Custer State Park- Blue Bell Campground

Discussion in 'South Dakota' started by TGH, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. TGH

    TGH New Member

    Mar 27, 2016
    We just returned from a week at Blue Bell campground in Custer State Park. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone. A few thoughts:
    1 it is the farthest campground in park. Almost extra 30 minutes over the mountain.
    2. Very quiet park with great facilities and cabins as well.
    3. We saw more 5th wheel units than pop ups.
    4. Sites are tar but not the most level. We needed BAL and didn't own one.
    5. Good shade, pretty private and large sized and spaced sites.
    6. Showers were very clean and host is very friendly.
    7. Be prepared for temperature to be at least 10 degrees cooler up at this elevation rawer than the other sites like Game Lodge and Coolidge.
    We were site 21. Inside facing, but with kids we like being within 50 yards of shower house.
    We would return here but will try Game Lodge next as it is on bike trail and playground for kids.
  2. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Active Member

    Nov 25, 2016
    Chicago suburbs
    Glad to find your review! We are looking to stay here next summer. And since they do reservations 12 months in advance, I figure I better be ready to book soon!

    Anyone else stay here and have recommendations? Wondering which campground would be best for us. We want showers and flush toilets. A playground would be good. Pulling with a mini-van, so no rough roads.
  3. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

    Jun 14, 2014
    We always stay at Stockade lake south - site 19 or 20 (have electric). It is not as close to the center of Custer itself, but is very close to other things. It has showers and flush toilets, but there is not a playground right there. We like it because it is easy to run into Custer, up to Sylvan, or Rushmore and beyond from there. Also easy to run to Wind or Jewel cave from there, or sneak out for a day trip to Devils tower or blackhills points west Of course we also do the wildlife loop and some other attractions in Custer itself, but it is an easy drive from there. Minivan is not an issue at any of the campgrounds.

    I can highly recommend that you drive into Rapid city and visit Storybook Island with the kids. It is free and a lot of fun, we still have some great memories from there when the kids were little. There are a number of other fun things to do in Rapid City also.
  4. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Jul 3, 2008
    We have stayed a couple different times at Grace Coolidge campground. We always enjoy it. We did a half day trail ride out of blue bells that we enjoyed very much.
  5. Member

    Aug 9, 2011
    North Dakota
    We camped at Sylvan Lake Camp Ground it is a state park with mostly small and many popup campers as tall 5th wheel units cant get through the two 100' long tunnels on the road to CG. Shower house was very clean site are nice wildlife on edge of CG mornings & evenings. Beautiful lake rent peddle boats canoes kyaks, Harney Peak hiking trails general store at the lake. Half way between the Monuments. The list goes on and we will go back again If you would like to see photos PM me & we will share some photos.
  6. smg_4hnds

    smg_4hnds New Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    Considering a pre-Memorial Day trip for me and my three golden retrievers. Any recommendations where to target so we’re out-of-the-way and/or where wildlife may present issues? Dogs will NOT be unattended. Thanks!
  7. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Active Member

    Jun 11, 2014
    Houghton MI
    When I lived near there, which was many, many moons ago, the FS had rustic CG's near there. And Harney Peak is a great little hike.

    smg_4hnds likes this.
  8. smg_4hnds

    smg_4hnds New Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    Thanks! I'll dig around a little more and see what's on the trail less traveled!
  9. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

    Jun 14, 2014
    We usually stay at Stockade lake south. No wildlife issues there, close to Harney or Rushmore and close to town of Custer also if you need something. Some site have hookups. Before Memorial day it is usually much more quite there.
    smg_4hnds likes this.

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