at Custer gulch RV.

Great Place to stay. We loved it.

Great location to see all the iconic stuff in the Area!

 

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Old_Crow

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,292
Location
California
We also Stayed at Custer Gulch RV. We stayed in RV Spot #60, Huge Pull thru Sites. You can actually see the Custer Park Entrance from our site (3 Miles away), after entering the Park you are a couple miles from the exit to take the wild life loop. Close to the visitor Center also. Here is our site at Custer gulch RV.

Great Place to stay. We loved it.

Great location to see all the iconic stuff in the Area!

We were tent camping at the time, but wanted a water/electric site so we could charge our laptop and phones. Their wifi was so good we watched a couple of movies on the computer at night...until the bugs found us.
 

nmorgan

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Posts
18
Location
IL
We were driving through and wanted to see Rushmore and were trying to book whatever we could find. Just so happened Rushmore KOA had a site available.

KOA's for me are a place to park for the night and get going the next morning on a long trip when trying to make good time. But wow...Rushmore KOA is incredible. I call it "Disneyland of South Dakota". So many attractions, sports, games, fishing, fun rentals, and things to do with a billion other kids and families. Excitement everywhere...and very very busy!

We are childless and weren't quite expecting what the park was going to be. Definitely not our bag, but I realize that is specific to us as a childless couple! lol. But I think it would be awesome for families - judging clearly by the number of families there having fun!

The staff were wonderful, and the park was in order. Decent accommodations, but with a little less privacy and space than we'd prefer. Full hookups. We also booked last minute and didn't have any choice in sites. YMMV!
Thanks! We did just book at the Rushmore KOA. Looks like a fantastic spot to spend time with the fam while exploring the area.
 

CharlesinGA

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Posts
292
Location
50 miles south of Atlanta, GA
The Black Hills is a rather small area and so picking a place to stay that is not in the Custer SP/Rushmore area is not a do or die situation, provided you have a toad to go with that Class A. When I was there, I was in my Class C and no toad and so i stayed on the north end of the Black Hills area at Spearfish so I could rent a car. Here is my trip report of that visit. You may find some links in there that are useful. https://www.rvforum.net/threads/my-black-hills-badlands-and-solar-eclipse-trip-in-august.110023/

Charles
 

nmorgan

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Posts
18
Location
IL
The Black Hills is a rather small area and so picking a place to stay that is not in the Custer SP/Rushmore area is not a do or die situation, provided you have a toad to go with that Class A. When I was there, I was in my Class C and no toad and so i stayed on the north end of the Black Hills area at Spearfish so I could rent a car. Here is my trip report of that visit. You may find some links in there that are useful. https://www.rvforum.net/threads/my-black-hills-badlands-and-solar-eclipse-trip-in-august.110023/

Charles
Great information in your trip report, Charles! Thanks for pointing me to that!
 

CharlesinGA

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Posts
292
Location
50 miles south of Atlanta, GA
Forgot to add, time permitting, visit the Journey Museum early in your trip. It will help you understand the history of the Black Hills and the whys and where fors of exploration and settlement of the area.

Other thing is when driving the Iron Mountain highway, drive it from south to north, in the morning. There is one tunnel that frames the faces of Rushmore as you pass thru, but you need the morning light on the faces. I did it in the afternoon when you could not see diddle.

Also, when driving the wildlife loop in Custer State Park, (something like $20 for a one week pass) do it in the evening (or possibly in the morning) as the wildlife will be out and about. Again, I did it in the afternoon, they were all off hiding somewhere.

Charles
 

BoiseRules

Member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Posts
22
We have a trip planned for mid-June to Spearfish SD with reservations at Elkhorn Ridge Resort.

 

John Stephens

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Posts
896
Location
Cape Coral, FL
In 2019, we stayed at Fish N Fry, north of Mt. Rushmore and south of Deadwood. It made a very good home base for a week of exploring the sites around the Black Hills area, close enough to make day trips out of Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer SP, Devils Tower and the Badlands. The sites at the park are decent sized. Although we tow, we chose a back-in site next to the creek that runs by the park and feeds the pond where you can catch your dinner for a reasonable fee. The park was quite beautiful and afforded a good number of photos.
 
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