Rapid City, South Dakota is a bustling metropolis and the second-largest city in the state. But it is mainly known as the gateway to one of America’s greatest monuments, Mt. Rushmore. Lying just west of the city is Black Hills National Forest which boasts a rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage ready for exploration by enthusiastic outdoor adventurers.
For the perfect place to set up camp near Rapid City, here are the top campgrounds for RV and tent camping.
Our Top 5 Picks for Camping Near Rapid City, South Dakota
Just minutes from historic Deadwood and Spearfish, Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort and Cabins are open year-round and offer camping complete with world-class amenities, breathtaking views of the National Forest, and access to a huge range of family-friendly activities.
This well-appointed resort is a popular destination across all-seasons so it is important to book ahead of time to secure your spot. If you want a unique vacation experience, you can even spend the night in the historic Draper Roadhouse.
“All the things you could ask for in a campground: beautiful pool, great store, camping cabins, great bathhouses. Restaurants and nightlife, gambling can be had after a scenic, short drive.”- Jo Ann H.
- 185 full-hookup RV sites for $57 – $77 per night
- 36 fully furnished cabins for $152 – $217 per night
- 19 tent-only sites for $40 per night peak season, and $20 per night off-season
- Fenced dog park
- Playground, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, and swimming pool
- Warm showers, flushing toilets, and clean drinking water
Experience the Old West on horseback at the Broken Arrow Horse and RV campground at the edge of Custer State Park. Specifically catering to equestrian adventures, it features covered single horse stalls, barns, and warm-up pens, with horse trailers available for rent and hay and shavings for purchase from the onsite store.
For campers, there are well-maintained grounds and full-service campsites perfect for families including a bathhouse, laundry room, outdoor kitchen, playground, and camp store.
“I stayed at Broken Arrow for 10 days in my A-frame camper… and all I can say is “wow”. The bathrooms are clean and beautiful and the sites are very well maintained and level. They even have lights on the site signs to help when you get there late.” – Julia F.
- Tent-only sites are $25 per night for campers with $5 for each additional person
- 40-20/30/50 AMP full hookup RV sites available from $38 – $48 per night
- Horse stalls available for $12 per night
- Camp market with firewood
- Clean drinking water
- Phone service and Wi-Fi
Privately-owned Plenty Star Ranch offers a wide variety of camping options for all outdoor adventurers including RV sites, log cabins, and a Lakota-style Tipi. With amazing attractions nearby including boating on the lakes at Custer State Park, hiking the 110 mile Mickelson trail from Deadwood to Edgemont, or drive a few miles south to Wind Cave National Park to explore some of the greatest formations on the country, and stop at the hot springs on your way.
“Definitely a trip to remember! A great and quiet place to park an RV and still feel a part of nature.” – Kara L.
- 6-20/30/50 AMP full RV hookup sites
- 6 grassy tent-only sites
- 2 log cabins
- 1 Lakota style Tipi
- Access to horse, biking and hiking trails
- Drinking water and showers available
The vast plains of Sage Creek campground located in the Badlands National Park provide a unique wild camping experience like no other. Keep your ears peeled for grazing bison nearby, herds of wandering bighorn sheep, and burrowing prairie dogs. With little to no amenities, Sage Creek offers the ultimate rustic camping experience, so bring everything you need with you including clean water and shade from the sun.
“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.” – Carolyn M.
- Camping is free
- 2 pit toilets, no showers
- Communal picnic tables and a sun shelter
- 10 spacious designated campsites available
- Horse corral to explore the park on horseback
- Wild walking trails
Sitting at 5,000 ft above sea level in the dense Ponderosa pine and aspen groves of Black Hill National Forest, Bismarck Lake Campground offers seclusion and serenity with widely dispersed campsites for both RVs and tents and incredible views of its namesake lake. Spend your days lazily fishing for trout or take a day-trek to Black Elk Peak.
“This campsite was by far the most beautiful we’ve ever stayed at. Our campsite was overlooking the lake and right beside a very clean bathroom.” – Courtney T.
- 23 tent and RV sites for $26 per night
- Clean pit toilets and water spouts for washing
- Potable water available during peak season
- Fires allowed with firewood bundles for purchase
- Drive-in, boat-in, and walk-in access
- Picnic areas with tables and trash cans
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