This RVers guide to Mount Rushmore camping is brought to you by our friends at Matador, whose selection of packable products, including their versatile and waterproof wet bag, is the perfect product for your next RV adventure.


Aside from being one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States, Mt. Rushmore boasts a world of its own when it comes to camping near the national monument. It’s one of the most RV-friendly places to visit in the United States.

Go RVing at These 14 Mount Rushmore Camping Destinations

Whether you take it easy at one of the many KOA’s surrounding the Black Hills region or roam the woods near Horsethief Lake, there are plenty of options for RVers looking for Mount Rushmore camping. Add these destinations around Mount Rushmore to your road trip itinerary, and you might find yourself staying awhile.

1. Horsethief Lake

yellow tent in forest campsite near mount rushmore

Horsethief Lake Campground / Image from The Dyrt camper Tonya Y.

A campground perfect for those seeking something once removed from KOA-style campgrounds, Horsethief Lake campground, named after the nearby lake, provides a relatively secluded place to take in the sharp sites of the Black Hills wilderness. The campground itself is less than two miles away from Mount Rushmore, but still offers easy access to a wide range of outdoor activities.

2. KOA at Palmer Gulch

Views along the Needles Scenic Byway on left car driving through rock tunnel on the right needlelike rock formations towering above

Views along the Needles Scenic Byway / Images from The Dyrt campers Danielle R. (left) and Sara P. (right)

The KOA at Palmer Gulch is an all-in-one camping destination in close proximity to Mount Rushmore. The well-established KOA offers everything from a Fun Zone in the middle of the campground to a free shuttle available to escort you and your family to the base of Mount Rushmore itself. This site is perfect for families looking for a more “resort style” Mount Rushmore camping experience, with a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained.

3. Spokane Creek

adult buffalo and calf on road near mount rushmore

Local traffic jam in the park / Image from The Dyrt camper Celina M.

Located just 20 minutes from Mount Rushmore National Monument, Spokane Creek campground is the happy medium between the rustic tent-only campgrounds and the high-energy resorts that pepper the Back Hills. Featuring RV sites with both full and partial hook-up options, Spokane Creek is a flexible, centrally-located resort that has the potential to fill everyone’s camping desires.

4. American Buffalo Resort

truck with camper trailer suv and large rv at american buffalo resort campground

Nice and long pull through sites at American Buffalo Resort / Image from The Dyrt camper Kell C.

At American Buffalo Resort, you can experience the iconic scenery of the Black Hills while enjoying the park’s amenities which include hot tubs, a mini-golf course, and horseshoe pits. During the summer months, be sure to stop in for the daily pancake breakfast special, the perfect solution for families looking for an easy way to camp with convenience.

5. Fort Welikit Family Campground

Campsite map for Fort Welikit Family Campground and RV Park

Campsite map for Fort Welikit Family Campground and RV Park / Image from The Dyrt camper TyAnn L.

Another well-hidden, RV-friendly campground is Fort Welikit Family Campground, located a mile north of the town of Custer, and out of the way of most major highways. Along with great access to a variety of the Black Hills attractions (including Mount Rushmore), Fort Welikit offers large, spread out campsites ranging from full hookups to basic water and electric sites. In addition, the family-centered campground features large pavilions available to groups, as well as a large open space area and a playground for younger children.

6. Black Hills Trailside Park Resort

large red, gray, and black rv parked in from of log building at black hills trailside park resort

Image from Black Hills Trailside Park Resort

Black Hills Trailside Park is nestled almost perfectly between Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, about 20 minutes from each. Black Hills is a unique resort-style campground that offers much to visitors, including eight acres of open land. The campground is also in close proximity to the Mickelson Trail, a 109-mile trek that follows old rail lines through the Black Hills wilderness, and is walking distance from downtown Hill City.

7. Custer / Mount Rushmore / Black Hills KOA

colorful canoes and kayaks on the shores of stockade lake

Stockade Lake North in Custer State Park / Image from The Dyrt camper Jasmine L.

When it comes to Mount Rushmore camping, this KOA is another perfect spot for those looking for close access to both the monument as well as the gorgeous Custer State Park. For RVers with pets, the Custer / Mount Rushmore / Black Hills KOA features a dog park.

