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Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

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Sugar City, ID
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Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

We are planning a trip to Mt. Rushmore with another close family. We are planning to pull our campers so we are looking for a nice RV site with hookups that we can stay and use as a good base camp to see all the nearby sites. I think somewhere near keystone would be best. Both families have have kids. We are looking for a nice quiet place to sleep at night that doesn't have a lot of road noise. We all live in the country and all the noise would be potentially bothersome. With it being summer, we'd like someplace that would offer shaded spots if possible. Do the RV parks fill up fast? Are advanced reservations a good idea/must? I have looked tentatively at Rushmore Shadows Resort, but am not sure if its going to feel too out of the way. The other place I looked at for maybe the last day was Bear Lake Camp Ground. Any feed back on these places or any others that might be better, please let me know.

Also we would like to stay away from the crowded time of year as much as possible. (I know this will be difficult here.) We just wondered which time of year would be better. June or August. Any feedback on crowd sizes/times of year would be helpful.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

Check out www.palmergulch.com. This is in the Keystone area and has RV sites. I do not know how crowded it is, etc. as we stayed at the K Bar S Lodge. Also might check out Custer State Park.

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2. Re: Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

Palmer Gulch & Rafter J are both good choices.

Mystery Mountain Resort has a good location right next to Bear Country, USA

Rapid City, SD
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3. Re: Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

Mystery Mountain Resort is pretty close to the hwy so I would be concerned with some road noise - though I'm not sure how noisy that stretch of the hwy typically is at night. You will notice heavy traffic during the day though. Palmer Gulch is pretty popular and has a lot of activities for the kids. Due to that you may find it pretty crowded all summer. I'm not familiar with the RV parks you mentioned.

Crowds - June through August is high season. I think around the 4th of July and during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in early August (avoid 8/5-8/17) are the busiest times of the summer. I'd consider that time frame in between as our "peak". Best times to come for lower crowds, depending on your kids school schedules, is second half through late August or early June.

Forgot to add that yes the RV parks can fill up fast so it is a good idea to make reservations as soon as you decide where to stay.

Edited: 18 May 2010, 17:30
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4. Re: Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

If Custer State Park has RV spots-- definitely go there. Place is gorgeous and no road noise :) I really think it would fit your criteria.


Pitman, New Jersey
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5. Re: Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

I am not a camper, but Custer SP seems to get rave reviews on this site. Palmer Gulch is probably more crowded and may offer more family activities.

I would recommend coming in the latter part of August, after Sturgis. We found this to be a non-crowded time, as many schools are back in session. The weather shouldn't be bad either, other than maybe some rain/thunderstorms, but these usually don't last all day. Of course, there always exceptions from the norm when it comes to weather.

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6. Re: Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

I agree with previous posts that Custer State Park campgrounds would be the ideal place for you. We camped at Blue Bell Lodge in CSP and loved it. It is a beautiful, very clean and very peaceful campground. It is also a relatively small campground. CSP campgrounds fill up fast so I would make reservations as soon as possible.

If you are unable to get into any CSP campgrounds my next suggestion would be the Rafter J Bar Ranch near Hill City. It is a larger campground, off the main highway that is centrally located to all the central and southern Black Hills attractions. We have never personally camped there but have relatives and friends who have and raved about it. All said it was was of the best they have ever camped at. For being a large campground most of the sites are nicely spaced and I do know they inforce a 10 p.m. quiet time. I have included their web site address:


7. Re: Need Advice on RV sites near Keystone & time of year to go.

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