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Just a stone’s throw from the town of Hermosa, the Southern Hills RV Park and Campground is a popular base for exploring the natural and cultural attractions of South Dakota’s Black Hills. It’s within easy access of Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore, as well as its gateway - Rapid City.
RV camping at the Southern Hills RV Park and Campground includes access to 29 pull-through sites and seven back-in sites, with most able to accommodate RVs up to 70 feet in length. There are full-service 30/50 amp electric connections available, with a shower house and spacious laundry room also accessible to guests. Most sites at Southern Hills RV Park and Campground come complete with picnic tables, and there are grassy lawns where you can relax with your family and friends.
Directly west of your campsite at Southern Hills RV Park and Campground sprawls Custer State Park, which was the first state park to be established in South Dakota. It encompasses more than 71,000 acres where around 1,500 bison roam free, with a scenic driving route where you can spot not only bison but also white-tailed deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. If you’re interested in the park’s natural and cultural history, don’t miss a visit to the heritage-listed Peter Norbeck Center or the Badger Clark Historic Site, which preserves the former home of South Dakota’s first poet laureate.
Also nearby is the Black Hills National Forest, which straddles South Dakota’s border with Wyoming. It encompasses more than one million acres of ponderosa pine forest and grassland prairie, as well as the tallest mountain in South Dakota - Black Elk Peak. Soak up the views of the spectacular Black Elk Wilderness and spot free-roaming elk along the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, then photograph the Roughlock Falls as its cascades into the narrow gorge of Spearfish Canyon.
Drive in the other direction from the campsites at Southern Hills RV Park and Campground, and you’ll arrive at the Badlands National Park, which lies around an hour’s drive to the east. You can explore its dramatic canyons and layered rock formations along the Badlands Loop Road, with various lookouts where you can catch sight of bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs. For those who want to stretch their legs, there are numerous trails to explore, ranging from the short Window Trail to the ten-mile-long Castle Trail. Be sure to stop in at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center to browse its interpretive displays, then follow the boardwalk-based Fossil Exhibit Trail to get up close to some of the fossils that have been uncovered in the park.
The Southern Hills RV Park and Campground is a 15-minute walk or two-minute drive from the center of Hermosa, where you’ll find a small grocery store for purchasing essentials. There’s also a gas station here if you need to fill up your RV rental, together with a local steakhouse and pizzeria for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Also in Hermosa is Roy’s Drive Inn Theater, where you can enjoy a classic night out watching your favorite flicks.
A 20-minute drive north of the Southern Hills RV Park and Campground is Rapid City, which is home to several cultural and artistic institutions that are not to miss. Browse the science-focused exhibits of the Apex Gallery or admire the works on display at the Dahl Arts Center, then head to aptly-named Art Alley to check out its street art. A short drive from the center of Rapid City is the Chapel in the Hills - a replica of Norway’s Borgan Stavkirke. Stop in at the museum, which details life for early Scandinavian immigrants in the region while learning about the chapel’s unique architectural design.
Rapid City serves as the gateway to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a massive sculpture of four U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln). It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln and completed in 1941, with a highlight of the site being their original studio, where a 1/12th-scale model of Mount Rushmore is now on display. Begin your visit at the on-site museum, where a range of informative exhibits and short films are showcased, then follow one of the trails that offer an up-close look at the memorial’s 60-foot-high granite faces.
Whether you want to photograph the bison herds of South Dakota or witness the presidential sculptures of Mount Rushmore, book an RV in Custer County and start planning your next vacation.