My family spent 7 days camping here. The location was great…It is an easy park to get to and it is not crowded. The bathrooms and entire campground are clean. The owners have bikes around the campground that you can borrow. The owners are so sweet and helpful. We look forward to returning here to camp.
This is one of my favorite state parks… ever! We stayed 3 nights ($87) for an electric back in site. The site was a concrete pad with a fire pit, picnic table and a little bit of grass that my dog enjoyed. The bathrooms were clean and the campground was nice to walk around. From there, we went to Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, Hot Springs, Mount Rushmore, Sylvan Lake (must see) and took in a play at the Black Hills Playhouse. There's a gift shop, small restaurant, and firewood across the street.
We have stayed here many times and never been disappointed. The campground is beautiful and the new owners are very nice and professional. Facilities are clean and the location could not be better for accessing the Black Hills!
As a Ranger on The Dyrt, I sometimes receive compensation for reviews like this one. We received a coupon code for The Dyrt's online product store in exchange for trying out the new online camping reservation system to make a reservation for Plenty Star Ranch.
We reserved a campsite for Plenty Star Ranch through The Dyrt, and it was a breeze to go through the process. We were emailed the reservation information, payment was taken via bank card, and it all made the check-in process very fast upon arrival. We needed to change our camping date and all the contact information was in the email, so we called and owner Isa was more than understanding (it was going to storm, then snow, then get really windy for the night we reserved).
This campground is actually a small, working ranch located right next to a bison ranch, which had just had about four bison calves born in the previous week. They were fun to watch run and play in the field next door. Plenty Star Ranch itself allows you to bring your own horses (for a small fee) and there is plenty of room for them to enjoy. There are cabins, campsites, and RV hook-ups, all conveniently located along the rural Highway 385 north of Pringle, SD.
We planned to pitch a tent for the night, but the weather has been pretty harsh in the Black Hills this spring, and temperatures were going to be well below freezing overnight. We are hearty campers and planned to tough it out, but owner Isa insisted that we take one of their two cabins instead and upgraded our stay for no additional cost. My boys (8 and 12) and I stayed in their 3-person cabin which has a queen bed and a pull-out twin. They provided all the linens (though we used our own pillows by choice) and the cabin was nicely heated with electric heat. We definitely stayed much warmer that night than we would have been in a tent! It was super cozy and quiet in the cabin!
The cabin is located about 50 yards from the public bathroom, which is also heated, well-lit, and attached to their garage. Parking is right next to the cabin, making it a breeze to unpack. There is a picnic table on the porch in front of the cabin, where we could cook and eat, as well as a table inside. In the morning I set up my Primus stove and made coffee, which I sat on the porch and enjoyed while watching whitetail deer and Canada geese stroll past. There is a goose nest right on the island in their pond, and I am sure it is neat to watch the goslings grow all summer!
Tent camping sites are located in one of their former pastures, and we saw plenty of level, gravel RV sites with hook-ups around the main living area. There are two shower stalls next to the cabins that are ready for your solar shower bag to be attached (we thought that would be really fun), and in the off-season they allow guests to use their shower inside the main house. We didn't need to take them up on that since we were only staying one night, but they also invited us up in the morning for coffee and cocoa (usually out on the porch, but it was about 35 degrees that next morning- brr!).
Isa and Jack (the owners) are very friendly, and were a lot of fun to chat with, I would definitely return to Plenty Star Ranch for another getaway evening or weekend in the future. They currently have plans to move their smaller 2-person cabin up into the canyon behind the main house and put it completely off-grid. It would be a perfect getaway for a couple, and what a gorgeous setting back in the hills!
If you are looking for a quieter place to camp in the Black Hills, you should definitely consider Plenty Star Ranch, as it is only about 8 minutes south of Custer, but greatly removes you from the hustle and bustle of the tourist towns. It is just minutes from Wind Cave National Park as well, which is a must-do when you are in the area!
One more thing to note: the only cell service in the immediate area of the ranch is AT&T. We knew that going into the weekend, so planned on not having service (we have Verizon), which for us is no big deal - after all, we were camping! :)
Huge campsites with views of the lake. Some of the biggest camp sites on our trip. Some had more privacy than others. Both RV and tent sites.
Picnic tables, camp fire pits. Drinking water. Close to the Jewel and Wind Caves and Mr. Rushmore. About 50 sites total, with the best being on the lake side.
Vault toilets only where we were, though other parts had flush toilets.
Nice day use area with access to the lake. Boat ramps. Very popular with locals. A bit off the freeway, so no noise at night. Sites can be booked up to six months in advance, or sometimes grabbed at the last minute if lucky.
KOAs are not my norm when it comes to camping, but when on a long road trip you often have to find camping based on your location. We gave this campground a shot, and it reaffirmed why I don’t do KOA style camping. There is nothing really wrong with the park, but it did not suit us. Our campsite was a very un-level gravel pad that was within a few feet of the back of cabins. There was little in terms of privacy. The bathrooms were clean and semi conveniently located. I thought the pool would be a treat for my son after spending a couple long hot days of traveling, but it was so cold we couldn’t enjoy the water. The WiFi (another treat for my son) was weak and unusable from our site. The only pro for us was its close proximity to Mt Rushmore, Wind in the Caves, and The surrounding Black Hills sights.
