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Mike and Carol

South Dakota - any advice?

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We have a family reunion to attend near Kansas City in early October. I think we’ll head north after the reunion to continue our National Park exploration quest. We want to spend some time around Badlands NP, Wind Cave NP, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. Any advice or lessons learned would be appreciated! Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Mike, 8miles south of wall sd is badlands dispersed, as you're going south look to your left, you'll see cell towers,  when you are parallel with them there is a barb wire gate that you have to open and close, but it's a great spot, plenty of room, quiet, and "free".

 

The entrance to badlands state park is a 1/2 mile to the south, highly recommended, and free with the geeser pass.

 

Steve

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STEVEnBETTY

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Mike, 8miles south of wall sd is badlands dispersed, as you’re going south look to your left, you’ll see cell towers, when you are parallel with them there is a barb wire gate that you have to open and close, but it’s a great spot, plenty of room, quiet, and “free”

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Here is another photo of the area mentioned south of Wall including our LEII, our Land Cruiser, my wife, a cell tower, our closest neighbors, and wild mountain goats on the hillside under our trailer. Great place to park for the night.

 

Ken

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Steve and Ken, that does look like a great spot! Free is always good. Thanks for the tip! Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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During our return from the Boler Rally in Winnipeg we traveled down through North and South Dakota. We saw all the National Park units in both states. Several of them had campgrounds for about $8-10 per night.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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I thought about going to ND also but figured I’d be pushing my luck late October. We should be able to visit Wind Cave NP and Badlands NP from one camping location?


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Mike, we camped at badlands dispersed for 4 days, and visited badlands np, Rushmore, Custer, and wall drugstore, if you don't mind driving a bit it's doable. When we were there it was the middle of "bike week" in sturgis and it was never crowded or noisy.

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STEVEnBETTY

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Mike & Carol -

 

I'm no help on SD but depending on how you are getting up there from Kansas I do have two suggestions.  First is Big Lake State Park, Craig, MO.  This park is not far off Interstate 29.  Spotless showers and restrooms.  Take food though in that there is not much nearby.  The second is a commercial campground - Victorian Acres, Nebraska City, NB.  On highway 2 not far west of Interstate 29.  Clean showers and restrooms, laundry on site and restaurants nearby.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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As far as skipping a 4 hour side trip to North Dakota , that's all weather dependent. If the forecast is good, and you have the time  ... I'd  do it. I like ND teddy roosevelt  better than the SD badlands.

 

Just don't dig yourself in somewhere  without sufficient  lp and supplies, at altitude,  to wait out weather. At lower elevations,  the snow will just melt away in a day or two while you enjoy the scenery... its still early for snow in October... but later in the month  it sure can happen.

 

Last year, we had close to blizzard conditions in eastern ND and western Minnesota in late October.  On the 26th, in tropical southern Owatonna,  MN, we awoke to beautiful  70s, and went to bed in the low 30s with a strong wind. In the morning,  the snow was three or four inches deep. I drove south past Osage, Iowa on the 27th,  before I could turn off the wipers...  some slick spots on 218 in the early morning. We left at 8.

 

I was driving  miss daisy ( mom),  and had a flight to catch out of St Louis, so not much time to hang around and enjoy the beauty of the first snowfall... bummer for me. I love seeing the first snowfall. Especially since I know it will melt...

 

Sherry

 

 


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Beyond the national  parks, the Dakotas have a number of wonderful  state and local campgrounds, and most small cities, by our urban standards, have historic sites and museums.  The Dakotas  are well worth the time. Imo. Beautiful plains and parks, and nice people.

 

Sherry


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Mike,

 

We enjoyed camping at Custer SP SD, Game Lodge campground. Visited Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, and Sylvan Lake.

 

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Sylvan Lake

 

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Custer SP

 

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Bill

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Bill, great pictures! Will add Sylvan Lake to the list. Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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If you decide to visit the North Dakota badlands, the south unit of TR National Park, and the Medora, ND area, there are a few options for camping. The National Park campsites were full in July when we were there.  October should be better for finding an opening. Most of the National Park sites we saw in the South unit campground were shaded. By October the leaves should be down so the solar should work better. Avoid the RV city park in Medora. They were literally stacked slide-out against slide-out.  We drove out of town to check out Sully Creek State Park. It was wonderful and I can’t imagine why more people weren’t there.  Downside was no electricity or flush toilets, though they did have showers, water, and a dump station.

 

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Our Campsite was marked by a stake on the edge of a field with the bluffs in the background. I think it was site #8.

 

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Our nearest neighbors.  There was some generator noise off in the distance.  Our camper is the one in the far middle of the photo.  Neighbors look closer that they actually were.

 

 

 

 


2013 Toyota Land Cruiser 200

2018 Twin Bed Elite II #351

 

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