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“Comfort Cabins are well done” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground

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Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground
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12325 Rafter J-Bar Road, Hill City, SD 57745   |  
Hotel amenities
Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Comfort Cabins are well done”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

Staying at Rafter J in a Comfort cabin with AC was the highlight of our accommodations on our trip to the hills. They are well set up. We had a queen bed and a set of bunk beds. There is a mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker and sink. There is a booth type table also in the cabin. The bathroom was nice too. It has a stand up shower, sink, mirror and toilet. The windows had wooden shutters on the inside of the window to keep light out. This is a genius move to avoid dust musty curtains - good thinking on Rafter J's part. You bring your own bedding and cooking supplies. The carpet was in good shape and there was a vacuum provided in our cabin. Another plus was that the beds were tall enough to put your bags underneath so you aren't tripping over them. There is both a charcoal grill and a firepit with grate outside your cabin. There are nice concrete pads out of your front door both under the front porch area and further to the front, so if you did hit a rainy patch, it wouldn't be muddy. There is also a picnic table out front. The cabins are spaced nicely. You are near the highway so you can hear it outside of your cabin, but it is not visible. This is a bonus from the other resorts I saw in the area. Lots of resorts with cabins are in plain view of the highway.
The pool was nice. Playground good too. There are a few arcade games near the pool. Wood was $4.50 for a small bundle. I also did laundry here as it was midway through our trip. Washers are average size for $2.25 a load. Dryers are HUGE and 25 cents per seven minutes on whatever intensity you choose - high, med or low. I dried my two loads in one dryer.
They sell a lot of things at the camp store. We did end up buying an extension cord as there are not a lot of outlets in the place. They are confined to the kitchenette area. There are not outlets outside of the cabin, so to set up a radio, we had to run a cord.
We could have done OK without the AC, but it was one of those things that you just never know what you're gonna get at the end of July. So we were glad to have it. We paid a total of $118 with all taxes and fees. We wish we would have stayed more than one night and made this our home base in the hills.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    95
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    10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011 via mobile

We had never been to this part of the country so we certainly did not know the area or what we were in for. We were very pleasantly surprised. The location is great. The campground is very well kept. The sites are very spacious and sll have beautiful views We were here for three nights but would have enjoyed more.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2011

We stayed at Rafter J Bar Ranch for four days on our road trip this summer. After a lot of traveling and a lot of mediocre campgrounds, this was a dream come true. It features large, beautiful sites with plenty of space in between campers. The view is great from any direction, the pool facility was awesome for our kids and the employees are helpful and friendly. They have cars for rent to go see the sites. Mt. Rushmore is just 7 miles away and Hill City is a fun little town right down the road. Just an all-around great experience.

The only downside was that wifi was very slow and many sites were blocked for bandwidth.

Room Tip: We loved the Island Camp.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ely, mn
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2011

We thoroughy enjoyed our stay at Rafter J. Close to all tourist traps, I mean tourist stops. Great campsite, plenty of room. Nice pool. Great outdoor pancake breakfast in the morning. Only $2.50 for pancakes! Additional items available. If the wind is right you can hear some road noise at our site, but there are some other sites further away from the road. Volleyball and Basketball Courts available. They also have a great store, needed a quart of oil and they had it.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gillette, Wyoming
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

WOW! Our family, which camps in a 29 foot 5th wheel, generally stays away from commercial campgrounds, prefering more remote and out of the way experiences. Well, we just loved this campground! I called for a reservation, and had a very nice conversation with a staff member. He recommended the "Island" area, and we loved it there. We were at an end unit with a large meadow next to us. The area was spotless and clean. Couldn't have been happier. They were very accomodating when we asked for a place to park our 5th wheel for a few hours as we didn't want to haul our camper with us as we toured Custer State Park.

Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2011

We camped at Rafter J the week before Sturgis bike rally. The campground is clean, well equipped, and well staffed. The kids enjoyed the outdoor heated pool. It's one of the few campgrounds where you can have a large treed site with firepit, yet still have a full hookup.

In talking to many others, after we stayed here, we often heard this same comment, Rafter J is simply the best RV Park that they have ever stayed at! And we agree.

Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willamette Valley
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2010

My family stayed at Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground in June 2010. We stayed in a cabin for two nights and visited Mt Rushmore and gold mines. We were impressed with the layout and cleenliness of this campground. The lawns were all nicely kept up and no litter anywhere. This was a stop about halfway through our trip so we did laundry there.
We bought firewood, ice and hotdogs from their little store. The cabins are better then most we have stayed in at other campgrounds. There are bunkbeds, a double bed and a table with benches. Plenty of room for all your belongings as well.

I rated it only 3 stars for value as we found we could have stayed in Rapid City at a nice hotel for about the same price-- but my kids wanted the campfire/cabin experience.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Location: United States > South Dakota > Hill City
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 Specialty 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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