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On the edge of Wall, the Arrow Campground is a family-friendly base for exploring the Badlands National Park. It’s within walking distance of the town’s restaurants and amenities while being a short drive from the natural and cultural attractions of South Dakota’s Black Hills region.
RV camping at the Arrow Campground includes access to 72 pull-through sites, with full hookups and 30/50-amp electrical connections available. Pets are welcome to stay with you at the RV park, and there’s a swimming pool where you can cool off during the summer months, not to mention a children’s playground to keep young guests entertained.
Directly south of the campsites at Arrow Campground is the Badlands National Park, which encompasses magnificent canyons and dramatic rock formations that can be explored on foot or along the Badlands Loop Road. It offers sweeping viewpoints for taking in this otherworldly landscape, as well as spotting the park’s resident bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs. Begin your visit at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center to pick up maps and learn about the park’s geological formations, then follow the short Fossil Exhibit Trail to get an up-close look at the fossils that have been uncovered in the park.
Camping at the Arrow Campground is a good base for visiting the Black Hills National Forest, which sprawls to the west along South Dakota’s border with Wyoming. It encompasses the tallest mountain in the state, Black Elk Peak, and the magnificent Black Elk Wilderness, as well as large tracts of grassland prairie and ponderosa pine forest. Don’t miss the multi-tiered Roughlock Falls, which cascades into Spearfish Canyon in the north of the park, or you can opt to explore along the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway that extends more than 65 miles through the southern region.
Directly south of the Black Hills National Forest lies Custer State Park, which is renowned for its herd of more than 1,000 free-roaming bison. It was the first state park to be established in South Dakota and is still the largest, with white-tailed deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep among its inhabitants. More famous perhaps are the “Begging Burros,” donkeys that have earned their nickname by approaching cars in the park to beg for food. Stop in at the Peter Norbeck Center, which details the park’s natural history and cultural heritage, or visit the former home of “cowboy" poet Charles Badger Clark at the Badger Clark Historic Site. A highlight on the annual calendar is the September roundup of bison when thousands flock here to witness this impressive wildlife event.
The Arrow Campground is a short stroll from the center of Wall, where you’ll find a supermarket for stocking up on supplies and gas stations if you need to fill up your RV rental. There’s also a good selection of fast-food restaurants, cafes, and grills if you don’t feel like cooking.
While you’re in Wall, be sure to visit the National Grasslands Visitor Center, where you’ll find displays detailing the grassland’s wildlife and plants. Learn about the history of the United States’ 20 National Grasslands and the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, as well as grazing management techniques used throughout the years. Outside the Visitor Center is a natural mixed-grass prairie landscape where native grasses, trees, and wildflowers are exhibited. Also in Wall is a memorial to those who were killed at Wounded Knee Creek on December 28, 1890. At Wounded Knee the Museum, you can learn about the events leading up to this massacre of several hundred Lakota Indians by soldiers of the United States Army.
The Arrow Campground is just under an hour’s drive from Rapid City, where you’ll find an engaging choice of museums and cultural institutions. Admire the local artworks on display at the Dahl Arts Center and browse the science-themed exhibits of the Apex Gallery, then stroll amidst the street art of Art Alley. A short drive from the center of Rapid Center, you’ll find the Chapel in the Hills, which is a replica of Norway’s Borgan Stavkirke. Learn about life for early Scandinavian immigrants at the on-site museum and discover the unique architecture of the church, which is made entirely of wood. Also nearby is the Reptile Gardens, which has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest reptile zoo in the world. It’s a popular destination for kids, with daily alligator shows and up-close encounters with Komodo dragons on offer.
Whether you want to explore the surreal landscapes of the Badlands National Park or discover the cultural attractions of Wall and Rapid City, book an RV in Pennington County and start planning your next vacation.