Table of Contents Show
- Where Is Mount Rushmore?
- When Is the Best Time to Visit Mount Rushmore?
- The Best Campgrounds Near Mount Rushmore
- 1. Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch Resort
- 2. Horse Thief Campground & Resort
- 3. Spokane Creek Cabins & Campground
- 4. Black Hills Trailside Park Resort
- 5. Willow Creek Horse Camp
- 6. Grizzly Creek Primitive
- 7. Kemp’s Kamp
- 8. Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
- 9. Sylvan Lake Campground
- 10. Horsethief Lake Campground
- Enjoy Your Camping Trip to Mount Rushmore
One of the most iconic images in America is the giant carving of four Presidents on a mountainside in the Black Hills National Forest. Mount Rushmore welcomes over two million people annually to gaze at the magnificence of this artificial creation. They seek campgrounds near Mount Rushmore, making them in high demand.
This region of South Dakota is also an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. If you’re looking for hiking, biking, fishing, and camping activities, the Black Hills has it all. Let’s look at the best campgrounds near Mount Rushmore so you can enjoy the convenient location and natural beauty during your visit.
Where Is Mount Rushmore?
The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln peer over the majestic Black Hills of South Dakota.
Mount Rushmore sits along State Highway 244, which runs east to west connecting Highway 16A to Highway 385 in southwestern South Dakota.
The National Memorial is also near Custer State Park, another popular tourist destination, and Crazy Horse, a sculptor’s work in progress.
Pro Tip: Do you know of the fifth face of Mount Rushmore?
When Is the Best Time to Visit Mount Rushmore?
Many campgrounds and tourist locations aren’t open until May in this South Dakota region.
The best time to visit is when everyone else is also sightseeing.
This means busier crowds and more traffic during the season.
If you can book a reservation for May or September, which are at the beginning and end of the season, you’ll enjoy the pleasant weather and beautiful sights of the Black Hills without the high presence of other tourists.
The Best Campgrounds Near Mount Rushmore
If you’re looking for a place to park your RV that’s convenient and comfortable, here are ten of the best campgrounds near Mount Rushmore.
They’re easily within driving distance to the National Memorial, but they also offer access to other parts of the region.
1. Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch Resort
Address: 12620 SD-244, Hill City, SD 57745
Google Rating: 4.3
The Mount Rushmore KOA Resort has numerous guest amenities, from cable TV and a swimming pool to bike rentals.
Unique amenities in this campground include a shuttle to Mount Rushmore, car rentals, a bounce pillow, a dinner show, UTV rentals, and horseback rides.
This KOA is roughly a 15-minute drive to Mount Rushmore.
Keep in Mind: A KOA campground isn’t for everyone. Take a look at these 5 Regrets of Staying at a KOA RV Park
2. Horse Thief Campground & Resort
Address: 24391 SD-87, Hill City, SD 57745
Google Rating: 4.5
About 22 minutes southwest of Mount Rushmore is Horse Thief Campground and Resort.
Its 40 acres make guests feel like they’re visiting the Wild West.
Amenities include fire rings and picnic tables at each site, a heated swimming pool, a laundry facility, a playground, a basketball court, and more.
3. Spokane Creek Cabins & Campground
Address: 24631 Iron Mountain Rd, Keystone, SD 57751
Google Rating: 4.6
The ghost town of Spokane is a half-mile from Spokane Creek Cabins and Campground near Mount Rushmore.
Wander the streets and imagine life in the 1800s. Activities at the campground include swimming, mini-golf, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, and a playground.
Additional amenities for guests include a cafe, dump station, laundry facility, and gas grills for rent.
4. Black Hills Trailside Park Resort
Address: 24024 US-385, Hill City, SD 57745
Google Rating: 4.5
Within walking distance of downtown, Black Hills Trailside Park Resort is another excellent campground option when exploring Mount Rushmore.
