If you and your bike intend to roll into what’s surely the Black Hills’ biggest annual bike rally (in its 79th year now), and intend to bring a tent or RV along for the ride, you’re in luck: over a dozen camps are conveniently located in the immediate area (and a plethora of additional options throughout the southwestern corner of South Dakota.) Some of these camps are permanent, year round RV parks or public campgrounds, while others are temporary miniature cities established solely to help house the 700,000 or more bikers and oglers who will attend the rally.
Our list includes both RV spots (with full or partial hookups) as well as allow tent camping, and the fat boy’s share of them will offer cabins for rent as well. Some even allow you to rent an RV for the week, if the ape hangers leave you a little tired of riding and a soft bed sounds better than a soft tail for the night.
And of course, each and every one of these rally camps promises “the cleanest, flushing toilets” in town. Cheap, cold beer is a given.
Other services include the ability to send yourself some mail – maybe a spare credit card after you lose your wallet in one of those infamous biker bar binges or a cake with a file in it should you find yourself in the Meade County Jail some lovely, exhaust scented morning. Showers are provided, if you’re into that sort of thing, and most places capitalize on all of this traffic with an on-site restaurant that will serve not only beer, but something to help keep it down until you can make it back to those impeccable toilets as well. You might even find yourself treated to a band or two on site.
For all of this convenience, you’ll need to purchase a wristband from most of the camps, in addition to the nightly fee for your site. The wristband may also snag you a fat stack of flapjacks come morning, if morning is something you intend to participate in during the event.
Without further ado, meet the top three rally camps for Sturgis 2017, as voted on by (not necessarily “biker”) reviewers here on Campendium.
Those are all year round RV parks, except for the notable exception of Bear Butte State Park…where participants in the rally might be warned: no alcohol is allowed.
They’re far from your only options, have a look at all of the campgrounds (just for the rally or otherwise) that’ll be hosting the hordes of motorcycle enthusiasts come August.
The wild and crazy times absolutely do not stop there. What goes better with beer, bikers and a loud band than tossing a zip line into the mix? Imagine the chap shots.
On the safer, sounder side of things, the majority of rally camps will offer some type of public transportation, whether simply access to ‘Da Bus’ (the official way to get around town sans your motorcycle) or their own private shuttles. So you don’t necessarily have to slow up your Budweiser just because you don’t want to drink and bike. It should be noted that every year there are DUI cases, and just because the Sturgis motorcycle rally is known as the biggest motorcycle event in the known universe, that doesn’t mean the police won’t be enforcing the law.
Finally, check ahead before making plans. One of the camps is “adult only,” and others may require you to complete a waiver for minors. Pets are permitted at times, typically in the RV parks that are open year round and not solely for this event. If you want to be a part of the flailing, late night wonderment that can only be achieved by record setting numbers of people drinking record setting amounts of alcohol, there are camps for that–“rule free” as they boast. Other places will take a more, “have your fun then go to bed at a reasonable time” approach, something you may be more familiar with if you frequent RV parks outside of the motorcycle club world.
If the campgrounds in Sturgis, SD are sold out by the time you get around to making a reservation, be sure to check out the camping options in nearby Rapid City.
Most of all, the Black Hills are a beautiful place full of winding roads, dramatic views and even a little bit of that historical significance we’ve all come to know and love. Find the biker camp that’s right or you and feel free to enjoy a little of that natural and cultural beauty in between happy hours!