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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Rafter J-Bar / Custer / Rushmore

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MudChucker

Niverville Manitoba

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Posted: 05/27/19 09:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd like to hear from those with experience in the area. Without too much forethought I went ahead and booked 10 days at Rushmore, staying at Rafter J campground. It just dawned on me that we are there August 1 to 10,which coincides with Sturgis bike rally.

Traveling with wife and 13 year old daughter, how much of an impact will the Ralley have on our visit to the area?


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CharlesinGA

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Posted: 05/27/19 11:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With some 400,000+ in attendance at the rally, odds are, you will not be able to enjoy slow scenic rides thru the hills, and the crowds at various venues in the area such as Rushmore will be heavy.

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Posted: 05/28/19 03:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will like Rafter J, I don't think you will like the crowds. And I have heard that the noise of the motorcycles keep the animals away from open areas so wildlife sightings are going to decrease also. We went 3 weeks after bike week, and all was well, plenty of wildlife at Custer State park etc... I would wait a few weeks


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jamesu

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Posted: 05/28/19 05:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have stayed at Rafter Bar J...it is an excellent choice. If you can possibly change your travel dates I would. The sound of thousands upon thousands of Harley’s in the Black Hills would certainly ruin my vacation. In a past life I was a NPS Ranger at Mt. Rushmore and lived in Rapid City. Black Hills summers are quite busy, but you can get away and find serenity...not so with Harley’s throttling up throughout the region. Good luck..


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MudChucker

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Posted: 05/28/19 05:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the input folks. Sadly the dates are difficult to change so I think we'll head over to Yellowstone that week instead.

Cheers.

ksbowman

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Posted: 05/28/19 07:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The other negative is some of the businesses adjust their prices during bike week and get a premium for their products. Sad that they do this but, we were warned by locals to get what supplies we needed the week before if possible.

gkainz

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Posted: 05/28/19 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I lived in Custer, we (and many others) used to make sure we took our vacations out of state ... WAY out of state during the 3 weeks of the rally ... yeah - it's officially only 1 week, but a week of pre- and post- rally crowd is huge.

I see you've decided to switch to Yellowstone instead, but honestly, I see Yellowstone's "normal" summer congestion on par with the Black Hills Bike week(s), so, to me, it's a tossup.


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BarabooBob

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Posted: 05/28/19 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been in the Black Hills during bike week a couple of times. The traffic will be heavy and the prices do go up. The price increase will include fuel, camping sites, groceries, and restaurants. The increase has not stopped me from going to the area. Be aware that some bikers don't like stop signs when they travel in large groups, they will block other traffic so that they can all go through together.
I would definitely stay away from Sturgis at all times unless you want your teenage daughter to see the "shady side of life." A lot of public intoxication, getting flashed by the "ladies." and large groups of "bikers" that due to their numbers, they consider only themselves and have no respect for others.
When you go to other attractions, you will seen them, but in general, they behave like teenage boys.


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GTO66

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Posted: 05/28/19 07:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Next year would be the year to avoid if your not a biker as it's the 80 year for the rally. The 75 was huge and the 76 was way down.

navigator2346

texas

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Posted: 05/28/19 09:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't worry about the crowds, go and have fun. Sturgis isn't as bad as it was in the old days. It is much calmer and well policed. Make sure you do a day trip into Sturgis while there. The animals don't go hide during the rally, a buffalo will go where it wants and when it wants. If you have reservations, you are good to go but I would stock up on staples before you hit camp as the prices do go up for the week

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