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Old 11-15-2022, 09:04 AM   #1
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KOA thoughts @ Mt. Rushmore

Looking for some opinions on KOA. Admittedly we have never stayed at a rv park always been into boon docking or state parks.

The wife wants to go to mt rushmore and Im all for it but she wants to stay at the koa there. I will say it looks cool and has a lot to keep our daughter busy when not out sight seeing.
Koa does a fine job of hyping up there spots but when you look them up not on there sight a lot of them look lack luster. If its just an overnight stop then it is what it is but to book a week there Id love some feedback.
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Old 11-15-2022, 09:13 AM   #2
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We've stayed at the KOA Palmer Gulch twice and liked it a lot. We will definitely stay there again in the future.

If you have time go to the Crazy Horse monument.
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Old 11-15-2022, 10:08 AM   #3
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Planning a stop in the Rushmore area for July 2023. Thinking will go to Custer State Park but not sure yet. KOA is too commercial for me but might go for it anyway.
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Old 11-15-2022, 10:32 AM   #4
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I know you're looking for comment on the KOA (haven't stayed there), but if you are looking for a less commercial feel, maybe Rafter J Bar Ranch in Hill City might be more to you liking. We've stayed there 2x and really liked it. FHU sites available and very good reviews. An option to consider, at least.
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Old 11-15-2022, 01:02 PM   #5
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While we haven't stayed at that KOA, we have stayed at several others. We've found the KOA Holiday parks to be pretty good, while the KOA Journey parks are less desirable. Not sure what type the KOA you're looking at is.

BTW, if you're staying a week, you should become a KOA member as the discount you get will more than pay for the membership.
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Old 11-15-2022, 07:45 PM   #6
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the j bar ranch looks much more of my idea, the wife is caught up in all the restaurants at the koa (its the resort one) i dont plan on going to but they have a bar so ill probably end up there anyhow might as well get a burger


once i stepped out of my box that a big trip with a family isnt the normal camping trips within a day of home i got around the price tag. looks like i will book it for the end of august so hopefully the weather will be simmering from the mid summer heat. this is the biggest (distance) trip we have been on so we are pretty excited about it. grandma is even threatening to make the trip with us as well as its usually just grandpa camping.



i will say the journey koa's look pretty sad but they might still be in order for an overnight stop on the way for traveling. they put em close to the major highways and there's not a bunch of research or rolling the dice on a first come camp ground just to have a place to make dinner and sleep.
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Old 11-15-2022, 08:30 PM   #7
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We stayed at Big Pine Campground a few miles away in Custer City, it was great, lots of trees and quiet. The KOA looked densely packed when we passed by it on our way from Mt. Rushmore.

Definitely skip Crazy Horse. I truly think it’s a scam. Out of the dozens of sites and tours we did on our 7 week trip this past summer, Crazy Horse was the only one we all thought was a total waste of money.
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Old 11-16-2022, 04:08 AM   #8
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Although we did not stay at the KOA you are talking about we did spend money there.

Last summer the granddaughter joined us for a trip to SD. While she was riding the horses at park we enjoyed a cool one at the bar.
I would say the park not only is large its clean and well kept. Its just to large for me.

When staying at the SD area we park at Fort WeLikeit in the city of custer.
https://www.blackhillsrv.com/
Its close enough to everything but yet far enough away to be out of the beaten path.
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Old 11-16-2022, 07:15 AM   #9
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Rafter J looks interesting - thanks for the suggestion

I also have 7th Ranch RV Park on my list

For a summer trip - July / August - how far in advance should we book? Will be traveling from SC --> Seattle --> CT --> NC over 8 weeks so trying to keep it open ended
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Old 11-16-2022, 07:19 AM   #10
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Awesome KOA, highly recommend. Rated the #2 KOA in the nation, BTW. Its huge! They also have rental cars, horse riding, ATV trails, etc. Great location to. Free rides to Mount Rushmore.
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Old 11-16-2022, 07:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenZ71 View Post
Rafter J looks interesting - thanks for the suggestion

I also have 7th Ranch RV Park on my list

For a summer trip - July / August - how far in advance should we book? Will be traveling from SC --> Seattle --> CT --> NC over 8 weeks so trying to keep it open ended
The Sturgis Rally is Aug 4-13, so unless you want to be amongst 500,000 bikers, plan on going prior to Aug 1 of after Aug 13. We've been to the rally several times,it is very crowded and non-bikers may not like it. Many places are booked a year in advance during the rally.
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Old 11-16-2022, 07:45 AM   #12
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We did a Chuck wagon ride at Palmer Gulch though we weren’t staying there. It is more of a family resort than just a campground. All kinds of activities for kids and adults, and everyone there looked to be having a great time. Yes, it is really expensive, but as a treat for kids I think it would be worth it. And please take the info about the Sturgis rally seriously. The entire area gets so crowded it sucks the joy out of everything. Super long lines everywhere, tons of traffic on the roads. I will also say that we found Mt. Rushmore under whelming. Custer State Park, Hot Springs, Mammoth Dig, Jewel Cave NM and Box Cave NM were much more interesting.
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Old 11-16-2022, 07:46 AM   #13
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The quick answer is: We have stayed there, it is big, it does have a lot of things to do, would stay there again if we ever are in the area again.
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Old 11-16-2022, 07:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by KenZ71 View Post
Rafter J looks interesting - thanks for the suggestion

I also have 7th Ranch RV Park on my list

For a summer trip - July / August - how far in advance should we book? Will be traveling from SC --> Seattle --> CT --> NC over 8 weeks so trying to keep it open ended
The 7th Ranch RV Park is very nice, clean and well-maintained campground. You are about 7 miles from the entrance to the Battlefield Park. On the way to the entrance, there is a small place called Garry Owen. It is just 2 buildings; Crow Indian Reservation owns the land.
But in front of the closed museum, is a Tomb of The Unknown Solider of the Battle.
We stayed for 5 days, and I went into the National Park 7-8 times. I do plan on returning again sometime soon to walk the battlefield again.

I am going to leave you with one question:
Custer had one company, Troop E, known as "The Gray Horse Company" because every horse was a gray. Now we saw allot of grays in the area, and on the land near to the battlefield, could these horses' ancestry came from the battle?
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