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This KOA campground was fantastic! It was near the Mount Rushmore National Park in SD & it was easy to travel to the national park. We stayed in a basic cabin & ate breakfast here before heading to Mount Rushmore NP (which I did not find all that exciting).
Because of the great experience here, we decided to stay at other KOA campgrounds on our way home (AZ to CT).
We came in late, and although its seems like there are only about 10 designated sites with tables and the like, there's a bit off allowance for overflow and no one seemed to mind. Got to the Badlands just in time to see it in the fading light while our eardrums got used to the silence. After that we had to force our way though a herd of bufallo, but they weren't hostile or scared. It's a long trek to get back there, just don't get in a hurry.
There is one vault toilet and some trash cans scattered about.
There's no getting around that this is a well-maintained park. We stayed here in 2018 for a over a month. October 2019 stay was for three weeks. Everything was fine until a rouge storm was predicted to come in the last week we were to be there. We decided that it might be best for us to head back home. So, I went to the owner and told her what our intentions were and wondered if we might be able to get a few nights credit(not a whole week) with them for 2020 as we were going to come back again. She said she would have to discuss it with her husband and let me know. Two days later still no answer. My wife saw them together while she was walking the dog and again asked if we could get some days off for the 2020 stay, we were planning with our grown kids. They were very rude about it and said they would not do that. We were not asking for any money back. But since we had been with them the year before for over a month, we hoped they would like to get a little more money out of us the following year. I guess they feel that they are the best place in Custer, and they don't have to be worry about any lost revenue. The day we left it snowed up to 6 inches that night and stayed in the teens for the next 3 days. Our propane tank in the motorhome would have run out the first night. So, if you have a problem while you're there don't look for any understanding from these people. Most of the bad reviews I saw after this encounter was how rude the owners were. There are other nice RV parks in Custer. We will give them our money.
We called around to campgrounds in the area same-day. Good thing we called in advance, because their pet policy forbids any "pit bull" breeds. Our dog is a senior mixed breed that we rescued from an LA shelter. During our cross-country roadtrip from Southern California to Massachusetts, this was the only campground that discriminated against a dog by their breed, rather than by their actual witnessed behavior. We've never had an incident at any campground during the dozen of times we've camped with our dog; in fact he usually becomes friends with other neighboring camp dogs and interacts with them very well off-leash (where allowed). I understand that campgrounds are trying to ensure the safety of all guests, but dog aggression is better detected by observed behavior, not breed. (For example, I was bitten by a black lab while biking in northern Minnesota). This policy is not KOA-wide, but rather on a site-by-site basis. If you are traveling with large dogs, there were a few other breeds on their restriction list, so make sure to check before you make a reservation.
We were looking for a campground in the area for a same day reservation on a Friday. We called in the early evening and they still had some spots left, very friendly staff. The forecast predicted some rain, so we wanted to find a campground that had some roofed structures at each site. The roofed shelters at each site don't cover the tent area, but we were able to connect our tarp to the side of the shelter and spread it over our tent for some extra protection from the wet. It worked really well. The campground has shower onsite for no extra charge, they were very clean and functional. The drinking water tasted strongly of chlorine to us, which was unfortunate. Another downside is that the sites are quite close together and not very scenic, so the experience feels more like a place for vacationing families.
You have to travel down 12 miles of gravel road in the Badlands to reach this campground but it is so worth it! The campsites are all on the outward edge of a big circular road, pretty close together, but still very quiet and respectful. There is NO COST and there are 2 vault toilet facilities provided. The adorable prairie dogs are everywhere but go to sleep with the sun. During the evening, a wild bison came to the campground edge to graze. The campground filled up by dark, so be sure to get there early for a place to camp. Picnic tables are also provided, some with sun shades.
Free dispersed camping is nice. Fire is not allowed. I had issues with the tent pad being about a foot too short for my tent (3 person tent) but that's more a personal issue. It was a pretty busy spot while the sun is out. We definitely had an intense hail/thunderstorm so ended up sleeping half the night in the car. Where nice places for morning hikes.
Friendly staff at check in. We were tent camping and were given a weird site at the back of the tent area when nobody was there. Sorta weird but we rolled with it. They have a camp store, pool, laundry, showers and clean restrooms. The pool was nice but got crowed because it was smaller.
The best draw to this campground is that it’s a 2 block walk to the famous wall drug store. So there is tons to do. The badlands national park is a must see and very close as well. I would recommend this campground again for its location and friendly staff.