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“Rafter j bar ranch”

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Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We stayed in june 2014 for a family reunion. The facility was nice that there were cabins to rent, campsites to rent and tent sites to rent. The cabins had some with and some without bathrooms.
There is a nice pool and basket ball court. The facility is very well taken care of, no trash laying around, lots of shade and not too cramped together. It is right next to the Mickleson bike trail which is handy if you like to pedal Bike. It is convenient to Mt Rushmore, Crazy horse , sylvan lake. The staff were very accommodating and friendly. The only down fall, was that it is a bit pricey for camp sites.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank svswede
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (254)
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136 - 142 of 254 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2014

This is a RV park. Great location for the area attractions. Crowded in thew summer but so are all places in this area around Mt Rushmore. The sites were roomy and a picnic table was provided. You also have a fire ring with grill. Nice relaxing location.

Room Tip: Make your reservations far in advance. I saw many that were turned away because of no reservations.
Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank sbri09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Lovely campground, we asked for and received a campsite up on the hill which was very close to shower/bathrooms. I was a little surprised at the fifty some dollar per night price, camping in Canada is much cheaper. In comparison to a KOA that we stayed at later in our trip though this campground was worth every penny. It was spotless, organized, quiet and had an absolutely lovely young man at the front desk. The showers and bathrooms were clean and functional, the breakfast was delicious and the couple serving it were just great! The campground office and store offered all the things you may have forgotten at home AND this spot was a great central location to see all the surrounding sights and tourist attractions. The only down sides were terribly unaccessible WiFi, costly firewood and an extra charge for more than two adults per site.
If i return to the area I would definitely return to the Rafter J.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank barclove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

This is a great place to stay while in Hill City. Really close to all attractions in the area plus it was so nice! We stayed in a camping cabin with AC and were really surprised by how nice it was. Lots of room on the patio and the fire pit was great. Will definitely return!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Trevor H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We stayed at Rafter J for 3 nights while we were in the Black Hills. It is located within 10-15 miles of all the major attractions in the Black Hills. The park is HUGE and well laid out. It felt like camping in the wilderness. The breakfast was excellent (all you can eat pancakes), unfortunately they only served it a couple of times a week. The pool and hot tub were clean and comfortable. The camp store was stocked with everything you would need. All in all we loved the park and this place should get 5 stars EXCEPT for the Wi-Fi. The park claimed it had park wide Wi-Fi, but it rarely worked and sometimes when it did the open-dns server would block almost every site! (cnn, espn, weather.com). Short story: this park doesn't have Wi-Fi.

Room Tip: We got lucky and stayed in the part of the park called "the line". We loved it. The othe...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank KC_Scottie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

We just returned from our 3rd stay at the Rafter J Bar Ranch. We have searched out many places around Custer, Mt. Rushmore, Hill City, etc., and found this to be the best. It is a very professionally run campground. There are campsites to appeal to all sorts of camping tastes. Rafter J Bar fills quickly, so one needs to think ahead and get reservations far in advance.

During our three visits, we have stayed on the hillside (hard to get level in a Class C), and in the main big-rig section behind the office (sort of tight, but ok). Cable TV was free. We had a long drive prior to arriving, and the first thing we did was put our suits on and head for the hot tub. It was awesome.

We also enjoy the close proximity to the bike trails, Hill City, Keystone, Custer and Mt. Rushmore. Location, location, location is everything.

I see that another reviewer commented on the doughy pancakes. My husband and son said just the opposite. They said their pancakes were light and airy. . . for $2.75/all you can eat, it's a deal. . . . especially when feeding a teen boy.

The only suggestions I would have for them is to offer car rental and better wifi. I had to drive to another campground in Custer to get a car (we chose to not tow a car behind our motorhome). The wifi is totally worthless. Aside from that, we vowed we would return.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank annieglory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

I have stayed regularly at Rafter J my entire life. We just got back from a 4 day stay at your campground. The advertised breakfasts were a huge disappointment. We are the first day but then made our own the rest of the time for our stay. The pancakes were doughy and the sausage greasy. Advertize where you have to buy tickets. We heard several people complain about that also. Also, what happened to the biscuits and gravy. Another great disappointment. Store was poorly stocked with certain items. All pepsi products. Some people do drink Coke. Good think Hill City was close and could go to the store there.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Ivy551
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground

Address: 12325 Rafter J-Bar Road, Hill City, SD 57745
Region: United States > South Dakota > Hill City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Hill City
Number of rooms: 227
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An upscale campground offering tent and trailer camping. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rafter j Bar Ranch Campground Hotel Keystone

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