Park Review – El Rancho Village RV Park and Cabins
Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2 Location: Wheatland, WY Type: Commercial Park Check-in/Check-out times: 12:00/11:00 Site Quality / Amenities: Sites are full hookup with 30/50A service an no other amenities. There are mens and womens bathrooms/showers and a laundry. There are also 6 small cabins available for rent. Access: Easy access from Interstate 25 at the Fish Creek Rd. exit. The park is alongside the interstate on the west side. Staff: Friendly and efficient. We had pre-booked and pre-paid so check in took all of about minute. Cellular/WiFi: The park had WiFi but we didn’t use it. We were at the north end of the park and the WiFi was likely at the office near the south end so the signal was weak. We had 3-4 bars ob Verizon and the speeds were OK at about 25 Mbps down and 8 Mbps up. Restaurants: We did not eat out during out stay. Nearby parks: We did not look at any other parks during our stay and there aren’t a lot of options in this area. What we liked: Easy access to the park and it was exactly half way to our next major stop. Nice view of the mountains to the west. What we didn’t like: A small amount of noise was detectable from the Interstate. Not much of anything to do in the immediate area but this makes a good overnight stay. Verdict: We would stay here again for a one night stop when travelling through the area.
Park Review – Rapid City / Black Hills KOA Holiday
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐1/2 Location: Rapid City, SD Type: Commercial Park Check-in/Check-out times: 1:00/11:00 Site Quality / Amenities: Depends on the site you book. We were in an executive site that had asphalt roads and sites along with a concrete patio. Executive sites have nice patio furniture and a fire ring. Access: Easily accessible from Interstate 90 and Bypass 16 on the east side of Rapid City. Staff: The staff was friendly although they needed more folks for the check-in rush. Cellular/WiFi: Verizon was very fast – I had 5Guw most of the time and download speeds were typically about 366 Mbps with upload speeds of about 21.6 Mbps. Restaurants:Jambonz Deux – Serves contemporary Louisiana cuisine that is actually pretty good for the area. On the Border – Mexican chain serving about as close to Tex-Mex as we could hope in South Dakota. Nearby parks: We didn’t have time to explore any other RV parks in the area. What we liked: The executive sites in the park are very nice, superb for a KOA but they are pricey. There are lots of places to shop in Rapid City including two Walmarts and a Sam’s Club. What we didn’t like: Much of the KOA was very similar to others, a bit too packed in and not particularly great. Rapid City had much more to offer as far as stores and restaurants than Spearfish but it is more crowded, felt a bit less safe and was not as intimate. It’s still a relatively small town but we prefer the Spearfish vibe a bit more. Verdict: We could see staying here again for maybe a week but if we wanted to be in the area for longer we’d prefer Spearfish.
Nestled within the rugged landscapes of the Badlands, Interior is a gateway to some of the most stunning natural beauty that South Dakota has to offer. One of the town’s most significant features is its proximity to Badlands National Park, less than 2 miles away, a captivating landscape of eroded buttes, canyons, and unique rock formations. Visitors come from all over the world to explore the park’s hiking trails, observe wildlife, and witness the awe-inspiring scenery. Interior serves as a convenient base for those looking to immerse themselves in the natural wonders of the Badlands.
The town itself embodies a sense of authenticity and simplicity. With a handful of local businesses and accommodations, Interior offers a down-to-earth experience that contrasts with the hustle and bustle of larger towns and cities. This makes it a peaceful retreat for travelers seeking to disconnect from the chaos of modern life and connect with the tranquility of the great outdoors.
The history of Pierre, South Dakota, is intertwined with the broader history of the American West and the development of the Dakotas as territories and states. The area around present-day Pierre was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux. The region was rich in natural resources and was used for hunting, fishing, and gathering. European explorers, fur traders, and settlers began to arrive in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. The area was explored by French and British fur traders, and it played a significant role in the fur trade economy.
When South Dakota became a state in 1889, Pierre was chosen as the state capital. This decision was influenced by Pierre’s central location within the state and its accessibility via the Missouri River. As the capital of South Dakota, Pierre saw significant growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Government buildings, schools, and infrastructure were established to support the state government and the growing population. Agriculture, especially wheat farming, played a significant role in the economy of the region.
The Mandan, Hidatsas, and Arikaras Indians lived in this area from 1200 AD until the 1800’s within communities of 300 to 2000 or more residents. A Mandan village, now known as On-A-Slant Village was located inside the Fort Abraham Lincoln state park and just a short distance from the campground. This particular village was settled in the 1500’s and occupied for at least 200 years before being decimated by a smallpox epidemic that killed about 80% of the inhabitants. Survivors of the epidemic moved further north. Lewis and Clark camped across the Missouri river from this village on October 20, 1804, and again on August 18, 1806. They recorded that the settlement was in ruins and had been abandoned for at least 25 years. We paid for a ranger guided tour of the village and it was well worth it as we go to tour two earthlodges closed to self-guided tours as well as gaining additional knowledge about life for the Indians in this area.