8.7 Excellent
     
Hill City, South Dakota

Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort

Hill City, South Dakota


12325 Rafter J-Bar Rd
Hill City, South Dakota 57745
Phone: Click to view

Sites: 200
Recent Rate: $$$$

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Latitude: 43.88880783398
Longitude: -103.59054923058

Elevation: 5195' (approximate)
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 ?
  • Free WiFi Free WiFi yes
  • 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

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Review Details

Ratings overview

280 Reviews

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

Review Count: 29
States Visited: 14
Helpful Reviews: 11

Date of Stay: September, 2017 - $56.00
Overall Rating:      

Several of the previous reviews do a great job of describing the park and its amenities and they are all accurate. However, there are a couple of items that need to be mentioned. The park is devided into several areas, some more open, others more treed. We stayed in the "Base Camp" section which is relatively open. The roads and sites in our area were both gravel. The sites and roads can be very close. Some sites are just too tight/close to be practical for larger rigs. Several of the sites were not very level are required some blocking to get rigs level. The roads have lots of erosion and need some maintenance. Otherwise, this is a very nice park in a great area with helpful staff. We would stay here again when 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
220 Base Camp
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Campsite Features
Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp, 50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

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

Ride the 1880s stream train from Hill City to Keystone and see the Borglum museum there. Of course, take in Mt Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument.

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Review Count: 5
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: September, 2017 - $62.00
Overall Rating:      

Perfect for visiting Mount Rushmore, the entrance was right near the turn off for the monuments. Big commercial site with family facilities and walking paths. Access to Mickleson trail. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Just long enough for my motorhome
Campsite Features
Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Nearby
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
No
Tips for other Campers:

Helpful staff, small shop. Very open areas.

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

Date of Stay: September, 2017 - $55.00
Overall Rating:      

We spent two nights at Rafter J's on our way to Spokane, Washington. The campsite was spacious, the restrooms and laundry facilities we're impeccably clean, and the location is close to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park and Needles Highway. We hope to return and spend more time here next year. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Long enough for 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
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
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Review Count: 170
States Visited: 39
Helpful Reviews: 18

Date of Stay: September, 2017 - $52.00
Overall Rating:      

Very nice. Wide space between sites. Gravel interior roads in some areas and gravel pads. Paved and wide exit and entrance. Nice office and small cafe with pizza and ice cream, etc. This is a very large park by area and there are three or 4 distinct areas. Try to look on line for their map and decide. Wifi and restrooms are at the main camp. No wifi in other areas. We stayed in the line camp and love the fact you face a very lovely meadow with no one blocking the view. We have stayed here several times before and will stay here again. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Site Number
line camp
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
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:

the park is just across the street for the start of finish of one of the best drives in the US--The Needles Highway. This is a must do.

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Review Count: 80
States Visited: 13
Helpful Reviews: 7

Date of Stay: September, 2017 - $55.00
Overall Rating:      

We stayed here for 5 nights, as was recommended by a friend. The person at the front desk WAS NOT friendly at all. We had made the reservation in July for our September arrival. They had no note or recollection of our requesting a site to use our satellite. They put us in a treed site where our satellite did not work. They said there were only 2 other sites available and we could go look at them if we want. They were both with lots of trees surrounding them. It was a very rainy day. After getting set up and trying our best to situate ourselves to try and receive a signal, we gave up. About an hour later, a different person from the office knocked on our door to say they had a cancellation and someone was leaving the next day from a clear site and would we like to move. We moved and the rest of our stay was good. It was overpriced, in our opinion. But they charge a little more because they can! Speed bumps are huge! We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
Lower Area
Site Surface
Gravel
Campsite Features
Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp, 50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

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

Hill City is a cute town and has one grocery store. We did a larger grocery run in Custer.

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Review Count: 30
States Visited: 14
Helpful Reviews: 10

Date of Stay: August, 2017 - $65.00
Overall Rating:      

2nd time staying here. There are many choices in the Black Hills but we love the property here. The sites are set up in various areas on this large swath of land. All sites have electric and water with the majority of sites with full hookups (30 or 50 amp). There are cabins available as well. Swimming pool, playground, volleyball court, and enough open grass area to play baseball and football at the same time! 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
200 Base camp
Site Surface
Gravel, Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Long enough for my 5th wheel and truck (I didn't have to disconnect
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp, 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: 20
States Visited: 9
Helpful Reviews: 2

Date of Stay: August, 2017 - $55.00
Overall Rating:      

This is it! If you want to stay in the Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse/Custer State Park area, look no further. This LARGE park has a several distinct camping areas, all very nice, with some sites more closely spaced than others. They have a GIANT open meadow perfect for a family game of ... well, whatever, it's big enough. This place can legitimately call itself a resort. They have a heated pool, NICE rental cabins, central fire in the evening, VERY GOOD pancake breakfast several days of the week and a beautiful facility. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We had to have a couple of documents printed while here. The response, "no charge"! My ONLY negative (and the only reason I didn't give it a "10") would be that in a park this "up scale", I would definitely expect WiFi at the site at a caliber similar to the rest of the excellent facilities and they don't have it. Other than that, this place is a keeper! Beautiful park, nice people, great area to visit; what more can you ask? We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
176
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
20 Amp, 30 Amp, 50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

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

Mt. Rushmore of course. Be sure and see the evening program as well! The Crazy Horse monument is also very worthwhile. Custer State Park, and particularly the Wildlife Loop is a MUST DO!

At Custer State Park; go down the west side of the park (enter at the entrance closest to Hill City) and up the east side and you will be rewarded with some SPECTACULAR views of Mt. Rushmore framed by TWO different one-car-wide tunnels. The road was designed with this in mind and they did a GREAT job! It'll cost you $20.00/car for a 5 day pass to get into the park (2017 prices) but it's well worth it. You'll probably go back more than once.

