8.7 Excellent
     
Hill City, South Dakota

Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort

Hill City, South Dakota



Hill City, South Dakota
Phone: (605) 574-2527

Sites: 200
Recent Rate: $47 9/2016

Latitude: 43.88880783398
Longitude: -103.59054923058

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Campground Overview
  • Pull-thru Sites Pull-thru Sites yes
  • Big Rig Access Big Rig Access yes
  • Tent Camping Tent Camping yes
  • Restrooms (Plumbed) Restrooms (Plumbed) yes
  • Pit Toilets Pit Toilets no
  • Showers Showers yes
  • $0.00 Shower Fee Shower Fee 0.00
  • Laundry Facilities Laundry Facilities yes
  • $3.00 Laundry Fee Laundry Fee 3.00
  • Dump Station Dump Station yes
  • $0.00 Dump Station Fee Dump Station Fee 0.00
  • Propane Available Propane Available yes
  • Firewood Available Firewood Available yes
  • Cabins / Cottages / Yurts Cabins / Cottages / Yurts yes
  • Water Spigot Water Spigot yes
  • Picnic Shelter Picnic Shelter no
  • RV Wash RV Wash no
  • $0.00 RV Wash Fee RV Wash Fee 0.00
  • Corral Corral no
  • Landing Strip Landing Strip no
  • Overflow Parking Overflow Parking no
Hookups & Connectivity
  • Electric (30 AMP) Electric (30 AMP) yes
  • Electric (50 AMP) Electric (50 AMP) yes
  • Water Water yes
  • Sewer Sewer yes
  • WiFi WiFi yes
  • $0.00 WiFi Fee WiFi Fee 0.00
  • Cellular Phone Service Cellular Phone Service yes
  • ATT, Verizon Cellular Phone Providers Cellular Phone Providers ATT,Verizon
  • Cable or Satellite TV Hookup Cable or Satellite TV Hookup yes
  • Phone Phone no
  • Central Modem Central Modem no
Amenities
  • Pets Allowed Pets Allowed yes
  • 0 Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) 0
  • Pool Access Pool Access yes
  • Family Friendly Family Friendly yes
  • Playground Playground yes
  • Pet Area Pet Area no
  • Waterfront Waterfront no
  • Clubhouse Clubhouse yes
  • Camp Store Camp Store yes
  • Cafe / Snack Bar Cafe / Snack Bar yes
  • Business Center Business Center no
  • Group Camping Group Camping ?
  • Meeting Rooms Meeting Rooms no
  • Group Kitchen Group Kitchen no
  • Banquet Facilities Banquet Facilities no
  • Concierge Services Concierge Services no
Recreation
  • Walking Trail(s) Walking Trail(s) yes
  • Recreation Room Recreation Room yes
  • Gym/Workout Facilities Gym/Workout Facilities no
  • Beach Access Beach Access no
  • Boat Ramp Boat Ramp no
  • Marina Marina no
  • Boat Rentals Boat Rentals no
  • Fishing Fishing no
  • Golfing Golfing no
  • Bike Path(s) Bike Path(s) yes
  • Bike Rentals Bike Rentals no
  • Hiking Hiking yes
  • Spa Spa no
  • Horseshoe Pit Horseshoe Pit no
  • Volley Ball Volley Ball yes
  • Sports Field Sports Field yes
  • Arcade Games Arcade Games yes
  • Live Entertainment Live Entertainment no
  • Amphitheatre Amphitheatre no
  • Putt Putt Mini-Golf Putt Putt Mini-Golf no
  • Billiards Billiards yes
  • Ping Pong Ping Pong no
  • Lake Lake no
  • Pond Pond no
  • River River no
  • Creek Creek yes
  • Ocean Ocean no
  • Water Park Water Park no
  • Casino Casino no

Review Details

Ratings overview

257 Reviews

These reviews are the opinion of an RVParkReviews’ member and not the views of RVParkReviews.com

Review Count: 7
States Visited: 5
Helpful Reviews: 4

Date of Stay: September, 2016 - $56.00
Overall Rating:      

Beautiful ranch like park. Lots of grass, scenery and amenities. Excellent location. Friendly and helpful staff. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Fifth Wheel.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer (plenty of space) for my 5th wheel and truck (I didn't have to disconnect
Campsite Features
Fire Ring
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Great location between Hill City and Custer. Convenient to area attractions and shopping.

