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Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

WA state
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Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

We are interested in Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer, and possibly the Badlands. We haven't decided on a lodging situation. One one of my friends has suggested staying in Rapid City and commuting each day to our given destination. I've thought of camping each day, to help keep costs down. But I'm not sure where to stay if we camped. I know there's Custer State Park, but would the drive out of there each day be time consuming compared to hoteling it in Rapid City? Are there other campgrounds to stay in that are decent (showers, regular bathrooms, and secure...mom and teen son camping...) that would serve our needs each day? Also, it looks like Custer State park has multiple camp areas, but the map of the park that I have isn't very clear about where each campground is...which one would be closest to getting out of the park? Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give!! : )

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Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse
South Dakota
Custer
Custer
South Dakota
Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

Custer State Park and the surrounding Black Hills area has many nice campgrounds, all that are close or within an hour to hour and a half from the majority of attractions. Keep in mind the Black Hills is a very compact area. Rapid City offers a big choice for lodging but would be include a little more driving time than staying in the park or surrounding areas. However, if you prefer staying in an urban area over the mountains, Rapid City would be a logical choice. The small towns of Custer, Keystone and Hill City also have many hotels to choose from.

We have camped at the Blue Bell Lodge Resort in Custer State Park on several occasions and absolutely loved it there. Keystone and Hill City are the most centralized towns in the Black Hills and the best choice whether camping or choosing another type of lodging. The Rafter J Bar Ranch campground is located just south of Hill City and is within minutes of Mt. Rushmore, the Needles and Custer State Park. Although we have never camped here, my sister and her family camp there all the time and rave about the place. I have included two websites for you. The first has accomodations choices (lodging and camping) in the Black Hills and the other is the Rafter J Bar Ranch website.

http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/

http://www.rafterj.com/

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Custer
Custer
South Dakota
Keystone
Keystone
South Dakota
Hill City
Hill City
South Dakota
Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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2. Re: Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

Great advice as usual from Mt. Mama. Here's a link to the campgrounds in Custer SP. A listing of campgrounds is on the right.

…sd.gov/state-parks/…

I am not a camper, but many do enjoy camping in Custer SP.

Mt Mama gave you a great analysis of staying in Rapid vs. the rural areas of Hill City, Keystone, or Custer. My personal choice would not be Rapid, but I am from a fairly urban area and enjoy the suburbs on vacation.

Please let us know if you have more questions.

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Hill City
Hill City
South Dakota
Keystone
Keystone
South Dakota
Custer
Custer
South Dakota
Lemmon, South Dakota
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3. Re: Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

When are you planning on visiting the Black Hills? If it is the first week of August during the Sturgis Bike Rally - you will want to plan ahead and be sure you have reservations somewhere.

WA state
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4. Re: Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

Wow, thanks for the valuable, quick responses!! We'll be there around the 2nd week of July, so we thankfully won't be in the area during "Sturgis"! : ) I'll check into the areas and campgrounds you've all mentioned. Thanks!

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Sturgis
Sturgis
South Dakota
5. Re: Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

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6. Re: Stay in Rapid City hotel or camp??

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