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Old 07-30-2010, 08:11 PM   #1
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South Dakota in Sept.

I have a couple of weeks to travel in Sept. and am planning on kicking back in SD, just camping and some site seeing. Maybe an old fort or 2 or an outstanding museum along the way.
I'm looking at mostly state run parks and maybe a couple of C. O. E.'s.
There is a lot to choose from, and I was wondering if any of you want to recommend some of your favorite stomping grounds?
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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Lots of people go western South Dakota. When my kids were at home we'd go out there. Later I went to the rally at Sturgis. One of my favorite views of South Dakota is in the rear view mirror.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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Splitrock,
I recently changed my plans from CO to SD. The SD state park web site is awsome. Looks like SD has put a lot into their park system to attract campers. Already been to the western end of the state. May go back that way again, but will skip the more touristy areas. Basically, looking for a road less traveled this trip.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:47 AM   #4
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A fall visit to Badlands National Park, the Black Hills and Custer State Park is about as good as it gets - and if you can hang around till the end of September the Buffalo Roundup is some terrific icing on the cake:

SD GFP | State Parks | Directory | Custer State Park | Events | Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival

A great place to visit.


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Old 07-31-2010, 10:21 AM   #5
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Good suggestions RangerJay. Early in June we stayed at the Sylvan Lake campground in Custer State Park -- very pretty lake 5 minutes away! One caution -- you must enter and exit only on SD-89 from Custer to the south. Small tunnels obstruct SD-87 going east & west from Sylvan Lake. The only dump station we found in the park was at the Game Lodge campground. That worked for us as we only stayed at Sylvan Lake 2 nights.

Things to see? Drive the Needles. Bison in Wind Cave N.P. Tour Jewel Cave or Wind Cave. Shop Hill City. Deadwood is interesting -- cemetery too if you're into that. Badlands are definitely worth a swing-through. Wall Drug? Not so much...
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:33 AM   #6
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RangerJay and CanoeStream,
Thanks for sharing about your favorite places to visit when in SD.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:05 PM   #7
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Sylvan Lake - followup info

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Five minutes from the campground -- the lake is a small reservoir. Easy walking, picnic grounds, lodge

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The Needles east of Sylvan Lake on SD-87.

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Don't even try to take your Airstream on any road with a tunnel in the Black Hills. This is Tunnel 5. Custer State Park road map is here.

Sylvan Lake Campground site 1E.
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Sylvan Lake Campground site 2E (foreground right) and 3E.
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Campground map is here. Site sizes here. Sites 6 & 7 and sites 36 & 37 seemed mighty close together; would be okay for camping with friends unless you can't reserve other "any unit" sites. Sites 8, 9, 10 & 11 are up a hill and the tent parking area isn't big enough to turn around -- you'd have to back downhill out of sites 8-11 -- seemed a reasonable thing to do as the road levels out and the intersection is open by site 7; tougher to do if too many spectators...

Avoid the 'small RV' sites. The curve around by sites 26-29 is tight and brush is close. IIRC sites 30, 34 & 35 would be okay. If your trailer is longer and you can't park your TV right there, there's a small amount of parking by the shower and a fair amount more up the hill by the tent sites 12-21.

Keystone is very touristy. I've heard 'old Keystone' is a bit more original -- I remember small shops at the latter from a trip back in the '70s. We didn't go there on this trip. I'd have to ask my sister-in-law for more info. To get closer, try to google: blair st keystone sd.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:25 AM   #8
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In Re: Don't even try to take your Airstream on any road with a tunnel in the Black Hills. This is Tunnel 5. Custer State Park road map is here.

I looked at the tunnel sizes, and they all looked big enough. Is there something that we don't know? Also is there room to hang a u turn?

BTW, great pic's!
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for the additional info.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:58 AM   #10
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I looked at the tunnel sizes, and they all looked big enough. Is there something that we don't know? Also is there room to hang a u turn?
I didn't have to pull in my truck's towing mirrors but almost felt I should. Check-in staff at the park give a tunnel width figure of 8'O" and say they end up measuring a lot of units whose owners insist they'll fit.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:12 AM   #11
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I'm just a beat up old South Dakota resident. My brother and his family lived in Rapid City in 1972. I'd never, ever, camp (or sleep) in Keystone or anywhere along Rapid Creek.

SD Water Science Center: 1972 Black Hills-Rapid City Flood Revisited - Photos

Many of the deaths in the 1972 flood were campers at Keystone. My brother helped get people out of the trees. This flood happened in the dark of night when most people slept.


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238 dead and 3,057 injured. Several bodies were never found. Just Google Rapid City Flood. There's a lot of safe spots to stay in the hills above the dams. Those dams have failed in the past. All the people who died thought they were safe.

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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:39 AM   #12
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I don't know about the whole world, but in South Dakota, the reason the land along rivers and creeks, and blow dams, is available for campgrounds and parks, is that land doesn't have homes and businesses built on it. The reason there's no homes or businesses built along the rivers, creeks, and below the dams, is those are known flood plains and flash flood areas (not safe for homes).

One of the biggest campgrounds at Lewis & Clark reservoir is below the dam, right along the spillway. There's no campgrounds up on the hill overlooking the lake. Why not? There's houses there. It's a safe place.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
I'm just a beat up old South Dakota resident. My brother and his family lived in Rapid City in 1972. I'd never, ever, camp (or sleep) in Keystone or anywhere along Rapid Creek.

SD Water Science Center: 1972 Black Hills-Rapid City Flood Revisited - Photos

Many of the deaths in the 1972 flood were campers at Keystone. My brother helped get people out of the trees. This flood happened in the dark of night when most people slept.

Attachment 107951

238 dead and 3,057 injured. Several bodies were never found. Just Google Rapid City Flood. There's a lot of safe spots to stay in the hills above the dams. Those dams have failed in the past. All the people who died thought they were safe.

Gary
Those are some really eye opening photos. You probably know, I don't,
since my maps don't show it maybe you can enlighten me, does Rapid Creek flow thru Custer State Park?
Also has the state or Feds taken any measures so that does not happen again?
That was 38 years ago. They had plenty of time to put in some safety measures.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:45 AM   #14
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I must have been typing when you sent your last post and I didn't see it. That kinda answers my next set of questions.
Thanks for the heads up.

Lewis and Clark is on my list of places to camp and so are other campgrounds along the Missouri.
Are they all below the dams?
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