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September 2021
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Badlands Ranch and RV Resort

By admin

We found these guys through the Passport America site. The badlands being a national park tends to mean that the campgrounds are a little pricey, but the $14 we paid for this campsite is a bargain. As we are constantly living on the road we have to keep the campground cost down. This means we have stayed in some rather choice places, this place was a gem in comparison.

Front Gate of RV Resort

The approach might put some people off. To get to this campground you have to go about 1 mile down a dirt road. Indeed the GPS didnt seem to know the address, so I suggest using this Lat/Long to find it. It’s located several miles from the national park, but not so far that it becomes difficult to get to.

It’s an odd place in many ways. Dude ranch meets RV park meets lodge resort meets cabin rental. I’m sat under a tree right now, watching the kids play on the little playground supervised by a woman in a luminous green t-shirt. It seems that South Dakotans find it hard to let go of the wrangling roots. One of the mothers was taking a boy of, I guess, about eight for a walk with a rope tied to his belt line.

We are one of three trailers in here this week. There isn’t any seasonal campers here, just travelers.

The place is relaxing, a calm seems to be settled over this part of the world. The campsite is actually on reservation soil. The local towns of Interior and Scenic are somewhat typical, definetly poor and run down, but easy going. The Wagonwheel bar in Interior, SD is rundown, but like many bars in this area, accepting. When a tall english man and slight chinese girl walked in, not a single cowboy hat looked up from their conversation.

The owners are always keen to take you on trail rides. While we didn’t actually go on one, many of the campers we talked to really enjoyed their’s. The standard trail runs for about 1.5-2.5 hours and goes quite a way through alfalfa fields, across rivers and through typical badland canyon formations. The horses are well behaved and good natured. The owner also is into rock collecting and was happy to show us some of her spots on their property, while we didn’t find anything spectacular, I think thats more down to our lack of experience than a lack of the ground’s potential.

The only thing that bugs me here is “O brother where art thou”. The office seems to be playing over and over again and it’s within clear ear shot of out trailer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Soggy Bottom Boys just as much as the next man, but there is only so many times one can hear “Man of Constant Sorrow” before one starts to feel like they are starting to loose their grip on reality.

All sites have full hookup, are level and really easy to pull into. It’s quiet, clean and the owners are friendly and helpful. The free WiFi works on sites close to the office and works reasonably well, however, it doesn’t seem to like big files and will drop the connection after about 10MB. This is not noticeable when web browsing , but becomes a pain if you want to OS updates, skype or something similar.

I would definitely recommend this place as a place to base yourself from for a few days exploring the Badlands. Now excuse me while I give the Soggy Bottom Boys something to really be sorrowful about.

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