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“Comfortable camping, convenient location, green pools, bad food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mount Rushmore / Hill City KOA

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Mount Rushmore / Hill City KOA
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12620 Highway 244, Hill City, SD 57745   |  
Hotel amenities
Bethlehem, PA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Comfortable camping, convenient location, green pools, bad food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We stayed at the Palmer Gulch KOA for two nights during a 21 day epic road trip. The first part of our road trip was heavy in camping, and we were quite happy to be in a Camping Cabin. With the cabin, we were able to be comfortable when we slept, charge our laptop and phones, and yet still get the outdoor benefits of camping. The cabin had a fire ring we took advantage of for a cookout and a cozy porch swing for stargazing in the evening.

Palmer Gulch is located right down the road from Mount Rushmore, and you can see the back of the mountain from the resort.

The activity area included a bounce pillow, which our two teenage children had a blast bouncing on. We were concerned, however, about the green pools. Both pools in the campground were green, although we saw no algae to speak of. We aren't sure whether the green color was due to the chemicals or actual algae, but it was a bit of a turn off.

Wifi was spotty, but decent when it worked. For a campground, we didn't really expect much, technologically speaking.

The campground had a small counter service restaurant which was not very well staffed. The first evening we ordered a pizza. While my wife was happy with it, the rest of the family was unimpressed. I can't really describe it besides saying that the crust was more like a flatbread or possibly some type of cardboard. The second evening, we considered ice cream after our cookout, but found the restaurant closed.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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190 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
North Platte, Nebraska
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

We just returned from Mount Rushmore KOA and boy is it HUGE! There is so much to do for children and adults. My kids had a wonderful time and met tons of friends. The staff at KOA is amazing and went above and beyond to make sure we all had a great time. I would definitely recommend staying at this KOA especially if you have kids. We stayed in the 2 bedroom cabin without a bathroom and had plenty of space for a family of 4. The pancake breakfast was delicious too by the way!

Room Tip: If you have kids ask for a cabin closer to the main kid area!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hayward, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

We stayed there 2 nights in a one bedroom cabin...We stayed by the kids Zone area which blasted Christian music from 9am-10pm.... The pools and waterslide were green and filled with algae Both days! Completely unusable!!! The wifi there was no connections ! We tried on 3 different laptops both days and Nothing..Told the front desk and they said oh yeah they are having trouble and the waters green because they have green water up here....Umm ok how come the pictures on the KOA website show blue pools, not to mention we could see the algae...
There was broken glass in front of the restroom for over 12 hours....no one bothered to pick that up.... WHy bother to advertise wifi if you cant provide the service? Also there was many people complaining about the pools and nothing was being done about it!! If things don't work, why are we being charged such a big resort fee?
The campgrounds were too crowded for what they had to offer..
Would NOT stay again!!!!
The 2 things good here were the flowers! They are everywhere and gorgeous!! ALso the chuck wagon dinner I would recommend!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Spokane
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

The only bad part about staying here was that we had to leave. Next time we will stay longer. Great site, rental car, horseback riding, pools, slides, activities, resturaunt, ice cream. Way too much to do. The whole family loved it!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We LOVED our deluxe cabin. These cabins are new this year -- brand new construction with a very cute interior that slept our family of 5 quite comfortably. We also loved the large deck and table and chairs outside, where we spent most of our time. There's a grill and fire pit, making the outdoor space perfect. Our cabin was situated peacefully in the woods, with a view of Harney's Peak. It was very quiet and pretty. But when we ventured down the hill to the activity area, there were so many people everywhere you looked. We didn't mind this for the most part -- there were a lot of fun things for the kids to do -- but you should just know what you're going to find if you stay at this KOA. We were told by an employee that there were 5,000 people staying here over 4th of July. Not sure if this is true, but even if it's not, there are A LOT of people there. The grounds are huge, though, and somehow it all works. We really enjoyed the horseback ride and the very friendly and knowledgeable guides; we went through beautiful Black Hills trails. Same with the ATVs we rented, although we wish there was an option to rent them for less than half a day. The kids loved the many activities--volleyball, basketball, panning for gold, bouncing pillow, bouncy house, splash pad, etc. The pancake tent was also fun each morning--cheap, good food. We had a good dinner at the Ponderosa restaurant. The facilities throughout the KOA were clean and well cared for. The highlight was the chuckwagon dinner, which was expensive but included a pretty horsedrawn ride to a meadow, good food cooked over open fire in front of us and first-rate entertainment. A real cowboy sang and played guitar and he was SOOOO good. Another real cowboy provided the laughs--he was hilarious, and also told many interesting stories about the area on the ride back. There is no cell phone service, which we actually liked. It made our trip a true getaway. Our main complaint is that both of the pools were green and really gross. Our family had planned to spend lots of time swimming together, but the kids wouldn't even get in. They really need to find a way to clean these pools and hot tubs. Major drawback!! But all in all, we liked this place a lot and especially loved our cute, peaceful cabin in the woods.

Room Tip: Request one of the new deluxe cabins!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Everything about this place is massive. Depending on your point of view this could be a bad or good thing. They have everything that a KOA normally offers plus a few things, like a Pub/Restaurant, corral, and "chuck wagon" that I've never run across before. There are hundreds of campers here during peak periods (we were there in late June). When its crowded its a small city. People were respectful of quiet hours and rules for the most part. There are some major downsides about the place, however. As pointed out in other reviews there is no cell service and the wifi is spotty at best. The folks running the place really don't seem terribly interested in this problem. Camping sites are close together in some parts of the campground and there is very little shade in most areas. Hence, the dominant background sound everywhere was the whir of ACs. The place is convenient to Mt Rushmore, but if we visit the area again, we would save our money and stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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nebraska
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We just spent 4 nights in a delux cabin. It was a wonderful family vacation. This campground is so close to everything yet no traffic noise from the highway. The layout is perfect.

The cabin was great. The wifi and cable were unreliable at best and there was NO cell service, but that is kind of the point of a camping trip, right?

The kids loved it because there was so much to do. The adults loved it because there was so much for the kids to do and so peaceful at night. We had a drink at the bar every night just to talk about what a great trip we were having.

I would recommend this to my friends and family IF they are traveling with kids.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mount Rushmore / Hill City KOA

Address: 12620 Highway 244, Hill City, SD 57745
Location: United States > South Dakota > Hill City
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Hill City
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the convenience of KOA kamping kabins and deluxe, big-rig friendly RV campsites to secluded tent sites along a creek, the Mount Rushmore / Hill City KOA campground offers campers an exiting outdoor experience complete with picturesque granite mountain views and Ponderosa pine panoramas. Choose from:+ Kamping kabins+ RV campsites+ Tent sites ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mount Rushmore / Hill City Koa Hotel Hill City

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