Mount Rushmore is located just five miles east of the campground. Guests visit in the daytime for picture taking and to visit the sculptors studio, new interpretive center and the concession. There is also the new Presidential Trail that allows visitors to walk along the base of the sculpture for striking views never before available. Visitors this year will also be the first to experience the new interpretive center with state of the art displays recreating the carving of the mountain and the history of the four presidents depicted. Completed just last year is the new Amphitheater. In the evening, there is a very patriotic and inspiring Lighting Ceremony in which the ranger gives a presentation, followed by a film about the four presidents, and then the monument is lighted. We offer shuttle service from the campground to the lighting service nightly. KOA guests sign up each morning for seats for that evenings program on a first-come first-served basis. This popular service allows our guests to leave their RVs hooked up and helps prevent parking congestion at the monument.
The Crazy Horse Mountain Memorial is located 10 miles south of the KOA. Crazy Horse is a mountain carving in progress that dwarfs Mount Rushmore. This carving is in the round with the 90 high face dedicated in June 1998, which marked the mountains 50th anniversary since the first carving began. In addition, there is an Indian Museum and a collection of the sculptors other works.
The Black Hills National Forest surrounds the resort, which is located in the very heart of the Forest. Our trail rides go into the Black Elk Wilderness Area, just a mile from the campground. Hiking trails to Harney Peak, the highest point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, begin right at the KOA. The Centennial Trail and the Mickelson Rails to Trails are within four miles of the KOA. Imagine the pristine views and the quiet nature that youll enjoy right from your campsite!
One of the nations largest state parks is just eight miles away. The parks 73,000 acres abound in scenic drives, buffalo, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and sparkling lakes. Also nestled in Custer State Park is the Black Hills Playhouse famous for its Broadway caliber plays with a quaint "woods" setting.
The KOA is located right on the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, a thirty mile loop that is selected as one of the top ten scenic byways in America. On the loop, you will meander through the Iron Mountain Road which was built strictly for scenery, featuring hairpin turns, pigtail bridges, scenic overlooks, and tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore. The byway takes you through Custer State Park and over the Needles Highway, another road built for scenery. This one has unusual granite formations, tunnels, and overlooks. The third part of the byway is Highway 244 right in front of the campground. This is the Gutzon Borglum Memorial Highway that takes you to Mount Rushmore, with spectacular views of the Monument. To completely enjoy the sights along the byway consider a bus tour and leave the driving to us!
The Black Hills has endless recreational and education opportunities and Palmer gulch is the perfect home base for you to go explore and enjoy. Have fun and we will see you soon.
Explore the beautiful stalactite-filled caverns on a Scenic Cave Tour in Rushmore Cave, ride the rails and carve the turns on the Rushmore Mountain Coaster, discover the sensation of flying over treetops on the Soaring Eagle Zipline Ride, and test your shooting skills at the Gunslinger 7-D Interactive Ride. For more extreme fun, go spelunking on our Xpedition Adventure Tour. If you love adventure and family fun, Rush Mountain Adventure Park is the attraction in Keystone, South Dakota that you really cant miss!