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Needles/Rushmore Camping Beta
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By M Bresler
Jun 29, 2014
Wheeler Mountain, Vermont

I'm heading out for a couple of weeks in late July. I know it might be a little hot, but it's now or never. I'm looking for camping beta. Specifically, where should I camp for climbing in the Needles and Rushmore? It looks like there are lots of NF/NP campgrounds, but which are best situated for climbers? Will I have to buy 2 passes? If you had to choose one place to visit, which would it be and why? Also looking for general beta about which walls to hit and which to avoid in the 10-and-under range. Thanks for your help!


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By Michael Z
Jun 29, 2014

www.mountainproject.com/v/wrinkled-rock-campground/108270553

Free and easy, even has a bathroom.

The rushmore climbing is not actually in the monument, it is on the back side (NF i believe) so we never had to buy a pass. Custer state park (My personal favorite) does require an entrance fee. Most of the very cool formations are unbolted. If thats your scene, hit the cathedral spires and be prepared for the best adventure climbing between the mississippi and the rockies.


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Jun 29, 2014
Dow Williams, 2011

Sylvan Lake is beautiful and sets up perfect for the Needles.


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By Tom-o Sapien
From World's largest trailer park
Jun 29, 2014
Conky and I confront Patrick Swayze

I 2nd what Dow suggested. Sylvan lake campground has showers and you can climb and boulder around the lake proper.

Sylvan lake lodge has a restaurant that offers a break from camp food at respectable rates.

Try to visit the Wind Caves National Park for a respite from the July temps. (Bring a light jacket for the 60 degree caverns).

Tip a buffalo if you get the chance also.


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By SlowTrad
From St Paul, MN
Jun 30, 2014

When I was more actively clmibing in SD, we always stayed at Custer Mountain Campground. Very close to Sylvan Lake, Ten Pins and the Spires. The place has nice showers and level well drained campsites. I think it has space for RV's and cabins as well on the other side of the campground.

You have to visit Devil's Tower if you are making a trip to the Needles. Very unique climbing experience. Don't get caught in the sun in August like we did...my shoes delaminated on my feet the rock was so effing hot.


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By M Bresler
Jun 30, 2014
Wheeler Mountain, Vermont

I appreciate the advice. From looking around on MP, it seems like the Needles is on the more exciting end of things (which I'm comfortable with) and there's more sport climbing on the backside of Rushmore. Any advice on guidebook purchases? Is there one book that covers both areas for the road-tripper?


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By Jason Todd
From Ranchester, WY
Jun 30, 2014
Moss

Guidebooks are tough. I'm pretty sure that Piana's book was the last to have both areas.

The Mount Rushmore guide ( www.fixedpin.com/the-needles-of-rushmore.html ) is good.

Custer is lacking a good guide. This one hits the classics but is (IMHO) oversized in regards to fluff to route ratio. ( extremeanglespublishing.com/index.php/our-books/the-needles )

I believe there is a new "Poorperson's Guide" out there, maybe call the local shop in Hill City for more info.

Have fun!


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