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“Among the best places I have ever stayed to tent camp!”

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Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Bolivar, Missouri
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Among the best places I have ever stayed to tent camp!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

We stayed at the Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground for six nights. The campground is in close proximity to a number of things the Black Hills has to offer including Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Sylvan Lake. The campground is divided into approximately 5 different "camps," some of which do not allow tent camping. We stayed at the "Ranch Camp." The overall campground is incredibly spacious and well maintained. The developers did a good job with the layout of the campsites at the Ranch Camp and the campground in general. Furthermore, the campsites at the Ranch Camp were spacious. Unlike most campgrounds, there is adequate room between campsites. There are also lots of trees at the Ranch Camp providing both shade and an opportunity to tie items such as our hammock to the trees (they do allow you to do that unlike some campgrounds). The restroom facilities were in good order and well maintained. The pool and playground areas are quite nice and the staff is friendly. You can tell they enjoy working there. There is a small store on site where you can purchase ice, firewood (yes you can have campfires at your campsite), or other items you need. The ice and firewood are reasonably priced for what you get.

There are two drawbacks to staying at the Rafter J Bar Ranch. One is the price to use the washers if you want to wash your clothes. We spent more money per load than I think we have ever spent at a laundry facility. The second drawback is the price for the tent site. It is the highest I have ever paid (and that was without water and electricity). Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground knows they have a good thing going and you will pay for it. Bottom line is that this is a great place to stay and that you should expect a campground of this caliber to cost a bit more than the average price. I know I will be staying here again when we head back to the Black Hills.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TroyMo1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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227 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    157
    48
    14
    5
    3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oakhurst, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

We planned our family trip to visit Mt. Rushmore and surrounding sites. I was concerned when we discovered that it was during the first weekend of Sturgis MC rally. The staff assured us that their guests were highly respectful and they did not allow the rally to disturb their other guests. Although the surrounding area was full of MC's and the rumble that comes with it, we were very happy with our experience at Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground. We stayed in the Island section of the park. The sites were excellent. The only issue was the WiFi was out of range in the back of the Island. I would highly recommend this facility to my family and friends. If you are considering visiting the Mt. Rushmore area, and are looking for a great place to stay, book your stay at Rafter J Bar Ranch.

Room Tip: Call and ask, the staff will point you in the right direction.
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Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank BPCasey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fulton, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

We stayed in one of the traditional cabins at Rafter J Bar Ranch when we visited the Black Hills on a family vacation. We really enjoyed how it was not right on the busy highway leading into Hill City but was close to lots of things for us to see and do in the Black Hills. The cabin was very clean and well taken care of and provided us with everything we needed to enjoy our stay. It was just a short distance from one of the bathhouses. The bathhouse was clean and had private showers. There is a nice pool, whirlpool and basketball court and lots of places to run or walk or play games. They have a nice playground area for the younger kids and a nice camp store with ice cream available. The facilities are well taken care of. We would definitely stay here again if visiting the Black Hills and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tracy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alaska
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

We stayed at the Rafter J Bar Ranch every year for the last 5 years on our journeys across the country. The staff are incredibly friendly, the facilities are clean, and the setting is beyond beautiful. We recommend this place!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ryan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glenwood, Iowa
Level Contributor
71 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

It's truly is a little slice of wonderful! Beautiful campgrounds and they don't squish everyone together! Bathrooms and showers were clean and didn't stink! Great view! Excellent location! Quiet and absolutely perfect! I would send my best friends there for sure!!!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Dawn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South dakota
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
1 Thank svswede
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Graham, Texas
Level Contributor
91 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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.
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Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank sbri09
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

Property: 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 12 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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