The best park in the area! Having stayed here many years ago, decided to return. It didn't disappoint. There are 5 different areas to choose from for your camping needs. We staying in the Upper Ranch Camp area, in the trees. Bathhouse specific to that area. Pull- through site, did need to do some leveling, but nothing overly extreme. The only shortcoming was the bathhouse itself. A bit run down and in need of a better cleaning. There were only 2 toilet stalls and 3 shower stalls for an area that was constantly busy from campers coming and going. The mix there was of motorhomes, trailers, and tents, so not everyone was using their own on-board facilities. Nice open meadow areas between the different camping areas. Office staff was friendly and efficient. Swimming pool by the office with extra parking for the pool area. Pancake breakfast in the mornings from 8-11 AM, reasonably priced...and delicious! Rafter J is convenient to just about everything one could possibly want to see in the central Black Hills area -- close to Hill City and Custer City, and convenient to Mount Rushmore and the Needles Highway, as well as Custer State Park. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This "destination" resort is awesome. The mountain resort setting is very relaxing. The friendly staff and clean facilities were great. You can have a site way away from the facilities in the forest or in the main area. All was wonderful, quiet, very family orientated. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is one of our favorites. The campground is diverse and has 5 different camping areas. There are less than 200 sites and there are some very nice views from many of them. There is a lot of green space and it is perfect for long walks with your dog. We have a 45' coach and find that Lower Ranch Camp and Line Camp work well for us. The only challenge is procuring a site without advance reservations as this park is very popular in season. So call as far ahead as you can, particularly if you want a multi-day stay. We called with only a day's notice and had to spend one night at the Black Hills KOA before we could check in for two nights at the Rafter J. That one night at the KOA made us appreciate the Rafter J even more than ever before! We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed here after my father recommended it and we were not disappointed. This is a very large campground, and has a lot of open space between the different sections. We have young children and stayed at the Base Camp; the playground was large, pool area clean, and we had good Wi-Fi signal. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This was a very nice park. Most notable is the room between spaces. We stayed in Line Camp and there was easily room for another rig between each site. I have never seen this much space before. The views within the park are incredible as is the views of the surrounding mountains. The park is located in close proximity to most of the Black Hills attractions. The only thing that would be nice to add would be a fenced dog run. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The park is excellent - staff, cleanliness, site sizes and location to the monuments. Our site (#278) was in the line camp with full hook ups and 50 Amp. The island also offers great sites. Combination of either 50 or 30 amp. Verizon signal strong - 4 bars. Checked out other nearby parks. No comparison. Will return again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The park is very pleasant, clean, quiet, with nice wide and level gravel sites. The staff was very helpful and nice. Our complaints are that the advertised Wi-Fi is spotty at best and we was only able to log on a couple of times. Verizon signal was also spotty and sometimes we could not get on. Advertized cable TV is only available in certain areas. Our biggest complaint would be that the water is undrinkable. An inch of water in the sink and you couldn't see the drain. We would find another spot if returning to the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Nice campsite in the wooded hills with beautiful views. Very well maintained, and the staff we dealt with was pleasant and helpful. Not the cheapest, but we felt it was worth it. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I would have given it a 9 or 10, but their Wi-Fi is infuriating. They actually blocked the BBC news site. Having said that, this is a very nice destination campground that is well thought out. Check in was smooth and easy, pool and hot tub well kept. We are impressed with the amount of open space. Having been there on labor day weekend, we expected to be overwhelmed with kids and noise. Well, they were busy, but the space is so large that you just don't feel the impact of all the people. We stayed in base camp for the cable TV, which was very basic, but good. Verizon wireless had intermittent signal. Would have been great for satellite TV had we brought a dish. Virtually on the Mickelson trail for biking, and very close to attractions of Black Hills. Really a great resort...but the internet is SO bad...why advertise it and then block sites and restrict data flow. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We arrived late, 20 minutes before they closed. It was dark and arriving to our campsite in the park was a little scary. An escort would have been greatly appreciated. We stayed just as Sturgis was starting. Fellow campers were respectful with no late evening or early morning runs of motorcycles. Verizon cell phones worked well in the park. The park was very clean, but I do think it was a little overpriced (likely because of Sturgis). Their breakfast is an excellent value. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We can't say enough about this place. Perfect location, centrally located to all of the Black Hills sites! Beautiful park. One of the best. Pool was spotless, staff came around daily and cleaned out fire pits. Just a very nice place to park it for the 5 days we were there. We were in the Island part of the park. My only complaint was a couple of the male staffers behind the counter weren't good friendly front-men, acted a touch like they didn't want to be there. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Very nice campground, good roads, nice staff. It is a little pricey but worth it. Didn't spend too much time in the campground because too many sights to see. Would definitely stay here again when in the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Great park. Did not give it a 10 because pads were gravel not concrete and the Wi-Fi was not always great. Lots of green grass, your pets will love it! Friendly check-in; they moved people around so we could stay an extra night. Our 42 ft motor home and towed fit fine. We chose the base camp sites as they have cable, but satellite worked as well. A little expensive, but that is the area. Very convenient to Mt Rushmore, Custer State Park, and cities of Hill City, which was very quaint, and Custer. Water pressure was excellent, electric was stable. Sites we very level. Would definitely stay again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Nice park. Very spread out. Friendly staff. We stayed 2 nights. Used a back-in as we used dingy to go to Mt Rushmore. Good location for seeing Mt Rushmore and Geo Mikelson bike trail. We happened to be there during Sturgis Motorcycle Rally week. Not a good choice. Don't come to this area during that event. VROOM! VROOM! Would stay again except during Sturgis week. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a nice park, but the staff was rude. The property was nice, clean ,space between sites. Laundry room was clean and new. After driving thru another park down the road, I think I would prefer to stay there for 1/2 the price and double the scenery. Full hookup is a big plus. This is one of the nicest private campgrounds around. There are some less attractive ones right on the main road. Rafter J is set apart in the hills, very beautiful. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Huge campground. We stayed in the Ranch Camp section in the trees farthest from the office. Loved it. Quiet, nice big spots. Pool, spa, playground, wi-fi, recreation room with pool table and arcade games. Breakfast available at the outdoor dining hall and BBQ on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Personnel were friendly, and the campground was extremely well maintained. Would definitely stay here again. Extremely convenient location to attractions. We camped here in a Motorhome.
First the good. Beautiful campground, close to everything you want to see. Site level. Scenery beautiful. Very quiet. Pool nice. Breakfast great. Basic hookups good. Now the negative. Wi-Fi is terrible. When I went to the office to check on it I was told by the young lady at the desk; "Ya, our Wi-Fi isn't that good". Okay then. You can only have cable in one small section of the park. Over the air channels, all four of them, were in and out. Cable and Wi-Fi are important to some and not to others. It's important to us. Speaking of the staff, everybody looked miserable. Customer service was poor, everywhere in the park. After all of the glowing reviews read here, we were disappointed, especially at this price. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Beautiful spot centrally located to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Custer state park. We have a 43ft motorhome plus a toad. We had no problem getting around in the park. This park is large but is very spread out. We had a 3 acre field across from our spot. Sites are wide with plenty of room for slides. They offer a wonderful, quick breakfast for a very reasonable price. Even though there are lots of RV sites, many with kids, overall it was a quiet park. We camped here in a Motorhome.
My reservations always request a site that is good for satellite, I confirmed that upon check-in and was even asked if it was Direct TV or Dish. I got a site that was along the tree line and no satellite. After returning to the office and asking to change sites which took 30 minutes, I was allowed to move to any one of three open sites in the "Basecamp" area. The other two sites were never used during my stay - what is that all about? I don't need to use any of the facilities, but I'm sure they were all good. No WI-FI unless you're in the office area. For a "resort" at $50+ per night, that's bad. The campground has everything you need including a gas station. It's well maintained, large, wide and long sites and very quiet at night. Everywhere you drove you passed another campground, but none that I saw was as nice as this one, and the price reflects that. I would stay in this campground again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Great location and a very nice campground. Had everything that you would need. Great for kids. Most sites are shaded and good space between your neighbors. The breakfasts are great, as are the dinners. The staff is great when you eat. Now the front desk staff is horrible. Everyone was rude and not very friendly. The good news is that you only need to deal with them once (at check-in). If you can get over that, your stay will be great. Great location for all the sites in the area. Hill City is also a great little place as well. The only time we ran into rude folks was at the campground check-in. Too bad, since that may turn some folks away. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Great campground. Good Sam discounts. We stayed in the Island. Very quiet and beautiful surroundings. Staff were friendly. Pancake breakfast was great and served by friendly couple. Camp store well stocked. You can't go wrong staying here. Sites are spacious. Convenient to all attractions. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Pull-thru sites in the base camp area work well for big rigs. This campground surrounds a large meadow. Five distinct areas have sites with different natural features. Our site in the base camp was a long pull-thru that worked well for our big rig. We came in early June, paid the same price as "in season", but the pool and hot tub were not yet open. The Tuesday & Thursday rib dinners had not yet begun. Though the web site mentions bike rentals, this is no longer offered. All in all, it was a good location for our visit to Mt. Rushmore & Custer S.P., but it seemed overpriced for the "amenities" available during our stay. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This park is a very well kept. It is neat and spacious park. We had granddaughters with us and they enjoyed the pool and playground. We had a 100 foot site so had plenty of room for kids to come visit for an evening. We will be back. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
All the sites are huge...most are twice as big as their competitors. The campground is scenic and has easy access to all the surrounding attractions. To say the entire place is spotless is somewhat of an understatement! The owner and his entire staff seemingly make it their "mission in life" to make sure you are having a good time. If you are going to the Mt. Rushmore area you would be hard pressed to find another campground that is comparable to this one. I would certainly rate this as one of the top 10 in the USA ! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
The scenery is beautiful, and it is only 9 miles from Mount Rushmore. It is close to Hill City, which is full of little gift shops and tee shirt places. When we first arrived at the park, we requested a shady area and were given a wonderful little spot up on the hill in the woods in the "Line Camp" area. What the office man neglects to tell us is that even though we had paid full price ($63) for the site it was too far for Wi-Fi reception and had no cable TV. The TV is only available at the base camp, and while Wi-Fi is advertise throughout the whole park the signal was so weak our devises (Windows computer, Apple computer, iPad) could not even connect to it. It would have been courteous for the office to tell us were were paying $63 for amenities we wouldn't receive in that area. Other then that, it was a nice clean place to be. They provide fire pits and firewood can be bought in the office, if none is available in your camping area.. They offer an all you can eat pancake breakfast for only $2.50 a person. Eggs, bacon and milk are at extra cost, but the pancakes were great. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Very nice place. Only issues were the WiFi that had restrictions on it: per Rafter J those were due to their provider and not them. I was not able to fully conduct business over their site and had to go into town to a WiFi place to do it. And, although clean and nice, their laundry was amongst the most expensive we have ever seen. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This park would be rated higher except for their unwillingness to enforce the dog restrictions. We were in the base camp, and time and again dogs from nearby campers came and did their business in our area. We notified the office but the problem continued throughout our 4 day stay. On the plus side, the sites were nice with plenty of space. Many areas to walk (although there were piles of dog waste on most of them). They had a daily pancake breakfast for a nominal charge. The camp store was nice and well stocked. The dog problem really reduced our enjoyment of this park. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We stayed here for five nights while visiting the Mt. Rushmore area. Very centrally located to all the sites. This park covers a large area of land. Very scenic with trees and hills. The sites are very large with plenty of space between each site. The Wifi sometimes got slow but acceptable. This is a very quiet park. Many families but because of it's size no noise. The pools are very nice and clean. They have a few extra buildings for activities. We kept busy outside the park so I cannot rate activities. We would stay again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This may well be our favorite campground ANYWHERE! This place is beautiful, spacious, and with all the fantastic motorcycle riding around the Black Hills it just doesn't get much better. There are great eating places in Hill City and in Custer so that makes it even better! I can't wait till our next rip up here! