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Old 04-06-2010, 05:47 PM   #21
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Several of you gave me advice on Mt. Rushmore. Now I have another question. Right now we are planning our trip for the third weekend in May. My question is... since school will still be in, do you think we will need to have reservations or will we be able to find camping?

Thanks, for the info., Terry
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:51 PM   #22
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I see no reason for them. There many place to camp around there. We have never used them, even in July. Always have found a nice site.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseacti...08.cfm#23424708
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:11 PM   #23
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You should be safe without, but if your stay extends thru the holiday weekend, I would have reservation.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:53 AM   #24
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We stay at Chris` campground at Spearfish, S.D.
It is family owned-clean and nice people run the place.
Beautiful country!
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:59 AM   #25
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This is the post I have been looking for. I have been trying to find out if I will need reservations when visiting SD this June (mid June) and hopefully staying in Custer State Park. Anyone have any experiance with that? Reservations needed or is there always plenty of space? I would much rather just wing it so I am not tied down to a certain place at a certain time but I also don't want to have to scramble for a place to stay at the last minute either.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #26
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Any new advice since the last post a few years ago? I am planning a trip to SD and hopefully Custer State Park and always love any advice and suggestions people have to give. My biggest concern right now is will I need to make camping reservations ahead of time or are there plenty of places to camp that you just show up and find a spot?
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:12 AM   #27
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No need for campground reservations in May, but by mid-June you might want to reserve.

Here's a tip: our absolute favorite Black Hills campground - and we've camped in most of them - is the little Bismarck Lake CG inside of (but not part of) Custer State Park. It's actually a USFS campground, but you have to enter the state park to get to it. Why is it a favorite?

1 - It's quiet - no motors allowed on the lake (most of the BH campgrounds are plagued with jetskis and motorboats).

2 - It's just a few minutes away from the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop, a wonderful place to visit at dawn and dusk for good views of bison, prairie dogs, antelope, foxes, mule deer, elk, mountain sheep and feral donkeys - and wonderful in May when the newborn animals are nursing.

3 - It's also just a few minutes outside the town of Custer, very convenient for shopping and dining.

4 - The south end of the Black Hills is less touristy and crowded, yet convenient to Mt. Rushmore, the Iron Mt. Road and Needles Highway, Crazy Horse Mtn., and an easy drive to Hot Springs and the superb Mammoth archaeological site.

We camp at Bismarck Lake almost every year, usually in late May.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:37 AM   #28
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we went about Sept 11 last year, if you are a quilter there is a huge quilt show in Hill City about that time, it takes all day to get through it. The next weekend after things pretty much shut down around there.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #29
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Thanks for the advice Jack, I am going to check that campground out, sounds perfect for what I am looking for.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #30
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The Black Hills are amazing and as every one else has noted there is alot to see and do in the area-be aware however that the first week of August is Sturgis Bike week and there will be about a half a million ( no exaggeration) bikers in the area. Campgrounds are full and all services are stressed from the end of July through the middle of August. As a Harley rider it is like going to Mecca and we rode from Oregon in 2000 and I couldn't believe the number of bikes-I want to return to the area to see what we couldn't because of the crowds, at another time of year.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:47 PM   #31
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You can ask for opinions and advice, but in the end you make a decision and you take your chances. If it's really, really important to you to camp in any given area at a specific time, I'd say... make a reservation. Otherwise you MAY be disappointed when you're forced to settle for the third or fourth or fifth place to camp. YMMV
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:22 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D.
You can ask for opinions and advice, but in the end you make a decision and you take your chances. If it's really, really important to you to camp in any given area at a specific time, I'd say... make a reservation. Otherwise you MAY be disappointed when you're forced to settle for the third or fourth or fifth place to camp. YMMV
Good point Donna.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:47 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
In the end you make a decision and you take your chances.
I have taken chances on one night stays without reservations and have never been turned away. Even popular places may hold a spot or 2 each day for that circumstance, but you need to try to snag it no later than 4 PM. BUT if you want to stay in one spot for a week or so, take Donna's advice and make reservations.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:50 PM   #34
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I was at MT Rushmore in the early 60's. My parents had borrowed a Higgins popup from a relative for the trip [Higgins made landing craft during WW2] . I remember all the Burma Shave signs, Wall Drug store, and Crazy Horse just looked like a flat spot cut into the mountain with a pile of rubble at the bottom. Got to get back there!! Bob
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #35
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I agree with other's about reservations. It's not worth being stuck somewhere you don't want to be. As well, "mid June" is so close to the big event weekends/weeks up there and the whole area can get socked in with campers quick. Having owned a RV park, mid June was the start of our busy season and as some have pointed out, we too held a few sites open. But you got to remember, the site held open may not be the right one for you. So yet another reason to make reservations. Good luck, enjoy it's a beautiful area and well worth the trip.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #36
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Mid-July last year I had no trouble getting a campsite on a Friday afternoon at Sheridan Lake Natl Forest Campground. It's about 10 or 15 minutes north of Rushmore and was pleasant. I did not like Crazy Horse, it felt like a tourist trap to me... YMMV. I really enjoyed Custer State Park and the drive through the tunnels. Below is a photo from Custer SP:
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