There are 35 RV sites with water, electricity, sewer, cable, and WiFi.
The busy Mickelson Trail runs through the park and Spring Creek.
There are ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, with inner tubing, hiking, biking, and fishing.
5. Willow Creek Horse Camp
Address: Hwy 244, Hill City, SD 57745
Google Rating: 4.9
Resting near the Black Elk Wilderness area of the Black Hills National Forest, Willow Creek Horse Camp offers an ideal access point for miles of trails through the backcountry.
Each site has a picnic table and campfire ring. Sites four through nine have corrals, each accommodating up to six horses.
There are no hookups here.
6. Grizzly Creek Primitive
Address: Near Keystone, SD (43° 53′ 3.9998″ N, 103° 26′ 7.0001″ W)
Google Rating: 4.5
The Civilian Conservation Corps built the Grizzly Creek Primitive, which maintains a rustic, natural feel.
Sites can accommodate vehicles up to 24 feet long and offer no hookups.
The campground near Mount Rushmore has picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water.
It’s an excellent location for hiking, biking, and fishing adventures in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
7. Kemp’s Kamp
Address: 1022 Old Hill City Rd, Keystone, SD 57751
Google Rating: 4.3
Kemp’s Kamp can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length in three site locations.
Creekside sites offer water, electricity, and satellite TV. The pull-thru full hookup sites include sewer and are closer to the bathhouse.
Finally, creekside full hookup sites are only pull-in or back-in sites.
Kemp’s Kamp is five miles from Mount Rushmore and less than 30 minutes from Custer State Park.
Keep in Mind: Mount Rushmore isn’t the only monument you need to visit! If you’re planning a road trip anytime soon, add these 10 Southwestern National Monuments to your list of places to visit!
8. Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
Address: 24342 Presidio Ranch Rd, Keystone, SD 57751
Google Rating: 4.7
If you’re not traveling with your RV, Under Canvas Mount Rushmore campground offers a unique outdoor experience for overnight guests.
These safari-inspired tents come with ensuite bathrooms, king-size beds, wood-burning stoves, and more.
The Deluxe and Stargazer tents sleep up to two people, while the suite sleeps up to four.
Complimentary amenities include live music, morning yoga, and kids’ activities.
Sitting on an old gold mining settlement less than four miles from Mount Rushmore, Under Canvas offers upscale accommodations and spectacular views.
9. Sylvan Lake Campground
Address: 24581 SD-87, Custer, SD 57730
Google Rating: 4.8
Dating to 1991, Sylvan Lake Campground is one of nine campgrounds in Custer State Park.
It’s the highest campground near Mount Rushmore at 6,200 feet, and sites are tight, so they cannot accommodate RVs over 27 feet.
There are sites with no electricity and places with an electric hookup.
Sylvan Lake Lodge, a mile from the campground, offers a breathtaking view of Black Elk Peak.
You’ll find a restaurant, convenience and gift shop, boat and water sport rentals, and fishing licenses.
10. Horsethief Lake Campground
Address: 43° 53′ 42.3701″ N, 103° 29′ 3.2399″ W
Don’t let the GPS coordinates scare you, this national forest campground is less than 2 miles from Mount Rushmore on the main highway.
This campground offers amazing views of the black hills with access to a pristine lake available for fishing or swimming.
If you are looking for a more rustic traditional camping environment, this is the campground for you.
This campground has no electric or sewer hookups but does have water available and vault toilets.
Enjoy Your Camping Trip to Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a bucket list destination for many people. However, the entire area of the Black Hills of South Dakota is worth exploring. Spend a few days at Custer State Park. Hike or bike the numerous trails. Rent an ATV or book a horseback riding tour and explore more of the backcountry. These campgrounds near Mount Rushmore will put you in a central location to enjoy all this region offers!
Have you visited Mount Rushmore?
I really enjoyed the Custer Mountain Cabins and Campground near Custer, SD.