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“The "un-KOA" campground”

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Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 August 2017

This campground is spacious and features campsites that are roomy and definitely not crowded, offering good privacy. And the location is quiet and secluded, but central to many of the attractions in the Black Hills.

We had a site in the Ranch Camp section which is a long walk from the office and store, but we had a great shower and bathroom facility just 50 yards away. We had plenty of shade afforded by the tall pines and we were the closest site to the campground boundary. Early in the evening we watched deer stroll by less than 50 yards away.

They have a great swimming pool and hot tub near the store/office with parking nearby. Several days a week they serve a delicious pancake and sausage breakfast (for a nominal cost).

Everything was very clean and well maintained. Although we had a camper, there are great tent sites, as well as cabins (which we used several years ago).

This is just a great, quiet campground with excellent facilities. It is very large with many sites spread across a huge area of land. And, unlike most of the other campgrounds in the area, there is plenty of space between sites. It is a preferable alternative to the KOA which has more of a resort-like zoo feeling!

We will definitely be back to the Rafter J Bar!

Room Tip: The Ranch Camp is awesome.
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank Randy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 255 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

The Rafter J Bar Ranch has been a wonderful place for home base for our Black Hills adventures. It is close to Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore. Hill City and Custer are close. The campsites are spread out over a huge area. Some of the sites are challenging to get into with bigger units but the scenery, the peacefulness once your set up are worth the challenge. Nice people run the facility. They have pancake and sausage breakfast for a very reasonable price 5 days a week. I am very glad we found this gem.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
Thank leanne317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2017 via mobile

A remarkable place. We stayed in Ranch Camp section. It was full but oh so quiet!
Unlike other CGs in the area we had our privacy inspite of the fact it was full. Close to the Michelson trail. Short drive into Hill City and short drive to Rushmore and Crazy Horse.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Salem27RKSS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2017

We just spent 12 days in the Black Hills, stayed at 2 campgrounds and visited numerous others as we looked for future places to stay. Once we found the Rafter J, we stopped looking. This campground has numerous camping spots called Islands. There's a lot of acreage so each 'Island' is a long way from all of the others. The camping spots in each Island are spread out so you aren't right on top of each other like most of the campgrounds in the Black Hills. Separating the Islands is a field that's approximately 20-30 acres so you can LET YOUR DOGS RUN, no leash necessary. There is a large pool, very nice, very clean and a nice hot tub too. Each Island has there own bathrooms with showers and laundry. The Rafter J is a little more expensive than all the rest but in my opinion, it is worth every penny.

Stayed: July 2017
1  Thank bandan1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2017

We researched like crazy and finally decided on the Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground and we are so happy we did. This campground is beautiful! Many places in this area are very cramped and have no shade but this place has large camping sites and wonderful shade trees!
The amenities include a camp store, volleyball court, basketball court, playground, pool with hot tub, laundry and shower/bath houses. They have full hook-up sites and primitive sites for tenting as well as cabins for rent. Each site has a fire pit and picnic table.
Our family enjoyed the central location of this campground. We easily traveled to Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, Mammoth Site, Big Thunder Gold Mine, Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, Custer State Park, and Deadwood.
The staff here were always very happy and friendly. The store has anything you may need including common food items, camping necessities, and toys for the kids! The pool and grounds are always kept immaculately clean! We will be back and will recommend to all family and friends!

Amazing Camp Ground!!! Thank you Rafter J Bar for the wonderful stay!

Stayed: July 2017
1  Thank csele5585
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground

Address: 12325 Rafter J-Bar Road, Hill City, SD 57745
Region: United States > South Dakota > Hill City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Hill City
Number of rooms: 227
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An upscale campground offering tent and trailer camping. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rafter j Bar Ranch Campground Hotel Keystone

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