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Old 06-16-2014, 07:14 AM   #1
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South Dakota

Any suggestions on parks not right in Custer SD or say 30 miles out east or west or north of Rapid City ? Any parks near badlands , plan on staying in area 3 days and then moving on to Yellowstone area. Will need suggestions for Yellowstone area too?
Do you call ahead and make reservations ? We will be in SD around July 12th , anyway that's are plans.

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Old 06-16-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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If you don't need hook ups, Cottonwood Springs Lake is a corp of engineer campground outside Hot Springs for $8 a night. Gorgeous and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We did day trips to Custer, Mt Rushmore, Rapid City and Badlands from there.

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Old 06-16-2014, 09:57 AM   #3
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We've always stayed at the Rafter-J-Bar, in Hill City.

For what it's worth, three days in the area is not enough, especially if you're including the Badlands in that time frame.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:03 PM   #4
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We r retired and I plan on staying at least a week but I want to avoid the bike rally , don't really know when bikers start coming into this area.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
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The Sturgis Rally is 4-10 Aug this year, I think. We went through Rapid last year the week before then came back the week after. The week before they were already in full swing not quite as bad the week after. There were an estimated 400,000 bikers last year. Amazing when I was pulling alerts we went through Sturgis and then there were maybe 200-300 but hen that was in the early 70s. Everything was crouded and traffic was trying. If you have miltary ID the Ellsworth Fam Camp is decent, and there is a a good Campground in Wall, within walking distance to Wall Drug and shopping/attractions. Also conventient to the Badlands. We ahve stayed at a campground about an hour from Rapid. Used to be a KOA but is privateally owned now, near the freeway, pull -throughs and level, thinking the name is like Williams Campground.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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Rafter J Bar or Spearfish City Park for us.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:37 PM   #7
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:47 PM   #8
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We like Angostura State Recreation Area near Hot Springs. The area is on the southern edge of the Black Hills, away from the crowds. Great bike path that starts there, too (the George Mickelson Trail). \ken
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:57 PM   #9
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Vetl82, if you are coming on I-90 from the East there is a campground at Wall, SD., as Melvo mentioned, it's not real fancy but it is a place to stay. It isn't too far from the Badlands which is East of Wall. Then there are quite a few places around the Rapid City area, we stayed at the KOA near Mt. Rushmore after staying 1 night in Wall, made for a short trip the next day. I'd probably get reservations if I were going especially in and around the Rapid City area. Enjoy the sights!
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:33 AM   #10
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There is a campground (Badlands Circle 10 Campground) at the intersection of I90 and 240, exit 131. 240 is the east entrance into the Badlands. Across the street is the Minuteman Missile NHS.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:44 AM   #11
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Fifteen years ago there was a campground on the western edge of Rapid City itself. It was shaded and quite nice. Don't remember the name however. From there is was an easy drive to all the attractions.

Do try to find some shade that time of year.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:03 AM   #12
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koa in rapid city is a great place
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:17 PM   #13
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The city campground in Spearfish SD is a very nice campground. It is treed with plenty of shade, has a beautiful stream flowing through it and has a fish hatchery and museum just a very short walk away. Spearfish has a number of summer festivals and shows, and is at the north end of Spearfish canyon. Devils tower is a fairly short drive as well as gambling in Deadwood. It is also an easy drive to Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #14
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FWIW, even if the rally is going on, its worth a look. Its some of the best people watching you'll see anywhere. Just getting into town for a couple hours can be an eye opener.
If you're going to be in the area, its better after the rally than before. Things are heating up a full week in advance, but things come down pretty quick after the fact.

I've been going to the rally for over 20 years and in many of them, I've taken the old monaco pulling a 24' trailer. Point is, you can get around even if its congested.
I wouldn't want to spend a week there in an RV, but a day isn't that bad.

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