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Old 06-27-2016, 03:16 PM   #21
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Big Pines

We stay at Big Pines campground in Custer SD. It is a nice campground off the beaten path. Easy to get in and out of.

Enjoy, Early Sept is a great time to visit.

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Old 06-27-2016, 06:48 PM   #22
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That time of year Angostura State Park near Hot Springs is a little warmer. It is about ten degrees warmer than the hills since it is 2000 feet lower. Be advised Angostura is not in the hills but just south of the ponderosa forest. However there are trees, electricity, and showers. Some sites in the Cascade loop are right next to the lake. Once school starts the campground is pretty empty except for weekends. Canoes and kayaks available for rent from the park. Also Hot Springs SD does not have any hot springs. Warm water at best.

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Old 06-27-2016, 07:01 PM   #23
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We just finished our stay last week at Rafter J and will go back. We had 3 HUGE sites and were centrally located to everything. Don't recall cost, but wasn't out of hand.

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Old 06-29-2016, 11:29 AM   #24
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Loved Big Pine

[QUOTE=pgandw;1240193]We are planning a trip to Mt Rushmore (from Colorado Springs) in Sept or Oct. Trip will be 4 days, with about 8 hours on the road on days 1 and 4. From what I can tell, Custer State Park looks like the best place to camp for the trip.

Are there any specific campground recommendations or particular weekends to make the trip? Any other concerns or recommendations?

We prefer public parks and forests, shaded areas - lakefront or streams are a plus. Toilets within walking distance are necessary. Flush toilets and showers are desirable, but not essential for a short trip like this.

Electric is only needed if high temps are going to be in 80s (for the air conditioning). Otherwise, hook-ups are unnecessary luxuries for us.

We recently stayed at Big Pine Campground on the outskirts of Custer working our way to Yellowstone. Beautiful campground in the hills surrounded by woods, saw deer in and around the campground every day, great sites with full hookups, nice and conveniently located bath houses and the owners are some of the nicest people we've met, very helpful and informative. About 20 miles from Rushmore and you will pass Crazy Horse on the way.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:37 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Electra glide View Post
I prefer Horse Thief campground but Rafter J is nice also. Horse Thief doesn't jack up their rates for the Sturgis rally like the other campgrounds do.

Horse Thief has full hook ups and a large shower house that is always nice and clean. The owners are there almost all the time.
I too prefer Horsethief. It's located more in the Hills. RafterJ is located in a field! I can camp in a field here in the Midwest.
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:46 PM   #26
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We were there in 2014, here's a post I made on it: Black Hills Trip Report

We had a great time!
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:36 PM   #27
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Make sure to check out the Needles Hwy, while you are unhooked. It's a beautiful drive, but very tight. Also fell in love with Hill City . . . enjoy your stay ! !
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:01 AM   #28
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Another vote for Rafter J-Bar. A very nice campground - we stayed there in 2010 on our way back home to Ottawa from Vancouver Island.

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As for the location, perhaps some sites are in a field. Ours sure wasn't!


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