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Review Count: 3
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: September, 2016 - $60.00
Overall Rating:      

We only stayed one night but thoroughly enjoyed it. We were staying at another RV park close by and wanted to move to Rafter J. So glad we did. They were so nice to accommodate us and let us check in at 8am so we could get right to our sightseeing for the day. The sites are big and level. There is so much space to walk in this park and it was quiet and we were able to really enjoy our campfire. They directed me to a place to hike right from the property and it was just great. I would highly recommend staying here when you visit Rushmore and the wonderful parks in the area. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
On Jefferson
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Long enough for my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Be sure to check out wind cave, the cavern tour was excellent.

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Review Count: 69
States Visited: 28
Helpful Reviews: 11

Date of Stay: September, 2016 - $47.00
Overall Rating:      

Beautiful CG. I would have given it a 10 if there were more gravel on the sites and roads, or if paved. Pool. Basketball courts, etc. Lovely setting. Grass, mountain and tree views out every window. Central to all we wanted to see in the Black Hill area. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
287
Site Surface
Gravel, Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp, 50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

11$ parking was worth it for the Mt Rushmore museum. Seeing Mt. Rushmore, many times, as you travel through Custer State P:ark is the best. Needles Highway, Wild Life Loop, and Sylvan Lake, all in Custer State Park are a must.

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Review Count: 16
States Visited: 12
Helpful Reviews: 3

Date of Stay: August, 2016 - $69.00
Overall Rating:      

Wifi never worked, bathrooms were acceptable, but not "clean", game room has a pool table a three outdated video game units. If none of that matters then this is a fine place. Nice pool, good location, well stocked camp store and reasonably priced wood (for a campground). Sites are well spaced. I have a family of 5, so when they add on another $4 for every person, the value goes way down for me. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
Island loop
Site Surface
Gravel, Dirt
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Mostly Shady

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Review Count: 15
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: August, 2016 - $55.00
Overall Rating:      

This is a very old park with over 200 campsites and cabins available. It has varied amenities available with some full hookups available. The campsites vary from unsatisfactory to satisfactory as there hasn't been any upgrades to the campsite conditions for decades. There is an on-site gas station, but no diesel is available. The park is basically overrated for the price, but keep in mind your are in the middle of tourist country. When I made reservations, I specifically requested a site with FULL hookups. My interpretation of full hookups is different than the person making my reservations as my campsite did not have cable TV. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Fifth Wheel.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
62
Site Surface
Gravel, Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Just long enough for my 5th wheel (had to disconnect)
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Nearby
Sun & Foliage
Mostly Shady
Interior Roads
Tight Turns, Obstacles
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

This park is conveniently located to most attractions in and near Mt Rushmore. It's also convenient to other towns in the area, including Custer and Keystone SD.

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Review Count: 2
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: August, 2016 - $50.00
Overall Rating:      

We used Rafter J as our base camp while visiting South Dakota for the Sturgis Rally. This is a large, spacious campground with several different areas. It is very well maintained and central to Rushmore and Crazy Horse. The pool was great to have after a long day of riding thru the hills of South Dakota. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
191 Base Camp
Site Surface
Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Long enough for my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
Tow Vehicle Parking
No

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Review Count: 22
States Visited: 11
Helpful Reviews: 3

Date of Stay: August, 2016 - $57.00
Overall Rating:      

We will be back. This place was beautiful and centrally located for all Black Hills activities. Spacious sites with lots of trees and open meadows full of deer in the evening. We were in the "Island" section which was far removed from the amenities but surrounded by peace and quiet. All the hook ups were fine. Wifi worked pretty well. AT&T cell and data worked. Not able to pick up anything on TV antenna. Nice long level back-in site with plenty of room to set up screen tent and park tow vehicle. Good spacing between rigs. We loved it and will return. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
Island
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Mostly Shady
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Ride the 1880's Train in Hill City SD. Not too expensive and not too long either. Restaurants and wineries in Hill City. Of course you have to see Mt. Rushmore. They have a lighting ceremony at night with a video, and salute to past and present military personnel. Moving experience.