No fee in off season, but is limited to 3 tent sites and 2 RV pads near the entrance. Surprisingly quiet considering the proximity to the road. Toilet was clean and unlocked. We decided to try and boondock somewhere near Custer and visit on our way home since we love this area so much. Just happened to spot this in the national Forest. Good thing, because we went for a walk at Sylvan Lake later on and I decided it was so beautiful, that would be the place I'd pop the question, right on those rocks. I carried that ring around for a week straight…
She said "yes." :)
Nice quite campground with bathrooms close to beautiful hiking trails
Great campground with a beautiful view of Pactola Lake. We only got to stay for one night but we are going back this summer. The camp hosts were very nice and accommodating! I thought the camping pads were a little close to each other but other than that it wasn’t to bad. There was a store close to the camping area that had everything you could want including boats and paddle board rentals!
Wonderful peaceful spot in the Southern Black Hills, close to all major attractions. Welcoming hosts, nice facilities and plenty of parking space.
Privately owned ranch setting with dispersed tent sites, 4 full RV hook-ups under huge old Willow Trees, 1 one-room camping log cabin for 2-3 people and 1 guestroom for 2 in the owners home.Toilet room with flush toilet and cold water sink, outdoor shower building for camping solar shower bags, hydrants with drinking water and electric outlets.Cabin and house guests may use one of the bathrooms/shower in our home.
Coffee and tea in the mornings is served on our large porch. There you find WiFi and electric outlets for charging your devices.
Free Parking in designated areas close to all the camp sites. Direct access to National Forest all around us.
There is an approved large fire pit for campfires, otherwise no other fires on the ground allowed. We normally have fire wood for sale here.
Close to Mt. Rushmore ,Crazyhorse, 1880's train ride, Sturgis and many more attractions. It would take a week to see everything. Kemps has nice restroom and shower facilities and a pool.
The campsites are large and rustic. Modern amenities such as boat rentals are available, but I like the more natural camping experiences. We camped in late September, the leaves were turning and the air was crisp and cool. The wildlife is abundant. Pactola lake is deep and clean; the views are amazing and the water is very cold. The proximity to Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood, and Spearfish make this a very nice camping destination.
Spent 10 days at Custer SP at the Stockade Lake South campground with our son and his family in July. Great site on the outside of the camping loop, with a great fire place and lots of room. We had our travel trailer and they had a tent and we had lots of room for 8. Deer walked through the site most afternoons. Convenient to Mt. Rushmore, Custer, the Black Hills, Wind Cave and Jewel Cave.
We stayed here while road-tripping on our honeymoon in September. This campground maybe had 5 other campers here while we were here and it was AMAZING. We loved how empty it was. Our camper also backed up to the field behind the campground which was really nice. We got great views while laying in bed and even awoke to some deer looking at us!
The campground is very nice. It has restrooms that are kept extremely clean. The camp sites are not very private, however there are some trees that make the sites feel separated. Next to the stream are a few campsites. While we were here, the campground was pretty quiet. We were mostly only at our site at night to sleep so I cannot speak for during the day. Expect to see/hear wildlife coming and going through the campground throughout the night. Our dog grumbled at a few animals that might have gotten too close to the tent for her liking (we are pretty sure just deer). If I had one complaint about this campground it is that people do not seem to follow the keep dogs on leashes rule while they are at their campsite. I saw a lot of dogs wandering around. Our dog does not go after dogs and generally can care less about other dogs, until they get near her face so this concerned us a little. We let the owners near us know and they were very understanding and had no problem making sure their dogs stayed on leashes while we were there. Also, our campsite did not have a parking spot for our car. We had to just pull off onto the side of the road. This was not a huge issue as there was plenty of room for other vehicles to pass. The actual Game Lodge is right down the road. We got coffees and breakfast to go one morning and it was very good! There is an entrance to the park not far from the campground which made going to Mount Rushmore, Needles Highway, and Iron Mountain Highway convenient. Custer State Park is so nice! One drive around the park allows for amazing views and wildlife spotting! We loved our time here!
Nice locatuon a little ways southwest of MR. It was cold and rainy, so we left the tent packed up and got a cabin. Cooked over the campfire and enjoyed the dry warmth. It made packing up to head out the next day super easy too. Bathrooms/showers were clean.
This campground was a pleasant surprise for us. It is bordered by the Black Hills Natl. Forest. It has site for tent camper, pop-ups and bigger RV's and cabins. Due to the topography you will have to do some leveling. It is off a major highway so nighttime is quiet. There's a mix and tree and open areas The open area is great for night sky watching The bathroom was great for me, grab bars in the ADA restroom plus a great easy access shower. Bathroom was very clean. It's about 4 miles from Sylvan Lake and near the famous Needle's Highway. I also liked it because they don't use every inch of real estate to cram people in to like some KOA's. We camped after Labor Day but they have a nice pool, playground etc. We loved camping in our Sylvansport GO there but as I alluded to leveling can be challenging in some spots. But, we now have a better idea of flatter sites for a 2019 visit. I opted for more privacy so that was the trade-off. The campground is also close to Hill City, SD (The Heart of the HIlls) so restaurants were near should one not want to bother with cooking on a short visit.
Exceptionally large park. This is closest to the southern entrance. We had bison herds South of us and North. We never managed to make it East where the long trail is, which seems to be known for wildlife. We had easy access to the West exit and had a great dining experience as well as quick access to all the local monuments. The campground was very peaceful. The showers and bathrooms were very clean. There is a centrally located atrium for events that we didn't see used. We ended up next to a group of young college age people who were spread out and noisier than most, but that was just our luck. We had a break in the tree line to see stars from our tent. There is a gas station and store right at the campground. We didn't plan enough time to give the hiking trails a chance. This campground does have horse trails.