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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Heading to Mt. Rushmore

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Paul1944

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Posted: 05/21/19 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Heading out for Mt. Rushmore with DW and two beautiful granddaughters on June 5th. Don't want to make reservations because we prefer not to be held to a specific schedule. Is this a big mistake? Would appreciate recommendations for camping spots in the Rushmore area. Our granddaughters are 13 and 9 and both have camped since infants and love it, and like most kids I know, love to swim.


Paul & Margie

janstey58

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Posted: 05/21/19 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can find availability the KOA in the area is best for kids, two pools and lots to do, and LOTS of kids, LOL. Do the Steam Train to Keystone, Leadville, wandering burros in the state park, Hot Springs, and Mt Rushmore of course.


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BB_TX

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Posted: 05/21/19 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Start of the main tourist season so you may be taking a risk of being able to stay near, or in a nicer campground, than what you would really like. Especially near a main tourist destination. But many people prefer the risk to the firm schedule.

SoundGuy

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Posted: 05/21/19 11:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Paul1944 wrote:

Would appreciate recommendations for camping spots in the Rushmore area.


Rafter J Bar Ranch - highly recommended, especially sites further back in the Ranch campground.

Gjac

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Posted: 05/21/19 11:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you like national parks I would stay at Wind Cave NP easy to get sites during the week. The cave is walking distance to the CG. Not far from Custer SP which will be hard to find a site without reservations but nice to drive through with tow car for kids to feed the wild donkeys and view buffalo and other animals. Not far from Mt Rushmore either. Make sure you go back to Mt Rushmore for the night show, your parking ticket is good all day, you will especially like it if you are a Veteran.

Mickeyfan0805

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Posted: 05/21/19 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When are you going? I understand the desire to be flexible, but if you are going during the summer months, I would not venture out there without arrangements - you will be joining thousands of campers in the same area at the same time. You might be fine, but I would find myself too worried about it, so I wouldn't take the risk.

dodge guy

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Posted: 05/21/19 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would think early June you should be OK, but as I said “should”. I like to know I have a spot waiting for me so I don’t have to spend half a day trying to find a place.


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Eric&Lisa

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Posted: 05/21/19 12:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did a drive through the area last summer, after having just visited Mt. Rushmore on previous trips. We thought we could drive through the Needles and still have time to visit the mountain. We drove, and drove, and drove, and ran out of time. I did not realize how big the overall Black Hills tourist area is.

My thoughts... Get a map. Put a bulls-eye on Keystone. The closer you are, the more likely you will need reservations. The further you get out, the more likely you will find an available campground somewhere. There are plenty of mom & pop campgrounds around - at least that is what it seemed to me as we drove around. Every town has a tourist vibe to it too, so don't think you have to stay in Keystone. DW & I discussed planning a summer trip to the area and staying for a couple weeks - there is plenty to see & do.

From our trip in 2007:
[image]

From last summer:
[image]

HTH,
-Eric


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Boomerweps

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Posted: 05/21/19 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

Make sure you go back to Mt Rushmore for the night show, your parking ticket is good all day, you will especially like it if you are a Veteran.

All day!
ALL YEAR!
The parking passes are good for the current YEAR!
At least it was two summers ago.


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downtheroad

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Posted: 05/21/19 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would definitely make reservations for June.

I normally recommend Rafter-J-Bar and much prefer it as suggested. But, if you are camping with kids I would reserve at the KOA. The KOA is a zoo but if this trip is going to be all about grand kids then that's the way to go.

Have a good trip


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