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Big Rig Friendly! Gravel roads and gravel sites, but don't let the gravel/dirt keep you away. Grass and shade at sites. Pool was refreshing. Play ground looked fun. Employees were knowledgeable and friendly. We stayed in a back in site but we noticed there were plenty of pull through sites. We will definitely return. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed 4 nights and absolutely loved it. Beautiful campground with great views. It is organized into separate sections so you can choose just about any environ you'd like. It is centrally located to the major attractions in the area. It is a bit pricey but we would stay there again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Second trip to this Park. Parked on the pull through sites at Line Camp. Stayed seven nights. Staff was great as always. Needed to change tire on pull trailer but forget jack. They provide jack. At our site the Wi-Fi connection was spotty, but we were there for the Rally and not to do business! We would stay again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I've camped in two campgrounds in South Dakota, and both are fabulous. This one would be a 10, but the WiFi was so weak at our campsite (Ranch camp) that it wasn't usable. If we took our devices by the office/store/pool area, it worked, but not convenient. Other than that one detail, I can say nothing negative about this campground. Bathrooms and showers are always clean, and the comfort station at our campsite had laundry facilities, too. Sites are well spaced. Be careful if you have slide-outs, as there are many trees and we saw a few people struggle with positioning (call and inquire!). We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Unless you are a biker, ANYWHERE within 100 miles of Sturgis, SD during the bike rally is pure hell, and you will see everything at its worst. That said, after 105 RV Parks in 14 months: Rafter J Bar had gotten about the best reviews online of any we had seen, so we were excited to spend time here. The huge, beautiful sites, great pool and spa should have earned this 10 but while we were here, the baths and showers were filthy, broken doors on the toilets, and the facilities were too few and far apart for such an enormous park. We had reserved a 50amp months in advance with clear overhead but given 30amps in the woods at 50 amp prices. Other than the magnificent scenery it was a major disappointment. During the Sturgis Rally they should have tripled the staff and those who were here, with one exception, were brisk at best. Also offering fire rings etc., they never told us until we arrived, there had been a "no fire" restriction all summer. Not particularly friendly, wish we had stayed at the far friendlier KOA up the hill. But again, maybe it was the Sturgis Rally that made this a 5 not 10. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I really enjoyed this park. The spaces were nice and large, there is a VERY large mowed meadow area to roam around in, a nice pool and spa. Our site was shaded and level, once I got to it. There was a large hill right in front of our pad, but nothing that I found to be trouble when backing in. The men's bathroom was often dirty and the showers always seemed to have stuff left in them from previous users. My wife said the women's were the cleanest she had ever seen, so I call that a draw. The WiFi was really bad as well. But everything else was top notch in my opinion, and it was close to everything in the Black Hills region. I would definitely stay here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Wonderful, wonderful RV park! Grounds were stunning, heated pool, basketball, big playground for the kids. It is a big park, actually, but it was very quiet, relaxing, and safe. Yellowstone Park should model their RV park after this one!! There is a breakfast every morning that is wonderful: all-you-can-eat pancakes!! We would love to come back and actually stay longer! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Very nice, but expensive park. Our site was level and surrounded by trees. Everything was well kept up. The pool was nice, but completely packed with people: one pool for 200 sites. We might stay here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Everything about this resort is good. It is close to everything you want to see in the Black Hills. Everything was clean and well maintained. The staff was very helpful and friendly. Our site was big and level. We had the pancake breakfast they offer and it was definitely worth the money. There is wide open spaces for the kids to play and ride their bikes without being a nuisance for those who do not have kids. Nice place. Would definitely camp here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Very nice and quiet, ranch type park: no horses just large and peaceful. Well stocked store and can even rent cars if needed. There are 3 different areas to camp here plus cabins also. We find the park close to all the things we like about the Rushmore area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed here for two weeks while visiting South Dakota. This is a very nice campground with large spacious sites. Campground staff was friendly and the campground was very clean and well maintained. The campground is divided into several sections ranging from wide open flat grasslands to heavily shaded treed areas. It is important to review the campground website and make sure the area of the park you are placed in meets your needs (i.e. some of the areas do not have bathhouses and are far from the office and pool). Also be aware that the wireless internet coverage is spotty and the service is slow in the campsites. There are internet connections in the office that are faster and more reliable. The site we were on was not overly level and required several boards under the tires in able to get the camper level. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This RV park would have been a 10 except that the restrooms weren't that nice. They were clean but they were very dark and old and there weren't enough for the number of campsites, causing us to have to wait in line. We stayed in the Island section which was quiet and shady but you needed a bike to get to the restrooms and pool. It was very centrally located and very convenient for touring the Black Hills. We rented a car from the campground which was a nice convenience. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The best place we have stayed since we've started camping. Where to start - beautiful surroundings, doesn't feel nearly as crowded as other campgrounds, everything is well-maintained, the pool is the largest we've seen, and very clean. It also lies right next to the Mickleson trail, and we took advantage with our bikes each day. Very reasonable prices in their well-stocked store - $1.50 will get you a huge cup of ice cream. They also have a $2 pancake breakfast. The great reviews are all accurate, and we will definitely be back! We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
This is a very nice park, just a few things that were just not right. Confusion with our mail delivery, we were told yes, we could receive our mail forwarding service send our mail here, but not told it couldn't be sent by the Postal Service, so our mail was returned. The sewer system backed up so there was a little raw sewage on the lot next to us. Their Wi-Fi server did block several internet sites, including the Geocaching website. Staying in base camp, the roads are a little too narrow for the bigger rigs to work around. But even with all that, this is a nice place to stay. The sites have room between them to sit out, nicely landscaped with trees and bushes, great areas to walk the dogs, our Sprint phone/Hotspot worked OK. Our rate reflects the Good Sam Rate, which the office almost "forgot" to give us. But we would stay here again, one of the nicest in the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a great family vacation resort. If you have kids this is one of the best set up CG for amenities and touring local attractions. We stayed in the base camp: the pull through sites are a little closer than we would have liked, but extra long to allow for a vehicle. Rafter has several "camps" called line camps and another called the island. I wish now we would have stayed in the line camp along the tree line. The base camp sits in the valley with strong winds coming over the mountain. We had 3 nights of rocking and rolling because of the high winds, but that is no fault of the Rafter J. Highly recommended for family fun. Driving by some of the other RV campgrounds in the area: this is by far the best. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Absolutely stunning resort and grounds. Nice level gravel pads with some tree encased. Nice store, gas station and breakfast pavilion. The pool was clean, heated and sparkling every day. Well maintained and attentive staff. Only complaint was the Internet availability. Due to too many people using Netflix they have blocked access to anything that can download video which includes NBC, ABC, CBS news CNBC and others similar sites to keep the bandwidth available for all campers. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Beautiful campground, great location to see Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and drive the Custer State Park Loop (70 miles). Everything was clean, the sites are huge and the campground has six camping loops so you can pick open area, partial shade or full shade. Some loops don't have restrooms but that makes it quiet. The families with children stayed closer to the office and pool area. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Rate reflects Good Sam discount & tax. Pads were gravel but very spacious and level sites. We stayed in an extra long pull through. All sites in park have a lot of open common area in front or behind them. Hookups were very good. Location is convenient to Mt. Rushmore and The Needles highway. Hill City is 2 miles away; Badlands is about 90 miles; Wild Horse Sanctuary is about 45 miles. Pool and hot tub were closed but appear to be very nice. Laundry facilities are located in each of the three bathhouses. Good interior roads. It was a beautiful and restful stay. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Very quiet location, with incredible scenery. Sites are quite level in the area we stayed, however, tight to get into with our 5th wheel trailers. The trees in the sites made it a difficult maneuver, along with the parks instruction to stay off the grass. This was not possible. This was an excellent location for base camp to explore the attractions in the area and to enjoy the wonderful bike path which runs right next to the park. We stayed here 3 nights and would stay here again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is a very nice RV park close to many activities in the Black Hills. We stayed "off-season" and none of the typical amenities were available. We feel that the price was too high given that the pool, hot tub and game room were closed, and the pancake breakfast was over the for the season. We also paid $6 more per night than the off-season rate and feel there should not be an additional per person rate when there are no "extras" available. We would have no problem with the rate if everything had been open and available. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
The campground was nice and clean, well maintained. The advertised Pancake breakfast was closed for the season, as was the pool and one of the bathhouses. When I called for directions, the person I talked to was terrible at giving directions - he had no idea how far on each road to go. They advertise 5 miles from Crazy Horse and 8 from Mt. Rushmore - add 2 miles to each. One good thing was they had rental cars available, which I took advantage of to avoid the cold weather on a motorcycle. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Very nice park with large sites and lots of open space. Only about 7 miles to Mt Rushmore. Very big rig friendly in a beautiful setting. Many sites are not quite level, so -1. (The leveling system on our 45' coach was unable to get us completely level.) Sites and most roads are gravel, so another -1. But overall a great park. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is our second visit to this RV park, and we would go again. It is a great park with lots of trees, grass and open areas. Plenty of room between sites, and easy to get into our pull through. Wi-Fi and cable TV were good. The dirt road down to the main camping area has a steep decline from the paved road, but if you take it slow, it is ok. Clean showers and restrooms. Good location for Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Love the area. Stayed here over the Sturgis Days for 9 days. Staff were always friendly. We met some nice people traveling through the area. We had site open for satellite. Not all sites have cable. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a fantastic park with easy access to all the Black Hills attractions. It may be a little on the pricey side, but well worth it. Wi-Fi was excellent and the setting was wonderful. Peaceful and quiet. The sites are spread out with plenty of room to move around. If you have children, there are plenty of activites to keep them entertained. I would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We really enjoyed our three day stay! Site was in the far camp, (the Ranch) and was a very big site. Quiet both day and night, except for the pop-up that came in at 11:00 and didn't have a clue what they were doing. This felt like a USFS campground but with hook-ups. Lots of grass and pine trees. Had a solid AT&T cell signal. We will be back. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We originally reserved a site in the ranch camp. We were assigned site 132 but after checking it out we decided we needed to switch. The site has an extremely long gravel pad that seemed to wind itself, narrowly, through several closely spaced pine trees. It looked difficult with a 30 foot travel trailer. The office was very nice about letting us move (although not sure why they assigned us that one to begin with as they seemed to understand it was a tricky site). We moved to the Island in site #245 which we loved. This campground is surprisingly spacious and had several campground areas to choose from with each one seeming like it's own little campground. The only drawback is that only 3 of the areas have bath buildings. The Island did not have one, but this turned out to be ok as we had full hookup and took advantage of that. However, others near us would drive or walk to the ranch camp to use the facilities there which takes a few minutes to walk to. Part of the line camp and base camp have sites with no shade, but have several pull-through sites which many bigger rigs seemed to enjoy. Plus, almost all sites are so spacious you would have to try to be close to your neighbor. We loved this campground. The pool area was great, the store was nice and we enjoyed the pancake breakfast. We are looking forward to going back again and would recommend it to anyone. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We have stayed here three times. This is a nice park with lots of open area. Wi-Fi worked sometimes but not well. The pool , office, and staff were all very nice. The sites were gravel and level in the area where we stayed. Some sites were severely sloped and not usable for a motorhome. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We had read many very positive reviews of this campground and I must say I was not disappointed at all in the grounds, etc (as other reviews have accurately described its virtues). Pricing however is a bit off. We paid 46.50 for Water/Electric (Sewer would have been more). My feeling is that it's about 10 bucks more than it should be for what it is. I suppose the value is there if you utilize the facilities heavily, but if you spend the whole day driving around the Black Hills and not much time at the park, then you might not feel that great about the pricing. Although a lovely park, we would not camp here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Rate reflects water/electric site only with an additional person. It is a beautiful facility with very large sites. We were there right before the Sturgis Rally and it was very quiet. Bathrooms/showers were very nice and clean. Laundry facilities were excellent. The staff was friendly. The pool is large. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Nice CG with 5 camping areas. We camped in the Island area. Wi-Fi is marginal in some sites. Staff is friendly. Great access to the hills and Mount Rushmore. View is outstanding. As others mentioned, campfires out by 11pm. Camp store is well stocked. Pool area is clean. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The park was a little hard to find when coming in from the south. Signs are at the north entrance. Entrance roads have water drainage dips that need to be navigated slowly to prevent too much upset in your RV. First obvious aspect of the park is it has a lot of space, measured in acres of open area. Plenty of grass and trees. Plenty of space to walk your dog. Great swimming pool. Nice laundry facility and restrooms, both maintained well. Access to restrooms are good for some and poor for others due to spread out locations. This park is the place to stay if price is excluded, as it was the most expensive park we visited this year. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Beautiful park! Aside from being greeted by a large hailstorm, this place did not disappoint. Unfortunately our pull through lot was not really a pull through (too many trees around) but once that was settled, there were no further problems. Spectacular views, pancake breakfasts, gas and propane on site. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We stayed here 19 years ago and it is still a great campground worth the extra money that you might pay to stay here. It has full services, including cable, and is a beautiful RV Park. It is close to everything you might want to see in the Black Hills. We will go back here; hopefully it is not another 19 years before we make it back. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Park is conveniently located to all of the "tourist" attractions of this area of South Dakota. However, there is so much to do at the park that you may not want to leave! There is a nice pool and playground area for kids. There are also basketball courts and beach volleyball courts available. A pancake breakfast is available every morning for a small fee. Campground is very large, with plenty of open space. Lots of shady spots available! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This was our first stay here and after hearing glowing reviews from friends and on this site we have to admit we came away with mixed feelings. Great central location and beautiful scenery all around. We were in Base Camp and had a roomy pull through with nice shade trees. However, the pad was quite unlevel and it took two leveling blocks to get situated. Facilities were nice and the kids spent a lot of time at the pool and playground. We enjoyed the morning pancake breakfast. What was not so great was the Wi-Fi was completely unusable and never worked our entire stay. We also found their campfire policy of 11pm curfew to be ridiculous. After a long day of sightseeing, by the time you get back, make dinner, etc 11pm comes quickly. Sure enough at 11:05 the campfire police arrived and made us and everyone around put out their fires. What possible harm is done by sitting around a campfire? This was a topic of discussion among several of the other campers around us and all agreed it would seriously make us reconsider coming back. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Park is beautiful and well maintained with many sites shaded by tall pine trees. Open fields and mountain views. Nice pool. Sites are long and most are well separated. No cable except in one of the 5 areas of the park. WiFi is almost unusable, even at the office. Staff was unconcerned about poor WiFi, shrugging off that it might be unusable. Could not get satellite reception due to trees. Pancake breakfast is nice. Steak dinner twice/week a nice idea but quality of steaks varied from good to undercooked and inedible. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We love this RV park for a variety of reasons - large RV sites, beautiful open spaces, PERFECT location for many of Mt Rushmore's area activities, and a friendly staff. Only negative we have experienced is the small and cramped laundry room. We would definitely stay here again, and will recommend it to our RVing friends. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Great park, with excellent access to Mt. Rushmore. The KOA was a little closer to Rushmore, but we looked and this place had much more private, shaded spots. It's a beautiful location, with lots of pine trees and a nice large meadow. The site was way out of level, but I'm willing to spend time leveling for nice scenery. I'm going to give one word of caution though, there is at least one area that is very tight for larger rigs. The site we originally got was along a very narrow access road with pines trees very close together and in the way. I tried unsuccessfully, even with the nice neighbor's help, to get into the site and it just wasn't going to work. Its the first time I have ever had to give up and ask for another site. They were very nice about it though and the next site was a breeze to back into. They have access for even the largest rigs, you just have to stay out of that one section. We would definitely stay here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
My wife and I both thought it was one of the best campgrounds we have ever stayed in. It was great for the kids with the large swimming pool and brand new playground equipment. Lots of room at this campground. The only negative we found was a lack of bathroom facilities in all the campground sections and because the place is so big it can be quite a hike to the nearest bathroom. I thought if nothing else they would have at least has a portable toilet in the sections without a bathroom but they do not. Staff was helpful with helping us find a new site after one night not being near a bathroom. I would be careful to check the campground map when reserving. Even with that said, this was a wonderful place and the kids loved it. Won't even look at other options if we were to return to this area again. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Depending upon where you are located in the park it can be excellent or 'not so excellent'. If you have a longer rig (45') stay away from the Base Camp area. They do honor site locations and I would recommend reservations well in advance for specific sites. This is a very well run campground and it shows. Extremely close to Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse National Monuments. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Very close to Mt Rushmore, & nearby Hill City is very cute! Large, level, gravel sites, some with trees. You can pick & reserve a spot ahead of time. Picnic table & fire ring. Clean showers & restrooms. Large laundry area with commercial dryers so fast drying times. Pet friendly. Clean pool & hot tub. Pancake breakfast is $2, but once you add on drinks, bacon, etc., it gets pricey. Beautiful area; would definitely stay there again! Rental cars available, too. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I would rate this park higher, but they aren't bashful on their price/and it reflects the discount! I think it's a little over-rated for the price, but consider where you are: busy tourist area. When we got here they put us in an area that we just didn't like because of the pines rubbing on our 5th wheel. We went back in the office and they gladly gave us another choice. We went down across a field from the office and we were so happy! Great for the dogs and walking. The view is really nice and can see back up to the office/pool area (big and well kept) and across the field. You have a 'out in the woods' feeling but with conveniences. The Wi-Fi worked great, no cable TV, antenna pulled in just so many stations, but OK. A added bonus, is they serve pancakes every morning hot off the griddle for an extra $2.50. Plus you can have bacon or sausage with them or even pick biscuits-n-gravy. We have a couple dogs, so the open green field in front was great for their running for a little extra exercise. Sites were pretty level in our tier, and spaced fairly nice apart for privacy. Very convenient to area attractions, just out the driveway and up the hill to Mount Rushmore, or a few miles back to Hill City or a few miles to Custer and Crazy Horse. Would probably stay here again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This place is unbelievable! We stayed in the island setting and had an easy back in. There were a couple sites that might have been a little challenge, but doable. We watched five deer out in the meadow. Our site was nice and level and we had good shade. Call ahead for reservations; it is a popular place. We will definitely stay there again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Very nice, big open meadow in center of campground close to walking/biking trails. My only complaint is the Wi-Fi only worked the first day of our three day stay. Would stay here again. A Good Sam Park. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Major "it" factor for this campground. Beautiful meadows, beautiful views everywhere. Enormous sites, with either shade or sun, in 5 different camping areas on the 167 acre site. Very kid and family friendly, without a lot of noise. Small camping store, pancake breakfast every morning (all you can eat, $2.50), just outside Hill City, SD. Bit on the expensive side, but well worth the money. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
One of the most beautiful parks we have ever stayed at. Great big sites with a lot of amenities. Very close to Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding areas. We will be back again! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Check-in was really easy and very fast. The younger man here was very helpful and very pleasant. We asked for a site near the playground for our children and he gave us the closest site that was open. This campground is very large. The lawn could have used a mow and there were weeds growing up in the firepits in some of the sites near our site. The playground is the best feature of this campground, in our opinion. The kids played on it for hours. Very, very quiet place. We had paid for 2 nights and had to unexpectedly leave a day early late in our second day and were were refunded all but $10. The staff at this campground are exceptional, best we encountered in the Black Hills! I would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This park is a solid 10! My absolutely favorite in three months of camping. Gorgeous mountain views all around. Two streams. Wide sites, easy access. Picnic tables and fire rings. Sites are dirt/gravel but there is plenty of grass around the sites. Clean bathrooms, showers and laundry rooms. Washers are a little pricy but the dryers are big and efficient. Pool and hot tub. Very helpful personnel. Store and gift shop. Gameroom with pool table. Very good upkeep on the grounds. Excellent playground for the kiddies. Bicycles for rent. Pancake breakfast during the summer season. Beautiful meadow with deer in the mornings. The Mickelson biking and hiking trail runs along the side of the park and you can hike right into the Black Hills National Forest from the park. Depending on what amenities you want, you can opt for open sites or sites nestled in the ponderosa pines on top of a hill. There are cabins, also. Wi-Fi and cable TV (limited selection of channels) were strong. Three miles from Hill City, which has a decent grocery store, restaurants, and a vintage train ride. It's a bit of a hike to the nearest Wal-Mart in Rapid City, though. Excellent base for sightseeing in the Black Hills. We were here for almost two weeks and I could have stayed for a month at least. Can't wait to come back next year! We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is a very nice park, with helpful staff, in a lovely mountain setting. The sites are large and more generously space, not so close together as in many RV parks. We liked almost everything about it, but were mildly disappointed in the WiFi performance at out site. The park is large and spread out and reception is inconsistent at some sites. A second slight frustration was that we were near the highway, and the sound from passing motorcycles during the motorcycle rally week was a little disturbing. We would gladly stay here again! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Wow! Great place. We loved the open space and great location for Mt Rushmore and other attractions in the area. We had a beautiful view and found them to be friendly. Well kept, clean and plenty of amenities. Satellite worked great and 50 amp was stable. They had rules, but were flexible. Enjoyed the onsite breakfast in the morning. We would definitely stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a very interesting RV Park. It has some history as an actual ranch many years ago. The park is very large with acres of open space. The area we stayed in was very wooded and had very large sites, more like you would find in a state park. The pads in our area were gravel, but were well maintained and we had no problem leveling our unit. The facilities were wonderful, although we spent much of our time in Custer State park and the surrounding National Forest. They did have a good c-store. It is a little pricey but we would certainly return when visiting the area attractions. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We left Rafter J with mixed feelings about the campground. Pros: nice spacing between sites, location, amenities. Cons: site was VERY unlevel, some were escorted to site, we were not, had to ask for a GS discount. We will go elsewhere our next visit to the Black Hills. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Had a beautiful site in the Island area with a view of a large meadow and several mountains. No shade on our site, but others in the Island have shade. Good SATV. No cable TV in the Island and no broadcast TV. Sites are well kept gravel. Our site was level, but some sites in the Island and Lower Ranch Camp will require leveling. Good 50 amps, water, sewer placement. Our site was spacious, others in Island area were closer together. Verizon cell and air card worked well. Some road noise. Beware: Line Camp area is on the road and noisy! Office staff is helpful. Excellent location for Black Hills attractions and "town" (Hill City). Would get a higher rating if all sites had cable TV (and paved sites and roads, I'm dreaming I know). Would return again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This was the best park we stayed at on our 2 week vacation through Glacier/Yellowstone/The Black Hills, and then back to Seattle. Great spacious camping sites, with fireplaces, lots of grass and even a great big huge grassy field. They had a fun pancake breakfast each morning too: all you can eat. They also offered car rentals right on property which was an added bonus. We decided to rent a car rather than go in our RV to see the sites and it was great. The park fees were already paid for us, since they use a sticker program that is placed on the car, so we didn't have to pay park entrance fees. Very friendly, helpful and great folks here! Hope to come back again! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Rafter J Campground is the best campground we have stayed at in the 3 years we have owned our trailer. We heard such good things and read good reviews that we decided we would stay here during our 8 days in South Dakota. We came here 2 weeks before Sturgis Bike Rally. This campground is very clean and kept that way the entire time. Everyone was very helpful and pleasant. Their store has most everything you may need during a short or long stay. The only reason I give this place a 9 instead of 10 is because they make it very clear that all bonfires must be put out by 11:00pm. They are very strict about this rule. I would like them to change this rule. Either make sure it is out before you leave or make sure you are quiet after dark. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
