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Old 06-26-2016, 09:48 PM   #1
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Mt Rushmore and Black Hills Trip

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.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:53 PM   #2
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Fantastic trip!! We were there last year. I would recommend Rafter J Bar Ranch for camping. Right at the base of Mt Rushmore and 15 min from Crazy Horse. Really centrally located. There is great hiking and cave exploring nearby as well.

Have fun!!

Rich and Kelly
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:25 PM   #3
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We were there in June for 4 day. Had a great time. We stayed in Stockade Lake North Campground in Custer State Park. We like the location. They have Flush toilets and shower. They have ele and non ele sites. You will have to pay a park fee plus the camp fee. It was close to the town of Custer so a diner out if you wanted, if not the ice cream was good. The CG is not on the lake. I have not looked at the weather but Oct maybe a little cold.

Area Attractions
Crazy Horse: 8.5 miles
Jewel Cave: 19 miles
Mammoth Site: 32 miles
Mt. Rushmore: 25 miles
Wind Cavel: 13.5 miles
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:39 AM   #4
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We stayed at Rafter J also, great campground.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:07 AM   #5
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We very much appreciate the suggestions so far. Both the Rafter J and Custer State Park have great reviews, overall. I always look carefully at reviews - are there real reasons for the positive or negative review? Would the same reasons apply to us and our style of camping?

For example, one of the repeated detriments to Custer State Park is that there is one central dump station for the entire park, and it's only near one campground. Our little A-frame does not have gray or black tanks, so the distance to the dump station matters little to us.

A little weather research shows snow is possible in October, and by the end of the month, the 1st snow storm is likely. We will probably aim for September, and hope to catch the aspens turning.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-Frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
next trips - 1) Rocky Mountain National Park. 2) Mt Rushmore. 3) Utah 5.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:43 AM   #6
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"are there real reasons for the positive or negative review? "

We were in a A-Frame at Stockade Lake North Campground in Custer State Park.

Positive or negative review, we tend to read the negative to see if the are problem that would bother us, like full timer that have a lot of junk around or loud party.

We tend to do National CG as we have the senior Pass and have had good luck with them and State park have been good. Don't do many Commercial CG, unless we are looking for Shower, Electric all the other stuff they offer we just don't use.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:02 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
We very much appreciate the suggestions so far. Both the Rafter J and Custer State Park have great reviews, overall. I always look carefully at reviews - are there real reasons for the positive or negative review? Would the same reasons apply to us and our style of camping?

For example, one of the repeated detriments to Custer State Park is that there is one central dump station for the entire park, and it's only near one campground. Our little A-frame does not have gray or black tanks, so the distance to the dump station matters little to us.

A little weather research shows snow is possible in October, and by the end of the month, the 1st snow storm is likely. We will probably aim for September, and hope to catch the aspens turning.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-Frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
next trips - 1) Rocky Mountain National Park. 2) Mt Rushmore. 3) Utah 5.
6" of Snow in Sept.of 14 you Never know! The Stage at Rushmore was closed because of the Snow! Youroo!!
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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There was a hail storm August of 2013 that was so deep you would of thought that it was snow lol. The weather is a little tricky up there so you have to be prepared for a little bit of everything.

This was July 2015 Parts Of Black Hills Covered In Hail 6 inches of hail
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:16 AM   #10
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6" of Snow in Sept.of 14 you Never know! The Stage at Rushmore was closed because of the Snow! Youroo!!
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