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Review Count: 11
States Visited: 9
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: July, 2017 - $62.00
Overall Rating:      

The best asset of Rafter J Bar Ranch Resort is its setting. From the highway a wide, paved driveway takes you up a short hillside through the trees and opens up onto a huge, open meadow with several communities of camping areas around the outer edges of the meadow. Our site was plenty long enough for our motorhome and tow vehicle. Many of the sites are tucked away in the pine trees. Hook-ups were conveniently placed and well-maintained. The price seems a little high, but the camping season in the Black Hills is short, and most of the other campgrounds we saw were packed in tight. Having the George Mickelson trail right out at the front of the campground was the reason we chose to stay here. The ice cream you can buy at the office is very good too. The inside roads to the campsites are gravel and raise a lot of dust. This is one negative about the resort. 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
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:

Rafter J Bar is in a great location to do trips to Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, Custer, and other attractions.

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Review Count: 9
States Visited: 5
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: July, 2017 - $61.00
Overall Rating:      

This is a very nice campground that has spacious sites compared to others in the area. Within a 20 minute drive to Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park and Custer. We camped in "ranch camp" area. Up on the hill and moderately wooded. Nice big bathroom/shower house with 3 each washers and BIG dryers, I don't remember price, but it was average for a campground. Lots of tall pine trees, some were difficult to get around while hitched.

Staff was ok, somewhat helpful, but not exactly what I would call friendly (I'm from the south so my standards are high). It would have been nice to have someone escort us to site because such a large campground with so many areas. Nice large pool, camp office/store was big and lots of supplies/souvenirs.

As others have said, WiFi was a little spotty, but, not extremely important to me. The pool was a bit of a hike from our site. Would be nice to have a trail from the ranch camp area to the sidewalk that leads to the pool and playground. I agree with others that the price might seem steep, but given the location, and elbow room, I believe it was well worth staying here. I will definitely stay again when we visit the Black Hills. 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
Ranch camp 32
Site Surface
Dirt, Grass
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
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

All the attractions in the area are close! Must see Mt. Rushmore lighting ceremony. Only one small Grocery in Hill City, prices there are a bit steep. If you can make it to Custer, about 25 minutes, there are two big grocery stores there.

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Review Count: 10
States Visited: 7
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: June, 2017 - $49.00
Overall Rating:      

Arrived a day early and they gave us a site near our reservation site 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
Main loop
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Long enough for my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
20 Amp, 30 Amp, 50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Nearby
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
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Review Count: 10
States Visited: 7
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: June, 2017 - $62.00
Overall Rating:      

This is a lovely park with spacious sites and beautiful views. It is close to many major attractions including Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Needles Highway, the 1880's train and the Mammoth site. The only major flaw is the lack of viable WiFi and, given the cost, they should fix that. I rated it a 9 instead of 10 due to lack of WiFi. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
237 island section
Site Surface
Gravel, Grass
Site Type
Back in
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
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Many wonderful Black Hills sights and drives. Folks near us are here for a month and loved it.

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Review Count: 152
States Visited: 31
Helpful Reviews: 16

Date of Stay: June, 2017 - $56.00
Overall Rating:      

We stayed here 4 nights in a back-in spot (Lower Base Camp) that overlooked the grassy central meadow of the resort. We were able to get a site with very little advance notice, but that had to be an exception as the resort was quite full. Sites are mostly spacious, some with shade. The resort has a nice office with some beverages/snacks available, nice outdoor heated pool, playground equipment, and rental cabins. It is very close to major Black Hills roads but noise is no problem. Hill City is 2 miles to the north. We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
174
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
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
Nearby
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Great access to most Black Hills attractions. Hill City is 2 miles away and has restaurants, groceries, wineries.

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Review Count: 26
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 5

Date of Stay: June, 2017 - $62.00
Overall Rating:      

This a very old RV Park in the heart of tourist country. As such, expect to pay a little more than most other parks. Even though they take in an inordinate amount of fees, very little is put back into the park. In example, concrete slabs could be put in gradually. Current pads are very narrow, close to each other, and in some instances very uneven. There is a gas station at this park, but no diesel fuel is available. 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
111
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Quite a bit longer (plenty of space) for my 5th wheel and truck (I didn't have to disconnect
Campsite Features
Picnic Table
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Very Close
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Not Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Mt Rushmore, Chief Crazy Horse, Hill City, Keystone, the 1880 train, museums, etc., are all close to this park

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Review Count: 10
States Visited: 8
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: June, 2017 - $62.00
Overall Rating:      

I cannot say enough nice things about this park! We stayed 5 days and enjoyed every bit of it! This is a HUGE campground and you have so much space between the sites. I almost felt like we were camping at a state park! Check in was easy, the site was just a little off but was huge and the parking pad was very long! I would definitely stay here again!!! We camped at Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
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
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
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Review Count: 36
States Visited: 15
Helpful Reviews: 6

Date of Stay: June, 2017 - $68.00
Overall Rating:      

Excellent campground located near Mt Rushmore, Custer, Hill City, etc. Large well appointed sites that had lots of trees and excellent spacing between campers. All utilities worked without any problems, site was a little uneven but workable. We were located at the Island, full utilities but no shower facilities. They were located up the hill a couple of hundred yards away or across from the pool/playground area. 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
235
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Long enough for my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

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

Try Wind Cave, a nice side trip. The Purple Pie Place in Custer is worth the trip. Custer State Park and the Jeep Ride/Chuck Wagon Dinner and also worth the time.

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