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When you search for an RV in Jackson County, you’ll also need a place to stay, and you may want to look long and hard at the Badlands/White River KOA campground in Interior. This campground offers proximity to Badlands National Park and a secluded setting with plenty of modern amenities. The grounds are rural, secluded, and heavily wooded. Most RV sites are pull-through, and all are graveled. Some have a patio with a table, chairs, and a propane grill. Both 30 and 50 amp hookups are available, as are cable and Wi-Fi.
The campground provides a pool, miniature golf course, a pavilion, bike and 4x4 UTV rentals, miniature golf, restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, and a camp store. There is a snack bar in season with local specialties including breakfast burritos, Indian tacos, and buffalo burgers. Propane and firewood are available for purchase. Pets are welcome, and there is a pet area and a pet washing area. Planned activities include kids’ crafts, ice cream socials, and more at this RV park.
When you are RV camping at Badlands/White River KOA, you will be less than four miles from Badlands National Park, which is maintained by the National Park Service and is open to visitors from around the world. It covers over 244,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie and other ecosystems. Dozens of mammal species, nine reptile species, six amphibian species, hundreds of bird species, and close to 70 butterfly species make their homes here. The night sky is spectacularly dark, and telescopes are provided for viewing. Ranger programs are available for visitors of all ages. Both the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and the White River Visitor Center provide informational displays, exhibits, and restroom facilities. The Badlands Natural History Association bookstore offers books on the area’s natural and cultural history as well as gifts and souvenirs. The on-site restaurant offers locally and regionally sourced dishes including Sioux Indian Tacos, South Dakota-produced wine and beer, and locally supplied organic coffee.
The Badlands Petrified Gardens chronicle the largest petrified trees and logs ever found in the area. The museum features prehistoric mammal and sea fossils, a fluorescent mineral display, agates, rocks, minerals, and crystals. Specimens include ammonite, titanothere, sand crystals, oreodont, and fossils of dinosaur leg bones, dinosaur tracks, saber tooth tiger footprints, and petrified logs. Make sure to check this out with your campervan rental.
The Pine Ridge National Recreation Area is also easily accessible when you are camping at the Badlands/White River KOA. It covers 6,600 acres and was established by an Act of Congress to provide backcountry outdoor recreation opportunities in a primitive/semi-primitive environment. These activities include hiking and walking, biking, boating, horseback riding, hunting, nature study, and cross-country skiing. The Pine Ridge Trail is a 40-mile multi-use trail that passes through grassland, ponderosa pine forest, creek bottoms, canyons, and open ridges with views of the nearby buttes. The eastern end begins at the Spotted Tail Trailhead, and the western end is at the West Ash Trailhead. Motorized vehicles are restricted, and there are no developed facilities. The ranger district office is located in Chadron, NE.
Rapid City is where you’d want to go if you’re in the mood for big-city attractions and amenities while you’re renting an RV. It is the second-most populous city in South Dakota, and it is known as the City of Presidents after the life-size bronze statues decorating the downtown. There is a walking tour that highlights these statues. Rapid City is both a tourist town and a university town (Black Hills State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Oglala Lakota College’s He Sapa College Center, National American University, Western Dakota Technical Institute, John Witherspoon College, and several smaller schools) so there is plenty of culture for visitors to experience, including the Journey Museum, the Dahl Arts Center, the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Art Alley Gallery, the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, and Main Street Square. There are also plenty of service stations, truck stops, and convenience stores with both gasoline and diesel fuel.
This KOA is near the Rosebud Indian Reservation, home of the Sicangu Oyate (the Upper Brulé Sioux Nation), also known as Sicangu Lakota, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST), a branch of the Lakota people. The reservation itself features large areas of ponderosa pine forest, grasslands, deep valleys, steep hills, ravines, and lakes. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe owns and operates Rosebud Casino, which is partially powered by one of the country’s first tribally owned wind turbines. Other tribal-related attractions include the Sicangu Heritage Center at Sinte Gleska University, the Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum, and the Sinte Gleska University bison ranch with traditional Lakota buffalo ceremonies, all of which you can access when you are camping with an RV.