The Rafter J Bar remains as consistent as ever. This was our 5th stay here. It is getting a little pricey but the campground was full and they were turning people away so I guess they know what they are doing. The sites are spacious, especially for the Black HIlls. Close to Rushmore, Hill City, Custer, Crazy Horse, etc. Staff is quite friendly. Campground is clean, quiet, well maintained and feels like home away from home. They have added a breakfast tent that is very affordable and good food. Our kids wanted to eat there every morning. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
We stayed 5 nights and used this as a base camp to visit the Black Hills: it was the best choice. The park is huge and sites are big. The bike trail goes right by, if we had know that we would have brought our bikes. Make reservations as people were turned away daily. We made ours several months in advance. Has a nice camp store with ice cream. The only downside was a huge noisy family reunion right next to us. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Overall a very nice well maintained campground. The only two concerns I had were: One, someone defecated in the pool and rather than shut it down for the night they scooped it out, vacuumed it and let people back in. Needless to say I did not let my kids go back in. The second was the downright lack of professionalism of the woman who is part owner. Would we stay here again? Probably because of location and roominess. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Nice park, with lots of amenities. Nice pool and hot tub. Large open spaces for kids to run around. Claim to have wireless but could not get it from our site. Nice, quiet place. Only complaint was poor directions/signage from the check in to my RV site. Would certainly come back. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Great campground. Has spacious sites in the shade; a nice open area for the dogs and breakfast was fantastic. I would stay here again. Our only negative comment was not on the campground, it was on the parents whose kids are running everywhere unsupervised on all roads leading to the pool area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Great place to camp. We stayed in line camp. All kinds of space between campers. It was easy in and easy out with my 66 feet of toy hauler and tow vehicle. I found it very handy to be so close to all the attractions. I would certainly stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed for 3 nights and absolutely loved this park. The setting is perfect, all I can say is: what a view! The property is very well maintained and the staff is great. There is a very nice store for all your needs, even just to get a gift. Every morning there was an all you can eat pancake breafast. Park is just minutes from Hill City and Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse etc. We were even happier with our choice when we got a look at the campgrounds we passed on the way up to Rafter J. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Stayed here for 5 nights in space 70. Great working hookups. This is a very large campground with a lot of space between sites. This is one of the most beautiful campgrounds we have been to. Was well maintained. Had spoty TV reception as with the WiFi reception at our space. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We loved this campground and would definitely come back here again. The only other one in the area that we would consider, is the local KOA. Every other campground in the area that we saw was camping rigs parked side by side in what looked like a parking area with few trees. This campground has that feature as well, but with several different mini sites within the site, you shouldn't have to do that. We stayed in the "Island" in site 242. Any of the sites in the island area were great. Looooonnnng. I could probably pull three 32' 5ers in this and most of these sites. We didn't have too many problems with the WiFi, but some of our neighbors complained that they have not been able to get on at all. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this review from our site right now. I am using a Macbook, so I don't know if that is the difference. Our connection has been good. Pool is clean, hot tub is clean, but in July, they have been pretty full the entire time. Sitting in a hot tub with 10 other people is not my cup of tea. They have a chuckwagon ride with a show and meal, but we did not do that, so no comment. Cabins are available as well and they look really nice. Beautiful scenery, well maintained, gas, propane, store, gift shop, arcade, laundry all on site. Great location to see all of the local sites. I can't say enough good things about this place!!! I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. I would really recommend staying at the island or Ranch Camp. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
First, this campground is centrally located. Custer State Park is just minutes away. Mt. Rushmore less than 20 minutes to the east. Crazy Horse 20 minutes to the SW. Wind Cave about 40 minutes to the South. Hill City to restock supplies or a restaurant meal is 10 minutes to the north. Kind of a touristy town but locals very friendly and helpful. This is the best campground we've been to. Staff friendly, helpful, and well-organized. Owner is readily available. Sites well kept as were all the facilities-pool, playground, bathrooms & showers, game room, etc. There is a multitude of sites so if you want shade, sun, or anything between they have it. Car rentals are available for the motorhome owners who don't want to have to hook/unhook to sightsee or if you're tow vehicle has trouble and needs repair. We stayed on two different sites because our plans changed last minute and we lengthened our stay. Since our original site was not available for the entire trip, they found us another one. A few caveats depending on your preferences. If you want privacy, most sites are not screened from the others around you. There's plenty of distances between sites but you're not screened. This is not a cheap place to stay. The prices are reasonable but nothing's free. We plan on going there again on our way out to Yellowstone in a few years. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Amazing campground. Could put in many, many more sites but they chose to keep the open outdoor feeling. Beautiful scenery with wildlife wandering through camp. Although it rained the entire three days we were here, the stay was fantastic and we will return. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a wonderful campground. The restrooms and showers were very clean. Bring cash as they do not allow you to have a running tab for items such as ice, firewood, and such. It is cash only for these items. The location is wonderfully central to all of the attractions in the Black Hills. We stayed in site 155 in the Ranch Camp. This should not be a site as it is moon shaped and difficult to get rig in and out. Also, it is right next to the bath house and we had people walking and riding their bikes through out campsite the whole week. We were really surprised by how rude fellow campers were and how little parents supervised their children. We would stay here again, but would request the Island, where there is no bathhouse with nice wide and long sites. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Rafter J Bar lives up to their claim of being a resort that is clean, quiet, well-shaded and scenic. We stayed in the Ranch Camp section which included a mix of different campers. Lots of room for our rig and a nice view. Full hook-ups. Great facilities including the swimming pool but too cool for us to swim. Close to Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
They have 7 different campgrounds in this resort. We were in Base Camp which has full hook-ups including cable TV. Site was long and good for a big rig. Road was a little small for manuvering. Pool was nice; staff not too friendly. Views of the Black Hills were great. Pancake breakfast was good. Only real complaint was the rude campers who could not walk or ride their bikes around on the roads to get to the pool, office or playground, but had to walk and ride right through your site even when you were sitting out having dinner. The campground needs to add this to their campground rules or post signs in the office telling people who don't seem to know any better, not to cut through other people's sites. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We loved our visit here and stayed for 8 days. Beautiful wide open campground;our site had a wonderful view of mountains. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Pancake breakfast was great! We would definitely stay here again if we get a chance to do so. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We were in site 260, back in the trees. No cable TV in this area but it was so beautiful it was worth the 4 days without TV. We had trouble with our toad and the staff was more than helpful getting us set up. They even gathered round to push it into a place where it could be picked up by the tow truck. I think we scared it because it magically fixed itself at that point. Would love to stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Lots of room, but the different camps are pretty far apart, so you pretty much have to drive to the pool or to the store or to the pancake breakfast they have each morning. Good location to see everything in the Hills though without ever having to drive very far. Can only have campfires from 5pm-11pm & they diligently enforce it. So no late night around the fire. Would research other places in the area before staying again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is a clean, well maintained park, with a long list of features. However, the focus of the owners is making money, not value. Everything is provided for advertising purposes, not for real use. For example Wi-Fi is advertised, but so over capacity it is totally unusable from 6:00 - 10:00 PM. From limited cable TV to minor things like the cheapest toilet paper that can be found, everything is focused on making money. In addition, be aware...if making a reservation for 4 days, they expect to be paid for 4 days no matter if you want to stay or not...and no refunds what-so-ever. If you try and pay for say 3 nights...the owner will hunt you down at your site and nearly demand payment on the spot. Typically when paying in this price range we expect paved sites, restrooms closer than a 1/4 mile hike and a staff interested in service; none of this will be found here. There are at least 1000 nice campsites in the Hill City/Custer area, do yourself a favor and choose somewhere else. The rating of 6 is based on value, not what is advertised. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Big spacious park. Had a great time here and the location is great. Make sure and check out Custer State Park and the Needles highway, not to mention Mt. Rushmore. The park has everything you need and I've never seen such a big spread. Would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
LOVE this campground. Pituresque location, large sites, GREAT location right in the heart of the Black Hills. No highway noise despite being close to the main drag. Great playground, pool, and is on the George Mickelson bike trail. This was our second stay at this campground, would highly recommend it and will stay again! By far the best we saw in the area! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Friendly and helpful staff. Be sure to get directions to the park. Many choices for type of site. Wi-fi available but slow at times. Verizon air card worked well. Cable is only available in certain areas. Pretty setting. Would stay here again if in the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We were in site # 218 in Base Camp. Our site was a 50 amp pull through and had a picnic table with fire ring/grill combo. Base of site was gravel and had grass between sites. Our site was unlevel; first time on this trip we needed to get out our step stool. Wi-Fi is offered, but don't ever count on it. It is very spotty, we ended up using our Mi-Fi as well to check messages on. There is basic cable in Base Camp of 13 channels. The day we checked in we used the hot tub, and the temperature was fine, but the jets weren't very powerful. On the last day we wanted to go into the hot tub but the temperature of the water was not in the optimum range for use. The pool area was very clean and the playground was brand new. Park has its own set of gas pumps so no need to leave. Cell service was good for Verizon, but no service for AT&T. Park offers a pancake breakfast each morning for $2.00 with anything extra costing more. Park rents bikes and cars for sightseeing. They also have chuck wagon dinners and rides in the summer. They have a store that has food and gift items. Laundry was $2/wash and $1/dry. Clubhouse area with pool table and video games available. Custer is about 11 miles away and Hill City is about 4 miles away. The only real problem I had with this park was the driveways into and out of each area were on uphill or downhill grades. Makes it difficult to see people or cars coming, and if you have to wait for them to pass you end up spinning out in the gravel road. Other than that we would come back to stay again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a beautiful, relaxing campground. We checked in with no reservation and stayed 3 nights. The third night was an add-on and we had to move to another location, but not a big deal. We stayed in Base Camp so we could have cable TV (the only area that does). It is so wide open and roomy here! There are about 6 or 7 areas of sites from which to choose. There are big open fields that I hear fill with deer, but during our stay we saw not one! Staff was friendly and this place has all the amenities you will need. It is also about 3 miles to town and about in the center of all sights in the Black Hills. Highly recommend. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We did not really get to enjoy this campground as it was very cold and raining while we were staying here. We stayed in The Base Camp and would not advise staying in that one as the access to the sites is very small and tight to get in and out of, but it is very close to the office, pool, and playground. We did go around the whole campground (which is huge) and found some very nice sites up in the Lower Ranch Camp and The Island Camp. The Line Camp also had some nice sites, but I would try the other two first. There were deer all over there. During our 2 day stay we must have seen over 50 deer. They do have a nice heated pool and hot tub, but they were not open when we were there because it was too cold. I wish that the weather would have been nicer when we were there as this is a nice campground to be able to explore. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is truly a RV park within a resort with many nice amenities. The only things that kept it from a "10" rating is (1) the section where they were putting RV's had no restroom and the nearest one was about a 2 block walk across a road, and (2) the grass was so covered in animal waste that did not eat outside or let our grandson play on it. From looking around, I would recommend the KOA located on the entrance road to Mt. Rushmore. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Wow...we entered under the arch to an unbelievably beautiful ranch park. Jaw dropping! Our stay was wonderful. Staff worked with us to satisfy our desires in a better parking spot. Friends stayed up in a cabin. It was so fun to go back and forth for dinners and campfires. We loved it here...the best park we have every stayed in. Just wish we had spent more than 4 nights to see more of the whole area. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is a very big park with 6 different campgrounds: we stayed in the lower ranch camp. The spaces are about average width but we were still in our space after we opened the slide-out. Wi-Fi worked from our trailer. We did not use their showers, but we checked them out and they were clean: I would use them if I needed to without hesitation. The entire park was immaculate and the staff was friendly and helpful. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is really a great campground. Set around a large meadow with hills as a great background. Deer feed in the meadow in the evenings and can easy be seen from most sites. You can hear the coyotes at night, too. All the facilities are top notch, and the sites are fairly large. There are only two bath houses which makes a drive or a walk necessary from some camp sites if you want to use them, but they are very nice and well maintained, as is the laundry. What we didn't read in other comments is there is one of the finest bike paths in the US just at the gate of the campground. This is the George Mickelson Trail from which you can ride 109 miles from start to finish! We opted to ride from one of the trail heads near Hill City, but we will ride more when we return. We highly recommend this campground. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a model of what a good RV campground should look like. Plenty of space, fire rings, grass, level sites, tables, friendly staff, and very convenient to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Staff couldn't have been nicer. I needed some air in my tires and they wheeled out a compressor: no charge. Cable TV is only available in the Base Camp area. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We chose this one because of all the good reviews and weren't disappointed. It is a beautiful park with good sized sites and lots of open grassy areas. There are plenty of dog walking trails close-by. We did have some problems with the Wifi even though we were in the Base Camp area, but the staff were very helpful and reset the modem which cleared the problem somewhat. There are a lot of campgrounds in this area, but we would have no hesitation in coming back to this one which is close to Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
I am so glad we stayed here. Looking around at the other campgrounds, the space between campsites is considerable. I found the site pretty level, well maintained, and with an excellent view. It was so calming staying here. No hustle and bustle, no feeling like you had to keep the kids quiet, and everyone was friendly. My only complaints are that you will need to bring an extra sewer line and a coupler. Also the Wi-Fi is very slow, but it works. They have minivans on site you can rent. Important to those of us with small tow vehicles wanting more room for a longer trip to Devil's Tower or such. Highly recommend this RV park. We camped here in a Motorhome.
A beautiful Park. We stayed in the lower base camp. Had to level one side of the fifth wheel. Plenty of room between rigs. As stated in the previous review the Wi-Fi needs help. Cable TV was limited. The main advantage to this RV park is that it is about 9 miles from Mt. Rushmore and very convenient for the night lighting and ceremonies at the Monument. You must see this if you have not. After dark you don't have to drive a great distance and chances of encountering wildlife on the road are lessened. Fee quoted was less than during peak season as it just changed as of the day we were there. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Terrific setting: meadow, trees, mountains, and a great location for the Black Hills. But management doesn't seem to know much about RVs, especially big rigs. Many very tight (90 degrees, one turn to/from main exit road more like 120 degrees). Then they have added posts and huge rocks to make it even harder to drive: guess they don't know that coach with attached toad can't back up. Their rules say don't drive on grass (actually just weeds) but this can't be avoided due to tight turns, narrow roads, narrow gravel pads, etc. Wi-Fi is seriously deficient: very slow when it works, but also poorly configured. It is easy to get totally locked out: had to get office helper to unplug the entire camp's Wi-Fi router so I could get back online. It requires frequent re-log-ins and upon connection displays the title of a different campground! They also have two of their Wi-Fi access points on adjacent channels (5 and 6) which should never be done as it messes up both. The camp's grounds have unrealized potential, degraded by silly things. The official swimming pool parking lot is next to pool, but there's no gate except on the other side of the pool! The pancake breakfast gets expensive fast. The only place to dump trash is hundreds of yards from the big rig area. If only the camp operators would try to do what their customers must do, they'd probably realize how annoying some of it is. I'd go back, knowing the frustrations, but still shaking my head. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed at this park for a week. We were very pleased with the location and the grounds! The facilities were very nice, and they seemed to have everything we needed. I did not give it a higher rating because they told us we would have WI-FI in the base camp. The WI-FI was awful!! We could not keep our signal even though we had an antenna extender. Fortunately Cable and WI-FI were included in our rate. I would suggest that the office NOT guarantee WI-FI service in the base camp if it does not work efficiently. I believe there were too many users, and the system was overloaded. Other than that we had no problems and would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We camped here during the Sturgis Bike Rally. Even though there were motorcycles absolutely everywhere within a hundred miles, the campground was relatively quiet. Sites are well spaced, gravel lots with trees around most. All sites surround a large green meadow. Staff was friendly and helpful even during this hectic time. Close to just about everything in the Black Hills area. We saw several RV parks in the area and Rafter J Bar Ranch seemed to be one of the best. Might have gotten a ten if they had concrete sites, or if the sight was slightly more level. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This a nice, beautiful park with very clean facilities. The staff was not overly helpful or friendly. I asked for a nice shady spot and cable TV, and was put next to the large open meadow with no shade whatsoever. We should have asked to be moved, but chose to stay anyway. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The park was well maintained, very open and expansive. The park staff was helpful. Most of the sites were reasonably level gravel. The sites are large with a nice view of the Black Hills. Everything is far enough from the roads that only occasional noise is heard. This is a good campground for families, groups, or RVing older couples as they have appropriate spaces for everybody. There is plenty of room to walk dogs or have kids play and ride bikes. We camped here in a Motorhome.
A huge RV park. We stayed in the Base Camp. A fairly busy area, but well kept and we had a very roomy site, #217. Everything is a bit of a hike from the other areas, but nothing wrong with that. We did not use the showers or restrooms as they are near the main building. Pool was great, office was helpful when asked and the store is a bit expensive which is not surprising. We enjoyed our stay and would stay again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Very nice campground to stay at. The store was well stocked. This place is huge with several different camping areas. This place is very busy with a lot of campers. Staff was friendly and the place well kept. They served a pancake breakfast ($4), but we did not attend. It's close to Rushmore and the surrounding attractions. Pool was nice for the kids and adults. We had a great time here and would return. Only reason not a 10: the kids running the front desk need better training or an adult on site. They thought I did not pay (which I did), for a second night (when I did) and gave me some grief about it. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This campground was better than expected. Plenty of room between sites, beautiful scenery (off major roadway), very clean bath house and the pool was great! Close to all Black Hills attractions. Would definitely stay here again. We tent camped here for 6 nights. We camped here in a Tent.
We stayed here for three nights on our way out to Yellowstone. It was a beautiful resort. The sites were huge along with the whole facility. There was tons of space of the kids to run around and play. Waking up, stepping outside the trailer, breathing the mountain air and viewing the Black Hills: it was a beautiful thing. We did get hit by a couple of severe hail storms two of the nights we were here. The staff was very helpful and extremely diligent as far as getting the Wi-Fi back up and running after the storm. We highly recommend this place. I wish this were closer to our residence (Napeville, Il). If we ever get out West again, we will definitely stay here. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is an excellent campground. It is a very large property with fabulous views which include Harney Peak. It also a nice large meadow in the middle that is well maintained which is great for frisbee, catch or stargazing at night. We camped with a large popup #150 in the Lower Ranch Area. It was a walk up a hill to get to Restrooms and Showers, but it mattered little for us since we have facilities in our popup. Regardless, they were immaculate. The Wi-Fi was slow, but typical in our experience for campgrounds not located near urban or suburban areas. The pancake breakfast was both cheap and delicious. I highly recommend the campground and we plan to make another trip out to it and the Black Hills in the future. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Great campground! Very large and divided into different camping areas. We stayed in the Island area which was perfect. In fact, we decided we had the best site (no. 247) in the entire campground. The sites are some of the largest we have ever seen in a campground and level. The Island area is not close to the office, pool, bathhouse, or laundry and does not have cable TV. Just need to be aware if you have those needs. They have a pancake breakfast every morning which is cheap and delicious. The rate may be high but we thought it was well worth the extra bucks. The campground is conveniently located to many area attractions including Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore. We stayed here 5 nights and would stay longer if we were not headed elsewhere. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a nice park with lots of trees and different areas in which to camp. However our reservations were messed up upon arrival. We requested 50 amp site with cable TV: were assigned a 30 amp site with no cable TV hookup. Were it not for the mess up, we would have rated higher. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a beautiful campground in the beautiful Black Hills. Some of the hills to get here are steep, so be prepared because you are staying in the mountains of SD. We camped here for six nights in the Lower Ranch Camp at the end site #190. We were backed into the farthest site of three that were somewhat close together. The site was long and the two nearby were staggered, but the drawback was that our view was partially of the back of the rig next to us. At one point the smoke from our fire pit which was about 30 feet behind their rig was going into their camper and we had to put it out. Our site was quiet and very peaceful. The bathrooms were a hike up the small hill to the 'Ranch Camp.' They were clean and well kept. We camped here in a Travel Trailer so we didn't use them, but did check them out. We loved that the Lower Ranch Camp had great views of the meadow and was easy to walk over to the new playground and heated pool. The general store was wonderful and also had ice cream. There is also a gas pump on site that is fairly priced. The location is wonderful and close to Hill City, Mt. Rushmore & Custer State Park. Overall a wonderful place to stay for a week and a great family park. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
A nice park within an hour of the Badlands and 20 minutes from Mount Rushmore. The park is divided into 5 sections. We spent 2 nights in Line camp, which has wide sites but no shade. The third night we moved to Base camp, which has some shade but narrow sites. The Line camp was better. The site were level and the roads were okay, mostly gravel with the expected dust clouds. The park could use some added bathrooms, it was a long walk to use them should you need to. Overall, a good stay, we would probably stay here again if we return to the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
A beautiful campsite - one of the best we have stayed in. The location is just fantastic, waking up to that view every morning was wonderful. We booked at the last minute and had to move from the island to base camp so we experienced staying in 2 areas. Didn't get wifi in either though! The island consists of a small number of gravel sites, shade provided by ponderosa pines, ours was level with plenty of space between us and our neighbor. We were lucky enough to get an end site (237 I think) and one one side was just a huge, open grassy space, all neatly mowed. Great view, great location. The base camp is closer to the pool and playground but this seemed like an older area - our site wasn't that level. Would still stay here again though in any area of the campsite. Laundry spotlessly clean. The whole place looks to be well maintained. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is that the office staff were not the most friendly or accommodating that we have come across. No local maps or info in the office either. Would love to stay here again! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is a very good park, paved entrance road, gravel interior roads and sites. Many camp sites but spread around a large meadow and in the trees so it doesn't feel crowded. We were in the Base Camp full hook up area with a good Wi-Fi signal and limited cable TV although the sites are open enough that satellite TV was fine. Verizon air card also worked. Set back far from the highway so there is minimal road noise. Nice pool and play area for kids. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a wonderful campground. We stayed here during their high season (4th of July) in a diesel pusher. We had no real problems. The location is beautiful. We we in the Line-Camp among the trees so we could not get WiFi or Satellite TV. However, the views were excellent. All you can eat pancakes for $2.50 in the mornings. You can also get bacon, sausage and biscuits with gravy. A well stocked camp store, although the prices were high. Friendly staff. Rules were not strictly enforced but the park was pretty quiet. By 9 PM everyone was in bed - lol. I took my computer to the store so I could log onto the free WiFi. It was extremely slow, nearly unusable. Still, I would be happy to stay here again. Nice pool, hot tub, bike rentals and friendly staff. It is close to all of the major attractions, including Mt. Rushmore only a couple miles away. We camped here in a Motorhome.
