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  1. #1
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    Question Black Hills Visit Guidance

    Hello Fellow GDRV'ers,

    The wife and I are planning a weeklong trip to the Black Hills with our 310 and neither of us have ever been there before. I did some thread searching and came across three campground names and want to know what the consensus is these days as some of these threads dated back about 5 years. We do want to make this not only a sightseeing trip but incorporate some hiking as well

    1. Black Hills Trailside RV Resort
    2. Horse Thief Campground and Resort
    3. Rafter J Bar Ranch

    Now my own take after doing a lot of reading and reviewing on all three was Rafter J seems to be the place to go.

    Please drop in and offer your thoughts and what you would recommend for first timers to do. I know the obvious is Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse but beyond that it is wide open. In reading, I see there is so much to do, it takes many trips to begin to see even a decent amount of it.

    Please let these first timers in their mid-50's know your insights.

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor tortise's Avatar
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    Black Hills Visit Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by TFB176602 View Post
    Hello Fellow GDRV'ers,

    The wife and I are planning a weeklong trip to the Black Hills with our 310 and neither of us have ever been there before. I did some thread searching and came across three campground names and want to know what the consensus is these days as some of these threads dated back about 5 years. We do want to make this not only a sightseeing trip but incorporate some hiking as well

    1. Black Hills Trailside RV Resort
    2. Horse Thief Campground and Resort
    3. Rafter J Bar Ranch

    Now my own take after doing a lot of reading and reviewing on all three was Rafter J seems to be the place to go.

    Please drop in and offer your thoughts and what you would recommend for first timers to do. I know the obvious is Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse but beyond that it is wide open. In reading, I see there is so much to do, it takes many trips to begin to see even a decent amount of it.

    Please let these first timers in their mid-50's know your insights.
    We stayed at the KOA a few years ago, likely wise to avoid that. Nice enough but they pack you in. The monuments are a nice stop but Custer State Park and the Needles Highway were great. Needles can be tight but we did see dually trucks make it through. Drivers may have suffered from soiled,underwear. A side trip to the Badlands is recommended and stop there for “Indian tacos” at the visitor center. Lots of hikes throughout the area. Sturgis is nearby if your into it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by tortise; 02-13-2021 at 06:54 PM.
    2018 Reflection 27RL
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFB176602 View Post
    Hello Fellow GDRV'ers,

    The wife and I are planning a weeklong trip to the Black Hills with our 310 and neither of us have ever been there before. I did some thread searching and came across three campground names and want to know what the consensus is these days as some of these threads dated back about 5 years. We do want to make this not only a sightseeing trip but incorporate some hiking as well

    1. Black Hills Trailside RV Resort
    2. Horse Thief Campground and Resort
    3. Rafter J Bar Ranch

    Now my own take after doing a lot of reading and reviewing on all three was Rafter J seems to be the place to go.

    Please drop in and offer your thoughts and what you would recommend for first timers to do. I know the obvious is Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse but beyond that it is wide open. In reading, I see there is so much to do, it takes many trips to begin to see even a decent amount of it.

    Please let these first timers in their mid-50's know your insights.

    I always stay here: http://www.nemoguestranch.com/ when I go for the rally. Nice place, has a restaurant on site.

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor MN-Mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFB176602 View Post
    Hello Fellow GDRV'ers,

    The wife and I are planning a weeklong trip to the Black Hills with our 310 and neither of us have ever been there before. I did some thread searching and came across three campground names and want to know what the consensus is these days as some of these threads dated back about 5 years. We do want to make this not only a sightseeing trip but incorporate some hiking as well

    1. Black Hills Trailside RV Resort
    2. Horse Thief Campground and Resort
    3. Rafter J Bar Ranch

    Now my own take after doing a lot of reading and reviewing on all three was Rafter J seems to be the place to go.

    Please drop in and offer your thoughts and what you would recommend for first timers to do. I know the obvious is Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse but beyond that it is wide open. In reading, I see there is so much to do, it takes many trips to begin to see even a decent amount of it.

