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3.7
69 votes

Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch Resort

12620 Highway 244, Hill City, South Dakota 57745-8902 USA

$$$
Pricey
Open Now
Thu 8a-8p
  • Chain
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Not Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
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“Bigger is better!”

Welcome to a premier camping resort and lodge in the heart of the Black Hills. Enjoy a relaxing and fun camping adventure at the Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch, located near national memorials, breathtaking scenery, fun hiking trails, rodeos and museums. Relax and enjoy exciting activities without even leaving the campground with KOA's amenities and activities, or let KOA show you around the area via wagon rides, horseback adventures and UTV rentals.Let Us Be Your Black Hills Destination!Explore South Dakota at KOA for a fun and relaxing experience. Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch is in the heart of the Black Hills and right  the whole family can enjoy. Marvel at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial or the in-progress Crazy Horse Mountain Memorial. Learn about the history of American Democracy at the National Presidential Wax Museum or drive along the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway. Hike  and Harney Peak, or walk trails in Custer State Park and the Black Hills National Forest.Ways to Stay for All CampersWhether you enjoy traditional tent camping, popular RV travel, or cozy cabin stays, KOA has a place for every type of camper to rest their head. Tent campers can  with or without electricity. To enjoy RV camping near Mount Rushmore, choose KOA's convenient . You can also enjoy the convenience and extra comfort of lodging options such as  near Mount Rushmore.Convenient and Fun AmenitiesThe Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch offers  to help you make the most of your stay. Have a blast at the Fun Zone, dive into one of the swimming pools or glide down the water slide between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you are craving some relaxation, enjoy a nice dip in the hot tub or unwind in the sauna.Challenge friends or family to a game of mini-golf, visit the Palmer Gulch Mining Company, traverse the exciting Climbing Wall and enjoy some fishing. Rent a bike or pick up a bike part for your own bike at the campground bike shop. Take your kids to jump on the Bounce Pillow and let your dog roam around KampK9®, a special dog park for your four-legged camping companions. When you get hungry, enjoy breakfast at the pancake tent (Memorial Day - Labor Day), grab lunch at the snack bar and enjoy dinner or on-site catering from The Peak Grill and Tap Room (Mid May - Mid September).Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch also provides exciting ways to explore nearby attractions. Rent a car to explore the gorgeous Black Hills or roam the trails on a UTV. Embark on a horseback riding adventure from Palmer Gulch Stables or enjoy a  for a unique South Dakota experience. Dinner shows include a horse-drawn wagon ride or a horseback ride and a delicious cowboy meal with entertainment. Recreation and Special EventsMount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch hosts activities for the whole family. Build, decorate and launch rockets toward the sky on certain dates between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Use fabric and colorful dyes to create custom designs on special tie-dye days.  for these activities as well as movies, wagon rides and live entertainment. You can also attend the exciting  to see some Wild West action on select dates. Book a Stay at Mount Rushmore KOA ResortExplore the best of South Dakota at KOA. Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch offers convenient amenities, fun activities, special events and opportunities to visit local area attractions near Mount Rushmore. Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend away or a fun adventure with the family, have an incredible time at the best camping vacation spot near Mount Rushmore. Book a Stay at KOA to begin your South Dakota adventure with your hosts, Recreational Adventures Co. or call  today!

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Reviews of Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch Resort

33 people have reviewed this location

Ratings Summary

4.6 Access
4.4 Location
4.2 Cleanliness
2.8 Site Quality
3.1 Noise

Cell Coverage

Verizon 4G/5G

Confirmed by 9 users | Last reported on August 08, 2021

AT&T 4G/5G

Confirmed by 7 users | Last reported on September 01, 2023

T-Mobile 5G

Confirmed by 1 users | Last reported on August 16, 2018
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Reviewed by
Meredith_of_5

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
August 17, 2021
Rated 3.0

The campground is great, plenty to do. I know we are camping but the wifi sucks here. I’m on AT&T and don’t get any cell service so I’m relying on the wifi. It keeps disconnecting and it’s very slow. Please upgrade the wifi then this place would be perfect!

1 person found this review helpful
  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
June 25, 2021
Rated

Great place, close to everything! My kids had a blast. Only regret, we should have stayed longer.

1 person found this review helpful
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Reviewed by
Campendium

March 08, 2016
Rated

If you have family and want lots of activities this is a spectacular KOA. Immaculate grounds, good restaurant on site. Small set of shops including ice cream.

Downside is there is no cell coverage, at least for Verizon even with a booster. Sits in a bowl between the hills.

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5 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
5 Noise
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Reviewed by
Campendium

August 28, 2017
Rated

Our site was right near the main lodge and collection of shops. The spot was level gravel with a concrete patio with a nice fire area and swing.

Unfortunately, being that close to the main building we got to experience lots of traffic, everyone checking into the campground had to drive past our site along with all the delivery trucks (some semis parked in front of our site).

That minor annoyance was compounded by lots of additional minor annoyances to the point that our stay was less satisfactory than we had hoped from the advertising.