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Review Count: 95
States Visited: 36
Helpful Reviews: 17

Date of Stay: August, 2016 - $60.00
Overall Rating:      

We stayed here two weeks and had a fabulous time. The entrance, especially the second one if coming from Hill City, is very impressive. We were in a very long pull through site in the Line Camp section. Very nice, level, gravel site with a very large grassy patio area with fire ring and picnic table. We looked out over a huge meadow, one of several in this very spacious RV park. The utilities worked good and we were able to get good satellite reception. The Line Camp section has little to no shade. Lower Ranch is much the same and the other sections are much more forested. The pool is beautiful and there is SO much open space. There were two gas pumps but neither worked. Propane was a rip, charged $18.50 for 2.5 gallons. Restrooms were very nice, but only two for the entire RV park so you'll be walking a bit unless you're staying in Base Camp or Upper Ranch. The RV park is on a well and the water was a bit cloudy. They allowed RVer's to park extra vehicles, trailers and ATVs on the grass patio area and on the edges of the meadow, which is a bit unsightly for neighbors. WiFi stunk. Don't let the promise of possible coverage influence your site selection since we couldn't get much better coverage sitting in front of the office. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
Line Camp 267
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

George Mickelson walking/bike trail (small fee) runs right in front of the RV park and goes 120 miles throughout the Black Hills. Hill City and Custer are very cute towns. Krull's in Hill City is a serviceable grocery store. RV park is very convenient to the entire area. Needles and Iron Mountain Roads (Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway) are awesome.

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Review Count: 49
States Visited: 7
Helpful Reviews: 3

Date of Stay: July, 2016 - $65.00
Overall Rating:      

We stayed a week at Rafter J Bar. It is a very nice campground and appears to be well run. We were in the Line Camp area and my biggest complaint was the road noise from the highway. It wasn't horrible but at $65.00 a night, I would expect it to be a lot quieter. The WiFi never worked in our area the entire time we were there. Our site was level and my satellite dish was able to work well. I have T-Mobile as my cell carrier and I had very strong signal inside the camper. There are some very nice sites at Rafter J (the vast majority) but we did walk the campground and saw some very bad sites as well (very unlevel, close to the highway, close to neighbors). All in all it is a good place. There are lots of choices in the area so I would probably try something different the next time I come back to the Black Hills. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Fifth Wheel.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer (plenty of space) for my 5th wheel and truck (I didn't have to disconnect
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient

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Review Count: 2
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: July, 2016 - $61.00
Overall Rating:      

What a beautiful campground. Expansive and quiet even when sold out. Friendly staff, great General Store and awesome Pancake Breakfast.

Will be back year after year! We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
140 Ranch
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Just long enough for my motorhome
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient

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Review Count: 29
States Visited: 10
Helpful Reviews: 4

Date of Stay: July, 2016 - $60.00
Overall Rating:      

This is a very spacious park located in the heart of the Black Hills. The campsites vary from loop to loop within this park: some are more secluded in groves of pines (Ranch Camp, Line Camp, and The Island) while others (closer to the office) are in a grassy field (Base Camp and Lower Ranch Camp). The park is very neat and all the facilities are nice.

The park makes an effort to offer good Wi-Fi since 4 or 5 Rafter J Wi-Fi hotspots would show up on our devices, but these only worked around the office and even then only sometimes. The good news is we had solid cell service throughout the park (LTE/4G on AT&T). We were not able to get a satellite connection in Ranch Camp due to the pine trees.