    Please let these first timers in their mid-50's know your insights.
    We have stayed at both Rafter J Bar and Horse Thief several times. I would recommend either of them. Rafter is a much larger campground and more open. At Horse Thief you feel more like you are in the mountains. Rafter is closer to Hill City and Rushmore. Horse Thief is closer to Needles.

    Wouldn’t have a problem going to either of them. Tortise is right about KOA. I’d avoid that.

    The Black Hills a great spot, have fun!

    Mark
    Mark & Megan & Levi (our floppy eared four legged furry friend)
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  5. #5
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    Black Hills is on the top of our list for this year as one or the one of our first "far" from home spots to go to. We're two days easy drive from there being in nearly the middle of the USA in KS.
    2020 Imagine 2450RL born 7/2019
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  6. #6
    Seasoned Camper
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFB176602 View Post
    Hello Fellow GDRV'ers,

    The wife and I are planning a weeklong trip to the Black Hills with our 310 and neither of us have ever been there before. I did some thread searching and came across three campground names and want to know what the consensus is these days as some of these threads dated back about 5 years. We do want to make this not only a sightseeing trip but incorporate some hiking as well

    1. Black Hills Trailside RV Resort
    2. Horse Thief Campground and Resort
    3. Rafter J Bar Ranch

    Now my own take after doing a lot of reading and reviewing on all three was Rafter J seems to be the place to go.

    Please drop in and offer your thoughts and what you would recommend for first timers to do. I know the obvious is Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse but beyond that it is wide open. In reading, I see there is so much to do, it takes many trips to begin to see even a decent amount of it.

    Please let these first timers in their mid-50's know your insights.
    Stayed at Beaver Lake RV in Custer. Very nice park, centrally located for lots of the sights in the area.
    We also saw Wind Caverns, nice little side trip.
    Seth and Becca
    2016 RAM Longhorn 3500 DRW "Brown Beast"
    2017 Momentum 376TH "Tajmahauler"
    2007 Road King "The Girlfriend"


    http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/...psdelejw5x.jpg

  7. #7
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    We stayed at Rafter J Bar twice, you can't beat it.
    2021 Grand Design Imagine 2400
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  8. #8
    Site Sponsor Canyonlight's Avatar
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    X3 on Rafter J Bar. We have stayed there a few times over the years when we could not get into Custer State Park CGs. The spacious sites; various camping areas, amenities, location just outside of Hill City, and their ever present upgrading of the property makes RJB and top base camp.

    There area number of good publications (both paper and online) explaining the numerous hiking opportunities and which best suit your abilities, desire, time, etc. Hiking to Harney Peak (now called Black Elk Peak), the Cathedral Spires, Legion Lake trails, and the Sylvan Lake area are top rated and most often busy right away in the AM.

    You are correct that there is SO much to do in the Hills area both tourist things and not. Conduct your search key areas for your interest and load up on the various publications to read up and learn. If you have any specific questions, share those and we all will be happy to help.

    Dan
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  9. #9
    Site Team D2Reid's Avatar
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    Be mindful of the tunnels on 87 west of Custer State Park and Alt 16, Needles highway. You are going to need more days there....
    Dallas
    2017 Momentum 376TH, 2019 Ford F450, Dual Rear Wheel, 4x4, diesel.
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  10. #10
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    We stayed at Lazy J a number of years ago - nothing special... It's on the hillside just outside Rapid City. Haven't been to any of the three you mention but remember looking at Horse Thief and thinking it looked like a nice spot as we drove by.
    If you are coming from the east, spend some time at Badlands NP. Wall Drug just at the entrance/exit is an interesting tourist trap as well.
    As mentioned previously, Custer and Needles are must do's in my opinion. (Don't try it with your trailer). Awesome views.
    Deadwood was a fun day. Saloon Number 10 is a good place to start. Might even find yourself in a gun fight. I believe the players are called the Deadwood gunslingers.
    We wanted to check out Jewel Caverns but equipment problems kept them closed to visitors when we were there.
    2018 Dodge 3500 6.7 Cummins SRW w/Aisin
    2021 Reflection 303RLS
    We never really grow up. We just learn how to behave in public.

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