A beautiful park nestled in the woods. The kids loved the playground which was large and fairly new. We enjoyed the open space; enough to throw a frisbee. The Wi-Fi worked fine, and the location of the park is great. We went to the pancake breakfast and it was really good. The staff was really friendly and when my daughter asked the cashier if they found $3 she had lost (from the tooth fairy) the cashier GAVE her $3 to make her feel better! My only complaint(s) would be the lack of bathroom and shower facilities. This is a very large park, and does not have nearly enough facilities; nor were they clean. Also, the dumpsters were overflowing for days and there was nowhere to put our garbage. Even so, we still liked it. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Peaceful, clean and spacious. You could here a pin drop at night and the setting is very good. A very good base to explore the Black Hills. They had a nice hot tub for soak sore muscles from hiking and a very reasonably priced pancake breakfast in the mornings. We would camp here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a resort. They could easily add several hundered more sites, actually, one on either side of me, to this resort. The spaces are extremely long, level and wide. There is a large and I mean large meadow in the center of the resort. I've never stayed anywhere that had this much open space. The roads are gravel and the sites are gravel with lots of grass. Yea...not a lot of concrete. Even when it rained here, the was very little standing water. Final comment, this is the first campground we've ever stayed that the pictures on their web site didn't truly represent how beautiful this place is. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This park is much like a state park in that the spaces are large and there is a lot of open space, with the upgrades (pool, etc.) of a commercial park. The park is quiet and roomy. There is excellent dog walking areas available. The roads are paved, dirt, and gravel. The pads are gravel and level. Mule deer are abundant. I would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Stayed in the Island section. Grounds were well maintained. Staff was friendly and helpful. Well stocked camp store. Restrooms were clean. I would recommend this campground. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Nice facilities. Pretty location central to most everything in the Black Hills. We stayed in Base camp for the pull through and TV hookup. Drove around Ranch Camp but the road is a little rough and for smaller tents & trailers. Otherwise, well maintained. We'd probably choose the Main Camp on next visit as its close to the showers & laundry with full hookups and plenty of shade. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is our first stay at this campground since 2006 and the personal and staff was very friendly and helpful which is a big improvement over our last stay here. This is a large campground with many sections and each area has there own special appeal. We chose to stay at the base camp with a back in site with full hookups. Our site was gravel and very level and no leveling blocks were needed all sites have a picnic table and fire pit. The Cable TV was good and the Wi-Fi was very good at our site. There are three laundries in the campground and we used the one at the main camp and it was nice and adequate. This is your idea campground for the Black Hills area which includes Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, and Custer State Park. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Had a wonderful 2 nights at the Rafter J Bar Ranch. The views are beautiful, and the location is perfect if you've come here to visit Rushmore, Custer & Crazy Horse. This park is located right in the middle of all of them. The owners were very helpful and when it froze overnight, they were there to tell all of us to turn off our water connections and early the next morning, when it was okay to turn them back on. I would highly recommend this park! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Two paved entrances. Very spacious property. Beautiful setting. Very clean, well-kept. Very quiet. Pancake breakfast available. Gravel interior roads, as well as site. Site base not real wide, and slightly unlevel. Much room between sites. Good for satellite. Great location for Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, and the 1880's Train. Stayed four nights. We camped here in a Motorhome.
A great campground, one of the nicest we saw in the Black Hills area. Well maintained grounds and facilities. Pancake breakfast available for a small fee. The Ranch Camp was the area we stayed in and would recommend that as it is close to bathrooms/laundry and more private/shaded sites. Good amount of room between sites. A beautiful location. Wi-Fi is only available near the office area. Would definitely return and stay again! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We knew this would be a nice campground when the entrance road ran beside a pasture that had horses and a pretty little creek running through it. This is a huge place with several different camping areas from rustic wooded tent camping to full hook ups with huge open grassy fields in between. The staff was courteous and check in was quick and easy. We chose the full hook up area which had gravel roads and sites. Our site was level, but some RVs had to use lots of leveling blocks. All sites had a table and fire pit, and some sites had trees. Cable TV was good but limited. Wi-Fi was weak but usable. Restrooms/showers were clean, but they need to add one closer to our area. The pool was not open, but it looked like a nice area. The George Mickelson Hike/Bike Trail was nearby. This place was very centrally located for seeing the sights around Mt Rushmore, and after checking out several other campgrounds in the area we are sure we made the right choice. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Very beautiful park, we loved the setting and the location. Stayed in the base camp area with full hookups and cable, wi-fi worked great. Great place for dogs. Quiet. Will stay here again We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is a huge park convenient to the Black Hills attractions. The park is in a beautiful setting, with deer all over the place in the early morning. Sites are huge, well maintained, and easy to access. The only negative comment I have is that the Wi-Fi was not reliable. I would stay here again if I was in the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Best location in the area for exploring the Black Hills. As other reviewers have mentioned, this is a very large RV park with 5 separate RV areas around a very large meadow. We stayed in the base camp area which is the only section with Cable TV. Pull-throughs were level, long and wide with stable power, some with shade. Wi-Fi was free. Very pet friendly. 3 miles to a nice market in Hill City. Looking at the other parks in the area this is by far the nicest RV park around. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
HUGE RV Park. We stayed in the base camp section close to the office. Nice staff, large pull thrus and a fabulous view in all directions. Super close to Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park. This is one of the most scenic parks we have ever stayed in. Good Wi-Fi which was free. A great place to bring your pets. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is happens to be our favorite campground in the U.S.! The Black Hills has become our favorite vacation destination for summer vacations and we have stayed at this campground twice now. Originally recommended to us by a friend we have found the campground to be a great destination for traveling with three young kids. The campground has a nice pool and hot tub and a variety of sites. I recommend the areas with the most trees, but the scenery is great everywhere. The location is excellent - only a few minutes from the main Black Hills attractions like Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Needles Highway, etc., etc. Hill City is also a nice town with some good restaurants and a convenient place to get groceries, gas, etc. The shower facilities at Rafter J Bar are the cleanest of any campground we have stayed at, completely cleaned twice a day! The best part about the Black Hills is the cool nights and virtually no bugs or mosquitoes making it great for a pop-up or tent. We have always stayed in a camper, but may try the camping cabins in the future if we didn't want to pull a trailer all the way. It is a good facility in a very scenic location. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Just big but that's it. The Ranch area has lots of shade. We made reservation 9 months prior requested the Ranch area. When we got there, they moved us to the Pine area which closer to the highway and was noisy. The sites are on dirt and gravel and not too even. The 100+ mile Mickelson bike trail is right next to the campground but there is a $3 fee per day to use it. $44 is not cheap plus $3 for additional person. Except for the pool, I don't recall seeing the playground for the kids. We camped here in a Motorhome.
