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Old 11-26-2015, 09:29 PM   #1
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Custer State Park

Has anyone stayed in Custer State Park in South Dakota , we have a 39 ft fifth wheel and I was wondering if they have any length limit, we are planning on being in that area summer of 2016. When should one try to get reservations for that area ? Thanks in advance for suggestions and advice.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:59 AM   #2
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We've visited the area over a number of summers, but never stayed in Custer St. Park. Their sites usually have electricity but nothing else. Besides the ~$34 nightly fee, you also need a $15 daily park pass. Many of the sites would be long enough for your 5th wheel, just be attentive to the roads you shouldn't dare take the trailer (US 16a) Do drive the road, but your 5th wheel wouldn't fit on that road. (Tunnels, switch-backs, etc.) We've stayed in Hill City (Crooked Creek CG) and Mt. Rushmore KOA, also a couple of other places I forget the names of now.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is Aug 8-16, 2016, I'd avoid the area then unless you really like crowds.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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We stayed at Custer RV Park this past Spring for a week. I found the owners to be quite nice and the bathroom/shower facilities were new and clean. The park is Big Rig friendly with many pull through sites. Most of the sites are wooded with plenty off room. The sites that we saw had full hookups. The park is only a few miles from Custer, SD so provisions and restaurants are available. The roads in the RV park are gravel as well as the sites themselves. It was not a problem though.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:51 PM   #4
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We stayed at Grace Coolidge in a 30' motorhome and had plenty of room. I believe there were several sites that would be big enough for your rig. I don't think it's a $15/day fee if you're camping. You'll be given a pass for the days you stay at the gate when you enter.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:09 PM   #5
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In the summer you need reservations. We stayed in Custer for 12 days last summer and loved it. We stayed at Fort-We-Lik-It with a 39" 5th wheel. Many of the sites are Ok for big RVs. Ours was hard to get into and narrow.

Our trip report - Summer 2015 - Go West Youse Guys
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:16 PM   #6
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It was Fort We Lik It (screwy name) we stayed at rather than Custer RV Park.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:11 PM   #7
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I work at Custer State Park in the summer. There are different campgrounds in the park. Game Lodge, Grace Coolige, Legion Lake, Blue Bell, Sylvin Lake, Stockade North and Stockade South, or if you have a horse Horse Camp. Each has RV sites of many different lengths up to 60/70 feet. Most have electric hook up, except Center Lake. All have a shower house with a hose hook up to fill your tank before backing into your site (there are no pull thru). There is a free dump station in the park. All have flush toilets except Center Lake which has vault toilets. The cost for an electric site is $25 per night plus tax. You must purchase a Park Entrance license. An annual license good in all So Dakota Parks is $30. A temporary license is good for 7 days and costs $15. You can make reservations up to a year in advance. I highly recommend reservations for stays in June, July and Aug. You can go online, or call on the 800 phone to make a reservation, or call the Park Office at (605) 255-4515 and we will help you pick a site approatiate for the size of you RV. Highway 16A is the main road thru the park. It is RV friendly. Do not take 16A up Iron MT. Road to Mt. Rushmore or take your RV on Needles Highway, you won't get thru the tunnels.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:42 PM   #8
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We stayed at Happy Holiday. Close to everything. Nice folks. We were there in off season. They told us to park the motorhome in one site and the toad in a second site.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:53 PM   #9
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>There are several sites in Stockade North that will accommodate you.
>Sites at Stockade South are a little smaller.
>Sylvan Lake is way too small for a large trailer or MH.
>Grace Coolidge is a nice but a smaller CG A few sites might work for you there.
>Legion Lake CG has been remodeled and would work but it is in a notch between to hills and it gets hot with no air moving there. Sometimes Buffy will come and visit for an hour or so. They like the tender grass.
>Center Lake has smaller sites and it basically in the pine woods for the most part. Locals from Rapid City seem to favor that CG.
>Blue Bell is likely (IMHO) the most beautiful CG in the park, set in the pines, with a gas station/store nearby and a lodge with a nice restaurant and horse livery and riding trails nearby. However like some of the other CG, the sites are limited in size and close together.
> Most popular and open year round, is the closest CG to the east side of the park, is Game Lodge. You will find sites that will handle your rig there, and there is a fence to keep the buffalo from wandering in. If you plan to stay more than a few days, this is where you need to stay. This is the only CG in the park that has a dump station.
There are really no 'bad' CGs at Custer State Park but some are nicer and more desirable than others, just like some sites are nicer than the others.

Click on the link here SD GFP | State Parks | Directory | Custer State Park and you can see the individual sites and descriptions at each CG.
We have spent two seasons there hosting and visited at least 4 times.
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:06 AM   #10
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We love the Black Hills area and have been many times over the years.

The campgrounds in the park are nice but make sure to research your approach to the campground, not all access roads are RV friendly (for example, you don't want to be going through the tunnels). There are also limited internal roads so depending on which campground you end up at it can take an hour or more to get out and to any sights outside of Custer (like Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the cities of Keystone or Hill City, Sylvan Lake or the many scenic drives outside the park)

For what it's worth, we always stay at the Rafter-J-Bar, between Hill City and Custer. We feel it's perfectly located for a visit to the area, not to mention that it's a nice park. You're just minutes from any of the places I mentioned. It's really several parks in one. You can choose the character of the area you want to stay in. In the trees, in the meadow, close to the office, pool and playground area, or hundreds of yards away.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:55 AM   #11
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We love the Black Hills area and have been many times over the years.

The campgrounds in the park are nice but make sure to research your approach to the campground, not all access roads are RV friendly (for example, you don't want to be going through the tunnels). There are also limited internal roads so depending on which campground you end up at it can take an hour or more to get out and to any sights outside of Custer (like Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the cities of Keystone or Hill City, Sylvan Lake or the many scenic drives outside the park)

For what it's worth, we always stay at the Rafter-J-Bar, between Hill City and Custer. We feel it's perfectly located for a visit to the area, not to mention that it's a nice park. You're just minutes from any of the places I mentioned. It's really several parks in one. You can choose the character of the area you want to stay in. In the trees, in the meadow, close to the office, pool and playground area, or hundreds of yards away.
I second that, I noted Rafter -J-Bar for our next visit to the region. Custer SP is nice, but as you said, it's a bit far from a lot of the places we like to visit.
I really recommend a visit to Chief Crazy Horse, the museum there has really improved over the years and is very good now.
Wind Cave NP is also worth a visit, but I hope you don't get the ranger we got on our second visit, he made you feel guilty for visiting the cave and leaving dander and breathing! Keystone and Deadwood have nice sidewalk cafes for a meal and lots of shops for those 'must have' souvenirs. I recommend anything made of redwood and Black Hills Gold, made in China.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:51 AM   #12
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We visited Custer State Park for the first time this fall and stayed at the Game Lodge Campground in a 40' Class A. No problem with the site and road access, and there were several others that were large enough. It also has a dump station onsite, which not all the State Campgrounds do. Great campground and location, but of course electric only. We also drove by and looked at the Rafter J for future reference. It is also a great location (perhaps even better for things outside the park), and looked very nice, as others have said.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:02 PM   #13
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No problem for us in our 45' MH at Custer State Park. 50A hook ups. They have one loop that will accommodate big rigs. It fills up early for the summer, so book soon. Very very nice. We plan on going there again soon.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:22 PM   #14
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No problem for us in our 45' MH at Custer State Park. 50A hook ups. They have one loop that will accommodate big rigs. It fills up early for the summer, so book soon. Very very nice. We plan on going there again soon.

Which CG?\
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