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Help! Where Am I?

Middleton...
Level Contributor
294 posts
2 reviews
Help! Where Am I?

We are planning a fall trip to the Badlands and Black Hills this fall. One of the vacation rental properties we like and are interested in is located near Pecora Lake. However, we cannot find it on Google or on a Map of South Dakota.

Can anyone in the local area explain where in the Black Hills it is located and how close is it to Rapid City, SD; Deadwood, SD; Hill City, SD and Spearfish, SD as we are interested in using it as a base camp while visiting the national parks and other outdoor attractions in the Black Hills.

Les & Jill Taylor

9 replies to this topic
Middleton...
Level Contributor
294 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Help! Where Am I?

Correction. We were given an incorrect spelling of the location. It is Pactola Lake, not Pecora Lake that we are looking for geographic information on. We did find it on WiKi, but except for mentioning that is is the reservoir for Rapid City, SD, did not include the mileage to any of the other communities we listed.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,114 posts
125 reviews
2. Re: Help! Where Am I?

You can get a rough idea of drive times by just entering “Pactola Lake” into Google Maps. (Your drive times will probably be longer because you’ll likely be driving a small road from the rental property to the main road.)

We once stayed in this area with a big family group. It was more inconvenient getting to the sights than if we had stayed in Keystone or Hill City, but our vacation rental was very nice and the surroundings were gorgeous and serene.

However, if you planning a late fall trip, you could find yourselves snowed in if you stay in a remote area. October blizzards are not unheard of.

Edited: 9:29 am, February 12, 2018
Wickenburg, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,133 posts
3. Re: Help! Where Am I?

It would be interesting to know exactly where this property is. "Near Pactola Reservoir" is too vague and it's in the middle of the Black Hills National Forest. It's very possible that it's on a dirt road which is not the place to be if it snows or rains heavily. If you are flying in and renting a car, that presents a new set of problems.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
6,398 posts
61 reviews
4. Re: Help! Where Am I?

Here's a link to a good map of the area:

https:/…Black-Hills-and-Badlands-Full-Map.pdf

Pactola Lake is listed on there. It is near Silver City. It is not as centrally located as Keystone or Hill City, but you could do worse, (i.e. Hot Springs or basing in the northern hills.) However, you should definitely check on an exact location as Road Runner mentions. Being on a dirt road with a rental car is not a good thing.

Middleton...
Level Contributor
294 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Help! Where Am I?

Thank you all for your input. Trip Advisor forums never let us down. Since we couldn’t find Pactola Lake on the maps we had or looked at on line, we never considered entering it into Google maps.

After posting, we subsequently were able to find one but are so glad we posted as we would have never known about your - longhorn, road runner and sirtravelplanner - suggestions, which we will implement.

Our two-week trip will be immediately after Labor Day in September. We will be driving a rental car (any suggestions on rental agencies to use in Rapid City, SD), so will ask about roads as we would like to avoid any conditions that violate our rental agreement. We will contact the property owner and ask about the roads in the area. Last year our travel dates were similar for the Canadian Rockies and we encountered an unexpected blizzard on the Ice Fields Parkway in Jasper/Banff NPs that closed the road for a day. Hopefully, we don’t encounter anything similar in South & North Dakota this year!

Thanks for your useful suggestions. We welcome any further recommendations on this matter.

Jill & Les Taylor

Group Trip Planners

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,114 posts
125 reviews
6. Re: Help! Where Am I?

If you go to the Rapid City Regional Airport website, you can see what car rental companies operate there. We rented from Hertz and were satisfied with the car and service.

But here’s the link to a TA posting from 2014 from someone who was unhappy with Alamo, National and Enterprise. Things may or may not have changed with those companies at RAP in the intervening years. (FWIW, I stopped renting from Alamo many years ago due to their business practices.).

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g54774…

Middleton...
Level Contributor
294 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Help! Where Am I?

Thanks so much for your responses. As a result of all the information you (plural) provided, we have eliminated the property in question from our options as a base camp for our group’s visit to the national parks and outdoor attractions in the Rapid City, SD area. We appreciate the “red flags” from folks more familiar with the area.

On another matter, since our flight from Boston will be arriving later in the evening, we will stay at a hotel/motel near the airport, preferably one that offers an early morning complimentary buffet breakfast, pick up our van rental and then head for a superstore such as Walmart or Costcos to purchase food, drink and supplies for the trip. Any suggestions on one of these stores conveniently located near the airport?

Wickenburg, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,133 posts
8. Re: Help! Where Am I?

There are no motels or stores near the airport! You have to come into Rapid City so you need to get your rental when you land. The other option would be a shuttle into town but then you will need to get to the rental office in the morning.

No Costco here but there are 2 Wal-Marts and a Sam's Club. One Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are on the north side of town and the other Wal-Mart is on the south side. Once again, not near the airport. You can use Goggle Maps for exact locations. I think the south side Wal-Mart is better. The one on the north side is horrible!!

Edited: 5:08 pm, February 14, 2018
Middleton...
7 posts
9. Re: Help! Where Am I?

Thanks so much Road Runner. Our usual procedure when we arrive late for a long flight is to follow the procedure we outlined above and stay at a hotel near the airport and get an early start in the morning. Sometimes rates are cheaper if you rent off-airport, but your post indicates that we have no option but to make our vehicle rental arrangements before we arrive so that the vehicle is available upon arrival. Thanks so much for your info.

Our small group (three senior couples) of retired teachers have found that vacation rental properties best fit our style of travel, so we'll now have contact the property for our stay in Rapid City, SD and find out if we can add another night to our stay (the night we had planned to stay at an airport hotel/motel). Now to find out how far the property is from the airport and from the Way-mart/Sam's Club. If there's one thing you learn from these annual trips its the need to be flexible. Make that two things; always ask questions on Trip Advisor where there are "destination Experts", experienced travelers and knowledgeable locals can provide assistance!!!

Any further suggestions or recommendations are welcomed. Our trip to the national parks of the Dakotas is in Sep (Sep 10-24), so we still have sufficient time to make adjustments/modifications.

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