Some examples: water slide is across the street from the pool and splash pad, meaning parents have to sit around at the bottom of the slide while the kids go - and if multiple kids, split up the group to go to splash pad/pool. The water in the water slide is very cold, along with with the splash pad water - a worker told us at the splash pad that the water was 55 degrees. And probably the biggest annoyance was that there was absolutely no connectivity of any kind anywhere near our campsite. No cell coverage and the "three wifi hotspots" around the campground never worked for anything - if any of devices would even connect.

Certainly, there were plenty of amenities that worked and convenient food options with the breakfast tent, the cafe and the restaurant on-site. The power, water, sewer and cable tv worked fine (although the cable was fairly limited - we didn't watch much). However, for the price and the little details, we did not feel that we got our money's worth and will not be returning.

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Nightly Rate: $115.00

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: 143

4 Access
3 Location
4 Cleanliness
3 Site Quality
3 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

AT&T 4G

Reviewed by
Arnell

  • 20 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
June 27, 2018
Rated

(Review based on my experience in 2013)

I've been to a few KOA's before and this has to be the biggest and busiest I've been to. If you're into the big huge socialized type of camping this is the place to be. There were so many amenities there, it didn't feel like camping. There are tons of activities including rental bikes/carts, horseback riding, a huge playground, pools, you name it. They even have their own little fishing pond there as well. It's basically a KOA Resort. It's incredibly close to Mount Rushmore, which is the reason we chose this site. The hosts and support staff are very friendly and well coordinated. As mentioned every amenity is available at this location. The sites are decent sized considering how many sites are available.

This is a great place to be if you're into this type of over socialized camping or need a break from dry camping or boondocking. If you're more into being in the secluded woods with minimal population, this is definitely not a place you want to be. Depending on your type of camping, this can be an oasis or a nightmare. That being said, any experienced camper should already know this.

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Nightly Rate: -

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: -

5 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
2 Noise
  • 9 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 05, 2018
Rated

This place is great IF you know what you are getting yourself in for. Huge place and crowded with tiny spots. But you do not come for quiet and getting back to nature. There are non-stop activities for kids with the last activity scheduled for 9:45p. A movie started at 8p. And the pool, playground, golf and other places close between 9 and 10p. Kids run non stop and bikes are ridden everywhere. It is a dream for kids but adults need to be very careful driving because kids have the right of way and will run or bike in the road. We have a 35 ft trailer and they assigned us a 37 ft spot and expected us to park the truck on the grass by moving the picnic table. They were very nice an upgraded us to a larger spot at cost but I recommend you report the size of your rv to match the site size you want. There are tons of pull thru sites but most of the back in sites had the most space so well worth considering. All the employees were friendly and helpful and made us feel welcome. Would love to come back and would have stayed longer if they weren’t booked.

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roadtripper4379543 would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $85.00

Days Stayed: 1

Site Number: 619

5 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
1 Site Quality
3 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon

AT&T

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Reviewed by
Campendium

August 16, 2018
Rated

First off, this KOA is huge and is geared to families - I would not recommend staying here if you don’t have kids. We don’t have kids, but we knew what we were getting into before we made our reservation as we had stayed here before.

What I disliked about this park and why I gave it a 2 star is that we have a 39 foot fifth wheel and the spot they put us in was not made for our RV. I knew we were in trouble when the guy who was supposed to escort us to our space gasped when we told him our space number and his eyes got real big. Then he said “wow, I can’t believe they put you in that spot” as he looked our very large rig up and down.

At first he was not even going to escort us to our space, which I thought was pretty lousy since the woman inside had said we would get an escort. Then when he looked over our rig and realized where they had put us, he thought better of it and escorted us there.

We were literally with the tents and small RVs. The space was a pull-through, so getting into the spot, although tight because the escort left his golf cart on the side of the road once he got close to the site and then moved another customer’s pop up camper to the other side of the road since the woman was having issues getting it into her space, was not the issue. The issues was how to get OUT of the space. We had a tree on one side of us, a tent site in front of us to the right and another small camper to the front of us on the left. We had no way to get out except to hope that the site to the left of us was empty so we could back up our RV and pull through that site (which is thankfully what happened).

We spent five nights there wondering why they put us where they did (and it was a busy weekend - but still, be aware of what you are doing when you place someone in a site) and how we were going to get out of our space.

In addition, there is NO internet access and the WIFI was terrible - too many kids on it and we could never connect to it. So five days with no internet access - which kind of sucked!

The only good thing about this KOA fwas that there was air by the dump station - something I think that more RV parks should have for their customers.

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Nightly Rate: $65.00

Days Stayed: 5

Site Number: 502

4 Access
4 Location
3 Cleanliness
1 Site Quality
2 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon

T-Mobile

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Reviewed by
Campendium

January 30, 2019
Rated

If you are taking a trip to Mount Rushmore, may I suggest you stay at least one night at the Palmer Gulch Resort? I’ve now stayed there on two occasions and found it to be an exceptional spot with amenities not found at your typical campground. Check-in is easy and stressless, due to the GIANT pull in area. They then guide you to your spot and will even help you park if you ask.

