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Old 04-19-2018, 11:27 AM   #15
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Ok.. family with three kids..

I went to Custer a few years ago, prior to my bike days.. we went the week before Sturgis.. at the time.. it didn't even cross my mind.. and everything was fine.. no major issues.. I think, as someone said before, going anytime during the summer will be busy, but Sturgis week may be a bit more busy, for obvious reasons..

Now.. I have since gotten a bike and went to Sturgis for the 75th.. I stayed just south of Sturgis and went riding around the entire area.. especially near Custer, because we had found memories of the little town and wanted to go back.. it was great..

Now... for me.. personally.. during the 75th, which was supposed to be the MOST attended rally, estimated over 1M bikers.. I didn't think it was all that crazy.. I mean, yeah, Sturgis main street was crazy, but once we got outside the bubble of Sturgis.. I didn't think things were that crazy..

However, I must preface my take on things.. I live in Milwaukee and attended the 100th, 105th, 110th and will be attending the 115th this year.. I have no idea how many attend those rallys, but I've been told it doubles Sturgis.. So, maybe I don't get overly excited about seeing a bunch of bikes.. I know my kids thought it was "cool" to see all the bikes.. and you won't find nicer people to be next to.. the old days stereotype days of Sturgis are long since passes.. I think someone said it best, teachers, lawyers, dentists and doctors are the ones riding the bikes these days (only ones who can afford them )..

So.. if you're gonna go.. yeah, there will be crowds.. but for me.. I like the "action" of things.. it makes the towns come alive in a way you may not get to see any other time in the area.. its pretty cool..

That's my two cents !!
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:45 AM   #16
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It really is not as bad as some of these people would have you believe. Last August, we spent 4 days in the Badlands National Park, and then a week in the Black Hills while the rally was going on. Sure, there a lot of bikes, but the Black Hills is a huge area. Between Mt, Rushmore National Monument, Custer State Park, Black Hills National Forest, the badlands National Park, Jewel Cave National Park, Wind Cave National Park, and numerous other attractions, they get pretty well spread out.

We had no trouble finding camp sites, and did not always have reservations. Except in one gas station, we never encountered traffic jams, and never had a problem parking. At worst, the bikes were a very minor annoyance. Of course, we carefully avoided going into Sturgis itself.

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Old 04-19-2018, 02:16 PM   #17
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OP: Keep your plans and go. The main congestion is in Sturgis itself. Other times they'll be riding the countryside in small groups. Your place of stay won't be any more crowded than how many campsites it has.
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:33 PM   #18
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It's only 480,000 people.

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Old 04-19-2018, 03:53 PM   #19
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We hosted two years at Custer SP. Our last gig was in Stockade North. The host site sits on a hill above the entrance on the West side of the park. From early morning until after dark during the rally (and a few days before) there was the thump and roar of those big V-twins heard. Going from the entrance into the park is uphill and naturally these guys want to get on with the business of seeing the park so they 'accelerate' pretty heavily going up. Groups of 8-10 constantly. Driving on Park roads and state roads through the park is not as much fun for 4 wheeler types as it appears to be for the bikers. Dangerous in some areas.
First year we had a lady riding a Goldwing and towing a trailer hit a buffalo. The lady and bike went down and embankment with the bike really banged up and the lady with a broken leg. When emergency services and a tow truck got there, Buffy was standing just down the road munching the green grass beside a small stream that runs beside the roadway.
Bottom line is - there will be a lot of motorcycles in the park.
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:00 PM   #20
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We took our first Motorhome trip last August and it was nuts. Everywhere were bikes and though we didnít have problems with the bikers, all the sites, parks, restaurants, places to stay were full well before and after Sturgis. I would avoid it like the plague next time. Prices are jacked up too.
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:27 PM   #21
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I worked as a volunteer in Custer State Park and I am a biker. Yes there will be a lot of motorcycles on the road. In 2015 it was the 75th Anniversary and there were over a million attending. The past few years have had only a few hundred attending. The Park itself is very peaceful in the campgrounds. Obviously there will be more traffic in the Park and surrounding area. Everyone wants to see Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the Park. It will be no problem for you to view the sites. It just may take a few minutes longer to get from place to place.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by flintsters View Post
It looks like if we were going to visit the Custer State Park area for 3-4 days it would be right in the middle of the bike rally. Is this going to be too zoo-like for our family of 5 (assuming we already have reservations) or will we be fine? I keep reading to avoid the area during this time, but also want to check the area out. Thoughts?
Take the advice of those who have been to the area - when we were there during bike week the only thing annoying was how slow the bikers would ride

Sturgis and the Black Hills are not the same - we had a great time and actually stayed in a campsite, in Custer, next to a biker - (He was a Judge in Philadelphia, and had come for the last 5 years) so not all the people are crazy - actually few are if outside the confines of Sturgis.

Go - Enjoy and post back to see how you enjoyed it - IMHO it's a great time to be there.

Best of Luck,



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