18 Oct

Campground Review #103 Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota Near Mt. Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is a HUGE RV destination and there is no shortage of campgrounds in the area. On this episode of the Campground of the Week podcast, Janine Pettit reviews the Blue Bell Campground in Custer State Park, nestled in the Black Hills of beautiful South Dakota. This campground is under an hour away from the Mount Rushmore National Monument

Custer State Park was only one of the twenty campgrounds that Janine visited on her grand National Parks tour this past summer. You can hear more about her epic RV journey on episode #96 of the Girl Camper podcast.

Campground Details

There are multiple campgrounds in Custer State Park, but on this episode we focus on Blue Bell Campground, where Janine stayed during her visit. You can find a complete list of the campgrounds along with reservation information and individual campsite photos on the State Park website.

Blue Bell Campground has only about 25 campsites with electric hookup, so visitors should book as far in advance as possible to guarantee a spot. The sites cost $25 per night and there is a dump station at the state park for camper use.

The campground is scenic and quiet, plus it features some of the best comfort stations that Janine has ever seen. Seriously, she raves about the bathrooms on this episode.

Custer State Park Activities

Custer State Park is amazing and has wonderful outdoor opportunities for campers. The legendary wildlife loop has some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the country, and folks just love the burros that beg to be fed by visitors. The Needles Highway is also a must see scenic drive within the park. Other highlights include…

  • Trail rides
  • Chuckwagon cookouts
  • ranger programs
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • fishing

Regional Activities

Of course, there one big reason many people come to the Black Hills of South Dakota…Mount Rushmore is less than an hour’s drive from Custer State Park, so this is a great option for camping near the iconic national monument. Other regional attractions include:

  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Rapid City
  • Sturgis
  • Deadwood
  • Badlands National Park (a 90 minute drive, but possible for a daytrip)

If you want to find out more about other great options for camping near Mount Rushmore, check out episode #49, which has a review of nearby Rafter J Bar Ranch. It will probably be a tough decision to make after hearing our two correspondents RAVE about them both!

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV and Camping fools!

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

24 May

Campground Review #82: Luray KOA in Virginia, near Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is one of our nation’s great natural treasures, and on this Campground of the Week podcast episode, Janine Pettit is recommending that you stay at the Luray KOA during your visit.

Campground Location

Read More

15 Mar

Campground Review #72 River’s End Campground and RV Park in Tybee Island, Georgia

On this episode of Campground of the Week, Janine Pettit, host of the Girl Camper Podcast, reviews River’s End Campground and RV Park in Tybee Island, Georgia.

Tybee Island is a premier RV destination in it’s own right, plus it happens to be just 15 miles away from Savannah, Georgia. Janine loved enjoying a beachy, relaxing campground while being an easy drive from one of America’s most historic and beautiful cities.


River’s End Campground and RV Park is a year round RV destination, so expect the rates and availability to fluctuate greatly throughout the year. They separate the calendar year into low season, mid season, peak season, and high season with different pricing for each category, ranging from as low as $49 to as high as $99. Thankfully, the website offers a very clear breakdown of the seasons and charges, so check it out if you want to make sure River’s End Campground fits into your traveling budget!

Read More

15 Dec

Campground Review #59: Beaver Creek State Park in East Liverpool, Ohio

fullsizerender-11

On this episode of Campground of the Week, Janine Pettit of GirlCamper.com gives us a campground review of Beaver Creek State Park in East Liverpool, Ohio.

Beaver Creek State Park is located just miles from the western Pennsylvania border in eastern Ohio, so this is a great campground to visit if you are traveling across Route 80. Beaver Creek State Park offers easy access to Pittsburgh and Youngstown as well.

Beaver Creek State Park is the perfect opportunity to do some ‘real’ camping, as the majority of sites are primitive and the the campground only offers pit toilets. Listen to the episode to hear Janine describe both her nervousness about visiting and her experience roughing it. There are not even any showers at Beaver Creek State Park…however, the camp host will warm up some water in a solar bag so you can enjoy rinsing off at the end of  the day.

podcastitunesbutton

The campground uses ReserveAmerica.com to handle reservations, and in addition to about 50 campsites for tenters and RVers, there is also an entire section reserved for visitors trailering horses. The campsites vary in size and length, so make sure you check that information before booking a site.

Read More