Horsethief Lake, Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

In the middle of the Black Hills of South Dakota you will find plethora of things to see and do. Mount Rushmore, a popular National Monument attraction is only 2 miles from the campground of Horsethief Lake. This lake created by the Horsethief Dam back in the early 1900s by CCC workers is an excellent spot to hike, fish, and camp. A boardwalk lines the perimeter of most of the lake. We hiked the entire perimeter using the boardwalks and narrow trails. Fishing here
is excellent and popular, as is canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. Surprisingly, water temperatures are quite warm mid summer. The campground has paved roads and two main loops. The first loop has both first come, first served sites as well as reservable sites. The latter are closest to the lake and several (sites 15, 16, & 17) have stunning lake views. The picture posted with this entry was of our site, #17, taken from the lake's edge. Sites 1-6 are not reservable, but have completely paved pads and picnic table areas, while the rest of the sites in this first loop are dirt pads and campsite areas. The second loop is for tent camping only, and offers another sampling of excellent sites, almost all with lake views. Sites 29-36 are all walk-in sites and are convenient to restrooms and water. Sites 23-28 are some of my favorites as they all have lakefront views and easy access to the water and boardwalk trail. Of those, we liked the looks of site 23 the best as it was the most private; the others lacked privacy and were somewhat close together, but lake views were worth the close proximity. All sites have access to potable water, restrooms, and have picnic tabkes and fairly level site pads. Camp hosts here are helpful and friendly, and, as with all USFS campgrounds we've been to, are busy keeping this place clean and beautiful. Within this region there are so many attractions to explore including Custer State Park, Wind Cave and Jewel Cave National Monuments, but this camp is a quiet and peaceful place to escape the touristy crowds summer can bring to the area.

Best Sites: 15-17, 23-28, 32, 33, 36
Poor Sites: 9
Hookups: None
Potable Water: Yes
Dump Within Facility: No