The location is excellent: Hills City is just a few minutes and offers restaurants, breweries, wineries, and the 1880 train. Mt Rushmore is only 10 minutes away, Needles Highway/Needle's Eye Tunnel and Custer State Park are about 30 mins away. Wind Cave NP and Jewel Cave National Monument are about 45 minutes away.

We enjoyed camping here and would recommend it to others. We stayed 4 nights in site 132. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
132
Site Surface
Dirt
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
20 Amp, 30 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Mostly Shady
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

We enjoyed the 1880 train ride from Hill City-Keystone and back. It is a relaxing 2 hour ride. Be sure to see Mt Rushmore, Needles Highway/Needle's Eye Tunnel, and drive through Custer State Park. Wind Cave NP and Jewel Cave National Monument are about 45 minutes away.

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Review Count: 6
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 2

Date of Stay: July, 2016 - $60.00
Overall Rating:      

We've camped here multiple times. It's as much location as it is campground for its appeal. Open meadows to wooded seclusion, sites with cable to somewhat rustic tenting sites, yet all the amenities to use. Beautiful views of the Black Hills, Harney Peak or just over the campground itself.
The place is huge and could really be thought of as 6 different campgrounds. Given that, I'd hesitate to recommend one area over another as it is all personal preference and camping style.
We used to always give an excellent rating, but some things are getting a little rough around the edges to us. Hopefully Rafter J is aware of this stuff or they could slide further down very quickly. When you check in you have to initial a card with several rules on it. However rules such as no parking on grass were very obviously not enforced and if you are not going to enforce a rule it will eventually become a free for all. It seems they've had some hard rains and it's caused ruts to appear on interior roads and some campsites. Not all campsites are level to begin so this could quickly deteriorate into some unable sites. In actuality, there are some sites that look pretty unusable in the upper and lower ranch camps. Some gravel work and reviewing of their campsites in these areas plus a few others is probably overdue. There is also the non-negotiable rule of campfires out by 11pm. We've never asked but assume it may have to do with fire danger in the Black Hills and/or maintaining quiet hours. Either way, we can comply, but Rafter J has paid nighttime security that drives around with lights flashing watching like big brother. It's not very welcoming.
Staff, to us, has always been business like, not overly-friendly. Our interactions are pretty minimal.
Pool is big and useable, hot tub getting old, game room is overlooked, store stocked well. On Mickelson bike tail, near road to Sylvan Lake, Custer, Crazy Horse, etc..
Cabins are great, too, if not camping. Fort Welikit might be next! We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
244
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Nearby
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Find the campground map online (it's not on their site, but it's out there if you search). This will help you select better.

If you bike plan on the Mickelson trail - it's a gem and accessible to the campground.

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Review Count: 13
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: July, 2016 - $53.00
Overall Rating:      

Good park but the price was a bit pricey for this campground. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Fifth Wheel.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
ranch camp
Site Surface
Gravel, Dirt
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Long enough for my 5th wheel and truck (I didn't have to disconnect
Campsite Features
Fire Ring
Power Hookups
30 Amp, 50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Mostly Shady
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient

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Review Count: 9
States Visited: 5
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: July, 2016 - $66.00
Overall Rating:      

Well laid out park with plenty of room for big rigs. Nice to take a dip in the pool after a hot day. Good location for visiting Mt Rushmore. Most of the big rig sites are out in the open, and WiFi was ok. No problem with Verizon service. Probably over priced, but you are in the heart of the Black Hills. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Clean Restrooms
Clean Showers

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Surface
Dirt, Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Long enough for my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Campsite Features
Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient

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Review Count: 17
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: June, 2016 - $60.00
Overall Rating:      

The campground is very nice, with a lot of open green areas. Our site was a little uneven, and the grass needed to be mowed. We did have a great shade tree. We have stayed here before and will stay again. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Fifth Wheel.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
204
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Just long enough for my 5th wheel (had to disconnect)
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Nearby
Sun & Foliage
Mostly Shady
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient

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