This place was great! We had a pull in spot away from the crowd. It was beautiful. Lots of deer. Big clean bathrooms with nice showers. They also have a pool im the summer.
Stay on tent site 26 and you have access to the lake. You can either swim across the lake or drive around and attempt the jump off the big rock! The weather was perfect and it is 5 minutes to Mt. Rushmore. Take a drive through the black hills!
This campground is VERY close to Mt. Rushmore and is a perfect location for simple hikes leading up to the big show. The terrain around the park is generally rocky with dramatic changes in elevation, but this campground feels level (for the most part). Our tent was a bit off angle, but we didn't notice it much after such an exhausting day running around and seeing the sites.
We were closer to the loop near the water which I recommend as that view is something to relish. The road heading to MR is close by, so you will get some road noise. Restrooms were meh, but they got the job done.
This place is really meant, in my eyes, for people that want to be close too Rushmore while still getting the thrill of hiking the Black Hills.
We spent one night in one of the walk-in sites here. We were able to find an open site at 10 am with no reservation, although the drive-up sites looked all full. Despite a stormy night, we enjoyed this campground, with a beautiful view of the lake. It looks like sites in the lower drive-up loop are the most desirable, being right next the the lake edge. The campground is also quite close to Mt. Rushmore, which could be a pro or con.
I got to the campground late but there were a couple ofspots available. The attendant was SO lovely and made sure I had everything I needed before I went to my camping spot, right on the lake. The site was quiet and the restrooms were very clean. There was also a water pump available. Would definitely recommend!
We arrived at Horse Thief Lake late on a Wednesday afternoon. Actually VERY late. It was around 7:00 pm on June 7, 2017. We were on a road trip and didn't have a firm schedule. We arrived without a reservation and were thrilled that they had three or four walk-ups available.
This campground serves both RVs and tent campers. The walk-up are was beautiful and quiet. We were in site 34, which is the closest to the road that circles through the campground, but it was above our site and we never noticed traffic.
It was early in June so many sites had reservations on them for the weekend, the walk-in area was less than half full. The sites are far enough away from each other that we were not bothered by any other campers.
The site had a great pad and nice wooden picnic table with a great fire ring. The fire ring was great in the morning as it was still pretty cool in early June.
Firewood was sold at the campground by the hosts for $5 a bundle. The hosts were very kind and kept the campground immaculate.
The vault restrooms were very clean, but there were MANY flies by the afternoon outside of the restroom.
We had some HEAVY rains while camping here and the people in the site closest to the lake, and near the top of the hill (amazingly) were flooded out and had to dry everything in the morning and move to another site.
We had no problem with critters bothering our camp. There are no bear boxes and the camp hosts told us they had never heard a report of bears being in their campground.
This was a great base camp for us. It is only 2 miles to Rushmore and we went to Custer's campground (and drove though TONS of animals including buffalo, prong horns and others, the Crazy Horse memorial and the Iron Road.
If you're touring the Black Hills, and hitting all of the outdoor attractions, Horsethief Lake is perfectly placed to access it all. The sites are basic, but have everything you need -- toilets, firepit, picnic table.
We were traveling with a small trailer and a tent, and there wasn't much room to fit them both on the same site, and had the choice to either pitch the tent on gravel, or on a slope (site #20). There were lots of trees that worked to hang up the hammock which was a positive. There weren't many available sites to choose from due to the proximity of the campground to Rushmore.
This campground is one of the closest (if not THE closest to Rushmore), and allows you close access to the park without having to stay in the touristy trap town of Keystone. There isn't any cell access in the campground, but you can drive up to Rushmore for a very clear signal if needed.
If you're spending a lot of time in the Black Hills, there are plenty of National Forest and state park campgrounds to choose from. This one is mostly great as a peaceful place to camp if you're intending to see the area.
This campground is amazing. The only drawback is that it does not have flushing toilets or a shower, BUT, the views are beautiful. The campground is nestled into the forest right next to the lake. It is only two miles from Mount Rushmore, so if want flushing toilets they are only a short car ride away. There are spots for camper trailers as well as plenty of tent sites.
Horsethief Lake trail is about 3 miles long and the trailhead is right at camp. It is an easy hike that puts you right in the middle of the Black Hills. If you are more adventurous the trail connects to the Centennial Trail which is 111 miles long.
This campground is five stars even though it doesn't have flushing toilets or showers. This campground used to be first come first served only but it now has some reservable sites on ReserveAmerica.com.
Horsethief was a nice place to camp. The staff was very friendly! It is a perfect place to camp and be close to all the amazing things to do in the area. There was plenty of space and it had easy access.
One of the best times of my life. It's so peaceful and beautiful on the camp ground. Large lake great for fishing. Well lit at night with restrooms in sight. I can't think of a bad thing to say… You have to go check it out for yourself.