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…but if you're planning on visiting Devil's Tower, this is a great choice. We got a basic spot with a firepit, but we just enjoyed the festivities around the Close Encounters 40th Anniversary viewing. All those people there and we were the only ones to have gotten there taking the same journey as Dreyfuss' Roy character. (Indiana to Devil's Tower, and in a Station Wagon, no less) The wagon has been dubbed "Roy" ever since. Clean bathrooms as well as the grounds in general. Good pricing too, considering everything.
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.
Stayed here 1 night on a 5 week long canning trip. That night, a thunderstorm in the distance lit up spectacular fireworks behind the view of Devil's Tower, perfectly viewed from the campground. Not a lot of amenities here, but good showers and it was a quiet location.
Devil's tower has some of the most unique rock climbing we've ever experienced. And the adorable prairie dogs were an added bonus! Main downside of the campground in the summer is that there isn't much shade. Still five stars, as the facilities are very clean and the short driving distance to the tower is really convenient.
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.
$750 monthly rate. Sewer hook up, water, and electric are the only amenities on site, unless you’re close enough to the WiFi. The water spigots stick up 2’ above the ground and you’re told if you don’t want it to freeze you’ll need to heat trace and insulate it at your own expense. I showed up mid October and the bathhouse is closed for the season. The campground is conveniently located between a highway and a railway, both are highly active.
I'll definitely be staying at this campground on my next visit to the Black Hills. Very nice for tent camping or boondocking with a small trailer. If you are looking for full RV hookups, they do have them but the RV sites are a bit tighter than I might prefer.
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.
Went off-season (early October) and was able to take my pick of sore’s from the nearly-empty location.
Bathrooms were open. At the tower itself, both visitor centers were closed, though rangers were present.
Note: registration is available on-site via cash or check only. To use a credit/debit card, you must pay at the entrance station. Take the placard they give you (or the stub from the envelope if you pay at the site) and attach it to the pole next to your campsite.