There is a wide variety of sites, from heavily wooded to lined up in a row in several different camping areas, something for all tastes in camping. We got bad advice from store staff for Mt Rushmore celebration and almost missed the fireworks. There is a nice heated pool & hot tub, and bike rentals. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
VERY NICE! This is the best campground we have stayed at! There were large level sites, BIG pines everywhere, and it was quiet. We even had deer walk through our campsite one night. Staff was friendly and pleasant. The location was great, close to all the attractions. We will stay here again in the future. Only reason I did not give a 10 is there were not enough pool chairs poolside. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is a huge facility that has earned its 5/5 diamond Woodall’s rating. The park was up to 279 sites when we were there (including some cabins), but it is spread over so much land it in no way feels crowded. Talk to management when you reserve about which of their 6 camping areas will be best for you. They are all separated by broad open meadows or trees and the sites are mostly nicely spaced and not at all cramped. It is a big family location that is in the center of the Black Hills attractions and the kids pretty well took over the pool while we were there. If you have a big-rig like we do, make sure you make it clear that you need a level site. We saw several rigs with one or more tires dangling quite a ways from ground. Your dumpster may also be a bit of a walk in some locations. If you get the site that is right for you and your unit, however, I’m sure you will be happy with this park. Good Sam discount available. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is our favorite campground in this area. Visited 2 years ago and returned this year. We stayed in "The Island". Peaceful and quiet, close to attractions. No bathroom/shower facilities in "The Island". Closest was Ranch Camp, which was a short walk away. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Wow-what can I say-beautiful surroundings, clean campground, and spacious sites with large Ponderosa Pines in a number of the camping areas! This was one of the best parks we have ever camped in. We spent 8 days here and enjoyed every minute of it except for the nightly storms! Managers and workers were especially helpful in determining which camping area and site would best suit our needs and accommodate our rig! As someone else suggested, be sure and look at a map of the campground since there are several different camping areas ranging from wide-open pull thru RV sites with full hookups, shaded back-in RV sites with full hookups, back-in RV sites with water and electricity only and popup and tent sites. There are plenty of things in the area to see and do as well as in the campground. As several others have said, some of the sites are not very level due to the terrain the park is built on, and the WIFI signal is weak in some of the camping areas. Also, some areas do not have their own shower/restroom or washing facilities located within reasonable walking distance. Don't miss trying the pancake breakfast-it is great and very reasonably priced! The campground also has a store with groceries, ice cream shop and some RV supplies. We would have rated this a 10 had restroom/shower and laundry facilities been near each camping area. Nightly rate was for a 50 amp site with full hookups and Good Sam discount. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This campground came highly recommended by many friends. Reading reviews I see comments about the sites not being level - ours was not level either, but it wasn't bad. We camped deep in the campground, in the woods. I'm glad we did, as we had hail both nights we were there. They had a great deal on an all-you-can eat pancake breakfast, and frankly it was a darn good deal, and very tasty too. I could never get my computer to recognize the WIFI, however I did pick it up on my iPhone, so maybe it was an issue with my computer. The staff was very friendly, and the proximity to Crazy Horse and Mt Rushmore were ideal. I would camp here again. I saw many other less expensive campgrounds near by, however they were all on busy roads. I never heard any traffic from the busy road it was just too far from our site. This is a huge campground, so I'd recommend looking up the campground map online to see what facilities you would prefer to be near. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We decided to stay hear because of of AAA.. Campground refuses to give AAA discount, even though they list AAA on their billboards (right next to Good Sams) and Website. You will pay for 50 amp service even if you only have or want 30amp. Cable TV and Wi-Fi only available in certain areas. Sites not very level. Pros- Pretty campground, spacious sites, centrally located to visit area. Wouldn't stay here again. Too many other campgrounds that are nice and far cheaper. Not worth the price for what is offered. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Frankly, this campground was not as good as we had expected from the other reviews. Some of the sites are horribly unlevel. I'm not sure how to prevent this, because we were assigned one while the campground was half empty and we had especially asked for a very level site. They let us move, but what if the campground were full? Be sure to ask if you need to be near a bathroom, because some sections are way too far away to use bath houses. This was not a problem for us. THE ADVERTISED WIFI IS BASICALLY FALSE ADVERTISING. Do not count on wifi. I'm not talking about being close enough for a good signal, because we had one. I'm talking about the fact that their satellite wifi is much much worse than dialup. Even basic e-mail was unacceptable. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
This is a great campground. Large, shaded sites with a beautiful view of the surrounding hills. Very nice pool and camp store - be sure to try the homemade ice cream. I have yet to see a campground worthy of the $40+ price they charge, but this one comes closer than most. Conveniently located to the monuments, state parks, and caves. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Huge and beautiful campground. Wide open meadows separating the different areas. We stayed here for 2 nights. The first night we were in site the lower ranch, we had to hike up the hill to get to the bathrooms in the rain, in the dark. There was no light, no path, and very muddy. The next morning we talked to the office about a refund for the second night because we just can't deal with that safety hazard unless they can assign us another site that is closer to the bathrooms. The manager arranged site #151 which is in the upper ranch area. Much better and closer to the bathrooms. This is the space to get if you do not have a huge rig. They only have bathrooms in 3 areas for this huge campground. They definitely should build more bathrooms around the campground. Fun to have the $2.00 all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Evening staff are high school kids and have attitudes. It was like a bother just to get ice-cream from them. Other than that, this is a great place to camp. Will come back if we can get site #151 again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We moved here from the Rushmore/Hill City KOA, where we initially had a reservation, but opted not to stay. Beautiful surroundings, lovely views and open meadow, nice sites, very roomy - even in the main camping area where there is cable hookup. We stayed five days and wanted to have cable. The perimeter sites in the trees, were very nice, spacious and woodsy. We toured them on our bikes, and would have like it there, but no cable. Good location also, right off of the junction of HWY 16(385) and 244. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Loved the horses (site was across from the barn). Camp store was nice and had plenty of camping needs and souvenirs. Some staff were young, but nice even though they messed up my reservation and left a note for me to leave. Extremely steep roads and the dump site is on an incline that doesn't allow you to completely empty your tanks. Sites are spacious. Very close to major attractions, but there is a very steep hill to climb to get to the campground (something like 6% grade). We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
What else can I say, but this is a great campground. Very large spread out campground. They have the idea site for anyone. We camped in the full hook up sites on the east side of the office. The sites are very large and wide. The pool area, store and restrooms were very well maintained. A+ campground. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We stayed in the line camp, and there was no grass. If it doesn't rain this is a nice park. BUT it did rain during our stay. We were surrounded by mud, couldn't help but track it inside. When we checked in the girl at the desk was rude and very quick to get rid of me. She didn't explain anything about the park, we didn't even know there was a pancake breakfast until the third day of our stay. I don't think we would come back We camped here in a Motorhome.
The site we were in was very spacious. Getting in and out of the park was fairly easy except they had me turn around in a washed out gravel area. Park had plenty of amenities for all ages. Hook ups were at the back of our site with the sewer about 10 feet behind the rig. We were in the Base Camp which was primarily Big Rigs. This area did not have a restroom facility or showers. Very good location to Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore memorials. They had a big horse field in the middle of the campground that they allowed our dogs to run in as long as there were no horses around. Decent playground for the kids. Pancake breakfast served daily that was very affordable. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This campground is a bit pricey, but is the nicest in this area of the Black Hills. We stayed in the Ranch Camp, which is a distance from the office and pool (they have parking for those who drive to the pool). The entire Ranch Camp area is treed with pines, and is very shady. Our site was a water/30 amp back-in site, and was very spacious. There was enough room for our screen, then room on-site. Bathrooms were clean, and a there was a laundry facility in the bathhouse. The pool is large and there are no restrictions on kids in the hot tub (a mixed blessing, I guess). The location is ideal for a drive on the Needles Highway through Custer State Park, or to access Mt. Rushmore or the Crazy Horse memorial. Hill City is 3 miles away, with a number of restaurants and a decent grocery store. The Wi-Fi signal was very weak - I had to walk down to the area around the Lower Ranch Camp to pick up a signal and even then the connection was so V-E-R-Y slow as to be almost unusable. The only improvement I can think of would be to upgrade the Wi-Fi. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We've been here before and continue to admire this place. Great amenities w/wifi, pool, full hookups & 50 amp service (needed to run both a/c during hot summer months). Also great access to Rushmore/Crazy Horse/Custer SP/Lead/Deadwood/Sturgis/Devils Tower and of course, Rapid City. We will stay again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed in Base Camp, which is the least scenic of the sections, but the closest to the office, pool, stable and pancake breakfast. We were also able to get a few cable stations and wifi. Our site was big enough for our motorhome, sleeping tent for the kids (need permission for that) and our screen room. Campground offers a nice pool, laundry, arcade, well stocked store, meadow which was great for playing ball, ice cream counter and on site gasoline. If you are looking for a perfectly landscaped and manicured campground, this is not for you. It is natural and wild. Roads can get pretty dusty. We have checked out the other campgrounds in this area, and this one is the best. We camped here in a Motorhome.
As others have said, it is the best campground in the area. We were in the Island section and had a very long site. It is all gravel and somewhat level. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The hot tub was very nice after a long day of site seeing. We would differently stay there again. The WIFI was iffy. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is a great park and we would certainly stop here again. From what we saw of other CG's, this is the best. My only complaint was the $3 per person extra charge for over two on a campsite. I don't believe our 12 year old grandsons consumed another $6 worth of services per day. A nice feature is the all you can eat $2 pancake breakfast. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Very nice beautiful park. From what we saw it is probably the best park in that area.This park is just as nice as the pictures on its web site show it. This park should be your first choice in the Rapid City area!!! We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Park is nice but staff is iffy. When we checked in the man at the office was not very friendly. We later asked to change spots and the man that helped me then was much nicer. I would have rated the park much higher if all the staff was customer focused. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This was a great CG and we hope to return soon. We only stayed 2 nights, but had we not been on a schedule, we would have stayed longer. The staff was very nice, the restrooms were some of the cleanest we have seen and their camp store was fantastic. We even had dinner there the first night (they sell pizza, ice cream, etc..) The sites were nicely spaced out with plenty of room. The WiFi worked really well where we were in the park. We purchased propane there and the price was very fair. They also have gas pumps on property, but no diesel. The pool was nice and they also had a rec room. We had zero issues. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Great place to spend Labor Day Weekend. Wasn't completely full. Stayed in the Island - nice wooded spots. Would have given it a 10, it is a great park. But the water pressure was extremely low all weekend and we lost power twice (both for less than 5 minutes during a gentle rain). Even with those very minor problems, we'd stay here again anytime. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We had an excellent time in this campground. The staff was very polite and friendly (even the young summer help). The facilities were very clean. We stayed in the Lower Ranch section of the campground and were very pleased with the site - a little morning sun, then shade from roughly 10AM on. The sites are also spaced well apart (40'), giving some breathing room and privacy. The sites are closely surrounded by trees, which makes backing in take a little more time (no big deal). We would definitely stay here again. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Probably the nicest CG in the Black Hills (we checked out several while we were there). I would have given the place higher marks except: a) we booked a specific site, didn't get it, and the staff told us that they had given the site we requested away (Bull), and b) road noise was much more than we expected (we were in the Island section - noise might have been less in the Ranch camp section). We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This was a great park. Lots of room, quiet...even with all the Sturgis people around. We were in space #81 in the tall timber. Bathroom/showers were close and very well taken care of. We rented a car from the office and visited Mt. Rushmore. Service was excellent...including after we left a cell phone behind. Staff not only found it, but mailed it back to us. We would definitely stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is the best park I have ever stayed in. Sites are large and the park well kept. We were in the Island section of the park and had a feeling of privacy and enjoyed our stay. I would go back anytime I am in the area. I see why others have raved about this park. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed in the Ranch section which offered shade and yet allowed nice breezes throughout the day. Maneuvering was a bit tight but not impossible. Showers and laundry were kept spotlessly clean and were within close range of our site. Rafter J is located right on some of the most interesting parts of the Mickelson Bike Trail. Staff was extremely courteous and pleasant. The $2 all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, offered by a retired couple on the property each morning, was very convenient and a great way to start the day. We will definitely stay there again when in the Black Hills. It was centrally located to all that we wanted to see and do. The town of Hill City is also nicely maintained with several interesting shops and access to the Mickelson Bike Trail. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Loved this campground. It is quite, and the site are big and quite. We had a family reunion here and everyone in our party loved this campground. This is a kid friendly campground. They have horseback riding, large meadows for soccer games or tag football. The pool is heated and clean. It is only minutes from Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse. Jewel Cave is about a 1/2 hour drive. Bear County is about a 1/2 hour drive, not far from Rapid City. We will definitely stay here again. Would recommend this park to anyone. We stayed in the Lower Ranch area and loved it! We camped here in a Motorhome.