8. Kemp’s Kamp

vintage trailer resides at empty, wooded campsite with picnic table visible

Creekside RV site at Kemp’s Kamp / Image from Kemp’s Kamp

Kemp’s Kamp is one of the closest campgrounds to Mount Rushmore, located only 5-10 minutes away in the Keystone, South Dakota area. Amenities for visitors include a heated pool and multiple shower facilities. Along with standard RV sites, Kemp’s Kamp offers creekside sites that offer additional shelter and privacy from fellow campers.

9. Pactola Reservoir Campground

sunset at pactola reservoir beside an image of two boogie boarders in the water during daytime

Pactola Reservoir / Images from The Dyrt campers Angie G. (left) and Shari C. (right)

Located on the shore of Pactola Reservoir, the Pactola Campground is a wonderful spot for those seeking a more secluded camping experience, while maintaining the basic amenities (toilets and a water source) common amongst most of the Mount Rushmore camping destinations. Electrical hookups are not available, but each campsite is within walking distance of the reservoir, and the nearby marina offers basic supplies and service for camping attendants.

10. Custer State Park

Rock wall on the edge of lake near mount rushmore

Legion Lake in Custer State Park / Image from The Dyrt camper Jennie R.

For a more traditional Mount Rushmore camping experience, Custer State Park, located about 20 miles south of Mount Rushmore, offers 7 campgrounds within the park that accommodate RVs, each with a different level of amenities and offerings.

3 of the campgrounds, Center Lake, Legion Lake, and Sylvan Lake, are located within walking distance of the water’s edge, though every campground includes restrooms and showers. Center Lake is the only RV-friendly campground within the park that does not offer electrical hookups or drinking water in close proximity.

11. Oreville Campground

looking over trees towards the construction of the Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial / Image from The Dyrt camper Danielle H.

Slightly more remote than the Custer-based campgrounds, Oreville Campground is located near Hill City, South Dakota, and is a spaciously set group of sites that offer excellent access to Crazy Horse Monument. For a rare opportunity to hike to the top of Crazy Horse Monument, plan your arrival for the annual Crazy Horse Volksmarch.

For those seeking a Mount Rushmore camping experience that’s off the beaten path, Oreville is a great spot to find the perfect balance between the isolated and the comfortable.

12. Echo Valley Park

rock formations from the Black hills

The famous rock formations of The Black Hills

Echo Valley is a family-owned RV park that’s nestled just north of Custer, and in very close proximity to Crazy Horse Mountain. A little bit quieter than the larger, resort-style campgrounds in the area, Echo Valley is a superb option for travelers seeking a more “local” camping experience. The RV park features full hook-up sites, along with shower facilities and access to several great trails in the Black Hills area, including the Buck Horn Wilderness Area and Thunder Head Mountain.

13. Big Pine Campground

2 rvs parked among pine trees at campsites near mount rushmore

Image from Big Pine Campground

This highly rated campground is an activity center with nearly every amenity available to its guests. Located in Custer, the Big Pine Campground offers both primitive sites and full 50/30 amp sites with water, electric, and sewer hookups available. With everything from a game room to a volleyball court, Big Pine is the perfect spot for Mount Rushmore camping that families with children and larger groups are sure to enjoy.

14. Buffalo Ridge Camp Resort

camper trailer backed into campsite between pine trees with a texas and american flag on each side

Image from Buffalo Ridge Camp Resort

Another resort-style option in the Black Hills, Buffalo Ridge features a variety of sites to accommodate every camping style, from tipis to cabins to the more traditional RV and tent sites. Along with being full of family-friendly amenities such as volleyball and basketball courts, a general store, and a solar heated pool, Buffalo Ridge also includes its own Theater on site, where live shows and concerts are performed throughout the year.

Tyler Wildeck

Tyler Wildeck

Tyler Wildeck is a writer with a passion for all things outdoors. His favorite place he's ever visited is Alaska, and his favorite activity might be fishing or reading, depending on the day. In his free time, Tyler can be found searching Portland for the next great food establishment or perusing the many bookshelves of Powell's.