I wrote a complete review with photos on my blog at:

http://odysseycamper.com/odysseycamper/review-of-mt-rushmore-resort-and-lodge-at-palmer-gulch/

My blog covers travel in a Honda Odyssey minivan camper conversion.

Situated behind Mount Rushmore, it makes a great base to visit other area attractions. They have restaurants, horseback riding, a pancake breakfast, two pools, a coffee shop and wine bar...the list goes on and on.

I highly recommend staying here if your trip plans include the Mount Rushmore area!

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This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $34.00

Days Stayed: 9

Site Number: 4

5 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
4 Site Quality
4 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

AT&T 4G

  • 20 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
June 06, 2019
Rated

We spent $130 for a premium site with patio on a Wednesday night the second week of June. After taking us past ample empty, quiet locations, our premium patio site (nicest the park has) was directly across from the “fun zone”. A massive area for kids to enjoy their adventure.

We checked in as a couple with no kids. I would have thought some attention to this gap in placement would have been recognized. Additionally, the most expensive sites in a park should be directly across from the loudest spot in the entire park.

WiFi in the park is lousy at best.

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Nightly Rate: $130.00

Days Stayed: 1

Site Number: 260

3 Access
1 Location
5 Cleanliness
3 Site Quality
1 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon

Reviewed by
robmccauley

  • 60 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
August 17, 2020
Rated

Just look at the map and you can see what you're getting into. Unless you get a spot off in the back, this place is busy all day, every day, in the summer. Why? Because the weather is beautiful, it's proximity to Mt Rushmore is unmatched, and it's full of amenities. We've stayed here twice now and luckily both times were in the high 500's area, which is quiet-er than a lot of the spots. If you plan on staying a while and have kids, it's great. If you don't have kids, then this place will be way too busy and loud to relax. All you can eat pancakes? I'd like to see anyone stuff down a 2nd stack. lol. Mini golf could stand an upgrade. Shop is well stocked, on-site restaurants are good, if a little expensive. Do yourself a favor if you're towing a large rig like I was, enter from the west. DO NOT take your camper down that HUGE grade that ends at a stoplight in the town of Keystone. 55mph, then warnings about the grade, more warnings about the grade, and it keeps going and going, then the warning of 25mph ahead near the bottom that's actually a stoplight with 4 pedestrian crossings in the first block, all at the bottom of the hill. After all that, the descent from Mt Rushmore down to the KOA ends with a hard right(like 120 degree) turn back into the park at the bottom of a hill. Cell service is crap because you're in a valley, WiFi didn't seem to work for us either.

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robmccauley would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $92.00

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: 556

4 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
4 Site Quality
3 Noise

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Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch Resort

12620 Highway 244
Hill City, South Dakota
57745-8902 USA
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Hours

Open now until 8:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

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  • Check
    Parking
  • Check
    Pets Allowed
  • Check
    Restrooms
  • Check
    Wifi
  • Unavailable
    Wheelchair Accessible
  • Check
    Credit Cards Accepted
Affiliation
Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
Back In RV Sites Count
25
Last Nightly Rate
79.0
Longest Vehicle Length Reported
41.0
Lowest Nightly Rate
34.0
Max Length
62ft
Max Stay
14
Pull Through RV Sites Count
158
Sites Count
463
Standard Tent Sites Count
158
  • Check
    Swimming Pool
  • Check
    Paved Sites
  • Check
    Fifty Amp
  • Check
    Full Hookup
  • Check
    Rec Facilities
  • Check
    Pull Through
  • Check
    Tent Sites
  • Check
    Dump Station
  • Check
    Big Rigs
  • Unavailable
    Open Seasonally
  • Unavailable
    Age Restricted
  • Check
    Back In RV Sites
  • Unavailable
    Boondock
  • Check
    Cabin Sites
  • Unavailable
    Dispersed Sites
  • Check
    Firewood
  • Unavailable
    Fulltime Residents
  • Unavailable
    Group Tent Sites
  • Check
    Laundry
  • Unavailable
    Mobile Homes
  • Unavailable
    Permit Required
  • Check
    Propane
  • Unavailable
    Public Water
  • Check
    Pull Through RV Sites
  • Check
    Reservations
  • Check
    RV Sites
  • Check
    Sewer Hookup
  • Check
    Showers
  • Check
    Sites
  • Check
    Standard Tent Sites
  • Unavailable
    Vehicle Wash Permitted
  • Check
    Water Hookup
Reservations
Takes
  • Check
    Dinner
  • Check
    Outdoor Seating
Rooms Count
61
  • Check
    All Day Front Desk
  • Check
    Business Center
  • Check
    Childrens Area
  • Check
    Continental Breakfast
  • Check
    Onsite Entertainment
  • Unavailable
    Adult Only
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