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need help for trip to South Dakota

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need help for trip to South Dakota

I am planning to take a trip to South Dakota. I hope to camp. Are there enough campgrounds in the Mount Rushmore area or should i camp maybe an hour away from their and just visit the area. I also would like to visit Badlands National Park. Should i stay in one place or camp in 2 places when I visit both places.

Another thing I would be interested in would be the nicest drive from there to Winnipeg, as I would be going there after I visit South Dakota.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: need help for trip to South Dakota

Hi Bobwen

I'm not familiar with campgrounds but if you want to visit the must sees in the area I would stay in one place, instead of breaking up each day. If you want to visit Badlands NP, the Custer SP area and maybe Devils tower, maybe it's a good idea to stay around Pactola or Roubaix Lake north of Rapid City.

Imho the nicest drive to Winnepeg is us 85 north to Mendora (scenic drive), visit Th. Roosevelt NP south unit, stay in Medora (ND) and continue on 85 to Th Roosevelt NP north unit. From here you may visit Lake Sakakawoa to the east and drive to us 83, also called the road to nowhere!!!! to Canada. From here I can't help you any further. Sorry.


Rapid City, SD
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2. Re: need help for trip to South Dakota

The time of year will matter in your camping decision. If it's the height of summer, camping in the Badlands can be hot and miserable. If it's fall, it's better.

The better summer camping is in the Black Hills (area around Mt. Rushmore). It is a forested area whereas the Badlands are wide open prairie. There are numerous publicly and privately owned campgrounds around Mt. Rushmore. Custer State Park is near Mt. Rushmore and your visit should at least include the Sylvan Lake/Needles Highway portion of the park. Many of the campgrounds in Custer State Park have shower facilities. Here is their website.


There are Forest Service campgrounds throughout the Black Hills. Most of these don't have showers and only have pit toilets. Here is a list. There is a map link on this page, also.


There are many privately owned campgrounds in the area, also. I don't have a handy link but you can find information on this forum.

If you're going to be here before about mid-September, I'd recommend the Sylvan Lake Campground in Custer State Park.

Keep in mind that it is about an 1.5 to 2 hour drive from Mt. Rushmore area to the Badlands.

Genesee, CO
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3. Re: need help for trip to South Dakota

I can help you with route to Winnipeg.

Definitely go up 85 from Spearfish to and then visit Theodore roosevelt south unit. From there continue up 85 and toward Williston and stop at north unit on the way. Go up to HWY 2 and take it over to Rugby (geographical center of north america) ... take 281 north (through International Peace Gardens ( i used to go to band camp there) .

Head north from there to Brandon, and then east to Winnipeg.

Grand Forks
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4. Re: need help for trip to South Dakota

Another side trip while traveling north on Highway 85 is the Killdeer Mountains scenic byway in North Dakota.

Just south of Grassy Butte, ND on HWY 85, turn east on HWY 200 and travel 20 miles to the town of Killdeer.

Head north through town on HWY 22 and you will pass directly through the Killdeer Mountains, about 20 miles up the road.

It's like a mini version of the Grand Canyon. Rugged, beautiful. Little Missouri State Park is along the way. I believe only primitive camping is available.

You can get back to Highway 85 by turning west on HWY 73, which eventually becomes HWY 23 leading into Watford City, ND. Consult your map if these directions are too confusing!

5. Re: need help for trip to South Dakota

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