A great campground. We had no problem with staff whatsoever. Many were younger college/high school kids, but were very polite and helpful. Laundry rooms were excellent, pool was great too. We stayed in the island area for 5 nights. We will be back to this campground. They keep everything cut nicely, grounds were very clean, and the roads were well maintained. Would recommend to anyone. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
They have five campground areas. They are each about a quarter to half mile apart. They only have bathrooms in three of the the five areas. If it is important to have bathroom and shower access, you must make sure you confirm this at the start. The Ranch area is very tight. We used the bathrooms here and drove there in our dually truck. I could hardly get the truck in the camping area because the trees were so tight to the road. I am talking 10 inches on each side of the truck. I do not know how people even got a pop-up in the sites. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Excellent park! The sites were large and very well kept. Plenty of room for the kids to ride their bikes. The bathrooms were very clean. The only negative was the WiFi was very weak and over capacity much of our stay. I would recommend the park to everyone. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We really liked this campground and would return in the future. The store was very well stocked, the staff was friendly. We stayed in the back of the ranch section at site 136, which was ideal for us with a 30 foot travel trailer, 3 kids, and 2 dogs. It was a mostly shady, huge site that was easy to back into. Some of the sites near us looked to be small and very difficult to get into because of the trees and curvy road. This is a huge campground with lots of space between camping areas. There are no bathroom facilities in the island, base and lower ranch sections so be prepared to have to hike to the restroom. There is so much to see and do in the area and we recommend that everyone see the laser light show at Crazy Horse. The Proud to be an American song at the end is phenomenal. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
One of the best campground "layouts" we have been in. Lots of room for everyone to feel comfortable. Very helpful staff. A little expensive, but would not think twice to coming back. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This park is excellent for base camp in the Black Hills area. There are different area loops to stay in, we found that we like the Ranch Loop the best. There is a large pasture field in the middle of the different camping loops. There is a pancake breakfast every morning by the office. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We have camped at the Base Camp for the last 4 years and this year we were disappointed with our stay. The staff seemed to be rude this year and have an attitude. This is a nice camp ground and should be considered in your stay. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Interesting that there are a few low ratings for this place. It is almost impossible to get into, and has a cult following on a very popular RV forum, so the old saying that you "can't please everybody" seems to apply. We have stayed here for years and always been satisfied. It is unusual in that there are several different camping areas that are quite a distance for each other. I prefer the upper and lower ranch camps and the island. We have stayed at other places nearby, including the KOA. There is no comparison. The KOA is tight, overcrowded, and geared toward removing as much cash from your wallet as possible. Rafter J is a lot more spread out, far less crowded and doesn't have the carnival atmosphere. I look forward to returning. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This was a great CG that was recommended by some friends of ours (a real 10 indeed!). We stayed in the Ranch Camp area that was perfect for tent trailers, a little far from the pool but not bad. Our spot was a shady site and afforded plenty of room and the bath/shower house was VERY CLEAN. The staff, very accommodating and helpful always took the time to put the guest first. With no cell service, I was unable to call home to report a safe arrival, the office let me use their phone for this purpose. The pool and hot tub were great and the store was well stocked. The only negative is if you need to use the phone bring a phone card. The pay phone was $7.00 (in change) for the first 3 min. to Chicago then the shirt off your back after that! (THIS IS NOT A NEGATIVE TO THE CAMPGROUND, just a rating of 1 for the telephone utility). I will definitely use this campground in the future as a base for enjoying the Black Hills. Be sure to see Crazy Horse, this was a great attraction and there is a Lakota flea market there to buy actual Native American items hand made on the reservation. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
This is the nicest campground in the Black Hills. They have 5 different camps on the property, some are better than others, we were in the Line Camp - incredibly spacious and well shaded! Pool is fantastic, hot tub next to the pool. The staff keep the place very tidy. It's convenient to many places in the Black Hills. The only drawback seemed to be the attitude of the staff, which seemed to be "yeah, I'll help you because it's my job" most seemed to be college kids working there over summer break. I tend to think employee attitudes stem from the manager's. However, considering all the other benefits, I'd still stay here again. After checking out other campgrounds, this is the only place I'd stay in the Black Hills. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
We loved this place. We stayed in the ranch camp, and had a great site with a nice view and some privacy! Decent showers and laundry. There are about 5 different areas to pick from. The camp area between the pool and stables was full sun but all the other areas appeared spacious and at least partial shade; nice pool and store. Lots of open space to walk, ride bikes etc. Would defineately return! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Rafter J is a very nice park. We camped on the Island section. The restroom and shower house were clean. The staff was friendly and helpful. The pool was heated and clean. The camp store is well stocked and clean. Lots of space between campsites. Quiet hours were respected. Campground located in the center of the Black Hills. Well worth the money spent. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This was our first trip to this campground and it was fantastic. It was central to everything we wanted to see, including Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park. We stayed in the Ranch Camp section and found the sites very roomy and level. The campground in all was very clean, well looked after and had a lot of amenities for the whole family to enjoy. We would strongly recommend this campground to anyone and look forward to returning. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We stayed here in June 2005 in the Island section. The campground was very nice with large sites and excellent staff. We were allowed to stay an additional day beyond what we had reserved without changing sites. The Island section is very nice with shade and a large area for the kids to play. The restrooms were very clean as well as the laundry facilities. This campground is conveniently located to numerous attractions in the Black Hills area to include Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We loved this campground except for one thing, the sewer drain at our campsite was higher than our drain line, which created a little bit of a problem for us. The campground itself is very beautiful with lots of trees and spacious feeling throughout. The pool and rest rooms were clean as well as the laundry facilities, which we used a few times during our 4 night stay at the park. The staff could have been a little more friendly, but they weren't necessarily rude either--just not overly friendly. The park is a great base camp for Black Hills sight-seeing and is very quiet and peaceful. Highly reccommend! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We have stayed at this campground for the last three years and we were very disappointed this year in our stay. Not only were the facilities not as clean, the staff was extremely rude (especially the owner). They had a problem with the fact that we had more than 2 adults staying at the same site and made our stay very uncomfortable. We had convinced other people to stay with us at the campground that had stayed at the Rushmore Shadows. We felt so unwelcome here, I guess we will be camping at Rushmore Shadows next year! We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
This is a very large and spread out campground that calls itself a ranch and it could have
easily been one at one time. Actually, along with a great deal of things to do, there are also horses on the property that may be available for use by the guests. The park is divided into several sections, some heavily wooded and some just located along the woodline. In between, there are clearings, open pastures and fields. We stayed at the "Island" section which is a little removed from the main portion and provided quite a lot of quiet privacy. Staff are friendly and there are reportedly new owners this past year who are eager to please. The resort is very near many of the major attractions and we enjoyed our week-long stay here very much. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We stayed at upper Ranch Camp. Lots of trees but still navigable, we even got the dish to work. One of the best in the Black Hills. There is a traffic signal on the highway near here, and on a still night it sounds like they are running heats at motocross every time the thing turns green. Otherwise a ten. We would come back. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Simply put. The Rafter J staff was abrupt and rude. We will never camp there again. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
We stayed here after labor day in 2004. We had a small travel trailer with full hookups
and everything worked very well. The park was excellent, the people friendly, the facilities were clean the one time my wife used them, however the shower stalls were a little cramped, much like our trailer. I asked if it was okay to set up a telescope in one of the meadows and had no problems. I really liked this campground and would go back whenever I am out that way. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This was by far the nicest campground we have been to. It is wide open space and beautiful. There was nothing about this campground we didn't like. The sites were large and easy to access and the interior roads are very good. Contrary to other posts we found all of the employees (including the teenagers) to be very polite and helpful. The horse trail rides were great. We will return here, but I now know why a reservation is a must. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a large campground with 5 camping areas separated by meadows. We camped under the pines. The bathroom had white tile and white grout. Very clean. The pool was heated. They have horses and stables. We went on a horse back ride in the
forest. Granddaughters 7 and 8 and we who are early 70's. The whole experience was magic. The pool warm and clean. Also had a hot tub in pool area. Pleasant
employees. Located in a great area and close to what we wanted to see. If you want satillite cable you will have to ask for that area of the campground.
We camped here in a Motorhome.
Rafter J is over priced for what you get. It is a beautiful campground, but as stated some sites are hard to get into, at least in the Ranch Camp where we stayed. They need to upgrade their bath houses, we had at least one broken toilet, shower, washer, or dryer everyday of our visit and usually there was no hot water in the morning for showering. One evening I told a park employee about a plugged toilet in the womens bath house, and he didn't have time, because he was just there to pick up some tools to fix another plugged sewer elsewhere in the park. Some camps don't have bath houses so people from other parts come to the other bathouses, which makes quite a bit of a line up in the morning for one toilet, which we had in the mens bathroom on two different days. They are in desperate need for some new plumbing and more shower houses. On another day they oiled the gravel roads, with out warning any of the campers first. The oil smelled nasty and caused several people in our two families to feel quite nauseated, and to say the least is stuck to my truck and anyone else's truck who had to drive through it to leave the campground. I spent $9 at the coin wash in town to try washing it off, which helped but not still did not remove the oil completly. After speaking with the manager, who lied to me and said it was their first time that they had oiled the roads, after numerous employees told my wife and sister in law that it's done every year, they weren't willing to do much for us or cover any of the cost of cleaning. I think Rafter is trying to impress Woodalls and Trailer Life, when they need to take care of the basics first. If I ever return to the Hills again, it certainly wouldn't be with Rafter J, go elsewhere. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This park is very old. We ask for a gravel site and received one. Site has some gravel years ago, but not much. Park has been in service about 40 years now. Outlet missing at modem and could not find switch for lights in room. One outlet near by was the old two pin type and would not work. We spent two days in park and left, will not come back. Lot of very nice parks close by to stay in. Cabin side of park was very nice. Owners need to spend some money to update RV park. We camped here in a Motorhome.
It was a nice park with different camp areas. We booked the Island Camp and got the upper
ranch camp. This camp was private with large sites. We had a really nice site but some were hard to get in and out of because of the amount of trees. It was also extremely filthy as far as dirt was concerned. Everything was full of black dust without any effort. I do think that it was one of the nicer areas of the park though.
Aside from the Island Camp, I didn't like the rest of the park. The main and base camps were very crowded and out in the open. The pool was large and very nice. Their laundry facilities were mediocre. The staff, I agree with the other poster. They have youth that really yet need to aquire people skills. If you have a simple request, they act like you're dopey for asking, and their answers are very short with totally blank expressions on their faces. I tried to be friendly but it was a one-way street. Though it wasn't our favourite place, we would consider staying there again We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Rafter J is the place to stay when visting the Black Hills. It was recommended to me, and
boy was everyone correct. This is the best place to stay. We are going to be returning to Black Hills in the Summer of 2004. Rafter J is where we will stay. Hint, make reservations to stay at this campground, the reason being is they are THAT good, and so they fill up fast. Another Plus to this campground is you are allowed a campfire. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Wonderful campground! There are 5 camp areas within the campground - something for everyone. Satellite TV hookup is available in only one of the camp areas, but you don't need it here. The area is so beautiful and the campground is in the valley looking up at Harney Peak. Close to Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park. I think this was our favorite campground of the whole trip. Will definitely go back. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Stayed in the island area. Recommend the last campsite in the island. We overlooked approximately 25 acres of spacious landscape. Campground could easily put more sites in. However, they have elected to keep this campground very well laid out. Would highly recommend this campground. We camped here in a Motorhome.
What can you say about this one that hasn't already been said. The only problem we had is that it was the only CG on our whole trip that didn't accept checks. I would advise asking for either island or ranch, if you want large sites (and they are) and shade. Lower Ranch and Main are close together and no shade.It is quite central to almost anything you want to do in the Black Hills. We stayed 6 nights and enjoyed it. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Rafter J has an excellent rating and nice writeup and the place looks nice. We drove in and asked for a site and was told by the young staff in a rude manner that we had to make reservations weeks in advance to stay there. Both my wife and I commented that the staff was abrupt and down right rude. Customer service is not there high point. June 2003 We camped here in a Motorhome.
This campground is ok, but didn't find it to be anything special. We reserved months in advance for the island area, but when we got there they had us in the ranch area, a very small, tight site. This was not acceptable for our RV, so they gave us a choice of two available sites, one of which was taken and the other a small corner site in the main camp. Very disappointing. I will look at other campgrounds if I visit the area again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Three different areas to camp. Cable not at all areas. Nice views and sites and people. Pet Friendly. Fairly close to Mt. Rushmore. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Really nice. The Island is one of the better areas for shade and site width but we stayed in the part of the park where we overlooked the expansive meadow in site 170. Nobody on 3 sides of us. When we go back to SD we will stay here again. We camped here in a camper.
We also stayed at the "island". We had been there before in 1993 and it is just as nice now as it was then. Very busy in the summer but great in September after the kids are back in school. Very nice staff and owners. The only drawback we found were the numerous flies in the area. The area is clean, well kept and I would recommend it for anyone going to the Black Hills. We camped here in a camper.
Very nice park. We stayed in the "Islands" section which is more secluded and quiet. Mature pine trees everywhere. This park is very busy in the summer and would recommend reservations. Very large sites. We camped here in a camper.