We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
115 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

Hello Rapid City Experts,

My wife and I are coming down from Winnipeg from Wednesday July 31st until Monday August 5th. We are planning on tenting for the majority of the trip but are open to a night or two in a hotel...

Before I start planning the itinerary I'd like to know what your thoughts are on us making the 11 hour drive straight to Rapid City, should we stop in ND or somewhere in northern SD for a night? I drive similar distances on a semi regular basis so I'm confident I can handle the drive but if there is a really sweet place to spend the night then I'm more than willing to break the drive up.

My next question is it looks like Sturgis starts August 5th, will this mean it will be hard for us to camp sites, or hotels?

Also any recommendations on where to camp?

Thanks for all your help, if you need any more info from me just let me know!

South Dakota
Level Contributor
4,552 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

I would not come during those dates. People will already be arriving for the Sturgis rally and lodging will be at a premium price, if you can even find lodging at this point. If you have a set vacation time and cannot change the dates, I would pick another destination and try the Hills again next year. Thousands of bikers attend the rally and many come early and stay late. June and September are good times to come. July and the end of August are fine, too, just hotter and more forest fires. Do not, however, let the forest fire thing alone stop you. The Hills is a huge area and most people can tour as usual when there are fires.

For your driving question, if you can handle the distance, go for it. It sounds like you are comfortable with this. As a trucker, you are well aware that the areas you will be driving through are desolate and isolated. Be aware that western North Dakota is having an oil boom and the workers are using hotels as their places of residence. Crime is also up in that portion of the state. If you do decide to stop, I would ask on the North Dakota forum where they think would be the best place to spend the night so you do not find yourself in an oil boom area with no lodging when you are tired.

I hope you can find something that works for you and that you are able to have an enjoyable vacation. :)

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
5,989 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

I agree that I would try to come at a different time. We will be in the area in late July, but we are leaving by 7/30. I hear that many bikers begin arriving by Aug. 1st. I have not been during Sturgis, as I have no interest in getting hit with high lodging costs and limited availability. (We don't camp.)

The best reviews of campgrounds on this site seem to come from Custer State Park, Rafter J in Hill City, and Palmer Gulch between Hill City and Keystone.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Apple Valley...
Level Contributor
798 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

Maybe try for the Theodore Roosevelt Natl Park, the Northern Badlands of ND area as a stop or a destination if not wanting to risk the crowds and limited availability and high prices (per Expedia, upwards of $200 nt)? Being less then a month out will be hard if you try to change to Yellowstone or Grand Tetons or Glacier Natl Parks as they historically bookout a year in advance but you never know about last minute cancellations! Maybe Rocky Mountain Natl Park instead? All great areas!

South Dakota
Level Contributor
4,552 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

Good ideas from Iowagirl. Another option would be Door County, WI if you have never been there.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
115 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

Thank you all for your advice, I think we'll leave South Dakota for this year and maybe try again next summer.

Bummer we were really looking forward to it.

Again Thanks for your help!

6. Re: A Couple Of Questions To Get Us Started

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 July 2014, 06:18
Get answers to your questions about Rapid City
Recent Conversations