The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the tucked-away, lovely primitive Cold Brook Lake Campground (27279 Larive Lake Rd., 605/745-5476, $9), just one mile north of Hot Springs. There are 13 sites and a beach area and the lake is stocked with trout. While the feeling is remote, the grounds are only five minutes from town. There are no showers or electricity; however, there are vault toilets and drinking water is available at the site. To find the campground, follow North River Street past Evans Plunge. Take your first right after the plunge on Cold Brook Road. Take the second left on Evans Road and follow the signs to the lake.
The Hot Springs KOA (27585 Hwy. 79, 605/745-6449 or 800/562-0803, www.koa.com/where/sd/41114, sites $28–36, camping cabins $60) is the best place for RVs in the area. In a wooded location, the campground facility includes showers, restrooms, laundry, game room, free wireless Internet, and an outdoor pool. There are camping cabins on-site as well.
Feel like staying in a tipi? Allen Ranch (27531 Hidden Nook Trail, 605/745-1890, tent sites $20, tipi $30, RV $30) is located right on Fall River. It is a working ranch and the sounds of bleating sheep may well be your morning wakeup call. Full RV hookups and showers are available. Allen Ranch also allows campers not staying at the ranch to use the showers here for $10.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition