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This private access group campsite is isolated among the forested Black Hills of South Dakota, overlooking a private bay on the Pactola Reservoir. Great for group events with up to 60 people, there are eight individual tent sites around a central parking area. The summers are pleasant, and the bay provides a great way to cool off on sunny days (summer temperatures range from highs in the mid-80s, to lows in the mid-50s). It can be reserved from Memorial Day through Labor Day.


Facilities

Bear Gulch was formerly an eight-site single family campground, but has been converted into a group campground available for one group reservation at a time. It is primitive, but comfortable. There is a brand new accessible toilet. A hand pump for drinking water is available. Six of eight sites within the facility were originally designated for tent-only camping and still serve that purpose with a flat area, picnic table and fire ring at each site. There are a few places to park an RV around the central parking lot, however turning is very tight. There is no electrical hookup. Vehicles must travel down nine miles of dirt roads to reach the facility. Hill City is the nearest town for additional amenities, and Rapid City is 20 miles away.

Nearby attractions

Bear Gulch is centrally located within the Black Hills and its many forests, lakes, mountains and rivers and sightseeing destinations. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial and Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway are all under an hour away. Mount Rushmore National Memorial Custer State Park

Natural feaures

The campground is in a small canyon surrounded by large Ponderosa pine trees on the southern side of the Pactola Reservoir, the largest reservoir in the Black Hills. This canyon was cut from years of water drainage from the surrounding mountains, forming steep slopes on either side of the road leading to the camping area. A variety of wildlife call the Black Hills home, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk and wild turkey. Osprey, also known as fish hawks, are a bird of prey that feed on the abundant fish in the lake.

Recreation

Pactola Reservoir is an 800-acre lake, great for water skiing, swimming, fishing and even scuba diving. There is no boat ramp at the campground, but there is a separate marina where you can rent a boat and two boat ramps nearby on the main reservoir. Pactola Point Swim Beach, the Osprey Trail trailhead and a visitor center are within a short drive of the site. Fishing for such sought-after species as brown, rainbow and record lake trout is popular at the reservoir. There is also fishing in nearby Rapid Creek.


Driving directions to Bear Gulch Campground

From Highway 385 take Custer Gulch Road to Forest Service Road 251. Travel six miles to Forest Service Road 253 (Bear Gulch Road). Go three miles to the end of the road and campground.

Location and contact info

Bear Gulch Road, SD 57702

For campground inquires, please call:605-574-4402

Bear Gulch Campground details

  • Campfire allowed
  • Checkin time: 2:00 PM
  • Checkout time: 1:00 PM
  • Max num of people: 40
  • Max num of vehicles: 10
  • Max vehicle length: 40
  • Pets allowed
Camping with an RV

Camping with an RV

Have you ever wanted to sleep at the foot of a mountain or wake up to the sound of the ocean’s waves gently crashing on the shore? When on a road trip, do you like to stop at every weird and wonderful roadside attraction? Do you ever just want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get out into the great outdoors? Then renting an RV is definitely for you.

Camping in an RV allows you to adventure on your terms. Whether you’re looking to bond over an open fire with family and friends or you just want to get away for a while, there’s no better way to do it than from behind the wheel of an RV.

How Outdoorsy Works

1

Find the perfect RV

Choose your location, dates, and send the owner a request to book.

2

Delivery or Pickup

Arrange a pick up time with the owner or have it delivered to your driveway or destination.

Let us help

Most owners have the option to deliver and set up the RV right to your destination.

3

Adventure awaits!

Enjoy the freedom of the open road nd the assurance of 24/7 roadside assistance.

After your trip, return the RV to the owner on the same condition you recieved it.

Activities at Bear Gulch Campground

Camping

Hiking

Picnicking

Boating

Fishing

Biking


Seatbelt and car seat laws for children differ based on which RV you're renting. Let's break down the requirements by RV type for a safe family road trip. Learn more
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Find the perfect RV for Bear Gulch Campground

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All towables

Trailer

Trailers for all types of towing vehicles, including SUVs and pickups.

Folding Trailer

Trailers you can tow with passenger vehicles or SUVs. A great way to transform average cars into adventure cars.

Fifth-Wheel

Larger trailers that attach to towing vehicles with a gooseneck extension in the truck bed.

Toy Hauler

Living quarters in the front with dedicated space for hauling motorcycles or other “toys” in the back.

Utility Trailer

All other types of towable trailers.

All drivables

Class C

Popular with small families and first-time RV drivers who want a little more room than a van. Comparable to driving a truck.

Camper Van

The smallest and nimblest of fully enclosed RVs. Drives like a van. Loves posing for Instagram.

Class B

A formal-sounding name for camper van, but just as photogenic.

Class A

Drivers should be comfortable driving bus-sized vehicles and dealing with parking limitations. Great for delivery.

Truck Camper

If you can drive a truck, you can drive a truck camper. Makes roughing it significantly less rough.

Other

All other types of drivable vehicles.

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Questions about RVs?

Q.

What type of RV should I choose?

A.

Start by determining how many people are planning to travel with you. Going on a solo-journey? Choose a camper van or a teardrop trailer. Bringing the whole family along for the ride? Consider a spacious Class A or five-wheel.

You’ll also want to consider amenities. For example, if you’re planning to cook on the road, you’ll want a kitchenette. If your campground doesn’t have public restrooms, you’ll want to search RVs with bathrooms. Check out full descriptions of our models to help you decide here.


Q.

Do the RVs have bathrooms?

A.

Yes. Class A’s, Class B’s, and Class C’s and five-Wheels typically have bathrooms. Depending on where you plan on camping, you’ll want to double-check the availability of restrooms if selecting a rig without a bathroom. Nervous about renting an RV with a bathroom? Owners can help show you how to clean the tank or will offer to do it for you for a fee.


Q.

How does check-in work?

A.

Once an Owner approves your RV reservation, you can coordinate a time to pick up your rig or have it delivered to your doorstep or campsite. At that point, the owner will do a key exchange with you and walk you through the RV and answer any questions you might have.